The 10 Best Hunting Ear Protectors
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Everyone knows firearms are dangerous, but one hazard that often gets overlooked is the damage they can do to your hearing. Any exposure to a loud enough sound can result in permanent auditory losses. These ear protectors can help shield you from gun noise while still being comfortable enough for all-day use, whether you're out hunting or just practicing at the range. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 27, 2020:
Removed the HearTek Junior Ear Defenders because they can't be used by hunters since they really only fit newborn babies. Removed the Otis Technology Ear Shield because of poor construction and the availability of better models. Added the Howard Leight Impact Sport and the Winchester 99776.
When I started off hunting, I chose to not wear any hearing protection (I would and do wear earmuffs on the range). I've always found ear protection uncomfortable and inconvenient for a few reasons. I figured that since you really only take one to three shots per hunt (I hunt primarily deer), it probably wouldn't damage my hearing too much. That is of course, poor reasoning caused by youth so I picked up some Winchester 99776s and I've stuck with them since. They don't interfere with my cheek weld (I shoot a .308 bolt-action) and I don't have to have them on until I'm ready to shoot so it doesn't prevent me from using my hearing during the stalk.
Many hunters prefer electronic ear muffs like the Walker's Game Ear Razor and the Howard Leight Impact Sport because they don't have to take the extra seconds to put on their ear buds. This is a matter of preference, and these are definitely great options for those that prefer that style. The most significant trouble I've had with electronic ear muffs is that they amplify low decibel environmental sounds which many enjoy but I really don't like the constant overwhelming sound of rustling leaves and wind to the point that they drown out other important sounds I'm looking to perceive.