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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    27
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    Moon Phases - Hunting Full Moon

    Curious on everyone's thoughts about hunting the moon phases, more specifically a full moon. Here in PA rifle opens in a few short days and the first week is during a full moon.

    I recently watched an episode of North American Whitetail and a few of the Mathews hunting pros talked about the hours most people think are poor hunting hours (10-3pm) are actually the best. Stan Potts even said he'd wait to enter the woods until 8 am as apposed to getting in before first light, during a full moon. He also mentioned the best days were when the moon is at its highest & lowest points in the sky.

    My plan is to hunt all day, but was curious on other members thoughts on this. A lot of very knowledgable folks on here with decades of experience.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NY
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    4,752
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    Stan is a real original thinker...The Solunar theory was originally developed by John Alden Knight in 1930's...google Solunar Theory and you will find all the info you could want about it. With that said take it with a grain of salt and if you going to hunt deer you would be nuts to pass up the two hours after sun up or the two hours before sun set no matter what the moon phase is. I believe there is some validity to the Solunar theory however I don't see much in the way of a applicable use for most hunting....I pay attention to it and it has keep me in the stand for longer periods of time...so in that case it's been beneficial. There is a a cool app that outlines it as gives you day to day times for a given location ... isolunar


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Texas
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    1,783
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    I've really made it a point to pay attention to the deer movement during the full moon phase over the last two years. After reading all the big boys saying that deer movement occurs from about 11 to 2 or 3 pm, I thought I would concentrate a little on those time frames. What I've learned from my trail cameras and being in the field is...they were right. I've had more active deer during full moon phases at mid-day on my cameras than any other days. I've also seen and had opportunities to shoot more deer during those hours on full moon phases. That said, I have a hard time talking myself into waiting until later in the morning to get into the stand. This year during the full moon phase at the end of October, I saw a few deer in the first hour of shooting light (6 days of hunting) but nothing after that until 11:00 am. Both of my hunting buddies experienced the same thing. In fact, on October 26, we shot three deer and had one miss between 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. We didn't see a single deer between 3 pm and dark for those days.

    Last year I saw deer feeding at 10:30 am and 11:00 am while walking back to my truck. It was a full moon phase. Since I hadn't seen anything earlier that morning, I decided to sleep in and show up a little later the next day so I arrived at 8:15 and hung a stand. At 10:15 the buck I saw eating there the day before showed up and had it not been for a wind shift when I was at full draw, I'm sure he would have gone home with me. About 10:45 am two does and a fawn showed up and started feeding. They left about 11:10 or so.

    The two factors I've seen that also contribute to movement is temperature and the rut. When it cools off the deer move more and when the rut is on that can change things as well.

    I have a hard time not hunting at the crack of dawn but I saw few enough deer between daylight and 11:00 am this year that I might be getting a few more hours of sleep next season.

    Hope this helps,

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    mountains of Virginia
    Posts
    20
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    For the past 2 years I have also done my own study on deer movement during the full moon phase. My sightings and trailcam pics are 90% mid day (11-3). I still have a hard time not being in the woods before day break during the rut. I must be addicted!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    China Grove, NC
    Posts
    4,848
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    I am seeing 0 deer in the AM during full moon. Been that way for the past 2 seasons. I have had them bust me at 10:00am on leaving stands or going to in the afternoon. I can see validity in this theory.

    Another thing I was thinking is that this full moon phase we are in is full blown rifle season. The rifle hunters (and I see it all the time here) head into the woods on their ATV's at 20 min before daylight and are heading back out by 8:30am-9:00am every single hunt. In my theory this leaves the safest two times for deer to be hitting these hunters bait piles, water and corn fields being at night or mid day.

    I guess it could be one or the other but, around here, probably a combination.
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