Simple Tips for Hunting Safely and Protecting Your Hearing

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guest Post: John O'Connor

Hunting is an outdoor sport that appeals to both men and women of all ages.  In many ways, hunting can be a healthy pursuit because it provides great exercise opportunities as people trek through the woods or through a field to plan a strategy to find their target.  

Promote Healthy Hearing by Hunting Safely

While many people are aware of the excellent opportunities they have to increase their health when they spend time outdoors on a hunting expedition, not everyone is aware that hunting can also put their hearing health at risk.  Learning about how shooting firearms can cause damage to a person’s hearing is the first step in ensuring that you are hunting as safely as possible each time you pick up a firearm or go hunting with someone who will be using a firearm within close proximity to you.

When a firearm is fired, it can exceed the decibel sound level that is recommended for a firearm’s hearing safety limit by more than four times.  How much a firearm exceeds the hearing safety sound limit depends specifically upon the type of gun being fired and the environment the person is in.  Shotguns and rifles emit extremely loud noises that can cause instant and irreparable hearing damage.  Some people are affected right away by noticing a decrease in their hearing ability; and other people gradually lose portions of their hearing over time as they are consistently around firearms during hunting seasons.

My father is a person who consistently lost his hearing over time.  An avid hunter for many years, my father often did not pay much attention to his hearing protection.  Since he could not feel any signs or symptoms of hearing loss, he automatically figured that it was not occurring.  In reality every shot he continued to fire, damaged his hearing more and more.  Now in his 70’s he must wear hearing aids in order for him to hear at an appropriate level. 

To get a better understanding of how loud noises, specifically firearms, can cause damage to a person’s hearing health, refer to the online publication provided by The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  This informative article provides helpful information that can equip you with solid resources and knowledge that is vital to protecting your hearing while you are around loud noises.

Hearing Protection Options

Some people currently wear hearing aids to enhance their hearing ability when they go hunting.  For many people, hearing aids are worn full-time, while others only need to wear them occasionally to pick up low frequencies.  All people, even people who wear hearing aids, should invest in earmuffs or earplugs to wear while hunting.  These simple items can help to save your hearing health and ensure you hunt as safely as possible while you enjoy the outdoors and your hunting strategy.

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!

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