Todd Truedson owns Todd’s Electric in Kennedy, Minn. He likes to fish, but most of his spare time is spent with his racing team, which includes four cars (including a late model, a lightning sprint car and a street car) as well as his daughter’s go-kart. Hunting isn’t normally on his schedule.
However, in February of 2013, a group of his friends was going boar hunting in Missouri and had a last-minute cancellation. Truedson agreed to fill the spot, and soon he found himself at Stone Creek Hunting Ranch outside of Edgar Springs. The ranch includes nearly 500 acres of heavy woods and massive stone hills. In those woods you’ll find rams, ibex, deer, elk, buffalo and antelope – but Truedson and his friends were there for the famed Russian wild boar.
Before the hunt began, the ranch’s guides gave Truedson and his friends a briefing on their quarry. Not only can wild boars grow to be 350 pounds, but males have deceptively sharp tusks that can grow to more than 4 inches. Staff emphasized that stories about the aggressive nature of wild boars are not exaggerated. In fact, they shared personal examples of hunters who had found themselves in the emergency room after an enraged animal had run its tusk straight through to the bones in their legs. Truedson wasn’t nervous, but he also hadn’t expected so many warnings about the risk of hunting wild boar. Clearly this was an animal that deserved respect.
Truedson and his friends spent the first day of their hunt trying to become acclimated to the rough terrain and their unfamiliar prey. Wild boars have a tremendously acute sense of smell, and the hunting party quickly discovered that it was critical to approach the animals from a downwind direction. Once a boar caught the scent of a hunter, it was gone – impossible to hit as it disappeared into the unforgiving geography of the ranch’s hills and woods.
The following days brought better hunting as the men got the hang of the boars’ movements. Just a few miles away from Fort Leonard Wood army base, they stalked the feral hogs with the surreal background noise of machine gun fire and artillery shells as soldiers trained nearby. One by one, the hunters started to take down their boars. After injuring a particularly nasty specimen, one of the men had to find cover in order to escape the animal’s tusks – as well as the tusks of its stampeding comrades. Truedson, however, still hadn’t found a shot.
After spotting more than 50 boars as he plunged through the forest for two days, it was on the third day that he finally put the scope of his rifle on a boar at 200 feet and sent a 220 swift into its skull. “If you want a good mount, you don’t want to shoot them in the head,” Truedson remembers with a smile. “But I wasn’t taking any chances.” He dropped a rugged male that weighed in at almost 250 pounds.
Truedson’s days in the racing business have given him plenty of pulse-pounding moments, but putting a dangerous wild boar in the crosshairs was just as thrilling. For an occasional hunter, it was a day he will never forget.