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Hear That Gobble: Best Ear Protection for Turkey Hunting

Don't risk damaging your ears with substandard earplugs!

There's a whole science behind the right choice of ear plugs for turkey hunting.

If you're planning to head to the woods this year, make sure you get the best turkey hunting earplugs. And the best turkey hunting ear protection.

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

How to tell if your new turkey hunting earplugs work

Hunting hearing protection improves the hunter's odds and protects the auditory system from irreparable damage, and this applies to turkey hunting as well, even if most people consider it unnecessary since hunting turkeys does not require firing shot after shot.

hearing suffers so much damage from the gunshots

Unfortunately, they did not hear the old saying that states that by the time you get really good at turkey hunting, your hearing suffers so much damage from the gunshots that you don’t hear the gobble anymore and this practically erases all of your previous experience.

Hearing is one of your most valuable assets if you are an enthusiastic turkey hunter, so why not use the proper ear protection for turkey hunting and get to seize the benefits of years of experience by maintaining your hearing in good shape?

If most shooters would not visit an active gun range without wearing protective earplugs or earmuffs, why would that be different for hunters? Using firearms is as dangerous for your hearing as any other type of gun would be, so practice safe hunting by choosing the right ear protection for turkey hunting.

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Why Ear Protection while Turkey Hunting is Mandatory

Since hearing is the number one element necessary for accurately identifying gobbles, you would not want to experience noise-induced hearing loss. Unfortunately, after years of turkey hunting without protection, some hunters end up not knowing what they are listening for and need to make use of tricks such as cupping their hands to their ears.

These tricks are helpful for those who have suffered hearing loss due to turkey hunting, but it makes it difficult to course the gobbles.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NHIL) is not always immediate, and that is why it is recommended to wear hearing protectors while turkey hunting, even if you don’t feel like there is a significant impact on your ears each time you shoot.

The evolution of noise-induced hearing loss depends on the exposure to either sudden, intense blasting sounds or repetitive loud sounds over an extended period of time. Since turkey hunting exposes you to frequent repetitive exposure to sounds of over 85 decibels that are close to your ears, the activity requires good hearing protection devices.

How Loud Is a Turkey Hunting Shotgun?

 A 12 gauge is the right gauge for a turkey hunting shotgun, but there are other features as well that make a good turkey hunting shotgun great, such as a lightweight, a short barrel, a tight “turkey” choke tube and the capacity to shoot heavy loads. A 20-gauge shotgun is also good for taking down a turkey.

And if you are a turkey hunter yourself, you know that these guns are not very silent. A 12-gauge shotgun can reach a dangerous noise level of 150 dB.

Noises When Turkey Hunting

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cause immediate harm to your ears

Hearing Aids for Turkey Hunting: Does Using Amplifying Hearing Protection Help while Hunting Turkeys?

Hearing enhancement devices are not just a way of improving your hearing, they also have sound-blocking features that allow them to act similar to ear protectors, shielding your eardrums from loud gunfire noises.

If you already suffer from noise-induced hearing loss, a combination of in-ear hearing aid and amplifying shooting ear muffs can help you discern the turkey calls by amplifying low sounds and at the same time protects your ears when you fire your gun, by turning off the amplifying feature.

Hunting hearing aids alone are also an option if your hearing is not damaged already.  Hunting hearing aids feature an amplifier that turns up the volume of the ambient sound, increasing your odds of hearing the gobbles. When your weapon goes off, the amplifier circuit is programmed to adjust the volume of the sounds you hear to match the recommended safe noise level.

If you want the best quality in a hunting hearing aid, you should opt for ITE (in the ear) aids instead of BTE (behind the ear) devices. ITE hearing aids are no different from electronic earplugs or shooter’s earmuffs, providing smart hearing protection and superior situational awareness so that you can hear safe sounds, such as voices and gobbles while hunting turkeys.

What Ear Protection is Best for Turkey Hunting?

If you want to avoid hunting hearing aids because you find that using them can seem like cheating or you simply don’t need them because your hearing is in good shape, choose the best ear protection by looking for products with the best features when it comes to noise cancellation level or noise reduction level and comfort.

Bluetooth or music streaming are not mandatory, and you will probably not use them very much while hunting turkeys anyway.

Types of Hearing Protection for Turkey Hunters

There are various options of ear protection for the shooting range, such as earplugs, hearing bands, also known as canal caps, electronic headsets or noise-cancelling headsets and muffs.

If you choose electronic hearing protectors, make sure you choose a model that can also amplify safe sounds and has a longer battery life. Noise-cancelling electronic earmuffs that provide up to 600 hours of uninterrupted usage without charging are ideal for turkey hunting.

Apart from high-end features and noise-cancellation levels, the best ear protection for shooting is the one you feel more comfortable with, since turkey hunting requires a high level of concentration and coordination, and unpleasant ear protection is a major disruption.

Are Earplugs or Earmuffs Better for Hunting Turkeys?

You could, of course, use ordinary foam earplugs to avoid noise-induced hearing loss, but you might find yourself missing some gobbles. Ear protection muffs, noise cancellation headphones or hunting hearing aids are your best bets when it comes to hunting turkeys.

Can Noise-cancelling Headphones Be Used while Hunting Turkeys?

Noise-cancelling electronic earmuffs can be perceived as an inexpensive option if you do not have a large budget to spend on professional ear protectors for hunting. Unfortunately, usual noise-cancelling headphones will not help protect your hearing while hunting, since noise-cancelling headphones are expected to cancel out loud background sounds from your environment, not dynamic sounds, such as gunfire.

Do hunters wear ear protection?

Yes, of course. When you go out to hunt, you need to protect your hearing while in the woods. You don't want to miss a vital shot because your ears are ringing from the loud crack of a rifle shot. Ear protection is also important because of the noise that is generated by gunfire.

The most popular type of hearing protection for turkey hunters is electronic. Electronic Earmuffs are very comfortable and they block out all but short bursts of noise. Some electronic ear muffs allow for normal conversation while blocking out loud noises.

Electronic headphones are really popular also. The downside to electronic hearing protectors is that they need batteries to function properly and they're considerably more expensive than regular foam ear plugs or muffs with built-in sound suppression filters.

Do you wear ear protection when turkey hunting?

Many hunters wear full ear protection when turkey hunting. It is not necessary to wear ear protection all the time, but there are specific times when it is recommended. For example, when you're walking in the woods before the sun is up, it is advisable to wear some form of ear protection. If you're after a roosting tom, then shooting ear protection is a must.

What colors do turkeys see? What colors should you not wear while turkey hunting?

Turkeys have excellent eyesight and can see color very well. Most turkeys have color vision that is comparable to human beings an sometimes better.

The colors that turkeys can see best are shades of green, orange, red and yellow. The best combination of colors for turkey hunting is a camo pattern in shades of green or brown with a hat and gloves in orange or red. One thing to avoid is any combination of hunter orange and camo clothing for turkey hunting because the contrast will be difficult for the turkeys to discern.

Will a turkey attack you?

No, turkeys are not particularly aggressive towards humans. They will not attack unless they feel threatened by you or your dogs. Turkey hunters should be cautious of them however


What are you going to use to protect yourself from the loud gobble of the big bird? The good news is that you can use these devices without costing a lot of money-or sacrificing your hearing. We hope this helpful guide helps make your first hunting experience as enjoyable and successful as possible.

Dress appropriately for the weather and wear appropriate hearing protection for your activity level/exposure. Be a good hunter. Wear headphones, don't listen to music, or talk on a cell phone in the woods. These are all noise sources that will contribute to hearing loss and hearing damage.

Don't take chances and don't shirk your responsibility to keep your ears protected by not wearing any protection at all.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Loop Quiet Ear Plugs for Noise Reduction – Super Soft, Reusable Hearing Protection in Flexible...
  • NOISE REDUCTION - Loop Quiet earplugs are reusable and durable hearing protection, made from soft silicone. They reduce most noise and help you to get in your bubble. They have a noise reduction rating (SNR) of 26 decibels, NRR of 14 and come in 6 stylish colors.
  • OPTIMAL COMFORT - These noise reducing earplugs come in 4 different sizes, so you can always find the perfect fit. The iconic round shape of Loop Quiet sits perfectly in your ears, making it a fashionable accessory that protects your hearing.
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  • EASY TO USE - These earplugs are easy to insert and when you wear them correctly, they don't stick out of your ears. They come in 4 sizes (XS - L), if your ears hurt, it is best to take a smaller size. If the earplugs do not reduce sound sufficiently or fall out, it is best to try on a size larger.
  • IN THE BOX - In Loop Quiet's eco-friendly packaging, there is 1 set of Loop Quiet earplugs, 4 sizes of soft silicone ear tips (XS-L) and 1 handy carry case. Our earplugs are reusable and washable, providing a sustainable solution to disposable plugs.
3M WorkTunes Connect + Gel Ear Cushions Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Wireless Technology, NRR 23...
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Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

What is the best time to turkey hunt?

Every state's turkey hunting seasons are different so it depends on the state you are in. Spring and fall are the turkey hunting season in most states. However, generally, early spring and mid-to-late fall are considered the best time of the year to hunt Turkey.

The best time of the day to turkey hunt is early morning because they make their nests in trees and in wooded areas on the ground so if you wake up early you will catch them out searching for breakfast. It is better to turkey hunt on a calm and clear day because during bad weather Turkey activity decreases.

How do I get my turkey to come to my land?

Turkeys have four basic needs each for every season and if you satisfy them, they will be attracted to your land. First, you need to provide them a good habitat with water being accessible to them at all times because they need it daily.

Secondly, they need big and open hardwood forests in winter and fall so they can dine on the mast, acorns, and other dry fruit from woody plants. In summer and spring, they desire wide open pastures so they can feed on the warm grasses of the season such as clover or ryegrass, and can scout for insects like grasshoppers and crickets.

Are turkeys hard to kill?

No Turkeys are not hard to kill. It is because they are easy to find since they are mostly out during the daylight so you have a good possibility of killing a turkey all day long.

They gobble so you can roost them easily. Just wake up early and be in the woods before dawn because most turkeys are killed before 8 am so this time can be the most rewarding one.

If you leave early, you will most like be done in two hours and be home by 10 am. So killing a turkey is not hard, with proper planning and enough practice you can do it easily.


If you require more information, please check these references

The domestic livestock resources of Turkey: breed descriptions and status of guard and hunting dogs , article, "www.researchgate.net", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

The Pursuit Of Noninvasive Glucose Hunting The Deceitful Turkey Pdf , article, "www.researchgate.net", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020

The wild turkey: biology and management , article, "books.google.com", retrieved on, Fri 20-November-2020


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

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