Seeing … Hearing … And Hiding

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By Mark Hampton

There are some topics we probably don’t spend enough time discussing — safety is one of them. Many potential problems can be avoided by simply taking a few easy precautions in the field and at the range.

Recently — due to a tip from His Editorship himself — I’ve begun to really appreciate custom, prescription glasses from Tactical Rx, a division of Sports Optical. They are a niche company, small and independent. Kyle Ross from their shop worked with me on what my needs were — all done in a very personal and knowledgeable manner. He discussed intended uses, light conditions, face size, fogging vulnerability and any outstanding optical issues I have so they could create an eyewear set-up ideally suited for me. And they can do the same for you.

Their personal interaction and mandatory consultation allows the company to thoroughly evaluate the needs of the customer. Eyewear is largely about clearly identifying the issue, then coming up with a solution. And, they certainly make some cool-looking shooting glasses!

All of their lenses are made out of high-index polycarbonate, keeping them thin, lightweight and most importantly, safe. They offer 100 percent UV protection and come with a standard scratch-resistant coating. Heck, they can even tint them nearly any tone or intensity, polarized or transition and provide a number of additional high-tech coatings.

These lenses are made in their shop, right here in the US. Tactical Rx will also craft sports lenses intended for uses requiring fully-functioning peripheral vision. There are many frames to choose from, depending on face size, specific applications or appearance, including the Mt. Falcon frame I’ve been wearing. The popular Mt. Falcon frame has an open frame design with no bottom frame. Nearly all of the frames are ANSI-z87 safety-rated. Frames are lightweight, durable, and made for safety and performance. First class gear from a first class company.

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Where’s Mark? Hiding behind his stalking shield from Nature Blinds.

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Mark especially likes electronic muffs, like these from various
makers, available from $30 to $500, depending upon your budget.

Don’t Go “Deef”

I’m as guilty as sin for not wearing hearing protection every time I pull the trigger. Back in my early days of trapshooting, hearing protection was almost non-existent. The old shooters were all pretty much “deef” as they used to say. Making matters worse for me, I hunted for many years shooting high performance handgun ammo without any protection. Now I’m suffering. There really is no excuse for not wearing hearing protection. The sheer number of ear plugs and muffs available in every price-range under the sun allows any shooter or hunter to protect their hearing.

Even .22 LR ammo can impair your hearing, while those .357, .44. and other big boomers will really wreak havoc. Add muzzle brakes to the mix and you’ll experience serious damage in as little as a single shot. No fooling. As a hunter for the past decade or more, I’ve used electronic muffs allowing me to hear sounds or voices yet still protect my ears. Howard Leight or Walker’s Game Ear muffs are constant companions. These stereo muffs allow you to hear range commands or casual conversion, and hunters in the field can hear their guide or hunting companion’s whispered words. Hearing protection is your friend and there’s nothing macho about going without it.

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Mark’s glasses from Tactical Rx have really changed
the way he can see when hunting. He’s also safer!

Getting Lost?

The Stalking Shield from Nature Blinds is a realistic-looking tree-bark texture “shield” blending in beautifully, allowing the hunter to remain concealed while hunting. The shield is lightweight at only eight pounds, and easy to carry. A center-mounted handle allows you to carry it in one hand with your handgun in the other. The Stalking Shield stands on its own with a rotatable kickstand so you can use it vertically or horizontally. Plus, it incorporates an integral shooting rest carved out in the top of the shield for your handgun or long-gun.

The shield works like a charm when placed in front of a big oak tree. This allows the hunter to rest their back on the tree and remain out of sight for any approaching critters. For those who hunt whitetail or other game in terrain with trees, this portable field blind might just be the ticket. I also use it to hide in the back yard when my wife is looking for me to do chores. I’m just saying it has multiple uses, is all.

For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index; (TacticalRx Ph: (303) 455-3369)

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