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Has Turkey Hunting Ruined Your Hearing?

This article was excerpted from 99 Turkey Hunting Secrets. Click here to read more.

Hearing, of course, is the No. 1 element in accurately coursing gobbles. This isn’t a problem for most young hunters. However, as many folks reach their late 30s
or 40s, they’ve suffered slight hearing loss. And if they’ve worked in loud environments, shot without consistently wearing hearing protection or, yes, even hammered on loud turkey calls in confined areas, their hearing loss might be worse.

Hearing loss from turkey hunting is a real possibility

Between piercing calls and explosive gun shots, turkey hunting can cause havoc on a hunter's ears.

Further, hearing loss is insidious. That is, you don’t notice it until after it’s gone. Often, you’ll still hear gobbling, but you can’t determine the direction it came from as easily. Obviously, that makes it tough to course turkeys.

Don’t despair. If you know you have hearing loss, rely on experience more than ability. A hunter who knows what he’s listening for will course birds better than
inexperienced folks with superior hearing. And even if you can’t determine a longbeard’s location after the first gobble, you’ll probably get it after the second.

You can incorporate a couple of tricks to improve your odds.

Some hunters cup their hands to their ears, which helps them discern gobbles but often makes it tougher to course them.

If you can react quickly enough, turn your head slightly as the gobble echoes through the woods. The toughest turkeys to course are usually directly ahead or behind you. By turning your head, one ear will pick up more sound than the other, and your brain can better determine the origin.

99 Turkey Hunting Secrets

This article is excerpted from 99 Turkey Hunting Secrets. Click the cover to read more.

If your hearing has deteriorated so much that you’re missing gobbles, consider one of the numerous hearing-enhancement devices available to hunters.

Many of these devices also have sound-blocking features that protect your eardrums from loud noises such as gunfire. There’s a slight learning curve with these devices. When you first use them, you’ll have difficulty determining the direction of enhanced sounds.

However, after a while, you’ll get a feel for coursing sound just as you would with your natural hearing.

This article was excerpted from 99 Turkey Hunting Secrets. Click here to read more.

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