My hearing is deteriorating due to my own ignorance. I never wear hearing protection in the field, which is a big reason why I can’t hear you. Words begin to blur together, and I find myself concentrating on an individual’s mouth to focus on what they’re saying. I’ve recently been using a new line of hearing protection from TETRA Hearing that is changing everything I thought I knew about protecting my hearing.
I’m an anomaly when it comes to my ear structure. My ear canals are desperately tiny, which isn’t normal for a guy my size. I’ve had multiple audiologists baffled at the sight of my ears. This continually presents a problem when trying to find hearing protection that fits my diminutive ear canals. When I was first introduced to Bill Dickinson of TETRA Hearing I was encourage o see what they were doing with hearing for hunters and shooters. He was amazed by my ears as well, but he met it as a challenge he’d like to conquer.
First, we need to understand why I have an issue with wearing hearing protection in the field.
Bill Dickinson and TETRA Hearing have fixed each issue I had, giving me zero reasons to protect my hearing 24/7.
I’ve been using the custom Shield Series and have had incredible success. I had to do custom fit only because of my ear issues. An interesting fact came up while speaking with Bill that in TETRA’s development of hearing protection they’ve seen a ridiculous 98-percent fit rate. That means you can order a set of non-customized Shield Series or Amp Series and have them fit perfectly.
Proper fit can’t be underestimated. Hearing protection that allows gaps in fit only delay hearing loss. If you find yourself in my boat, I’d highly recommend budgeting in a couple extra dollars and purchasing customized hearing.
We’ve grown up in a world that regularizes glasses. I’m beginning to see hearing protection in the same light. We’ve got fancy procedures like LASIK to improve eyesight, but nothing has been developed besides “hearing aids” to improve hearing. Why is it cool to wear glasses and not okay to wear hearing devices? We look at it as this marks the point of no return. If you have hearing aids you are deemed old. Enough is enough. If you are too proud to accept the fact that protecting your hearing is needed, I feel sorry for you.
Bill brought to my attention a very simple fact. He explained what sounds begin to fade earlier than others. The higher pitches hit the door first. It may not be a big deal for most, but for me this strikes fear. It’s the fear of not hearing my future grandchildren’s voices. That would be a devastating blow. I remember growing up and my grandfather constantly just shook his head at me and nodded. It was only later in life I realized he couldn’t hear my voice as a youngster. Just think about that for a moment.
TETRA Hearing thinks about hearing different. Aside from being able to hear voices, TETRA believes it necessary to hear what’s happening in the woods. Bill is a hunter and spends much of his time in a goose pit, blasting away with 12 gauges. Bottomline, he’s a hunter and see the need for an advanced piece of gear that protects and enables the shooters and hunters of the world.
The range mode on the Shield Series cuts gun shots off immediately and kicks back on so I can hear range commands and other voices down the line. Walking away from the range, I don’t have the ringing in my ear that goes with a long day on the range. As an added bonus, the Shield Series I run has plenty of battery juice left over for more days on the range.
I haven’t gotten a chance to really stretch the capabilities of the Shield Series in the field, but here is what I know. If you are a waterfowler, TETRA has you covered. If you are a big game hunter, TETRA has you covered. If you chase Turkeys, TETRA has you covered. If you go after multiple species, TETRA has you covered. Bill and his team called in experts like Harold Knight of Knight and Hale to precisely tune the hearing protection so when in that mode the hearing protection keys in on those pitches. In my terms, you will hear birds gobble, bucks grunt, does bleat and ducks quack before your hunting buddy even realizes it. How unbelievable cool is that!?
You can have as many programs as you’d like loaded onto the hearing device. I love the customization that TETRA offers hunters and shooters. Sitting here thinking, this would be an enormous benefit to the birding community as well. Hear the bird, see the bird.
This brings me to pricing. What did you last spend on a bolt gun and optic? Odds are the last shotgun, lease, hunting trip or bow probably set you back a little coin. I’d also venture to guess you didn’t spend anything on your safety in the past couple hunting seasons. Why not? Don’t look at the purchase of quality hearing protection as a negative. TETRA runs about the same price as some of the items listed above. And just like that favored gun in your safe - your hearing will be with you to the end.
The auditory experience is one to be lived. I am dedicated to passing this along to my boys while preserving what I have left. You only get two ears. Isn’t it time you protected them? ~KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.