Elk I know will rut a lot harder at night during a full moon. Mule deer I have found will bed up earlier and then tend to be out more during the middle of the day, but I am also bow hunting in November when it is cold and they seem to need the groceries more. I'm like some of the others I just like to be out hunting regardless.
I totally agree with the less early in the morning. My theory is this: When the moons out bright the deer are out feeding and bed down after getting their fill. They get back up late morning to feed a little and head for their regular bedding areas.
Originally Posted by HiMtnHnter
When there is very little light I think they are still up feeding early in the morning making for the more traditional hunting times.
It works for me where I live, but I'm sure there are a million factors that can effect this theory. Temperature and precipitation being two of the major ones.
There are a lot of factors that should be considered. The moon phase is just 1 of many! A lot depends on the time of year and conditions of the particular hunt. If you are hunting archery high alpine bucks in Wyo or Colo with a full moon with 70 to 80 degree daytime temps I would venture a guess that buck activity would mostly be limited to early/late in the day and night. Obviously they may get up mid-day to stretch and feed but for the most part they are going to lay in a cool, breezy, shaded spot during daylight.
If you are hunting late season in November in Colo with deep snow and clouds all night with a full moon in a unit with little hunting pressure the bucks may be active all day. If you are in a different unit in Colo with lots of OTC elk hunters (lots of hunting pressure) and the same weather/moon phase the bucks may not be active much until dark. I've hunted one of the premier muley units in Colo during the 4th season with 60 degree days, full moon, little hunting pressure in a year with little snow....and it was a super tough hunt. The bucks hadn't migrated into the unit due to lack of snow and were spooked into thick trees patches up high by all the OTC elk hunters. It was a super tough hunt! Even the next year with 0 moon with the same warm temps and 0 snow it would also be super tough hunt!
With that said, there are a lot of conditions (moon phase, depth of snow, daytime temps, browse and water, hunting pressure, migration, rut activity, velvet vs shedding velvet timing, etc) that all should be considered when picking units, hunt timing, particular year to draw a tag, etc).
What's the connection to barometric pressure?
Originally Posted by Alabama
Not sure if I am 100% sold on the moon phase issue. I recall packing out several deer killed late in the day over the years in the light of a full moon. How does stormy weather or cloud cover effect the moonlight impact? In many instances due to season dates, vacation etc. required that hunts occur during the full moon. That is the case this October as I will be hunting Wyoming during a full moon.
I don't think it's necessarily moon phase as much as it is moon position. There are theories about how animals feed and are active more when the moon is straight up overhead in the sky. Of course, the moon is straight up at night in a full moon phase, straight up during mid-day during new moon phase, and straight up around dawn and dusk during 1st and last quarter moon phases. Think about the moon and high tide in the ocean.... Of course, weather and other factors affect deer activity as well. I've killed deer in all moon phases and all times of day. I've yet to kill a deer in my living room. Go hunt whenever you have the opportunity.
I tend to agree with Dwight Schuh. Do you really think that prey animals such as deer need moonlight to see well at night
They need to eat even when its pitch black and move around no matter what, and they have to be able to spot those predators.
I think it's just another of those old beliefs from the old timers.
I have broken down just as many animals with the moonlight as I have using a head lamp. I say hunt when you can and enjoy your self.