I have two old man maladies that affect my shooting and hunting. I have astigmatism and need glasses, and I have a very reduced hearing ability and must wear hearing aids. Both of these restrictions can be accommodated, but my hearing limitations have been the easiest to handle, whether shooting at the range or hunting.
However, it first must be pointed out that I cannot use my $6,000(!) hearing aids to help with the issues that occur when shooting a firearm. They only amplify sounds, they don’t act as a barrier to harmful levels, or frequencies, of sound waves.
So, when I was hunting in South Africa last year with Blaauwkrantz Safaris, I made the decision that I would leave my hearing aids in while I hunted. My reasoning was that this was necessary in order to hear what my PH, Arnold Claassen, was saying, particularly when he needed to whisper in the presence of game animals.
That was a very bad idea, especially when shooting in the rocky terrain of the Eastern Cape, where sound blasts and echos from rock-to-rock, landing eventually full-throttle in your ear canals.
When I returned home, I found that my wife, Frances, had realized my dilemma from our phone calls and had purchased a set of Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs for me. As soon as I took them to the range, I was a convert.
I was an even more staunch convert once I used them during a recent hunting trip. Not only could I hear every squirrel cussing me out for miles around, I also heard deer browsing singly and in groups in the woodlot through which I was still hunting.
I realize this is NOT news to those who have long been aware of the benefits of electronic hearing protection systems. I was late to the game because I thought I wouldn’t want to wear muffs while hunting because they might make me feel claustrophobic — not able to hear the important sounds for which I was listening.
I was really, really wrong. And, like the range, on the recent hunt when the [in this case pistol] was fired at game, my ears were safe.
The Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs are very well-constructed, they work perfectly and, maybe best of all, they’re affordable. This last point has turned out to be very significant because Frances has decided that she loves them too, so we now have to purchase a second pair.
Needless to say, the Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs will be on my ears at the pheasant shoot this coming Saturday, the two deer hunts I have coming up in November, and all of my outings after small game. And, of course, they’ll be in my box every time I head to the range.
Mike Arnold writes about firearms and hunting at his blog Mike Arnold, Outdoor Writer.