Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guest Post

I recently received an e-mail from one of the readers of my Blog. He requested an opportunity to do a guest post. The subject and content he suggested is something I have not touched on in any prior posts. Nevertheless, this is an issue of vital relevance to those of us who shoulder shotguns a couple hundred times per year. I thank Mr. O'Connor and urge all you hunters and shooters to pay strict attention.

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss. My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss. I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can. Check out my new blog at!

Why Every Hunter Needs to Protect Their Hearing

Living without your hearing can be incredibly difficult. Unfortunately for most hunters, hearing loss is very common unless they take the proper precautionary steps to prevent it. Protecting your hearing while you are hunting is incredibly important and is essential for anyone who goes hunting on a regular basis. The reason for this is due to the fact that you will be losing loud guns at close range, making your ears susceptible to hearing loss and damage.

Before you go out hunting, it is important that you consider the benefits of protecting your hearing. Your hearing is incredibly precious and is more fragile than you might think. By just wearing earplugs or noise-reducing headphones, you will be able to prevent hearing loss and extend the life of your hearing for years to come. Losing your hearing may be something that gets in the way of your favorite hobby; so protecting it can mean more years out in the wilderness hunting game. My father who has been a hunter for many years is affected severely by hearing loss. After neglecting his hearing for many years he reached a point of now return. After visiting his doctor and finding out among many other reasons that hunting was affecting his hearing he was surprised. Now in his late 70’s he still likes to get out to the range but always makes sure he has his hearing aid in and has brought the appropriate hearing protection with him. There are a few different ways that you can protect your ears while you are out hunting with loved ones.

Earplugs are great for when you are using guns and loud machinery while out in the field. These small foam products can be purchased for practically nothing at your local pharmacy or sporting goods store. You just roll the foam up into a small cylinder and insert it into your ear canal. The foam will automatically expand and fill the canal, preventing excess noise from entering the ear. This can greatly improve your hearing and prevent major hearing loss, especially if you are using firearms at a close range.

If earplugs are not your cup of tea or if you find them to be uncomfortable, there is another option available to you. Wearing noise-reducing headphones is great for when you are hunting and trying to protect your hearing from excess noise. Plus, these types of headphones can actually help to keep your ears warm if the temperatures outside are frigid.

There is just nothing easier or more important than protecting your hearing for the long haul. While many hunters make sure to wear goggles and all of the right types of clothing, many of them simply forget to protect their ears until it is too late. It does not take very long for you to find good ear protection and wear it when out hunting. You will find that it also makes the hunt more enjoyable because your gunfire is not so deafening. Even if you are not the one who is firing the gun in your team, it is still important that you wear ear protection to keep hearing loss from occurring.


James said...

Great advice. Years of competitive skeet with only ear muffs (and taking them off when I left a station!) has definitely impacted my hearing.

lindaraxa said...

My father competed in skeet and trap events, including the Olympics, since he was in his twenties. He headed Remington's operations in Europe in the early 60's and traveled all over the world competing and representing the company. Needless to say, he shot practically every weekend of his adult life.

In those days, ear muffs was all they wore and by the time he was in his late 40s we could tell his hearing was slowly, but surely, going downhill. But he was too stubborn to admit it and refused to have his hearing checked.

He died in 1973 at the age of 52, of a heart attack, not related in any way to the sport.

Heed this important advice!