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Moon Phase Hunting - Figure it in or forget it?

Pic1

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Dec 5, 2018
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228
Ive hunted the week of the October full moon for the last 3 yrs. and kept track of my results. I found that last yr, like yrs past, the deer were more active in the dusk hours during the 5 to 2 days before the full moon and for the dawn hours they were more active the 2-5 days after the full moon. This was backed up also by my trail cam pics. Could it be coincidence, or affected weather patterns? Yes sure, but I wont waste my time on the actual full moon days, like I used too, unless the weather is screaming " get your rump up off a stump". I missed a beauty 20" 10pt on Oct 7th last yr ( we wont talk about it), another buddy clipped a branch on a mature 8pt & another buddy hosed a beauty 3.5 yr old 11pt. All within an hours time that evening. And miles away from each other. That was 2 days before the full moon. Just saying. I would never pay for the Red Moon Guide.

Now when we go to Ohio, we've been there a few times during the full moon. Usually the 2nd week of Nov. When you only have 7-9 days to hunt you better be on stand as much as possible. Myself & my buddies weren't seeing anything in our a.m./p.m. hunts. I came out on a rainy morning with no tracks to be found on the old logging trail. Went back in for the evening and there were tracks everywhere. Switched my strategy to the 9a.m. to 330pm hunt and saw 7 bucks over the last 3 days that we were there. Those 3 days were the day before the full moon to the day after the full moon.

Im not saying either way whats right or wrong but in my experience, the moon definitely effects them & sometimes you gotta adjust strategies.
X2 3 days before to 3days after full has always had highest probability of activity for me for years now.
 

Jammintree

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Jan 5, 2021
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I don’t know much about anything but I think a lot about everything… it seems to me that every environmental condition affects animals. My observation is that deer are most likely to be on their feet when conditions are optimal and most likely to be bedding when conditions make them most vulnerable during movement. I’m absolutely intrigued by the scientific study and data collection on deer and am also aware that because there are SO many environmental variables it’s going to take a long time before data can be directly attributed to specific conditions and behaviors. This is a fascinating topic and I enjoy hearing about everyone’s observations and research.
 

kyler1945

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Dec 4, 2016
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Willis, TX
I listened to the podcast. Very good stuff!

I emailed Dr. Strickland to clarify a few things. Hopefully he'll respond.

I noted two things related to your comments on weather: Dr. Demarais very specifically stated that a hunter may have experienced more deer movement during the rut because the weather was cooler at 1:22:36. The other, is that Dr. Strickland says that they did not find any statistically significant correlation between deer movement and "weather". It does leave the door open on a few things. I was not convinced that they had looked hard at relative temperature as a variable related to daytime deer movement.

We're off topic a bit on this front. But I'm hoping my email/his response can offer some clarity, or beg some more interesting questions.

Two more things stood out: Money offers the best avenue to good data. And second - they tranquilized deer, cut their antlers off, and made fake ones to figure out if does like big antlers, big body size, or the age of a deer the most. We are weird weird monkeys for sure!

Back to the moon!
Dr. Strickland responded, and pointed me to another podcast where he gave some more information about this topic. I think it's better in a separate thread.
 

VASteve

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Feb 10, 2020
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142
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Southwest Virginia
So, they say the new or full moon is the best time to hunt also?
Yeah, based on that calendar, that is what it is indicating. As I look back on this past fall, October 10-11, November 9-10 and December 8-9, I had the most pictures of bucks during daylight of any other days. These all coincide with a full moon. I killed my buck on 11/9 and the woods were absolutely crazy that day.
 

CooterBrown

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Sep 1, 2020
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So, I shot and never found one on January 9th and while waiting on a dog to come another buck come in and I killed it. Three days after the full moon. My son killed one the 7th one day after the full moon. Our rut is mid-January. They can be seen on the team 6 thread. Neither were killed using a saddle.
 

Shapeshifter

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Sep 22, 2022
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I don't pay much attention to the moon phase as much as the major and minor feeding times. When the moon is overhead or underfoot. Even though I do feel that deer movement is impacted more by wind,weather,cold front and rising and falling barometer then any lunar activity. I have noticed that I see in increase in deer activity when the major feeding times fall on or near the deers normal feeding and movement times. 1 to 2 hour after sunrise or 1to 2 hours before sunset. At least in my neck of woods, can't speak for anyone else.
 

SD Guy

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Jan 20, 2023
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15
I'll take action on a weather front whenever possible. If I plan to hunt a given day and the lunar phase is looking promising I'll be happy to have that on my side as well. Moisture & cold fronts have the best track record though!
 

Rutman

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Dec 11, 2021
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229
Cold fronts > moon phases

I used to go by the moon years ago, but now I couldn’t care less what phase the moon’s in. When a good cold front moves in and the temperature drops 10 degrees or more from one morning to the next, you gotta be in a tree.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

thedutchtouch

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Oct 22, 2020
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1,936
Location
Maryland
The solunar calendar seems to have some merit from my anecdotal experience. More on fishing than hunting, but perhaps that's just because I have more fishing experience. I don't generally let it decide if I'm going out though, as I don't have the luxury to hunt whenever I want and on the days I can go I would rather be in the woods trying to see a deer than in the couch assuming I won't.
 

NATHAN

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Nov 5, 2018
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806
Location
Very Southern Illinois
It matters, but not as much as working 40, raising daughters, severe weather. I go when I can and that seems to max out around 15-20 times per year. If I can go and it's not miserable out, I do.
 
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