Ralph Cianciarulo's Secrets For Hunting Moose On A Budget

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. For the next couple of weeks, Ralph Cianciarulo will tell you how to live every archer's dream by taking a moose with a bow as inexpensively as possible.

Most bowhunters dream of traveling to Alaska or to the Yukon to hunt a more-than-1000-pound, 70-inch-spread moose. However, most hunters don't want to sell their trucks to pay for their trips. But in Ontario, Canada, you can hunt on your own, have a great trip and take a big moose very inexpensively.

I hunt with an outfitter, Kashabowie Outpost Ltd., located just out of Atikokan, Ontario, Canada. Fern Duquette and Don Blair own the lodge. Try to hunt with an outfitter who bowhunts or who at least knows the requirements of a bowhunter. If a guide doesn't understand how close a bowhunter has to get to an animal to take a shot and doesn't tell the bowhunter where and when to set up, that hunter has only a slim chance of taking a moose. Kashabowie gives each hunter a topo map and marks the islands where they've seen moose.

After several trips with these folks, I've learned to set up where Fern Duquette suggests and call from that one spot instead of trying to hunt the entire island. I may not even see a moose the first two days. However, if I continue to call from that place, the moose will come in to the area-- usually within bow range. Because Fern and his guides are all bowhunters, they know how, where and when to set up in the most likely sites to bag a moose.

This moose hunt will cost about $2,000. You save money on this hunt by eliminating the airfare expense by driving to this location, and you don't have to pay a high cost to fly the meat home. You can put the meat in the back of your pick-up truck and take it home with you.

The initial cost of the Ontario hunt is $1,995, whereas most Alaskan or Yukon moose hunts start at approximately $6,000 and can cost $12,000 or more. You'll have the chance to shoot a really nice bull on this Ontario hunt. Jess Mots, my good friend, has taken a 54-inch bull on this hunt, and I've taken a 50-inch bull. This price doesn't include your license, the tax or a guide's fee, but it does include the cost of a cabin, supplies and help cutting up and packing your meat out. You can drive to some of the 11 cabins Kashabowie has, but you must fly to others. The $1,995 includes your fly-in cost. Plan to spend $2,500 to $2,700 on the entire 7-day hunt.

This outfitter runs a fishing camp from these cabins during the spring, summer and early fall and flies every day over the area where you'll hunt. The outfitter constantly takes notes on the moose's locations. Then when moose season arrives, the outfitter tells his hunters the spots to hunt where he's consistently seen bull moose the past months. Another big advantage to hunting with this type of operation is that you don't really need a guide. The guides at Kashabowie will sit you down before your hunt and teach you how to call moose. Or, you can call the guides before you go for instruction. You really don't need a guide on the hunt, which allows you to cut out the guide cost and save money.