First things first, sorry we didn’t have a post last week. We were having some family time in Oregon with my Mother in Law and I decided that spending time with family was a touch more important. Recently and as we got going with this blog and getting Kaela into hunting, we’ve had a discussion on wearing Earplugs while hunting. I’ve only worn ear plugs when coyote or big game hunting and only when I’m getting ready to shoot. Since Kaela started hunting with me, she’s been very careful with her ears. To the point that she’s gotten a pretty good amount of crap from our friends. She has missed lots of shooting opportunities because she didn’t hear the birds coming up or me warning her that birds were coming. Since then, I went on to some of the hunting forums and also used Instagram to do some research on ear plugs and people that use them while bird hunting. From that I’ve found a few options and done my own research.
The first thing I found in my research was a good post by another blog. If you are interested in what he had to say, here’s the link. His list had 8 different brands and his thoughts on them. I liked his list but I was still curious for myself. I reached out to different brands as I did my research. These brands came from commercials in hunting videos and from those forums I mentioned. It also came from a google search. I know those all come with bias but to me, I wanted to create a starting point for someone doing their own research. Hopefully this post is some help.
Since I mentioned the forums, I used the Utah Wildlife Network and Duck Hunting Chat. Through the forums, there was one brand that stuck out. Walker Game Ears. Most people mentioned their ear muffs. The one thing that was mentioned over and over was that they weren’t the most comfortable, they didn’t work very well with a hood on, and they made it hard to hear where the amplified animal noises were coming from. I’ll get back to Walkers Game Ears in a second.
At one point in my life I played lots and lots of music. From that, my parents suspected that I was having some hearing loss. I went to a hearing expert of some sort and they found that the noise levels I was exposed to with playing concerts, was unhealthy and so I had some in ear noise reducers. The way they worked is they were molded to my ears, they had a noise reducing filter on them and they “allowed me” to hear normal noises and then filtered loud noises. That was not the case at all. I found that it muffled and changed the pitch on things and that did not work for me. The one part that did work is the in-ear noise reduction. Having the noise reducers molded to my ear canal and ear shape made it more comfortable then ear muffs have ever been for me. Given the choice between ear muffs and in-ear noise reduction, I choose in ear.
Now that I’ve filled your head with lots of random information, here’s the down and dirty. I reached out to a few companies. I only heard back from one. Sadly, Walkers Game Ears was not the one I heard back from. I don’t know if maybe I phrased things wrong but all I asked these companies is,”I’m writing a blog and want to know your recommendations on what kind of ear protection for bird hunting and hunting in general”. I also mentioned my experiences with hearing birds before they flush and that giving me a chance to get on them before even seeing them and the discussion it brought up. Either way, one company contacted me while the other ones didn’t. It has now been 2 months and still nothing.
The other thing I should mention is that I still have not bought one of these hunting earplugs. They range in price but the ones I want to get are a little bit out of my budget right now with all our wedding prep. So, I will start by talking about the ear plugs I have used while coyote hunting. I’ve used Howard Leight ear plugs. They are foam ear plugs and they are cheap. They are your straight forward earplug. For the money you spend, you have a long time of ear protection. The problem with it is that it lowers the noise levels until you remove them. They don’t adjust or improve your hearing or anything fancy. For the money they do the job. As a quick note, I did reach out to Honeywell since they are the manufacturer and I received no response.
The next step up on earplugs that I looked at are the Earmonix Ear and Impact Plugs. They advertise as a noise reduction rating of 12db. Which is not very much in the way of noise reduction. My old music earplugs had a filter rated at 25db. These come in a couple of sizes, so you better know the size of your ear canal. The packaging appears that they do come with a filter that you attach to the plastic ear insert. The nice thing is that for the same price as 200 Howard Leight earplugs, you can have one reusable earplug. Just don’t forget to clean it to prevent ear infections. Again, if you couldn’t tell by the lack of good information, this company never returned my inquiries. I found them for less on amazon.
Now I’m going to make a big jump. The next ones I looked at is the Walker Game Ear. I mentioned earlier how a lot of people on the forums mentioned them as their personal choice. I also mentioned how they mostly mentioned the ear muffs and not the ear plugs. I think part of that is the 200-dollar price difference. If I was to get one of their products, I would get the Walker Razor Silencer Earbud. The reason for it is that it will sit in my ear and I can wear a beanie or anything else I want over them. This might affect the performance, but I can’t stand the pressure of earmuffs. Other then the price tag, there are other downsides. It is an electronic piece of equipment. I don’t know about it being waterproof and it does require special batteries for it to operate. The batteries are included. The other thing is that its only as custom as the different attachments allow it to be, so it better fit your ear with what it has included. The best price I found for them is on amazon. The cons on this are too big for me to invest in these earbuds, despite the recommendations from other guys. The biggest reason why I wont is again, their customer service never responded which is part of why I couldn’t get some better information.
To wrap up my research, I found some earplugs that I really do want to get. I think they would work great for what we do, and I like that you can customize them to the fit of your ear, and they are not battery operated. I want the Decibullz Custom Molded Percussive Filters. I reached out to this company and they responded with this as a recommendation and they had great reasons. Instead of me butchering it, here’s their response copy and pasted from my email:
” Decibullz Customer Support (Decibullz Custom Molded Audio)
Jan 7, 12:16 PM MST
Thank you for reaching out and sorry for the delay in our response to you. We recommend our Percussive Filters for hunting and shooting.
Decibullz Percussive Filters
Hearing protection while hunting and shooting is one of the most important accessories a person can take. Small in size, the impact is significant and lasting.
Traditional earplugs and earmuffs, while effective, block and isolate damaging noise around you and lowers it to a safe level. Between shots, however, ambient noise is blocked and muffled as well. This poses a problem as many hunters and shooters rely on listening to determine their next move. For both safety and tactical strategies, hunters and shooters need situational awareness.
Decibullz Custom Molded Percussive Filters protect your hearing when you need it most. Functioning with a mechanical valve that never requires batteries, pressure rapidly closes the filter when a loud sound occurs. When quiet, the filter remains open to allow passthrough. Custom molded and subtle, Decibullz Percussive Filters provide all-day comfort with a max noise reduction rating of 31. These filters provide the best of both worlds: top-quality protection with the freedom to hear your surroundings.
Hope this helps in your findings and for your blog, but please reach back out if you have any additional questions we can help with.
Decibullz Customer Support”
That email pretty much describes everything there is to say about it. . Soon we’ll both be getting a pair of these and using them hunting. I really like the custom mold and how it all works.
Hopefully this helps in your own research and you can find the right fit for you. Click on the links to see for yourself. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. While you’re at it, feel free to share this blog post on Facebook by clicking on the button below and help spread the word.