The Moon - What do we know?

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bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
#1
With the season kicking off this past weekend, the topic of conversation while in the field and the office lately has been deer hunting. I was talking with a landowner on the phone today and he said something that got me thinking about the moon. Quite honestly, I have never given specific moon phases much thought. What I do know is one thing and that I hate a full moon on a warm spell in November! It is a rut killer in my experience. Outside of the obvious bad situation, my experience and knowledge "hunting the moon" is minimal. I read over this article from Charles Alsheimer tonight as I know he is well versed in this topic. After I read the article and searched for the current moon phase calender in my area (Ohio Moon Cycles ), I figured I would bring my thoughts here and see what the real world experience has been.

Does moon phase factor in to your hunting strategy and how?

I don't hunt a specific phase per se, but I do pay close attention to rise and fall times of the moon. I learned from the Drury brothers that an early moon in the evening, meant early moving deer. Late moon setting in the morning, lazy deer in the morning. My observations have been that this tends to be the case more often than not. I know all TOO well when the full moon kills me, but what about coming and going from a new moon? How does that effect deer movement? I can't say as I have made any significant observations in regard to that to date.

I know some of you play the moon, so I am interested to see what you have to say...
 
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Monster Raxx

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Minnesota
#3
I almost didnt hunt Saturday night because of the full moon and it was over 80 degrees here. The buck I am after has been nocturnal and I didnt think that would change his pattern, and I was right but I did see a 4 1/2 year old 9 pointer with a few minutes of shooting light left. I am looking forward to hearing every ones experiences.
 

LonewolfNopack

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The woods
#4
I have studied the moon A LOT. Matter of fact I have the Moon Beams DVD sitting right beside me. There is way too much to type on here for me, but i highly suggest reading MoonStruck! by Jeff Murray, as well as buying the Deer Hunters Moon Guide. It completely changed my attitude towards hunting by the moon. I have kept detailed records the past two years and have found hunting by the moon to be extremely lethal and accurate. There are a few different factors that can increase or decrease ungulate activity, but by far the largest factor has to do with the location, not the phase of the moon. The moon has the most gravitational effect on the the earth when it is directly overhead or directly underfoot. If these overhead and underfoot times happen to fall during the first couple hours or last couple hours of the day, be alert. If those days happen to also have ideal hunting weather, better keep your bow in your hand.
 
#9
I've tried to make sense of the solunar tables. They say it affects fishing too. I've read the same thing about when the moon is directly below and sun directly above. Or both directly above.

If that adds up, the new moon is best and noon during a full moon is best. Maybe I shouldn't say best, but supposed to be good.
 

brock ratcliff

Senior Member
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#10
Look up Moonrise/set tables. I've watched the moon times for years too. There is definately something to it, but I hunt every chance I get regardless of the moon. When there is a full moon over the horizon during daylight hours, it can be awesome. I've never understood why people worry about the phase of the moon so much, what seems to really make the difference is when it rises and sets!
 

dante322

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#11
I don't think there is any real doubt that the moon plays a role. Why do most trail cams tell you the moon phase as well as the temp, date, and time. My own observations tell me the deer move more during daylight hours around a new moon.

Interesting observation on the location of the moon instead of the phase. I will have to research that a bit more.

Bottom line is. I hunt whenever I get the chance. If its a full moon I go into it without much for expectations, but you can't kill them if you aren't out there.
 

RedCloud

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Crawford
#12
Will be looking and finding some reading. I know for me and my hunting area this week has sucked and had little deer movement. The full moon I spooked them walking into my stands in the morning and they didn't come out at all or see any on my way out. Between the moon and the crops it is killing me lol.

Will be taking notes as this thread unfolds.
 

RedCloud

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#13
Look up Moonrise/set tables. I've watched the moon times for years too. There is definately something to it, but I hunt every chance I get regardless of the moon. When there is a full moon over the horizon during daylight hours, it can be awesome. I've never understood why people worry about the phase of the moon so much, what seems to really make the difference is when it rises and sets!
Could you expand on this some for us Brock. Just wondering what you have noticed over the years.
 

twireman

Senior Member
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Kingston, OH
#17
I also hate hunting the full moon. Last year I told my brother he was wasting his time hunting Oct 12 during peak full moon. I'll be damned if he didn't shoot that 196" LMAO. Still haven't heard the end of that. Damn deer!
 

Fluteman

*Supporting Member*
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Southeast Ohio
#18
I would like to learn more about the moon phases and deer movement. I know a guy that hunts strictly based on the lunar tables. He buys a wheel chart that shows the feeding times for a given year based off the moon phases and hunts them religiously.

I hunt regardless of the moon phase, but do feel that it plays a part in deer movement.
 

DJK Frank 16

*Supporting Member II*
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Hardin County
#19
I will say that I feel it makes a difference in their movement, but don't know enough about it to hunt based upon it. With limited amount of time afield, I sure wouldn't let moon keep me home if I had a free day to hunt.

Some good info shared so far, keep it coming!
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
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#20
For my area, I have noticed, and it has worked well for me, that on full moon mornings, i tend to be in the stand 1-1.5 hours before sun up. yep its early but i generally get them to settle down. I also steer very clear of their feeding areas at this time. I also move very slowly and directly when i do. I also use Evercalm deer scent a lot on my boots as well as have my grunt call handy. you have to play shadows on full moon dates trying to get in. don't force it if its not right. I believe in location also...