Do you wear hearing protection during a hunt? For me, the answer is, "Not as much as I should."
I'm sure that's the same answer many others would give, and the reasons are likely similar: Ear plugs or muffs offer great protection, but they prevent hearing what's happening around us, such as game movement. That's a situation that will reduce our hunting success, and it can even be a safety hazard.
The other alternative is those expensive electronic products that can actually increase a hunter's ability to hear but also includes circuitry magic that protects us from muzzle blast sounds. However, I've always found the "whistle" wind makes when it blows across the microphones of electronic protection so annoying that I can't tolerate them for long—certainly not for an entire day afield because it drives me crazy.
This inability to tolerate wind noise led me to the Pro-Ears line of hearing protection and their claim to what the company calls Dynamic Level Sound Compression. This is a fancy way of saying there are five stages of sound management in their electronic products, including a high-pass filter that's claimed to cut low frequencies below 300Hz, thus eliminating most of the wind noise I find so irritable.
I was skeptical at first, but a few months of use has convinced me they've got this problem nailed.
I've been using a pair of Pro-Ears Predator Gold muffs extensively and have no problem reporting that this is the best hearing protection I've ever tried. The muffs are comfortable, fit tightly to the head, offer excellent protection and broadcast very little wind noise. They don't eliminate it entirely, but then our naked ears don't eliminate all wind noise either.
The Pro Ears technology takes wind noise down to very manageable levels, allowing me to wear them all day in windy environments without going nuts. This moves them solidly into the hunting field and makes it much more likely that I'll be wearing them when I'm chasing game.
These aren't the cheapest electronic muffs out there, but in my opinion, they're worth every penny. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so, because since acquiring my Pro-Ears muffs, I've been watching to see what the best professional shooters in the world wear. Whether it's a shotgun, rifle or handgun match, Pro-Ears on the heads of pro-shooters is certainly a common sight.
If you're in need of upgrading your hearing protection, the Pro-Ears line, which is made in the USA and comes with a 5-year warranty, is as good as it gets.