Earinc/Insta-Mold custom hearing protection ear plugs

There are two things that everyone needs before stepping out onto the range — eyes and ears. Over the years I've amassed quite the collection of shooting glasses. Everything from the standard run of the mill plastic to the specs with anti-fog polarized lenses.

When it comes to hearing protection, however, I've always stuck with what ever the range had to offer. Sometimes that meant ear muffs and sometimes that meant foam. After being prodded by a colleague, I decided it was time for a more permanent solution.

Earinc/Insta-Mold was one of the many vendors onsite at the Great American Outdoor Hunting and Outdoor Show. Fresh off a week at SHOT Show where they produced more than five hundred sets of hearing protection onsite for patrons, they were more than happy to provide that solution for me there in Frederick, Maryland.

I'll be taking my new custom fit ears out for their first spin this weekend at the Skip J Range in Anderson, South Carolina. But before that happens, I'll take you through the process, step by step, of what it takes to get your own set of Insta-Mold ears.

And if you're wondering what that little ball is on the left hand side of the picture, that's the left over silicone mold. Hearing protection and a custom made super ball too ... how's that for a deal?

Registered Maine Guides offer full services hunts at Great American

J & S Guide Services booth at the 2012 NRA Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show
J & S Guide Services' vendor booth from NRA's 2012 Great American Hunting and Outdoor Show at the Frederick Fair Grounds in Maryland.
Frederick, Maryland - J & S Guide Services has been taking hunters in to the great outdoors of Maine for roughly five years now. Headed up by Registered Maine Guides Steve Wood and Jean Nichols, they're the place to go if you're looking to bag yourself a quality moose or bear in the Pine Tree State.

"We've got an 80% success rate on bears and 100% success rates on moose," said Woods. "Pretty good numbers I'd say."

Operating mainly out of central Maine, that's moose hunting districts 14 and 17 to you and me, the two came down to Maryland for the Great American Hunting & Outdoors Show this January to see if they could drum up a little interest from those looking for a northern hunt. After looking at those numbers … who wouldn't be interested?

"Over the last few years, we've had repeat hunters that are taking bears around 175 to 225 pounds," said Woods. "The bull moose run anywhere from a 24 to a 60 inch spread."

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The NRA/Mason Dixon Big Buck Contest at the 3rd Annual Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show was won by Felipe Ordona of Prince Georges County Maryland. Although Felipe was there in 2011 to take the buck with a bow, he was not there for the awards ceremony.

We thank Mr. Ordona for entering the typical and bring you images of the other winners.

Best deer mounts at the 2012 NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show in Maryland

Winners lined up after the ribbons were put in place.

Favorite antlers at the 2012 NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show

Sheds and skulls from the Out Of Region categories.

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SHOT Show, Friends of the NRA and Law Enforcement videos covered on NRAblog

Top Shot, Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show and Safari Club International on NRAblog

There was a lot to see this week on NRAblog. In addition to our twitterview with Colorado Outfitter Mia Anstine, we also started our "At SHOT Show with Dustin Ellerman" series, said good bye to the Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show and debuted the 2012 Friends of NRA knife of the year.

To find out more of what you missed, make sure to check out the Related Stories and Most Popular Stories links on the right side of every post. That's the best way to keep on top of every NRA Program — Competitive Shooting, Education & Training, Field Operations, National Firearms Museum and NRA Law Enforcement. No matter what time of year there's always something happening here at the National Rifle Association.

Smiling faces and a few favorite sights from the NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show

Girl and her dog at the NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show in Frederick, Maryland

Our three days last weekend at the NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show in Frederick, Maryland were filled with smiling faces. There was plenty to see, plenty to eat and plenty of four legged friends — especially those who begged to be carried.

Accotink buck head at the NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show in Frederick, Maryland

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Brothers accidentally start John Deere Dealership in Maryland

John Deere dealer Gladhill Brothers at the Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show

2012 marks the 175th anniversary of John Deere — a true American institution. Equally impressive is Gladhill Brothers’ 75 Anniversary as a John Deere dealer — a Damascus, Maryland institution. At the NRA’s 3rd Annual Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show last weekend, I sat down with Tessie Gladhill to hear this Maryland success story.

“We come to these events to show off John Deere’s latest products,” said Tessie. “They’re very popular with the outdoor crowd.”

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NRA crowns Mason Dixon Big Buck Contest winners

The Mason/Dixon Big Buck Contest is open to all show attendees looking to show off their favorite Whitetail or Sika deer mounts. Whether a complete head or simply a set of sheds, the contest is divided into the Current Season (taken in 2011) and Historical (2010 and earlier.) NRA Hunters Service's Monty Embrey and Matt Fleming are overseeing the contest and pleased with the results.

"We have heads both from Maryland and out of state," said Fleming. "As you can see from the crowd, people are really enjoying them."

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NRA's Great American Hunting Show wraps up today at 5

Even the little ones are enjoying the NRA's Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show in Frederick, Maryland

It's the final day of NRA's 3rd Annual Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show in Frederick, Maryland. We've seen friends, families and kids of all ages make their way through the halls of the E-ventplex to witness the overwhelming availability of outdoor fun. And don't think the last day means all the good stuff is gone … there's still plenty of trips to book, goods to buy and people to see. Like what? Here's my top 5 list for the final day:

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More than 50 years of deer hunting knowledge on display at NRA show in Frederick, Maryland

Mr. Whitetail Lary Weishuhn at the 2012 NRA Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show
Larry Weishuhn, aka Mr. Whitetail, shares his hunting tips with the crowd at the Frederick E-ventplex for the National Rifle Association.
There's a reason they call Larry Weishuhn Mr. Whitetail. It's not because of television shows (on the Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, etc …) or award winning writings (both books and articles) or his induction into the National Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame. The name spread because of these accolades, but it's not why they pasted him with that moniker. He's known as Mr. Whitetail because the man understands deer.

I'm a regular neophyte when it comes to hunting whitetail, but I wasn't the only one here at the NRA's Great American Hunting & Outdoor Show who was dazzled by his seminar on hunting. Just like the seasoned hunters who asked the questions, I shook my head as he dispelled myths, revealed facts and laid out the groundwork for a successful hunting season. Here's some of his highlights (paraphrased) from yesterday afternoon:

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