Tell us about who you are:
Zach Meyer, Director of Sales and Marketing for WildEar
How did you first get into hunting and who influenced you?
I got into hunting at a young age with my family and has been a passion of mine ever since. I am more of a waterfowl hunter, I still enjoy Whitetail and Turkey, but I would have to say that Waterfowl hunting is my thing.
Tell us about your most memorable hunt?
I have been pretty fortunate to have been on a lot of memorable hunts over the years, but my favorite hunt was out in North Dakota sitting on a small, shallow water hole with some buddies only shooting singles all morning. We would work the big groups but wouldn’t shoot into them and just waited for singles. It wasn’t the barn burner type hunt, but being able to go down the line and have a different guy shoot was pretty fun. Of course, if someone missed, they never heard the end of it.
How do you go about selecting hearing protection for your kids?
This is very important especially with the young kids. The biggest thing I see on my end when talking to parents about hearing protection is get something the kids will actually wear so make sure they like the product and are comfortable with them. They will wear whatever product they like, no matter the price. It doesn’t always have to be the most expensive product out there, just get something that they like so they actually wear them when they are hunting or shooting.
Should you be wearing hearing protection while you are hunting?
Absolutely. I know a lot of people say it is only one shot, but when you are at the range every wears hearing protection. I have talked to a lot of people that say they wish they would have had ear protection during the hunt and now have a significant loss because of it. Sitting in enclosed box blinds or a stand with a roof on it can be extremely harmful to your hearing. All it takes is one shot to ruin your hearing and then you have to live with the ringing ears for the rest of your life, no coming back from that. That is usually when I get the phone call asking about our products and hear the horror story of them not having any ear pro when they shot and it is downhill from there.
What are the advantages to having hearing protection while in the field?
The biggest advantage, in my opinion, is that you get the protection that you need from the shot. If it is just you hunting, you know when you are going to shoot, but in a waterfowl situation and there are multiple people on the hunt, you have no idea if the person next to shoot is going to try and shoot that last bird getting out of the spread and often times they shoot down the line and ring everyone in that direction. I would say ever waterfowl hunter can relate to this situation and knows of the person I am talking about. At least hearing protection can save your hearing if this does happen.
Passive hearing protection vs. hearing enhancement/digital technology?
There is a time and place for the passive hearing protection for sure. Typically the price point is lower for these types of products so we see a lot of customers starting out with this from the protection standpoint and then upgrading into the electronic units that will also allow them to hear during their hunt and also give them the protection they want or need. Hunting and shooting is very much a social setting so being able to talk with the people you are with is half the reason you are there and not having to pull the plugs in and out when you want to talk and get the protection is the biggest thing for me. I also like being able to amplify my hearing based on the hunt. If we are hunting somewhere where we can see everything, then you can really benefit from the enhancement side of things. Same is true if you have a hearing loss already…….the giant whitetail doesn’t just appear under the tree anymore. You will be able to hear it before it appears next to you so you can prepare for the shot. Whether it is WildEar or another product, do something to save your hearing. You can buy a new Tooth or a new Hip, but you get one set of ears and having to keep track of the hearings aids for the rest of your life is inconvenient.