Scott Rigsby pointed out the in intricacies of the inside of a White-Tailed deer snout and then moved to the glands of the deer’s eyes.

 

 

Scott Rigsby pointed out the in intricacies of the inside of a White-Tailed deer snout and then moved to the glands of the deer’s eyes.

With an attention to detail so exact; you may think that Rigsby might be a wildlife biologist, but in fact he is a taxidermist.

With a fine eye and an artist’s touch, Rigsby tries his best to recreate life after it has been extinguished.

“To me it completes the cycle of conservation,” Rigsby said. “Just by preserving the beauty of it, the memory of it, just for people to see.”

Standing in his newly-built modular workspace and shop in Wewahitchka, Rigsby can point out the tiny details in the many species that dot the walls.

From fish, to birds, and even a bobcat; Rigsby has mounting experience on the multitude of species that call the Florida Panhandle home.

“I’m not to the point where I feel I have to specialize; I love doing all of it, the deer, the fish, the mammals, the birds, the turkeys, building the artificial habitats, and recreating the nature,” Rigsby says.

Rigsby, who is about to turn 50, has decades of experience in taxidermy. Learning from a neighbor as a teenager and beginning on animals he harvested himself, Rigsby has now turned a passion into a business.

Now with the completion of the workshop and store in January; Rigsby is set to begin taxidermy full time.

Rigsby, who has worked in corrections and law enforcement for almost 28 years, while doing taxidermy on the side, is set to retire from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and denote all his time to his passion.

“I loved what I’ve done in corrections, with the sheriff’s office, with the Department of Corrections,” said Rigsby.

But Rigsby believes that the time is right to take up taxidermy full-time,

“I just feel like it’s time now, that I am good and healthy,” he continued. “I’m fixing to turn 50 next month, I put a lot of years in. I like doing this (taxidermy); I just think it’s time to do this.”

This isn’t the first time that Rigsby has tried to make the move into doing taxidermy full-time. In 2005, Rigsby had a business plan drawn up and began to take in customers. Then the tumor hit.

Doctors found a large tumor on Rigsby’s brain. Rigsby had to shut down the business before it even began.

Three years later, after surgery, extensive rehab, and with significant memory loss from the time period, Rigsby returned to work with the sheriff’s office.

Soon after returning to work Rigsby’s doctors found another tumor.

This time, knowing the symptoms, Rigsby caught the tumor early and was able to battle the tumor off quickly.

Rigsby isn’t daunted by his past struggles and is ready to try out the business role full-time again.

“I’m a business owner,” he said. “I’m contributing to the city, contributing to the county that I live in. Hopefully I will be able to reach out and help some local people here if I can. That’s what I like to do; I like to help people. I don’t know how I can do that, but that’s my goal.”

Rigsby, who has grown accustomed to people stopping by his shop out of curiosity, is happiest when delivering a finished product.

“To see them (customers) happy, to see them excited, to see them reliving the memory, especially the younger ones, the kids and younger adults, to see them reliving that memory is pretty gratifying,” he said. “To know that they are going to take that piece home and 20 or 30 years from now they will still have the story to go with it.”