View Full Version : Hunting and the Moon Phases
February 20, 2001, 08:12 PM
So I wanted to hunt deer/boar this fall, but the new moon phase is mid-October, a time that I cannot hunt due to other hunting commitments. I could hunt the first week of October, but that is during the full moon, which I think allows the animals to eat all night, thereby staying "holed up" during the prime hunting time.
Anybody out there have suggestions as to best time to hunt if not during the new moon phase?
February 21, 2001, 11:48 AM
I haven't been a big student of the moon phase stuff, probably because I havent had to. I can generally hunt every weekend, but ONLY on the weekend, and Im going to be out there no matter what the moon guide says. I couldnt look at a chart during deer season and decide to stay out of the woods because the moon isnt right. It would kill me. I know I cant kill 'em from the couch so I have to be out there every chance I get. It sounds like you have limited time. I would rather concentrate on the rut than the moon phase. Bucks WILL move during the day during the rut. You may have to stay on stand all day but if you are in a good spot you'll see them. Good luck.
February 21, 2001, 03:36 PM
I've seen a lot of stuff over the years about moon phases and the effect on game, and in my opinion most of it is silly.
I think, as you say, that a bright moon allows animals to feed more at night and so you see less of them during the day.
But there's a lot other variables revolving around weather, etc, that affect them as well, and most of that can be summed up in the thought "where would I be most comfortable?" Deer are not immune to weather and they'll look for bedding places based on that.
Most of my experience over the last dozen years is around Sitka Blacktails, but I'm sure this would apply to any game animal.
If it's a hot day early in the season, look for deer on the shady sides of hills where they can catch a breeze to blow away bugs.
If it's a cold day late in the season, look for them in a sunny side of the hills on the slope away from the wind.
If it's raining, look in the dark timber - snow, same deal because they don't want to break through deep snow any more than you do.
To summarize this, I'd say to just think of animals as having the same needs as humans. Just think in terms of laying up for the whole day and where you'd be most comfortable and safe if you did that... Take into account weather, bugs, hunting pressure and last but not least - visibility. Meaning you'll find them back on that shelf that you just can't see into rather than on the exposed hillside.
All of this is going to be different in your area - maybe it's dry and you need to take water into account, or flat so the hillside thing doesn't apply. No matter, just think about where you'd like to be and that's where the deer will be.
February 21, 2001, 06:03 PM
I think moon phases influence game to some extent but I would hunt whenever I could anyway. With a full moon and increase in nocturnal activity, I sometimes think this increases mid-day activity as opposed to dawn/dusk patterns. All is affected by weather, hunting pressures, rut, etc, so it is just one part of what is a big puzzle (to me anyway).
I have observed the effects of the moon on humans for many years and have come to the conclusion that there is a dramatic increase in "lunacy" during a period beginning about 14 days before and lasting until 14 days after full moon. It primarily affects politicians and people living in large cities.
February 21, 2001, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the comments folks! I really appreciate it.
CD1, I agree and would love to hunt every weekend. However, since that isn't an option, I am trying to optimize when is best to go. The rut in SC where I'll be going is around Mid November, so best I can do is hit the pre-rut.
Keith, I agree with what you are saying. Since I will be with a "guide"(someone to take me into the area), I'm hopeful they will have some options like those mentioned available.
Kingcreek, that lunancy comment somewhat resembles me! :)
February 22, 2001, 03:56 PM
when hunting right after a full moon, stay in the stand all day. that big buck was out feeding and F'ing all night and he will get up and move around about 1130.
snakelover, welcome to SC hunting. we dont grow 'em big but we hunt in the upstate from mid sept until the first day of jan (ML starts oct 1 and gun season oct 11). 10 deer bag limit( + doe tags) plus archers can kill doe any day w/o tags.
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