I decided early in my professional hunting career to look after my hearing. That decision has saved my hide several times, from leopard charges, a spotted hyena sticking his nose inquisitively into a leopard blind, buffalo that were less than pleased, and charging black rhinos, to name a few.
Like the animals we prey upon, when you are hunting you are using all your senses in a heightened state. Sight, hearing, and smell aid a P.H. in sensing the wind direction and listening for your prey when you are close. There is nothing like a final approach, stalking quietly, and being able to smell and and hear wild creatures in their element without them knowing you are there. Hearing the grass part as they move as well as hearing them breathe. (Pictures below — the orange set is the non-electronic hearing protection, and the beige is the electronic hearing protection.)
I used to wear molded ear plugs, but I have recently upgraded to “electronic ears.” Dr. Deborah Price, owner of Hearing Professional Center in Dallas, built me a pair of these electronic ears. They have really saved my hearing, my hide, and enhanced my hunting efficiency. I am able to hear everything within a 50-yard range while hunting, give and hear questions in the adrenaline filled-moments before my hunters take a crucial shot, and have my hands free to assist the shooter or watch the targeted animal through my binoculars.
Earlier in my professional, dangerous game hunting career, I would go without ear plugs because of the danger of blocking one of your senses in potentially life threatening situations. My hearing was numbed with the concussion of a big caliber rifle for several days after a successful hunt. The thought that there is no way of repairing the damage done to my hearing was aching in the back of my skull.
I have worn my electronic ears for a total of 360 days of plains and dangerous game hunting over two seasons. I was surprised by the battery life, often lasting more than 14 days with one set of these tiny batteries…all through rain and shine, dust and dirt, blood, sweat, and tears. Cutting even the biggest bore rifles discharge down to nothing, and being able to hear the impact, has impressed me time and again. They made it through it all.