BobbyO

Moon Phases

162 posts in this topic

Does anyone use moon phases when hunting game ?

I ask because I like to look at moon phases and see if there's any correlation with regards to Sasquatch sightings but threes a few things I'm uncertain on.

I know that there is becoming more emphasis with Deer hunters these days and I wondered if anyone had any experience with it ?

My main questions are would any particular favourite specific moon phase to hunt be valid in the day time hours as well as the night time or is it considered that better moon phases to hunt in would only be considered for night time hours ?

And does the moon phases affect things due to lighting or do you think it's only because of things like mating and an animals PMT system and subsequent activity from that ?

What's the main emphasis on certain moon phases that are deemed better than others and why ?

I appreciate any responses, I haven't got much experience at all with hunting animals, only people.

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Hello BobbyO,

 

Gosh, what a good topic! The factors involved in the subject are complex. Where does one begin? With the hunters and their habits? With the animals and their known habits and cycles? First off do hunters really know why hunting certain animals at a certain time is regulated in the first place? Do the hunting seasons follow animal cycles or tradition? Are the hunting seasons BECAUSE of tradition? if I read correctly though this is about investigating a correlation regarding moon phase vs. animal.

 

In that case I would have to go with animal. Let's start with nocturnal. I would be hard pressed to think all animals possess the same level of ability in the area of night vision. In other words, the composition of the tapeta lucidum is different for different animals? Some may NEED a full moon light. Others only a little even with cloud cover. Knowing anything about that aspect could bring the topic more in line with a "yes" there is a correletion.

 

Literature like "The Old Farmers Almanac" and hunting orgs. do promote the idea of best fishing or hunting days. Is that for day or night? I haven't seen any distinction in that regard so maybe there isn't one. Can't hunt deer at night anyway so maybe someone else can comment on that. For me? If you're targeting Sasquatch then I would say that moon phase would be more critical for night animals- including deer! Didn't I read in the SSR database thread that Sasquatch night time encounters appeared to be more frequent during the waning gibbous Moon?  

Edited by hiflier
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To be honest, I'm mostly interested in what people would find advantageous about a specific moon phase and if it would apply to the entire 24 hour day or just the night time hours.

Funny you mention waning gibbous Hiflier as I was browsing today and found what may be a correlation between a lack of sightings in certain areas and that phase and I'm not sure why, hence the questions.

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Hello BobbyO,

 

To be honest, I'm mostly interested in what people would find advantageous about a specific moon phase and if it would apply to the entire 24 hour day or just the night time hours.

 

Only those who use it to hunt at night would know and I have a feeling they're not talking ;)

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Yeah I thought of that, but fingers crossed for a bit of insight..

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I do.  I have a moon phase/weather station/hunting information data station next to my desk with the remote sensor out in my trees.  It is one of several types of information which I use to plan which way & how I hunt every morning of the season.  I also have a couple Casio 'Hunting Timer" watches that calculate moon phase based peak movement periods as far out as you care to check it.  Pretty cool little piece of tech.

 

There are 4 activity peaks in every 24 hour period, into which I factor local conditions of barometric pressure, tempurature, rain/snow, cloud cover, wind direction & speed, and of course the rut which is triggered by the length of daylight and up here peaks around November 15th-17th. The week those dates fall, I am in the field every day from dark to dark sitting on a high point glassing choke points and the edges of sloughs in which does like to bed...

 

I can advise that moon phases are eerily accurate in predicting peak game feeding & movement times.  I've killed a number of bucks in mid morning/ early afternoon during a peak movement period, when other guys have long since gone back to the house... 

 

I have never thought to apply this to monkees, I have always figured they pretty much eat when they are hungry and drink when they are dry but otherwise do what they want when they feel like it...

Edited by NDT
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Hello BobbyO,

 

After reading NDT's post I think you could be onto something here. At least it an aspect I've not seen discussed before. Could have some bearing on future adventures. Lets face it, the more tools in the planning box the better. Wonder if the NAWAC folks have considered this particular tact.  

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Thanks NDT, appreciate it.

 

So would the moon phases that would be advantageous alternate through the year then or do you find that there are specific phases that seem to always yield results for you ?

 

Also, if there was a moon phase that you felt was advantageous, would it last the entire phase IE the full 7 days or so and would it include daylight hours ?

 

I ask because i'm unsure if i could look at correlations with moon phases to Sasquatch sightings, if x amount are in daylight hours.

 

Also, do you think the light conditions that each phases produces, or doesn't in some cases, has an effect on the animal movement  or would it be something else ?

 

Sorry for the zillion questions.

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I have a number of friends who are avid fishermen and they swear that fishing is always better three days before and after the full moon. I'm like some of the others here in that I've never thought to apply this game animals or to Bigfoots. However, the light from a full moon would make locating game easier at night. So the idea is a good one I think.

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Hello Bobby O.

 

Thanks for starting this thread I think it is a great topic. On my tromps through the woods I have often wondered why some days I would see several deer and other days nothing. This past Saturday I saw deer at four different locations along my hike. I believe we were at full moon that day although it was 9 :00 am. There was however, an extremely strong front headed our way with a 10 degree temperature drop.  

 

I found this after reading through the thread. This references a hunting lodge study done in Alabama and their findings.

 

 

"Temperature had a greater bearing on deer sightings than moon phase did. In other words, if a cold front hit, and there was a bright moon, then the deer would move. But a bright moon phase and warm weather meant hunters wouldn’t see many deer. We learned there were many factors causing deer to move, but temperature the overriding factor. The temperature - not the moon phase – was and is most responsible factor determining when deer moved."

I will provide a link when I return later. Heading out in a few minutes.

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Thanks for that LH, really appreciate that input.

Interesting to me that's from a Southern State too, where the weather wouldn't be considered as extreme in a cold sense as Northern States.

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I only have a few minutes but I'll answer more fully this afternoon.  This is a major over-simplification, mind you...  Deer are not fully nocturnal animals but "low light" activity animals (crepescular) so their peak activities are tied to periods of light that favor their feeding.  The two most important moon positions in regard to hunting deer are when it's directly overhead and directly underfoot, secondarily are when it is just rising or setting.  This is key as legal shooting hours are pretty much 1/2 hour before until 1/2 hour aftersunset.  If I know when the periods of lowest light but still in legal shooting hours are, I know when the best times to ambush a buck, whether he's coming out of bedding cover to feed himself or seeking does in a feeding area, or moving back to bedding cover.

 

The rut sort of throws a monkey wrench into the buck-moon phase activity relationship.  Does continue to move according to available light/moon phase but as the rut heats up bucks start moving a lot any time of the day.  Anyone who hunts deer has seen this. Bucks still generally are most active in those light periods they instinctually favor, but during the peak week of the rut we often have bucks checking scrapes in our backyard feed plot all day and all night.

 

I think the rub with monkees & moon phase activity prediction would be that we know next to nothing for sure about them, where we know more about deer than pretty much any other game species and can scientifically validate this knowledge.  Deer hunting is big business, and profit promotes the research which supports products hunters buy to be more successful.  I would hazard a very  very rough guess that if boogers actually are nocturnal predators the moon phases that favor them would be the darkest point when prey animals are active. 

 

Gotta run.  I will supply some info on my data station and maybe throw out some more wild conjecture tonight...

Edited by NDT
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Hello NDT,

I can easily go along with the nocturnal aspect of certin animals. It would be enlightening (pun intended) if studies show a reltionship between what we think as nocturnal with the New Moon phase. I think what I was getting at earlier was that an animal's ability to see in low light depends on the biology of the eye itself? Is the construction of the tapeta lucidum the same for all crepuscular creatures?

I wouldn't think so which would mean some see better than others depending on light level. Woulf the color of the eyeshine of these types of animals be indicative of how much or how little light they can function in? In other words, does say, orange indicate a better night vision ability than green? Is red the best? I think you can see where I'm going with the red aspect.

If there is a New Moon then other than light pollution it can get virtually black in the woods even though for some creatures starshine on a clear night may be all they need for the light-magnification properties of the tapeta lucidum to be of benefit to them. Makes me wonder if the feature is sensitive enough for even gegenschein to be adaquate at midnight on a New moon phase..

Edited by hiflier
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Bobby O, My daughter does scientific data collection on Monkeys in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador. Moon Phases are noted and collected as a data point. She has noted less animal activity during full phases of the moon and more activity in new phases of the moon. I am not aware if there is enough data that reaches a statistical conclusion. She hypothesizes that certain prey animal activity diminishes as predator advantages increase with more available light.

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