Ralph Cianciarulo: When The Moose Is Down

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of the newest members of the Hunter's Specialties staff, Ralph Cianciarulo of Lanark, Illinois, and his wife Vickie, travel the world bowhunting, producing bowhunting videos and producing a TV show for "The Outdoor Channel." The Cianciarulos speak at many outdoor shows throughout the nation. This month, Ralph Cianciarulo will tell you how to live every archer's dream by taking a moose with a bow as inexpensively as possible.

If at all possible, try to shoot your moose near water so you can use a boat or a canoe to get the moose meat out. I carry a small 14-inch chainsaw to cut up a moose. I put Crisco oil in the saw to lubricate the chain on the bar to keep petroleum-based oil from getting on the meat. I can quarter a moose in about 30 minutes and cut the antlers out quickly and efficiently.

To carry the meat out of camp in my truck, I'll spread two, 4-foot strip of Styrofoam in the bed of the truck. I stand other strips of Styrofoam up on their sides and use bags and gear to hold the Styrofoam in place to create an open-top Styrofoam box. Next, I'll put dry ice in with my meat and cover the top of the box with my sleeping bags to insulate it. I'll use other gear to hold the bags in place.

With this system, I can drive 15 to 20 hours without replenishing the dry ice, and all my meat stays frozen. I also can use this collapsible Styrofoam ice chest over and over again. The Styrofoam takes up very little room in my truck on the way to camp and allows me to create a really big and efficient Styrofoam cooler in the bed of the truck to take care of my meat on the way home. Before you go on this trip, make sure you have plenty of freezer space for the moose meat you'll bring home.

Plan your hunt six months to a year in advance to make sure you can get the hunting dates you want. I generally hunt moose from late September to early October. I don't believe there's a better, less-expensive, more-exciting moose hunt anywhere for a bowhunter on a budget.