Good Hearing Protection While Duck Hunting
Imagine doing a potentially hazardous task, such as using a chainsaw, without any personal protective equipment (PPE). No safety glasses, ear muffs, chaps, gloves, or boots. Most of us have probably done it – numerous times – without any incident. But in a single moment, that all can change. One slip or lapse in attention, and you’re in the hospital. With a chainsaw, it’s pretty easy to see the damage done. But the problem with hearing protection is that you don’t always realize you’re doing permanent damage to your hearing. You don’t necessarily notice any major issues until it’s too late and the damage is already done. That’s why it’s critical to protect yourself early, before it gets to that point. As duck hunters, we rely on our hearing a lot. So here are some measures to protect yourself.
Duck Hunting Hearing Protection
When you’re sitting in a duck blind or pit, your primary objective is simple: call and listen. When you hear a flock of snow geese cackling far away, it’s time to start blasting your own calls and entice them in. If you hear whistling wings somewhere overhead, it’s time to prepare yourself and get ready to swing on a fast-moving teal or mallard. If you can’t hear those things, you’re at a disadvantage before it even really starts. It’s entirely possible to hunt waterfowl without your sense of hearing, but it does make it more challenging. So if waterfowl hunting is important to you, you really owe it to yourself to invest in hearing protection as soon as possible.
The simplest way to say it is that a single shotgun blast is loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage. Just one shot. Every shot you take thereafter will cause additional damage. You may notice right after a few shots that there’s a faint ringing in your ears, but it generally goes away and you don’t think much about it again. This pattern usually continues until the cumulative damage is enough for you to start noticing. You may develop a constant ringing or buzzing in your ears, called tinnitus, which can continue temporarily or permanently and can be quite disruptive to everyday life. Importantly, even a single shot can produce enough damage for you to notice right away, but it’s usually more progressive for most hunters. Imagine going about the rest of your life – not just duck hunting – with a constant ringing in your ears and not being able to detect certain sounds anymore due to the damage you’ve done.
Measures to Protect Your Ears
Fortunately, hearing protection is very easy when it comes to loud noise exposure. When you’re watching a movie or listening to music, turn the volume down. When you’re at a construction site with heavy equipment, you wear ear plugs or ear muffs to block the loud sounds. But when you’re duck hunting, you need to be able to hear things well and protect your ears at the same time. That’s not very doable using traditional ear plugs or muffs. Either you block your ears from the loud and miss the quiet, or you hear the quiet and loud together.
But with Tetra’s hearing protection for waterfowl hunters, you can have the best of both worlds. Our Waterfowl CustomShield devices are custom-molded to fit your ear canal for the best possible fit (much like a hearing aid), while our Waterfowl AlphaShield devices are the next best step as an over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all solution. The key technology in these two products is a patent-pending Specialized Target Optimization (STO), which helps you key in on the sounds you want to hear: faint quacks and honks coming from across the marsh or your hunting buddy whispering to you from across the blind. But the AlphaShield Compression built in to the devices reduces loud sounds like gun shots and loud waterfowl calls immediately to safe levels that won’t damage your hearing. They also come with a waterproof carrying case when not in use, which is important when tromping through a flooded field or swamp.
Simply put, these truly are a life-changing solution for any waterfowl hunter. They’re extremely easy to use, help amplify the sounds you want to detect, and protect your ears from permanent hearing loss. Pick up a pair before your next hunting adventure to make sure your hearing doesn’t slowly erode over seasons of misuse. And while you’re at it, make sure to use hearing protection while using that chainsaw too.