Last night at our Thanksgiving dinner my son's father-in-law was telling me that he took several shots at a deer last week with his lever action 30-30 and now his pre-existing tinnitus is much worse and he lost some more hearing ability.
He said he has never worn hearing protection when he hunts.
I developed mild tinnitus 4 years ago when I failed to wear protection for just ONE shot
on a braked magnum rifle during a coyote hunt with new friends. Normally I did wear protection when hunting. I had left it in the truck, 100 yards away, when I discovered I left it behind. Too embarrassed to ask my new friends to wait while I went back and got it.
Now I wear the comfortable and tiny SoundGear Electronic Hearing Protection
all the time when hunting. I can wear it comfortably for 12 hour days on a western hunt. I can easily hear my hunting partner acting as a spotter with my hearing protection installed.
I always did and still do wear double protection during practice sessions.