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The Lodge > Deer Camp > General Discussion > Moon Phases and Deer Hunting

Moon Phases and Deer Hunting

Started On 9/9/2011
I am curious as to how the moon phases affect the deer? I would like to know what times are best to hunt for the different moon phases. I have set up a trail cam and had it sitting for about a week and have captured a bunch of does around 3:00 am to 5:45 am but nothing during the day. The moon is about full and I always thought that the hunting would be better mid day, but no deer were on my trail. Any body know the solution to this problem... and I can assure you its not from lack of hunting. Thanks
Trophy Room
Joined: 9/9/2011


Posted 11/16/2011
The Solunar Theory predicts that all fish and wildlife are influenced by both the POSITION of the moon and the PHASE of the moon.

The Major Periods last 2-3 hours and peak when the moon is positioned overhead (transit) and positioned underfoot. This is when the combined gravitational forces of the sun and moon are the strongest. The Minor Period times occur roughly half way in between when the moon passes the horizon at moonrise and moonset. Minor Periods generally last half as long as the Major Periods.

The best hunting times and best fishing times occur at the peak of the Major and Minor Periods. These roughly correlate with high tide and low tide times. Tides occur roughly every 12.5 hours, but because they are caused by a complex set of interactions -- the sun and moon's gravitational forces, rotation of the Earth, and the shape of the near-shore bottom -- the tide times will vary somewhat from the solunar table periods. Solunar periods have been equated to "equilibrium tide times", which are the times that tides would occur for a specific longitude if the entire Earth was covered by water.

The best hunting times and best fishing times also vary day to day through out the month with the moon phase - with the best activity occurring around a Full Moon and New Moon. This is when the the Moon and the Sun's gravitational forces are the strongest.

The lunar phase refers to the percent illumination of the moon as viewed from the Earth. The lunar cycle (time between two full moons) averages 29 1/2 days and varies month to month because the moon's orbit is elliptical. Because the average month is ~30.5 days, the lunar cycle shifts by approximately one day each month. As a result, there one calendar day each month that the moon doesn't rise and one day that the moon doesn't set. This affects the solunar tables such that there will be two days each month during which there is only one Major Period and two days in which there is only one Minor Period.
Trophy Room
Joined: 5/25/2010
Posted 9/13/2011
Deer are much more active @ night during a full moon phase @ night. This is because they can see well, are able to feed and watch for predators. During a new moon phase their visibility is cut down so they become more active during the day and bed down @ night. Right now, being in a full moon phase is really hurting my hunt. I'm going to spend the entire day in my blind hoping activity kicks up. Hope this helped.
Trophy Room
Joined: 9/10/2011
Posted 9/12/2011
Well Im not sure how much hell this will be just because this is my first full year of using my trail cam. But I have noticed during the new moon phase I have alot of activity during the day. After the full moon I have had considerable activity during the evening and on the approach to the full moon it seems to be all morning activity. It seems to be the same 6 or 7 deer I'm filming though so it might just be there pattern. However I have noticed that I get a lot more activity the more I personaly am in the area where the camara is and not just with the deer. And I use no scent cover on the camara or me when checking the camara. That seems kind of backwards to me but maybe they are just use to me being in and out of the area now. If thats the case thats good news for me come Oct. 15th! Hope that helps you out.
Trophy Room
Joined: 9/11/2011
Posted 11/16/2011
Sit all day with a new moon and they are going to move really early or really late with a full moon. These two phases are the best movement phases and they last about 3-4 days apeice. The other 20 or so days out of the month there will be average activity where does move and you might catch a basket rack moving around but the big boys are in the woods staged up where the security is. I have found the best time in central east texas is that period from Nov. 10 - Nov. 23, hunt the new and full moon. You are bound to get a big one.
Trophy Room
Joined: 11/15/2011

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