Moon Phases and Blactail/Muley Activity

Discussion in 'How To Hunt Big Game' started by MighteyWhiteHunter, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. MighteyWhiteHunter

    MighteyWhiteHunter Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Has anyone ever noticed a correlation between the phases of the moon and deer activity during the day or night? It seems to me that there is something there because I have noticed deer being active in the evenings for time leading up to the full moon and then after the full moon they seem to be more active in the early mornings. Is there any truth to that or does anyone else have an opinion on it?
  2. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I have never done any actual research on the movements of mule and black tail deer during the moon phases but have been hunting both for 45+ years and live on a very remote ranch with mule deer and elk all around and can tell you that it’s much better to hunt each in the black of the moon than any other time. If you draw a late tag (mule deer) and the weather is crappy it does not seem to matter and also when the rut is on it doesn’t seem to come into play as much but does somewhat. If I’m going to travel anywhere in the west to hunt the first thing I check is the moon and plan the trip accordingly.

    If you like to jump shoot deer than the moon does not matter as your jumping them in their beds any way. If you are hunting long range and want a few more minutes at daylight and at dusk when animals are moving the moon plays an important role. At least in my world it does.

    One other thing. Deer and elk are very active the 24 hours before a major storm moves in to an area. You will find them feeding all through the day and night regardless of the moon phase.

  3. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I heard about moon phases when I was growing up. My grand father would used it all the time for hunting, fishing, and to cut the cockscomb off of
    [​IMG]the fighting roosters; this took place in Nicaragua, which back then and still today it's legal. My grand father believed that the rooster would bleed a whole lot less if it was done en the right moon phase. As I became a grown up, I kind of thought it was silly but the last 2 years, using my GPS hunting hours which are based on moon phases we planed our hunts. It proved to work since in 2006 and 2007 together our group got 9 animals; one Elk, one Antelope, and 7 deer. What kcebcj is saying is pretty much right on the money.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The screenshots above are from my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx.

    Also, when hunting I pay attention to the cattle in open pastures, if the cattle are laying down don't waste your time throwing the fishing hook in the water nor expecting wild life to be feeding.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  4. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Always hunt after the full moon. When moons on increase the dang coyotes cougars and bigfootts make so darn much noise all night long you cant sleep. And the deer and elk disappear during the day when moons increasing. ALso if you ever put a new roof on your house do it on decrease as if you do it on increase the moon will pull the roofing nails right out.
  5. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2002
    Full moon

    I have noticed that during the full moon here in Pa. I see activity during the mid-day time not alot but enough that I only go hunting from about 9-10am till dark and forget about the am as they are in their beds by 5am.
    Although alot depends on hunters in the woods too. Here I'm talking bow season, gun season all bets are off if you hunt pressured areas which here its the dang state.
    I'm talking about eastern whitetails here.
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
    My studies/experience show kcebj's post to be accurate.

    After full moon - nothing.
    During heavy weather - nothing. Unless you're ambushing a feeding/bedding spot.

    Spot on with the laying down cows.

    I watch the yard bunnies, pheasants and quail. The problem with that is you are sitting at home watching bunnies when you should have already been in the woods.

    The so lunar tables have proven not very effective for my.
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2008
    For elk, I plan my early season bow hunting (during the rut) around the moon. Sept is still a warm time of year in Montana and the elk lay low in the heat and and get active during cooler periods such as night and bad weather. They seem to be more active at night during the full or almost full moon phases and a little more active during the day during the new moon phase depending on day time heat.

    For deer, I plan the hunt for the rut, from about mid Nov to late Nov. I don't think the moon factors much then in these parts. Good weather is good hunting all day, especially for mulies, and bad weather is bad hunting, especially high winds. There have been days I have seen well over a hundred deer a day in good weather in Nov and nothing on cold windy days in the same place.

    I think location and enviromental factors play a big role. Hunting in Alabama will be different than hunting in Montana which will be different than hunting in Arizona.

    I think the biggest factors in order are probably, Rut, Weather and Monn phase.
  8. Wabird

    Wabird Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Interesting topic. Our family recently started hunting with another up in the Okanagon a few seasons ago and this was one of the topics after dark with a bit of whiskey. Our new hunting partners are ex- dept of wildlife commissioners. Good gents.
    The reply that I got was that the moon plays significantly in the feeding habits of game at night, it's unclear if it effects animals as it does the tides. But what struck me the most odd was that he said the height of activity for deer was on the 17th of Nov. Regardless of weather, moon, habitat, or any other dynamic it happened that the research that has been done can't clearly point toward one factor over another, just that the 17th of Nov. is the height of rut, thus activity.
    I won't bash the point as I have no statistical background, but have been more atuned to find that this is true.


    HUAINAMACHERO Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    In Ecuador where I hunt, there are no established seasons, sunrise and sundown are at the sametime all year round. What I have seen is that in full moons, deer are active around noon; in first and third quarter they are more active in the afternoon than in the morning; in new moon they will be very active during the mornings. The only logical reasons for this is that in full moon deer can feed at night so they will rest during the morning, eat at noon and rest until is night again. In new moon they can hardly see anything at night so they wont eat, that explains why they are very active in the mornings. In first and third quarter, they can partially eat at night so they are active in the mornings and in the afternoon. This has worked for me, but I agree that there are a lot of factors that involve deer activity, like climate, moon phases and others. There are no rut season in Ecuador because we have the same season all year round and they breed all year round, depending on what month deer are born. I have seen calves all year round.
    Have a good one.

  10. RBetts

    RBetts Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    To expand on what has been said from a different perspective. One of my greatest passions is bluefin tuna fishing.On the full and new moon we have the greatest tidal flow ie current. Bigger fish are lazy so the feeding period tends to be on the slack tide. In studying the tidal flow you see that on a waxing moon the less tidal flow is in the morning with the tidal flow being larger in the afternoon. My logs show that on a waxing moon my catch rate on the low ebb in the mornings especially just after dawn create the largest numbers of fish. When the moon crests and starts to wane. The tidal flow is least on the afternoon high tide. If I have a 5 or 600 pm high tide I'm going to be there with my live bait because this is the best tide to lure in a big money fish.
    When you look at the solunar tables you see that it directly correlates with what I'm saying. Meaning the major times seem to be centered around the lesser of tidal flow and the minor times appear at the greater tidal flow.
    The thing that ties mammals to what I'm saying is this. It is the magnetic gravitational fields of the earth,moon and sun that cause the tides. This magnetic pull has a direct effect on feeding animals and fish. Part of it has to do with polarized light. The moon is the calender not your wall or desk calender. The polarized light changes with the position of the sun in the sky. This is why you have differnt phases of the moon labled accordingly.
    In my latitude the rutting moon is exactly that. Deer breed without fail on that moon. If it is warm you may not see them in the day but you do see the largest amount of roadkill bucks that week. The next moon is when you will see the secondary rut. Again the weather and hunting pressure may curtail the activity but again the roadkill#'s of bucks spike this week as well. Your game department should have records showing this to be true. on a particular moon phase depending on your latitude.
  11. Sackett

    Sackett Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2011
    I realize that this thread says Blacktail/Muley, and I have hunted mulies a good bit, but I hunt whitetail's from mid- Sept thur Jan 01 extensively, usually 4 to 5 days every week for 14-15 weeks!, with a liberal bag limits of 15 deer . I have been keeping a hunting log for the past 11 years of each of my hunts, both morning and evening if possible. I include date, time, temp, weather cond, Bar. pressure, moon phase, moon times, location of hunt, sightings or kills... I hunt in the Western Portion of South Carolina and here are my findings based on bucks seen and harvested according to moon phases...7 days prior to and leading up to the full moon in October are best, with THE DAY OF THE FULL MOON THE BEST!! Then 7 days prior to and leading up to the full moon in Nov. are 2nd best, with THE FULL MOON DAY IN NOV BEST. We have killed 3 times as many trophy bucks in the 7 days prior to the full moon in October than any other times...period! If I had only one week to would be the 7 days prior to the full moon in October...2nd choice would be 7 days prior to the full moon in Nov. Once again let me say that this is for the Western Upstate of South Carolina,,,,but I believe that my records will hold up for 7 days prior to A full moon in your area for the month of your local rut...
    As a bit of a side-note I was a police officer and as I began following the times of the moon with my casio moon phase watch for hunting and fishing I began watching human behavior while at work according to the moon times....AMAZINGLY most of our violent crimes happened during these peek moon phase times....It really works!!gun)
  12. TSavvy88

    TSavvy88 Member

    Jun 9, 2012
    Hey guys first post here. I noticed going through my trail cam pictures that the deer showed up after the pigs and before the pigs in the day. Pigs were 6-8am and 8-10pm. So the deer showed up 10am-12pm and 3-6pm. This topic actually made me go back to see if there was any difference with the moon phases but I couldn't find any difference. I'd say the only thing that changes the mood of the bucks is the time of year (DEER SEASON). They were active mid day during the off season but once the rifle season showed up, they went nocturnal. Luckily I'm going to surprise them this year when I hunt my first archery season. BTW these are all blacktails I'm talking about.