Enter your e-mail address here. Why subscribe to Midwest Whitetail?
Deer and the Moon
Posted By AJ Gall at 10/2/2012 12:00:00 AM
MN10-2-12moon(Small).jpg

  Lunar calendars can help you pick the best days to sit and are available 
  online or via a smartphone app

  Photo credit: http://www.calendarfeeds.com/moon-calendar/

Lunar phases have been a subject of debate within the hunting community and has sparked various arguments on whether or not it impacts a whitetailed deer’s behavior. 

So does it?

The answer is both yes and no.  For hunters who have consistently experienced increased deer activity during a specific moon phase, then I suppose the answer is yes, and for those that have experienced irregular peaks of activity, I suppose the answer is no.  Scientific research is fairly limited on the correlation between lunar phase and deer activity, however, there are a few key components in the theory that can benefit you as the hunter.

First off, the physiology of a deer's sight allows them to see the best in low light conditions present around dawn and dusk, therefore, they focus their movements on those times.  When the moon is full, they tend to be really active, but usually not during hunting hours due to increased light.  One study from Texas Tech University followed 25 radio-collared deer for 3 years and noticed deer movement was most pronounced during hunting hours when the moon was in the ¼ to ¾ stage.  This evidence suggest a better hunt when the moon is in the in-between stages of new moon and full moon.   Deer focus their movements and feeding cycles around photoperiods, and are described as crepuscular animals – moving at dawn and dusk – all of which the moon plays a role in.

Many things are predictable, but few things are certain when it comes down to the hunting realm.  The moon and geographical features are for certain, they will not change, and they dictate a deer's pattern of movement.  Using the moon to your advantage can be scoffed about, but there is ultimately some truth behind it.