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Deer Hunters: Protect and Enhance Your Hearing in the Field

Deer firearms season is almost here! You don’t need to sacrifice situational awareness in order to protect your hearing while afield

By Josh Lantz

While hunters in several U.S. states can use firearms to hunt deer this month, most states usher in their firearms deer-hunting seasons sometime during the month of November. It’s an exciting time, and legions of passionate deer hunters across the country are busy preparing for what they hope will be a successful season. Much of that preparation takes place at the shooting range, ensuring one’s chosen firearm – be it a rifle, slug gun, muzzleloader or handgun – is sighted in for repeatable accuracy in the field.

“Sight-in” days and events are popular pre-season social events at shooting ranges across the country. Many private ranges and clubs open their doors to the public during such events as a service to the local deer-hunting community. Club members often volunteer their time and expertise to help hunters dial in their firearms and understand how their chosen firearm and ammunition combinations will perform at various distances. Of course, all of this is done to help ensure that hunters can make accurate shots that result in an ethical harvest, but participants at sight-in events often receive additional valuable instruction and education as well. Instruction may cover topics such as how to properly use a treestand safety harness, how to track and recover game, or firearms safety in the field.

Contact the shooting ranges in your area to see if they offer special sight-in days or clinics in advance of your state’s firearms deer opener. Not sure what shooting ranges are in your area? Visit www.wheretoshoot.org to find out.

No discussion on firearms safety is complete without talking about hearing protection. Why? Because every pull of the trigger has the potential to permanently damage a hunter’s hearing. The injury is largely painless and happens over time, so many hunters don’t even think about protecting their ears in the field. Unfortunately, they don’t realize the incremental damage being done until it’s too late. Thankfully, hearing loss is 100% preventable through the consistent use of appropriate and properly fitted hearing protection, and today’s electronic earmuffs are a fantastic choice for deer hunters.

Electronic earmuffs combine passive sound attenuation with analog or digital circuitry to compress or “shave the peaks off” dangerous sounds above a certain level. These models employ external microphones, internal speakers and a gain adjustment, allowing deer and other big game hunters to hear surrounding sounds at normal or even louder-than-normal levels. This amplification can increase a hunter’s situational awareness, helping them to hear the footfalls of approaching deer, grunts and other deer vocalizations earlier. The amplification is especially helpful to the throngs of deer hunters who already have some hearing loss.

Honeywell Howard Leight is a leader in hearing protection technologies for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts. Featuring fast, digital compression circuitry, up to 5x amplification in stereo, a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22, and available in blaze orange, Howard Leight’s Impact Sport Bolt electronic earmuff is an ideal choice for deer hunters who value the preservation of their hearing. It’s lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear and has a sleek, low-profile earcup design with carefully located cutouts to provide clearance from the stock while shouldering a firearm.

With the availability and performance of today’s amplifying electronic earmuffs like the Howard Leight Impact Sport Bolt, deer hunters have no more excuses for not protecting their hearing in the field.

Have fun this deer season, be safe, and take good care of your ears – both at the range and in the field. It’s never been easier.

Learn more about Honeywell Howard Leight’s complete line of quality hearing- and eye-protection products at HowardLeightShootingSports.com.

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