New Gear: Otis Ear Shield

Ear plugs are convenient but rarely cut all noise. Muffs work well but nearly always interfere with a good cheek weld when shooting. What's a shooter to do?

I've often said that I'd rather lose a leg than an eye simply because I can always get a new leg. I don't mean to sound callous or insensitive ... and I'd certainly rather keep all my limbs ... but it's true. Trying to hunt without depth perception is a life experience I'd rather not go through.

I value my eyes above all else, but a very close second is my hearing. The thought of not being able to hear a distant longbeard hit the first gobble of the morning, or the full effects of my kid's giggles when I tickle them, is chilling.

And as shooters, hearing loss is a very real threat. In fact, it's inevitable if you don't do something to prevent it from happening.

Problem is, our options in hearing protection haven't been great. Plugs are comfortable and non-intrusive, but they're definitely not efficient at blocking sound. Ear muffs are solid, but trying to get a solid cheek weld on a rifle while wearing muffs is a lesson in contortion. Custom-molded plugs are exceptional, but attaining a pair will level your disposable income for quite some time.

But there's another option. Check out this new technology from Otis: