Tucked away on Capps Road in Pisgah Forest is a business well known to area hunters and others —Spud & Deb’s Dog Hunting Supplies & More.
The couple began its business in 2002 after a friend, Joe Watson, said a “coon huntin’ store” was needed in the county.
“We were going to go into it part time,” said Deb. “We both worked at the Ecusta paper mill at the time. Circumstances changed, the paper mill shut down, and we were faced with trying to make it a full time affair, which, as you can see, we were fortunate enough to do.”
Over time the business has steadily grown. It all started in the couple’s garage. In the 1990s, they ran a pet grooming shop in half of it, later turning it into Spud & Deb’s Dog Hunting Supplies & More.
“We carried coon hunting lights, dog food, collars, leads, vaccines, etc.,” Deb said. “We have always taken pride in the fact that we put a free brass name plate on our collars we sell, if they are wide enough for the plate. It is very important for that family member to get back home if lost.”
(The business also sells the engraved hanging name tags.)
The rest of the garage was taken up by the business, which began selling boot brands such as Rocky, Georgia and Muck. The next phase in the business’ growth was another addition, which housed Carhartt clothing, plus Spud & Deb’s T-shirts and hoodies, which were a success.
“We thank all those who started wearing them and continue to wear them,” Deb said. “We were a bit congested, so we decided to start another building. It took us several years to get that one done. We were able to put all the clothing and boots in that building, plus have a storeroom.”
Also in 2012, the couple built a feed building, as the business began carrying not only pet food for dogs but feed for horses, goats, cattle, rabbits, chickens, deer and hogs.
“Our last addition was opened in December 2015,” Deb said. “We joined the buildings together and opened our gun room, which we were happy to see done. We had worked out of safes prior to that, so now we have one room, which houses our guns and ammo. The building has changed through the years, plus lots of inventory, but we hope the atmosphere of feeling welcome when you walk in to see us has not changed. We appreciate our customers, (many of whom) have become family to us.”
Deb is a Transylvania Count native and was raised in the house on Capps Road next to the store. She graduated from Brevard High School in 1974.
Spud was born in Buncombe County and was raised on Sandhill Road in the Enka community. He graduated from Enka High in 1974. The couple married in 1977.
They have no children other than four-legged children — Bullet, a redbone hound dog; Idgy, a miniature schnauzer; Ricky, a terrier mix; and Atticus, a tabby cat. Spud is the hunter in the family. When the couple married, he hunted deer in the forest but he said that through the years “the taste of the deer and the population has dwindled due partly to a lack of food for them here in the forest than it used to be when they clear cut (trees) more.”
He coon hunted in later years but places to hunt soon got few and far between. “As far as the coon hunting, it is hearing the dogs enjoying what they are doing,” he said. “Deer hunting is for the thrill and the meat.”
Today, Spud deer hunts in the eastern part of the state, where the deer produce much better tasting meat, plus are more plentiful. He goes to Canada for the trophy hunts.
The couple recommends that visitors interested in coon hunting get in touch with The Forks of the River Sportsman Club in Transylvania County. The club has coon hunts on a regular basis.
And as Spud says to anyone leaving the store: “Be good, stay out of trouble and don’t take no wooden nickels.”