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The Moon - What do we know?

bowhunter1023

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If you place any value in hunting the moon phases and what Charles Alsheimer has to say about, this will shed some light on it. You can't beat the first week of November most years when the weather cooperates and it appears this year will be no different!

This year the “Rutting Moon” is much earlier than last year, falling on November 6. That’s compared to the especially late “Rutting Moon” in 2013, falling on November 17th. This late moon, according to Laroche/Alsheimer, resulted in a “trickle rut” with most rutting activity happening later than usual (third or fourth weeks in November), with other peaks and valleys occurring sporadically over late October and mid November. This “trickle rut” usually ends up resulting in spotty rut activity, and below average hunting success. From what I saw and heard from a lot of hunters this year, the 2013 rut was definitely less than stellar – seemingly in line with what was predicted (Click here to read more about 2013 rut observations).

So what does this November 6th “Rutting Moon” mean for the rut in 2014? Well, according to this theory, this would mean that the majority of rutting behavior should be earlier than last year, more intense, and more in line with the “typical” whitetail rut we’re used to seeing.

According to Alsheimer’s Lunar Calendar, major “seeking” behavior should pick up around October 30th and continue until around November 6th, when major “chasing” should begin. This wild rutting frenzy will continue until around November 14th when the “tending” phase should be beginning and the “lockdown” period will follow shortly.

So what does this mean for hunters? If you tend to believe these predictions, it would mean that the typical “prime time” of the first week or two of November should be, as usual, the best time to be in the woods! According to this prediction, October 30 – November 13th should be some of the best hunting of the entire season, when the most seeking and chasing will be happening, which is in fact the “rutting behavior” that hunters are most interested in seeing.
 

Hogmister13

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There is no proven fact the lunar moon phase triggers the Rut and today scientist all over the world are still trying to prove this theory. Majority of wildlife biologist and Scientists with in depth studies generally agree that it's actually the shrinking photoperiod, the shortening of the days‚ that is the main factor that kicks off the rut. Secondary causes such as genetics, predation or hunting pressure, the buck-to-doe ratio, local weather, average air temperature and habitat quality also playing a role as well. In Female deer,a hormone called melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in response to the onset of time period in darkness which triggers her to become in heat. In Male Deer, melatonin is a modified amino acid hormone released by the pineal gland that has been seen to control seasonality when days are shortened. Less daylight triggers an increase in a buck’s testosterone, which causes antler maturation/growth. As daylight continues to decrease and darkness continues to increase more through photoperiod, the bucks testosterone levels increase dramatically and females become in heat. An in-depth study of whitetail breeding seasons was conducted at the turn of the 21st century and involved wildlife biologists from eight state fish and game agencies (including Maine, Michigan and Minnesota) and 5 universities. Essentially, the results were based on backdating fetal ages of pregnant does and looking at corresponding lunar phases and most concluding that the female doe estrous cycle was triggered mainly by a decrease in photoperiod, length of daylight and not the lunar phase.
Scientist has proved this by placing deer in an enclosed room, and by artificially "speeding up" the seasons (using interior lights to mimic sunlight), deer can be stimulated into going through their entire cycle much faster. In fact, deer was influenced to go through two entire cycles per year without exposure to moonlight using this test. Therefore it is a proven fact that the moon has nothing to do with triggering the Rut.
 
My take on the moon is very simple. When there is a new or full moon I do not hunt morning (except for November when anything can and will happen). It has been my experience that deer reliably move earlier in the afternoon and more frequently during a full moon regardless of all other scenarios. There are many theories around these are my experiences.

When we discuss the moon during November I don't believe it matters at all. From the last week of October until the end of November I will sit sunrise to sunset as this is the magical time of all day movement. Talking about November really gets me fired up!!!
 

whodey1966

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I don't go by what these so called experts say, I still believe that the rut occurs the same time give or take a few days the same time every year. of course weather, temps and hunting pressure has a lot to do with deer sightings.
 

dante322

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If the rut is based on photoperiodism, which makes sense, then the moon phases do have a function. Not so much in the respect that the light from the moon or the gravitational pull. It's just an easy way to know when the equinox has taken place. The second full moon may not fall precisely the same number of days after the autumnal equinox but it's close. It's just easier to reference the lunar cycle on a calendar than it is the solar cycle.

Bottom line, when there are more hours of darkness than there are daylight, the leaves are mostly gone from the trees, the mast crops are mostly gone and it's getting cold....

...go hunting.
 
If the rut is based on photoperiodism, which makes sense, then the moon phases do have a function. Not so much in the respect that the light from the moon or the gravitational pull. It's just an easy way to know when the equinox has taken place. The second full moon may not fall precisely the same number of days after the autumnal equinox but it's close. It's just easier to reference the lunar cycle on a calendar than it is the solar cycle.

Bottom line, when there are more hours of darkness than there are daylight, the leaves are mostly gone from the trees, the mast crops are mostly gone and it's getting cold....

...go hunting.[/QUOTElike button
 

ImpalaSSpeed96

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Normally I have the option to hunt November whenever I want, but this year I don't. I have a promotion coming up that I have to be present for on the 7th. Oh well I guess. I played by his rules last year and hunted later in Nov than usual, temps were great, and hunting was awful. I'm hunting the 9-20th this year again, so it is what it is. I'll be at home hunting during that period, maybe I'll get lucky in NJ!
 

bowhunter1023

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What are we saying about the moon this year?

IMO, the underfoot/overhead has more impact than the phase. As the seasons pass, I tend to just think I should hunt when I can hunt and not worry about other probable factors like the moon.
 
What are we saying about the moon this year?

IMO, the underfoot/overhead has more impact than the phase. As the seasons pass, I tend to just think I should hunt when I can hunt and not worry about other probable factors like the moon.
That's the boat I'm in these days. Don't have many opportunities so gotta make the most of it when I can. I guess it would be different if I lived down there though.