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Thread: Moon Phase?

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    Moon Phase?

    Have any of yall found a connection between moon phases are success with mule deer? It would seem to me that under a full moon, the deer could see better at night and would be less likely to be around during the day. So I'd guess that the dark of the moon would have them showing themselves more during the day. But I have no evidence to back this up. Anyone have any evidence?

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    Yep you nailed it. Full moon they will have been feeding at night. The best chance to see one is early mornings and late evenings.
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

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    I think most would say that the mornings after a full moon are better since they seem to stay bedded longer in the evening before they get up to start feeding and then may be out longer before bedding the following day. However, it's basicly somewhat of an old wives tale about them seeing better in a full moon because there have been many scientific studies that show they can see just as well or better in the dark of the moon as we can see during the day. I always check to see what the moon phase is in any given year for when I'll be hunting and I stay out longer in the morning, but I definitely don't base my actual hunting days of whether I'm going or not on it.

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    I have a strange theory that has no backup other than "I think".

    If you are hunting a relatively small area that borders areas that hold deer, I believe a full moon may help you. I have this idea that animals may cover more ground at night when they can clearly see, and you may have animals in your area in the morning when you get there. I think this is true of elk for sure, but I am not certain it applies to deer so much. Just one of the weird ideas that go through my head.

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    I am a firm believer in hunting a dark moon for deer and elk. I even try to anticipate the hunting seasons out 5 or 10 years and compare that to the moon cycle for those dates, so I can draw on years with a darker moon and closest to rut dates.

    Let's put it this way, i have never heard anyone complain a hunt was more difficult than they anticipated on a dark moon, yet have heard numerous complaints when hunting a full moon.

    For elk, a year ago a well known elk producer gave me a full moon strategy I am looking forward to trying out.
    Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)

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    I'm with you 100% on those thoughts UH, except for the looking 5-10 years down the line because at my age I'm just looking at the upcoming season and hoping I'm still around for it, LOL!!!

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    I know with whitetails that the full moon does affect time of movement. Last year in Nebraska most of the big bucks I saw were extremely early (first ten minutes of legal light) and mid-day. We were hunting during the full moon phase. I would believe you could conclude similar behavior patterns with mule deer. The big difference being their bedding habits. Whitetails look for heavy cover and most mule deer I have hunted are found in more open areas. Bottom line the moon phase is less of a worry when I hunt mule deer. If I was planning a trip and I had the choice I would go with a darker moon phase period to go.

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    Based on my experience I like hunting the first and last quarter moon phases. Peak movement seems to be morning and afternoon. New moon and full moon seem to make the deer move at midnight and midday. Weather and especially barometric pressure seem to be the most consistent indicators on whether deer will move or not.

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    Moon Phase?

    I've always been a believer of the moon phase effect on deer, but, I just started reading Hunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh (good read recommended on another thread here by other forum guys) and he pretty much calls BS on it. Not sure what I think still but it gets me thinking that maybe I tend to overthink the small things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NVBird'n'Big View Post
    I've always been a believer of the moon phase effect on deer, but, I just started reading Hunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh (good read recommended on another thread here by other forum guys) and he pretty much calls BS on it. Not sure what I think still but it gets me thinking that maybe I tend to overthink the small things.
    My experience has been better during a dark moon for traditional times to see game. I think deer movement is less early in the morning when there is a full moon. I do pay attention to seasons and try to plan around a full moon, but in the end I prefer to go hunting. One year my brother killed a timberline buck at 11 am during a full moon phase. He was up and feeding. . . . I think a full moon can be productive, it just may take some adjustments . . .

 

 

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