Every year millions of people are excited to go duck hunting. However about 86% of hunters do not wear hearing protection. How dangerous is this? What are the risks? What really happens to your ears, hearing, brain, and future when you do this? To answer these questions and more, I have invited. Dr. Bill Dickenson, a lifelong duck hunter, doctor of audiology, and founder of the company Tetra Hearing to give us some expert insight.
Here is the code mentioned in the show: Tetra Hearing protection – Get 10% off with the code: NHG2310
Every time you fire a shotgun without hearing protection you blast your ears with volume that drastically exceeds the limits of what is safe. Many people experience some ringing in their ears or other short term hearing effects that fade away. They assume that because they do not notice any permanent damage that they are ok, and they continue on. What they do not realize is twofold.
#1 The next shot they take could be the one that causes major permanent hearing loss. Or the next shot someone next to them takes, especially when it comes to shooting at flying birds that can cause the muzzle to move closer to your hunting partner’s ears. You may be one shot away from major issues.
#2 The other thing is that every shot you take could be costing you an imperceptible amount of hearing loss. After one or two shots you may not notice anything. But after many hunts and many seasons, the cumulative effect of those shots adds up and people realize, often unexpectedly years later, that they have a major problem.
Couple both of these scenarios with the fact that waterfowl hunting is the most punishing form of hunting on your ears and your risks multiply. The average waterfowl hunter, in my experience, hits a bird with about 1/3 of their shots or less. So, to fill a six-bird limit, they will likely shoot 20 shells. These are often magnum shells, and often used with a ported choke tube that increases volume levels behind and beside the muzzle.
Then consider waterfowl hunting is a team sport, so if you have 3 people in your hunting party, you may have 60 shots fired within inches of your ears in one day. That is more abuse to your ears in one day than many hunters will experience in a lifetime of turkey hunting or deer hunting.
Simple hearing loss however is not the full extent of the problem. Often times people experience constant ringing in their ears, pain, static, and other damage that lasts for life. These effects are correlated with higher suicide rates, depression, and self-isolation. And then moderate untreated hearing loss in mid-life may impact your risk of Altheimer’s and dementia by as much as 900%.
So how dangerous is hunting ducks on your hearing? It is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your ears. And the long-term effects of it can be brutal. This is why I implore you to wear hearing protection while hunting waterfowl. About 86% of hunters do not wearing hearing protection of any kind.
It is absolutely critical that you protect your hearing. Cheap ear plugs can do the job for $1. Entry level digital hearing protection devices can enable you to still hear some of the hunt and are often available for the price of a box of tungsten ammo. But by far the best options I have ever seen on the market are those made by Tetra Hearing.
Tetra provides a one size fits most option called their AlphaShield, you can learn more about them in my Tetra AlphaShield Written Review. They also provide a custom fit option for maxiumum comfort and effectivness called their CustomShield. You can read more about those in my Tetra CustomShield Written Review.
Both of these devices compensate for hearing loss and enable you to hear everything going on around you and all the sounds of nature as if you had nothing in your ears at all. They then become instant hearing projection every time you pull the trigger to protect your years and keep you safe.
But perhaps the biggest thing they do is identify and isolated the sounds made by the animals you are hunting and amplify those sounds. This enables you to hear the sounds that ducks and geese make louder and more clearly from further away than you could even with perfect hearing, giving you a distinct advantage in the woods.
They are rugged and powerful digital devices that fit right inside your ear. They filter out sounds you do not want, like wind noise, and enable you to set them for whatever you are hunting that day, such as waterfowl, turkey, deer, elk, and much more. I have not found anything better on the market.
They are not cheap, but Tetra has been kind enough to provide a discount code to help you save 10% at checkout. Tetra Hearing protection – Get 10% off with the code: NHG2310
In addition to the discount, Tetra’s can be purchased with HSA (Health Savings Account) funds. They have a great warranty, can be repaired if broken, can be used in the rain or in the marsh, and enable you to retain all the joys of hearing the hunt with instant hearing protection and provide you with advantages. to hunt more effectively.
I have been using Tetras for coming up on three years at this point and they are what has enabled me to continue waterfowl hunting without compromising anything. This episode is not sponsored, and I paid for my Tetra CustomShields with my own money. I highly recommend you give them a try. I also did a podcast review: Tetra AlphaShield Review | Critical For All Hunters
I also highly recommend you listen to this podcast episode. It may be the most important podcast you ever listen to because I believe it can illuminate your understanding and empower you to make changes that can redirect the trajectory of your health, family, and future. Dr. Bill provides some of the most outstanding insights into how our ears work and he breaks it down into simple terms that anyone can understand. We share numerous hunting stories as well, it was a lot of fun!