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Audiology Tools Enhance Hunting Experience

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Phil Lenox remembers as a child walking through the woods on a clear day, accompanied by the symphony of nature. Leaves rustling, pine needles crunching under his boots, all the various birds and forest animals cackling and cooing as he meandered along his way. These experiences led him to a love of the outdoors and a hunting hobby that he looks forward to every fall. He could have been sidetracked because of a hearing problem, however, which is why he is thankful for his Walker Game Ears, a hearing enhancement and safety device developed exclusively for bow and gun hunters.

 Lenox, 57, has worn hearing aids for over 20 years. His career in sales takes him to factories throughout a three-state region. “I drive more than most people work,” he says, but acknowledges that the loud factory floors have taken their toll on his hearing health. His audiologist, Fort HealthCare’s Lori Fish, M.S., CCC-A, has helped fine-tune the Phonak hearing aids he wears. Fish’s expertise in hearing enhancement has also been of great benefit to Lenox when engaged in his favorite past-time, hunting.
 
She specializes in custom ear molds for Walker Game Ears so the gaming experience can be as rewarding as possible. “Now, if I hear a deer, I can tell where it’s coming from,” Lenox says, referring to the directional capacity afforded by the device.
 
The Walker Game Ears are available in most sporting goods stores, and do not require a medical exam prior to purchasing. Lenox cautions against buying from mass merchandisers, though. “What you’re not getting is the custom fit ear molds, and the servicing and tuning you need to really get the most benefit from the product,” he says. While hearing enhancement is an obvious advantage, Lenox claims the sound-activated compression circuit is of greater use, protecting the ears from loud sounds such as muzzleblasts. “A semi-automatic gun shot sounds like a door closing,” he says.
 
Audiologist Lori Fish sees more hunters and gun enthusiasts in her practice, as of late. “All kinds of outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the sounds of nature,” she says. “This area has several trap shooting ranges and hunt clubs whose members are seeking both hearing enhancement and protection. The technology just keeps improving.”
 
Lenox touts a warm, professional manner – “She’s very approachable” – as Fish’s greatest asset, as well as her knowledge of the various products on the market. “I’m a tough customer. I don’t like to settle for second best. Lori listened to my concerns and respected my wishes. As a result, I’ve got tools to help me hear on the job and off, when I’m enjoying deer, turkey or pheasant season, or just running my beagles through the motions.”
 
Fish offers free hearing screenings to adults at her Fort Atkinson, Whitewater and Edgerton locations. She is also a distributor of Walker Game Ears and can customize any type of ear molds for better fit and function. To make an appointment, contact Fort HealthCare Audiology at (920) 563-6667.
 

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