We found Courtney on our Facebook page and saw that her family and friends are trying to help raise money for an Action Track Chair. After reading her story, we wanted to share this girl’s positive outlook on her love for the outdoors and determination to not let “limitations” stop her.
Check out: http://www.gofundme.com/o9fijg to help Courtney out. You can also check out her mom’s FaceBook page: ColoradoBootTopBags, the purses on that page are being auctioned to help Courtney.
“Mom let me shoot her long barrel 22 handgun, first shot I hit a rabbit!”
How Courtney experienced the outdoors growing up:
I grew up raising, breeding and showing all kinds of animals. When it was time, we either butchered them or had them butchered and packed our freezer. I always knew food was out in the yard even if we called them our pet and named them.
We lived in either a very small town or very far out in the country. We moved a lot, but always stayed in Colorado. We had friends that would always share elk and deer meat with us. My brother went hunting a few times as well as my parents.
I had always entertained myself out in our yard. I loved being outside more than anything! I would go do anything I could to be out of the house till I either got called in or it was too dark. When I got older I would go shoot prairie dogs with my mom, they would eat off her plants so we went on prairie dog control. I also remember we all went to the range with our parents. Mom let me shoot her long barrel 22 handgun, first shot I hit a rabbit! I worked at the State Forest State Park here in Walden for five years. I loved the connection of getting to work with people who wanted to be outside and especially during hunting season because I got to point the hunters in all the right directions.
Courtney explains how she came to live with the wheelchair:
“It’s been ten years and everyday I struggle with wanting to be outside so much more.”
I ended up in a wreck with my three friends during our senior year of high school. We were going to get stuff for FFA and we rolled a pickup. They didn’t survive the crash and I ended up paralyzed from the waist down. I was in a wheelchair and my friends were gone from my life.
I had been diagnosed with scoliosis at 16 and had a spine fusion with rods in my back. At eighty-five pounds, it slowed me down for a little while and gave me a few boundaries but I was still able to go along doing my thing. I did everything I could do in school to get me outside working with my hands and among animals. I was in FFA showing steers and dairy cows, ag mechanics, horticulture, wood shop, and welding. I picked up hides every year from the hide barrels we put out during hunting season. Then the wreck happened in the middle of school year, I had cows to show and projects calling. I spent four months in a rehab hospital in Denver re-learning how to do everything, from a chair. I broke my back again in rehab and had my third spine fusion and more rods and screws. It again slowed me down and gave me more limitations. I pushed my limitations then and do now. I do all I can to be outside as much as possible.
Sometimes I have to be told I literally can’t do something or I will hurt myself. I’m a bit stubborn. My mom is used to telling me, “Ok if you think you can, go try it.” After fighting with something for an hour and half I’ll call her back and tell her I couldn’t. Probably why mom just lets me figure it out than tell me I can’t do something (lol).
Courtney Now and Getting Back to the Outdoors:
“My first hunt in the wheelchair I did two years ago with my cousin, I had such fun.”
I drive a Dodge Dakota with a nice setup on a it that puts my chair in the box and then has a topper to keep it out of the weather. I am very independent and try to do anything I put my mind to. I go snow machining almost every winter. I have a Kawasaki mule I drive around the property and use for 4×4 riding when we get the time. I will sometimes take it out to the shooting range down the road from the house and go shooting, but it has to be a nice day because it’s a quite a few miles and it tops out at 20 mph.
I go fishing when I get the chance and have someone to help me out. My first hunt in the wheelchair was two years ago with my cousin. I had such fun doing it but was a bit disappointed because he had to drag me around the mountain in my chair. With the snow and ice and stashing me in hiding places, we never even got to see a single elk….. I can’t wait to get more chances to go hunting. I hope for a better season next time with less snow or appropriate means of transportation.
What else we should know about Courtney:
I have two dogs that I love. They do almost everything with my boyfriend and I. One is my protector and guardian, Rosie a ten year old Yorkshire Terrier that has been with me since my wreck. The other is a Chesapeake Bay mix named Bessie. She is almost two and keeps me on my toes. Always telling me what to do and where to be. She keeps me active in my down months of winter, playing sock and throwing toys. I don’t get out much in the winter because we get so much snow and it can get down below thirty degrees sometimes.
We want to thank Courtney for sharing her story. We will keep you posted on Courtney and hope she gets her Track Chair soon. We admire your spirit Courtney, then again “We ain’t most Women…Hunt In Pink!!”