A muzzle brake
is a wonderful device for reducing recoil BUT it will damage your hearing in the ling run. It is particularly bad in the field where most of us don't wear any hearing protection.
I know as I shot my 300 RUM with a VAIS brake at an elk. I was wearing a winter hat with the ear flaps down tight figured it wouldn't bother me. WRONG! My ears rang loudly for the rest of that day and there is a permanent quieter ringing that doesn't go away. Take it from me if you want to walk around the elk woods with a brake you will HAVE to wear ear protection. I suppose if you can afford some sort of game ear device that amplifies till the rifle goes off that should help. You just cannot hope to stick in some plugs under those conditions. That is why I said a brake defeats the purpose of a lighter walk around 338 win mag.
I was going to use that 300 RUM as one of the rifles for my coues wt hunt that is starting this Friday. I figured since we are glassing at longer distances and setup for the shot, I'd use it with the brake. I did some range work wearing good plugs AND good muffs. Everytime I'd get home from a shooting session my ears were ringing worse than the normal tinitus I already have acquired. I took that brake off and that's it, never again. If I cannot handle the recoil without a brake then I need to download or switch calibers.
The above is my opinion regarding muzzle brakes
. Others reactions to that excessive noise can vary, as for me I am through with brakes.