Hunting the Full Moon
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
StormCloud 13-Oct-13
trkytrack 13-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 13-Oct-13
drycreek 13-Oct-13
StormCloud 13-Oct-13
t-roy 13-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 13-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 13-Oct-13
Charlie Rehor 13-Oct-13
DC 13-Oct-13
TurkeyBowMaster 13-Oct-13
20 ft up 13-Oct-13
treesitter 13-Oct-13
writer 13-Oct-13
StormCloud 14-Oct-13
Knife2sharp 14-Oct-13
bowriter 14-Oct-13
Nalgi 14-Oct-13
Buckstopshere 14-Oct-13
Buckstopshere 14-Oct-13
Hardcore 14-Oct-13
From: StormCloud
Im heading to Kansas for a deer hunt. I normally go around the second week. I see this year thats during the full moon. Should I wait for a week then go. Whats your take on hunting the rut during a full moon ?

From: trkytrack
There are too many variables to consistently sort out deer activity in relationship to moon phase and weather. Of all the studies that have been done no data has ever been found to completely solve the puzzle whether moon phases effect deer movement. Bottom line....just hunt whenever you can.

The primary feeding time is when the moon is overhead so that means they will be feeding at night on a full that affects the rut is something I am less sure of.

From: drycreek
My two cents: I hunted the same 1400 ac. Ranch in Central Texas for 18 years. The only observation that I could defineatly make about the full moon , was that we saw more mid day movement during a full moon , unless it was warm. Now keep in mind, " warm " , here, is different than warm in Kansas. Our deer don't have the thick coat that Northern deer do. We kept pretty good records about deer observations at the time, as I was trying to prove or disprove the " moon overhead " theory. I felt if I could get a handle on this, I could schedule my hunts during the most productive times. I had one of the " moon charts " and tried to follow it for a couple years. I could not tell much difference. In my opinion, the moon has minimal effect ; weather and the rut had a much greater effect. I tried to hunt the cold fronts as much as possible, and still do.

Since then, I have read about a couple studies done by respected deer researchers, one being Dr. James Kroll, that pretty much discredit the moon times theory.

I guess I went the long way around to pretty much say what trkytrack said, with the cold front exception.

From: StormCloud
Very interesting guys..I want to hunt the most productive time ,of course. With the regards to the moon this year it seems like the 2nd and third week will be a wash. That is for hunters that don't like to hunt the full moon phase. Ive been thinking of hunting the first week of Nov., but I know the rut will not be happening.?/ Would you hunt the rut and forget about the Moon.??/

From: t-roy
I have on average, had better success during the first week of Nov. than any other period here in Iowa. I am usually able to get to hunt almost all of Nov. We usually see a lot of rutting activity the first week, unless it it really warm. I wouldn't think that it would be much different in KS., but I don't have any firsthand experience there either. I don't pay much attention to the moon phase because I am going to be hunting either way.

The pre-rut (last of Oct. into first part of Nov.) can be even better than the peak IMO. The bucks are cruising for the first hot doe & they are not locked down on a doe like they can be during the peak.

I would think weather would be be more of a determining factor in regards to movement than the moon phase.

How soon do you have to make your decision about going? If you can go anytime, I would see what the weather is going to do as close your leaving date as you can. If you have to schedule it ahead of time, all bets are off.

Either way, best of luck on your hunt & don't forget to post your pics when you get back!


I would have to say adamantly as I possibly can the moon fazes absolutly 100 percent affect feed times in free choice environments. Anybody who says different has discredited his or her self to the point of 0 credibility because they must not get out much if they dont know that. The key is you have to hunt the areas where deer feel comfortable feeding at the time of day the moonguide says they will feed. If that is 11am, you need to be at the edge of a thicket on a hot acorn tree. If it is 30 minutes before dark, you can venture farther from the bedding area. I will say this only works for free range natural food sources...real hunting in other words In Texas, where spin feeders go off or feeder trucks, the moon is negated. I like the Jeff Murry full moon press spin moon guide the best. When his guide said A Day, 30 minutes before dark, you couldn't count the number of gun shots in the last hour. If A feeding time came an hour after dark, or even worse, 4 hours before dark, you might not hear a shot even on the weekend's. The weird exception was on a full moon when it was clear and very cold and a frost was going to fall early...lots of shots on those days too. Hope this helps. Get a moon guide and hunt by it but hunt smart...I will personally give you my gaurnteed to kill more deer. TBM...I mastered deer hunting long before turkey.

What if the Oct moon is later than the 25th. Will the rut get pushed back that deep in November?

I would go when your host thinks best:))

From: DC
You know, I think the reason TBM gives such weird answers to different subjects is because he hunts in Alabama. It is really messed up down here, especially on public hunting lands. The feed patterns he mentioned in relation to the moon can be somewhat predicted as deer tend to feed at mid-day during a full moon. Yes.

Everyone knows that deer love white oaks. Right? I have hunted over really good white oaks where the deer were obviously feeding under them by seeing all the deer sign left behind. Only to watch deer feed for over an hour on red oaks just out of bow range. Why? You could go into the, quote: Tannic acid / soil ph levels reasons, or “you could just say they were hungry for red oaks”.

As for the peak of the rut is concerned. You will here all kinds of things that have a negative effect on the rut. The Moon Phase, Someone has a corn feeder on the other property, The wind is too strong, Not enough wind, Wrong wind, Raining, too much hunting pressure and the list goes on. But you may also see a mature buck chasing a doe through a neighborhood where kids play or even down a four-lane highway during daylight hours with high traffic. Why? He is horny.

There are no absolutes when it comes to hunting, just the basics. That is what makes it a challenge. Just Hunt. Try to figure them out in all conditions and Have Fun!

My deer hunting has flipped twice since I started. Way back I use to hunt mornings and evenings. I tried mid mornings when I started working swing shift because it was such an early get up on 3/11 so I just slept in and hung at around 9. Mornings became almost as good as evenings. Flipped again when I began to hunt the moon.

From: 20 ft up
Never had an luck hunting a full moon phase.

From: treesitter
My two cents for what its worth. I keep very detailed logs, on the week of the full moon during the seek and chase phase of the rut, I consistently see considerably more miday ( 11:00 am to 2:00 pm ) mature buck movement.

From: writer
Ditto mid-day movement from my experience, mostly in Kansas.

Also, the last week of October doesn't seem to be as good here as some states.

It think I've only done two articles on gaggers that were killed the last week of October,...

I'll take the 16-26th, dark of the moon, rain after a dry spell and a cold drop in temps of about 30 degrees....and about once every decade I get all of those at the same time. :-)

By observation on my own success and others in camp, the deer will still rut not matter what, moon phase, unusual temps and so on.

The full moon activity picks up the night time breeding, feeding and chasing, however it's best to be on stand from mid day, 12pm - 3 pm.

Mid day hunts during this period are always productive, given you are close to a bedding / food source area.

IMO, and I'm no expert, the deer rut based on photoperiodism, mature bucks have been through it a few times and know exactly what does are first.

It's the immature bucks that give us the false read, very early.

Moon or no moon, high temps or bad weather, they will rut practically the same time every given year.

From: StormCloud
I hear you Charlie..That seemed to work before. This year I need to take one of those Bombers ... T-roy , I can go anytime ..,but once I decide I can only be gone for a week. Im trying to pin point my best odds. I know here in Upper Michigan Ive never had luck on times during a full moon phase. Then again since 99% of the bucks here are 1 1/2 year old spikes and forks. Its pretty tuff to kill that 1%er anytime.

From: Knife2sharp
I agree during a full moon, midday movement is the best. I also find, the week before the full moon, the first quarter, evenings tend to have good movement and the week after the full moon, 3rd quarter, mornings are best. During a new moon, morning and evenings are equally as good. This does coincide with the moon being high, but I also know that weather trumps the moon. With that being said, the moon may not play that much of a role as far as buck activity during the rut, but it can affect when and where the does are feeding. They don't tend to feed out in the open at night during a full moon, like they do during the darker periods. I don't necessarily use the moon to tell me when to hunt, but I use it help deciding which stands may be better. Most hunters have several stands that are better for mornings or evenings and sometimes both. I can't always sit midday, and I rarely hunt field edges during a full moon period, unless a front is moving in.

From: bowriter
The full moon or the moon in general has so little affect on deer, most hunters would not even notice it. 99% of the information you see or hear about the moon and deer is recycled pasture. Here is the only impact a full moon may have on deer. Notice the word "may".

There is some factual data that indicates deer may move slightly later in the morning on full moon days and may begin to move slightly earlier in the afternoon. That impact however, is slight.

There is some data indicating there may be some value to hunting during daylight periods when the "children's moon" is visible. That is the moon that can be seen while still daylight. Again, this impact is also slight.

That is the only empirical data available. The rest is primarily of the "I have always killed more deer on a waning moon cause deer feed all night and lay up all day when the moon is full" variety.

In other words, go to KS whenever it is best for you. The deer don't care.

From: Nalgi
Drycreek has observed what Solunar tables will tell you. Full moon means peak times are mid-day. New moon means peak times will be daylight and dusk.

Alot of people dont believe in Solunar tables but I have killed enough critters at the peak times to believe the moon does affect game movement.

Plan on sitting all day

The whitetails breeding cycle is very much tuned by light... sunlight and moonlight. Just simple science. After all, moonlight is simply reflected sunlight. The week of the Full Moon should be a great time to hunt this year. Good luck!


Buckstopshere's Link
There is really little "weirdness" about the Full Moon even though Halloween is right around the corner. A number of very accomplished hunters on this site seem to recoil from acknowledging the vast amount of science and empirical evidence that supports the premise that the moon effects whitetail breeding cycles. And they have done it for years, even though, rut timing in the Northern latitudes has been demonstrated to follow the basic formula of "peak breeding occurs a week after the second Full Moon past the Autumnal Equinox. There is no other rut predictor that even comes close, yet still so much doubt. Possibly many have a gut reaction against any explanation that is linked with "spooky" or weird answers. The moon and its effects, from vampires to embeded in our mythology. Hard for most to take a step back and reach a consciousness where we can get beyond our feelings.

I made a little you tube video on it back in 2009.

From: Hardcore
I've guided south central Kansas for ten years and I would personally avoid the moon like the plague if I had an option. The rut while the moon is on will still be good. It seems like in the morning hunt of the moon deer leave the fields and are beded well before daylight. There is not much difference in the evening.

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