Carol Thompson sent us this guest post about wildlife agent Courtenay Conring, who is the creator of unique hair bows made of turkey feathers. Find out more about this enthusiastic outdoorswoman who is most definitely an inspiration, and who fills her free time with an artistic endeavor surrounding turkey feathers and hair bows.
Courtenay Conring only stands five-feet tall, but she packs a lethal punch when she is hunting her favorite game, the turkey. Do not mistake her cuteness for a less than perfect shot. She has a big presence in such a little body with a smile to match. Much of her time has been devoted proactively serving as a positive ambassador for wildlife and conservation as well as a feminine role in hunting.
Courtenay has vast educational accolades. She went to college and earned her degree in biology and forestry from the University of Georgia. GO DAWGS! She successfully defended a Master’s thesis at the University of Texas on the migration of the Sandhill cranes. She is the co-founder of the Pinhoti Project in Alabama, where she presently works as the WMA Biologist for the Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division in Jackson County. She is educationally refined when it comes to the habitat and anatomy of the birds she hunts and studies. She has numerous laurels under her belt and mounts on her wall. Known for her precision in shooting, Court is always trigger ready for a trophy turkey, yet remains the biggest advocate for humane and ethical outdoorsmanship. She spends her time visiting young children’s clubs, foundations and schools sharing her experiences and passion for nature and the art of hunting. Courtenay’s efforts and commitment have guided young women into a historically dominated sport.
As gifted and well versed as Court is, this article is not about her knowledge in the field, her mounted feathers or even the photos in her album. It is intended to shine light on the aesthetically pleasing marriage of hunting and accessorizing young ladies’ outdoor inspired attire even at a young age. Courtenay adamantly believes there should be no dividing line between who hunts and who doesn’t. Both genders can and should appreciate wildlife and nature, competition, ethical hunting and good sportsmanship, but adds, “It is just fortunate that hair bows bring the cuteness factor.” She furthers the notion that turkey feathers only complement the “call of the wild” fashion statement.
Amongst Court’s friends, she stands out as the tomboy that grew up to be a wildlife activist. This point was proven when not too long ago, she began searching for a baby gift for a friend. Not satisfied with the traditional presents from any online registry, she decided to give something crafted by herself that would be both functional and memorable. While many consider the turkey an ugly bird, Courtenay, au contraire, is inspired by their beauty — especially with their iridescent colored feathers. She “harvested” familiar things in her hunting bag, then designed, sewed and gifted an infant’s headband made from turkey feathers. Voila! A piece de resistance! The headband was more than a success.
The intended recipient of the headband, a precious newborn baby girl, made memorable photo opportunities while dawning it on social media. Friends wanted more. Then friends of friends wanted more. Her creative endeavor landed Courtenay an even busier young woman. Between hunting season and hunting season, she often finds herself behind a sewing machine crafting unique and one-of-a-kind fashion accessories for girls of all ages. Although she does not have enough spare minutes on the clock for making turkey headbands full time, she crafts them to order and can never keep up. Who knows? What began as a one-time gift may eventually lead to a new venture. This author sure hopes so.
I know this all to be true because I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Courtenay her entire life. I watched her grow up playing with hunting equipment and putting camo on her Barbies. It is with extreme pleasure that I pen this profile of an extraordinary young lady, Courtenay Conring.
Interested in placing an order with Courtenay? Email her directly at email@example.com.