Hunting with a SuppressorHunting with a Suppressor

Hunting with a Suppressor

More than 15 million Americans acquire hunting licenses each year. When you’re clearing out hogs, chasing trophy whitetail, or lucky enough to draw an elk tag: hunting is an important pastime in our nation’s history. Your hunting rig may be a Q Fix, an AR15, or your grandfather’s 30-06, in almost any scenario, upgrading your rifle with a suppressor will improve your hunting experience. If you’re wondering if it’s legal to hunt with a suppressor,  yes, silencers are legal for hunting in nearly every state. When you’re gearing up for hunting season, adding a suppressor will help keep your hearing safe, improve your awareness in the woods, better the accuracy of your rifle, and help preserve the game herds and manage animals. Combined with preparation, practice (and a little luck), a suppressor will make you a more effective hunter and give you better chances at success this season.

Hunting with a SuppressorHunting with a Suppressor

Credit: @aaron._.scott

Four Benefits of Hunting with a Suppressor

  1. Suppressors make hunting safer. Suppressors provide significant protection against hearing damage, which, unfortunately, can be common among hunters. Pairing your hunting rifle with a suppressor can reduce the decibel rating to a level that is hearing-safe. 
  2. Increase your awareness of your surroundings. Silencers reduce gunshot signatures, which can be disorienting. Hunting with a suppressor allows you to forego bulky ear protection which can muffle sounds and make you less aware of what's going on around you. 
  3. Suppressors increase the accuracy of your hunting rig. Silencers often increase muzzle velocity and increase accuracy, making you more effective on your hunt. 
  4. Suppressors improve herd management and conservation of the environment. Hunting with a silencer is significantly less jarring for wildlife in the area; disturbances like a gunshot can cause animals to leave their grazing and bedding areas.

Can You Hunt with a Suppressor?

Yes, hunters can use suppressors there are 42 states legal to hunt with suppressors.

Suppressors Make Hunting Safer

The right to bear arms is an inalienable right; when you're hunting with your firearm, you should protect your hearing and others hunting with you. You may be wondering, is a suppressor worth it for hunting? Suppressors are a great improvement for hunters, 95% of hunters don't wear ear pro and a suppressor is a solution to continue to hunt without wearing ear pro, while still protecting from hearing damage. For example: If you are among the millions of Americans who hunt with a .308 (one of the most popular hunting cartridges in the US), your ears are battered with 158 dB each time you pull the trigger: just one shot can cause irreparable hearing damage. That same rifle equipped with one of the top 5 .30 cal silencers can be well under 140 dB (“hearing safe” threshold) as determined by the nation's regulatory board Occupational Safety Health Association (OSHA).

Suppressors Make Hunting SaferSuppressors Make Hunting Safer

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Increased Awareness of Your Surroundings

Equipping your hunting load out with a suppressor allows you to ditch over-ear hearing protection which diminishes your auditory senses. When hunting, it's important to be aware of what's happening around you: both with nature, environmental elements, unexpected animals, and what's happening within your hunting party. Loud gunshots can be disorienting, and bulky ear protection reduces your situational awareness. You don’t want to miss an important call out from your guide, for example, they may tell you the dall sheep you've been trekking after is legal to take. There are also sounds in the woods, such as large bucks scraping their antlers, or elk bugling in the distance, which may be encumbered when you’re wearing over-the-ear pro. 

Increased Awareness of Your SurroundingsIncreased Awareness of Your Surroundings


Does a Suppressor Reduce Accuracy?

The accuracy of your firearm is improved with a suppressor. Taking ethical shots on animals is vital for hunting responsibly. The difference is only a few inches between a double lung impact, which will immediately dispatch the mule deer buck you’ve been after; and a shoulder hit that merely wounds the animal. Suppressors drastically reduce recoil and muzzle rise, leading to better accuracy and more reliable shot placement on the game. When you add a suppressor to your rifle, you will experience a Point of Impact (POI) shift, but your group size should be smaller and more consistent. There could also be an increase in velocity, which translates to better terminal ballistics. A good rule of thumb is that a suppressor’s bore diameter that is closest to the bore diameter of the host will perform the best, both for accuracy and sound performance.

Does a Suppressor Reduce AccuracyDoes a Suppressor Reduce Accuracy

Credit: @jaya_bs

Suppressors Improve Game Management

An important benefit of hunting is conservation: you and other hunters are protecting other animals and the environment. After you’ve been glassing a prairie all day and the perfect pronghorn finally gives you an opportunity at a good shot, the sound of your rifle can disrupt the rest of the herd. When a loud “BANG” goes off in the environment it disturbs the animals that are bedding and grazing. These animals may leave the area indefinitely, or take a long time to return, displacing the animals and souring the area for future hunts. Shooting suppressed allows you to maintain the natural order of the environment you’re hunting in. Hunters are one of the reasons populations are balanced and ecosystems can thrive.

Suppressors Improve Game ManagementSuppressors Improve Game Management

Credit: @sandycreekoutfitters

Best Suppressor for Hunting

One of the best hunting suppressors for 308 is the SilencerCo Omega300, it features an integrated brake, further reducing recoil and improving accuracy, making it one of the most ideal options for a hunting suppressor. The Omega300 at Silencer Shop has an excellent rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on over 250 customer reviews. Like all of your equipment, it is important to pick the right gear, and that includes suppressors. For example, if you’ve finally pulled an elusive moose tag and know you’re only likely to take one shot for your entire hunt, a lightweight suppressor will be ideal, such as the Rugged Alaskan360. If you are on a hog hunt, you can fire magazine after magazine depending on the number of pigs you encounter, for that hunt you would want something more durable and withstand a higher rate of fire such as the Surefire SOCOM556-RC2.

Best Suppressor for HuntingBest Suppressor for Hunting

Credit: @mike_nucci_88



Hunters across the nation could benefit greatly from adding a suppressor to their hunting gear. The OSHA limit for impulsive or impact noise is 140 dB peak sound pressure level, well below that of a hunting rifle. Suppressors will protect your hearing without the need for aggravating ear protection. Become a more effective hunter as you gain better awareness and improved communication with others in your hunting group. Suppressors increase your effectiveness and help maintain viable populations of game in your hunting area, this leads to higher odds of a successful hunt. Whether you're chasing down a bull elk or sitting a deer blind, a suppressor will improve your hunting experience.