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I can’t hear you – Shooting

I’m sure you have noticed that shooting creates a pretty loud environment. It is so loud that over time your hearing will become worse and worse if not taken care of. Sure, a couple of times popping off a round here or there is recoverable but over time your hearing loss is something that you can’t get back naturally.

During most of my time in the infantry we used those little foam earplugs, when we used anything at all. The issue most of the guys had with them was that as you moved around they become dislodged and eventually slipped out. With all the countless training events, qualifications, joint exercises and other gunfire sounding off around me I have noticed that my hearing is not as good as it once was. I am glad that later in my career the Army wised up and started issuing electronic hearing protection that doubled for our commo too. Those really helped out with the concussion of sounds that we all were surrounded by.

I really want to stress the importance of quality hearing protection for your range time and even for hunting. It is so important that you take good care of your hearing. Your ears don’t “get used to” loud noises…they become damaged and eventually beyond repair. Getting “use to”the noise or “dealing with it” ultimately transitions to incremental deafness. The auditory exclusion you experience during the adrenaline rush of a hunt does not protect your ears from damage. Every time your ears “ring” your hearing is being damaged. Yes, it is true that your ears can heal, but you never get back to the point you were before the noise damage occurred.

Incremental hearing loss is slow to notice and often is over looked at first. Only after some real large damage has happened do you tend to rethink the idea of quality hearing protection. By then you are just trying to save the little you have left.

When looking for hearing protection I suggest that you pass the cheaper earmuffs by and look for noise cancelling electronic earphones. They are more expensive than earmuffs of the “custom ear molded” plugs but let me remind you that your hearing is PRICELESS!

These electronic hearing protection head phones usually take 2 to 4 “AA” or “AAA” batteries and it is wise to put extras in a plastic bag (with a silicone pack to capture any moisture) or container and keep them in your range bag at all times.

Take care of your ears because once your hearing is gone…its gone forever!

Stay Alert and Practice Often!

EJ Owens

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Gunfighting: a hostile encounter in which antagonists with guns shoot at each other
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