By Samantha Mobley
Not all hobbies are created equal, at least not for Ryan Scearce, a native of Dresden and taxidermy enthusiast. He is a current resident of Paris, where he lives with his wife and two children. Scearce has been local to Weakley County for all of his life, graduating from Dresden High School in 2002 and attending the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2006, where he graduated with a degree in Health and Human Performance. While at UT Martin, Scearce played golf for the Skyhawks.
In high school he found an affinity for turkeys, and says that’s where his love for taxidermy took off. “I’m a rural carrier at the Dresden post office,” said Scearce. “That’s my real job.”
When he is not delivering the mail, Scearce finds himself diving into his unique hobby of taxidermy. Scearce calls it “a paying hobby for the last couple of years.” For fun, learning and advertising purposes, he has started competing in taxidermy contests across the nation.
Scearce’s business name combines his mother’s maiden name and the road he grew up on — Billingsby Road Taxidermy. Despite no longer living there, the business name represents where he came from. The road is where Scearce learned about the outdoors from family members and where his first hunting success came from. Scearce says he comes from a hunting family.
“Everybody likes it and thinks its neat,” he said, “It’s part-time work I do it for my friends and family. It’s taking off.” The business name is also a way to represent both sides of his family’s name, in his work, and in competitions, which he takes pride in.
This summer Scearce competed in the Tennessee and Alabama taxidermy state championship. There he won best of show and state championship titles with a turkey, beating some of the states’ best taxidermy artists with their finest pieces of various animals. Previously in the spring, he was persuaded into competing in the World Taxidermy Championship in Springfield, Missouri, which is held every two years. This year there were 23 countries represented at the show with various animals from all over the world. Scearce was grateful to finish second in the world with this same turkey, winning a silver medal. Judges claimed it to be the best turkey they had ever seen. “I’ve been doing this going on my sixth year now, so for me this was an incredible feat,” Scearce said.