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Between man builds animal call business in garage

Rais A Ruckus born of love of hunting, woodcarving

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Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 12:00 am

BETWEEN — Tim Rupard doesn’t think of himself as Walton County’s version of “Duck Dynasty” — mostly because he is still getting his Rais A Ruckus game calling business off the ground.

And he lacks the beard.

“It’s funny because I am constantly asked where is my beard,” the Walton County resident joked about the fame the TV show has brought to the industry. “We are certainly not a dynasty. I don’t look at myself like that. But other folks want to, I’m OK with that. But there won’t be any beard on my face. As I tell folks, my wife says she wouldn’t kiss me if I have one, so they can keep the millions and I will keep her kisses.”

Rupard will be the first to admit starting a game calling business out of his garage was not how he envisioned his life — at least not at first. The avid hunter of more than 25 years was always a good woodworker as well, and the two collided a few years ago.

“I was just messing around on a lathe I own with my father. So I decided to make one out of sheer curiosity. It was rough and not very attractive,” Rupard said. “But I kept working on it and got to be good at it. Started giving them away as gifts and someone said I should try to sell them. I thought they were crazy at first. But it started to make sense.”

Rupard got his first break with Ted Calloway at Social Circle Ace Hardware. There some were put on consignment and the proud maker developed a display for them.

“I got a call one day and they asked if I had some more,” Rupard said. “I figured they were stolen or something.”

That was his first season. After his second season, in February 2013, the doors on Rais A Ruckus opened — so to speak. The operation took shape in the garage of his house northwest of Between. Making mallard, duck, goose, deer, turkey and coyote calls can take anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours, depending on what kind of day it is. But that time would be amplified were it not for the prep work. Sitting on shelves are various types of wood already cut into rectangles with holes drilled that will eventually be shaped into the game calls. Rupard owns the company with his wife and does 98 percent of the work himself. While he has no real employees, Rupard utilizes a lot of pro staff guys who help essentially market his product. And he has one daughter who makes lanyards for the game calls and another who has taken the wood shavings from the shop and created bricks that can help start fires in a fireplace. 

“I am not sure if I ever wanted this, but it’s great doing something I really love,” Rupard said. “I think my wife gets jealous sometimes because she gets up and goes to work. My commute is about 20 yards. But this is an absolute blessing. Hopefully I can grow and make a decent living doing this. For right now, I am happy doing what I am doing and working with some good folks both in the field and where I sell them at.”

In addition to Social Circle Ace and Balmar Outdoors in Monroe, Rais A Ruckus can be found in stores geared for the outdoors type in Douglasville, Gainesville, Charleston and Florence, S.C., and as well as a few places in North Carolina. To learn more, visit www.raisaruckus.com.

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