Todd Crawford, a Boilermaker with local 154 from Mingo Junction, OH, loves to make people laugh, whether he is with friends, family or creating an application video for the hunting trip of a lifetime.
Escape to the Wild is a TV program of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), VERSUS Network and several unions and contractor associations that surprises hardworking union members with the hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime, while providing a glimpse into their lives at home, at work and in the field.
When Crawford learned he could apply to win the trip of his dreams hunting black bear in Canada, he “took a shot in the dark” and sent an application video that included a segment in which he dressed in a ghillie suite near the forest’s edge and scared the daylights out of his neighbor.
Todd Crawford (center) with host Tom Ackerman (left) and guide John Woulfe (right)
Crawford began hunting with his dad when he was about 2-years-old and always dreamed of hunting something larger than deer. “I would love to hunt bear…something that could hunt me back if it wanted to. It would be unbelievable,” he said. With a son and daughter in college, such a hunt did not seem feasible. So when Crawford received a call on his cell and learned he was one of the candidates for a bear hunt, he nearly drove his truck off the road.
Crawford’s dream hunt took him far north to Saskatchewan, where he discovered that hunting bear is a bit different than hunting deer. “I was kind of overwhelmed since I was not experienced in judging the size of a bear very well,” Crawford said. “The most important piece of advice my guide, John Woulfe, gave me was that if all the other bears around spook when another bear comes in sight…that’s the bear you want.”
On his trip, Crawford was as overwhelmed by the people as he was by the bears. “The people in Saskatchewan were so nice; it was unbelievable. That is going to stick with me forever. My thanks to the Woulfe family of Green Water Marean Lake Outfitters for taking me into their home and treating me like family.”
For Crawford, who joined the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers six years ago, hunting is more than just a passion; it has made him better at his job. “Sitting in a tree stand for five or six hours in freezing weather…or standing on the bank of my favorite strip pond when it’s 90 degrees making a hundred casts…these things make it easier for me to do parts of my job like standing by the Ohio River in below zero degree weather hooking up structural steel or going into a boiler when it’s well over 100 degrees to make a weld.”
“It’s truly an honor to host season two of Escape to the Wild,” said Host Tom Ackerman. The winners are hardworking union members that share a love of the outdoors and have gone the extra mile in their community, at home or on the job. Todd is an intense, focused, determined hunter and a fun-loving practical joker who understands the importance of keeping America’s hunting and fishing heritage alive.”
“I enjoy hunting with young sportsmen, especially my son, passing along what I know, answering their questions, giving them some of my tackle or an old arrow rest,” Crawford said. “More of us need to spend time with any youngster who wants to learn. This is important not only to continue the traditions of sportsmanship, but it is also the union way of life.”
intense bear hunting adventure.