Lunar calender- importance to planning timing of hunt

wildcat westerner

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Hello,
I am writing this for the many who will be using this particular site for planning their hunts next year.
A few years ago I retired to New Mexico, and when I legally became a resident I applied for what is well known as the best public land hunt in this state 2-b, right next to the Jicarilla Apache reservation that charges you over $13,000.00 for a deer hunt, if you are lucky on the draw.
I picked a date, and got lucky the second time I applied. This is high altitude country, close to the Colorado border. When I went on my hunt I saw more Mule deer than any time I have hunted previously across seven states and two provinces, 64 deer in four days.
But, I had failed to check with a lunar calendar and there was a full moon during the five day period of this hunt. With my maps and satellite images, I was ready to be in the best place I felt where five drainages met at a creek choked with willows. Thus I saw a lot of deer: Does, fawns, yearlings and forkies. What I was truly interested in was probably feeding at 2 am in the bright moonlight. I could see the handwriting on the wall and did return home early, and also wiser.
Therefore I am suggesting to the interested hunters to download a PDF file United States lunar calendar for 2019. If you have choices for hunting times in an area, avoiding full moon situations should be a factor in your planning.
Good Luck,

Gene S.
 

cohunt

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hunting pressure in general will make the "big boys" go nocturnal --- animals are smarter than most give them credit for

I go to an area for elk hunting where the bull feed in the wee hours of the morning in an open meadow near the top of the hill, before day brake they head down the hill to find a deep dark hole in stupid steep terrain to hide in (usually on private property)--then they wait till after sunset to move back up the hill to the meadow again... Only chance you've got is to try to follow them to find where they will be at day brake to get a legal shot--- they do not care if its full moon or no moon once the hunting pressure is on they put on their NV goggles ;-)

for some reason they don't seem to like hunters very much -- go figure
 
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wildcat westerner

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Hello cohunt,

Right hunters and man turned mammals (deer and elk,in particular) into nocturnal animals to survive. Elk were plains animals when Custer roamed the west and he shoot Elk and Antelope on th same day.

Note, if you read closely that I advocated using the lunar calendar is a SINGLE factor in your hunt planning. You hunt in Nevada, I was speaking of an experience in New Mexico. New Mexico is the forth largest state in the Union with the third smallest state population. It's possible to make a Mule deer hunt near Tremintina NM, and never see another hunter in the entire season. Thus hunting pressure in some states and certain areas can vary considerably. Many factors go into choices as to future hunting. Lunar calendar awareness is one of them.

GS
 

Wheeler co

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Wildcat is right on the money - hunting pressure or not. Just went tru the pain of another first season elk season on a full moon. If I knew how, I’d send you a picture of an 8x8 that left the alfalfa and walked by the game cam, a mile away, at 4:00 am. Tons of tracks, all made well before daylight. We used figure F&G set the seasons with that in mind
 

McCrackin

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Nov 21, 2019
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Same thing for me this year, big moon getting bigger while I was out for elk. Only action I saw were the ones we "bumped up" pushing through the old-growth/drainages.
Better luck next year!
 

Slick8

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I know this is an old thread but I wanted to share my recent experience. Please don't hate the high fence, it helps tell a story.

I took my dad and uncle on a cow elk hunt in the Palo Duro Canyon located in the Texas Panhandle.

The only weekend the outfitter had for this "budget hunt" was falling on a full moon. I thought how hard can it be, we're hunting cow's on a 3000 acre high fenced ranch. Boy was I wrong!

We spotted a group at first light where the outfitter knew they'd likely be feeding in a pasture, 2 cows and 3 rag horns. I killed one at 353 yards off of sticks and was hoping my dad or uncle would shoot the other one. They weren't prepared to shoot so i did. Truthfully, we didn't think there was any urgency as we had three days to get it done. I simply thought, knock one out early and time to have fun with family then perhaps some predator hunting.

We hunted the remainder of the time NOT seeing another elk in the day time but hearing the bulls at night. This ranch had many deep draws which were thick with cedar. They could have been bedded all around us many times during the day. We ended up taking two Red Hinds on the final afternoon.

The outfitter commented that the elk were born on that ranch as it's been fenced for 20 years with a few brought in through the years for genetic improvements. He said those elk act more like wild animals than any other animal he's seen behind a high fence.

No full moon for me.
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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I think this is all very relevant, and you shouldn't plan a guided or travel hunt during a period when the moon is in it's fuller states, however, if you do find yourself in those situations, the deer do move mid day quite often during the mid day period. I've had great luck killing whitetail bucks from that 10-2 time frame when everyone is at home complaining to their wives about how the deer have all been killed off by predators, poachers and disease..
 

Muddyboots

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Most of the bigger bucks I have killed have been between 11 and 2 as well moon or no moon. Animals have our movement figured out as well and seem to feel secure midday when 95% of hunters are inactive, napping, home mowing grass, eating at local pit stop etc. If they are feeding at 4AM they will get up about 8 hours later. Need to be in woods to see that movement. Best rut activity I ever saw was midday on full moon. Crazy how many bucks I saw on public land! Killed decent 9 at 12:45 with PBJ on my lap😂
 

TXshooter3

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Regarding Whitetails, Mississippi State University Deer Lab has done extensive studies on movement with collared deer in the wild. In a nutshell, the moon has no affect on deer movement. The only time their movement patterns change or increase is during the rut.
 

Recon$$

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I'm with hecouldgoalltheway and muddyboots, getting out and catching small movements around lunch time has paid big dividends for me as well. You are not going to see a bunch but you just need one to get up for a quick snack or to push a smaller buck/bull out.
 

Coyote Shadow Tracker

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Most of the bigger bucks I have killed have been between 11 and 2 as well moon or no moon. Animals have our movement figured out as well and seem to feel secure midday when 95% of hunters are inactive, napping, home mowing grass, eating at local pit stop etc. If they are feeding at 4AM they will get up about 8 hours later. Need to be in woods to see that movement. Best rut activity I ever saw was midday on full moon. Crazy how many bucks I saw on public land! Killed decent 9 at 12:45 with PBJ on my lap😂
I have seen something the opposite midday. I have hunted some State Public WMAs due to really knowing the areas and the bucks in the area. Always found a good time to hunt was during noon (lunch time) most of the hunters from the city (or not knowing how to hunt) will walk around, walk to their vehicles, make noise eating their lunch. This would make the deer move to different areas due to all the noise and human movement. I always had good deer movement into areas where I placed stands around lunch time.
 

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