He attended Kansas State University for a few months before dropping out.
He enlisted in the United States Army during World World War II, but he was dismissed for nervousness and depression. DePugh went on to found a veterinary drug firm in 1953 that folded in 1956. He enrolled at Washburn University briefly, then started BioLab, another veterinary drug firm, in Norborne, Missouri, which was more successful.
In addition to veterinary products, the company produces a malt-flavored ultra-compact storage food for humans called Minuteman Survival Tabs.
Some 45 years later, this product is still popular in survivalist circles. DePugh published a 10-page pamphlet on guerilla warfare via the Minutemen in 1961.
The Minutemen"s newsletter was called On Target. In 1966, DePugh was arrested on federal weapons charges, which were later dismissed.
Their offices were bombed in 1967, and DePugh resigned from the Minutemen in 1967.
In February 1968, he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle, Washington for conspiracy to commit bank robbery. Also in 1968, he was arrested for violation of federal firearms laws. He skipped bail and went underground for over a year until he was caught in 1969 in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
He was convicted in 1970 and released from prison in May 1973.
DePugh later wrote an anti-communist quasi-survivalist manual,, and was associated briefly with Liberty Lobby. In the early 1990s he was tried but acquitted on a morals and pornography charge with an underage girl and on three counts of federal firearms violations.
DePugh eventually grew disgusted with all politics and retired from activism. He died on 30 June 2009 at his home in Richmond, Missouri.
He became a member of the John Birch Society and according to a biography he was influenced by the House Un-American Activities Committee.