Contributors to this thread:
Is it better to plan an elk hunt on a darker moon phase, or is that not an issue with elk movement? Thanks
Hmm good question. Im surprised nobody has ever brought this up on bowsite.
Lol...I got to my hunt (16th) right after the full moon this year...Zero affect on Elk that I saw...My last Bull was killed during a full moon, with again, zero affect seen on the Elk...
Weather was way more a factor...
Ask the Drury bros...
I just checked this years moon phase for Sept. I killed mine on full moon. Looking to book a hunt next year and was getting opinions on this issue.
Agree with others, weather trumps moon phase!
Here is my moon phase data from 5 years ago... Ive posted it here a few times :) We've killed a pile of elk since then but havent kept track of the moon... for obvious reasons
Since you asked... I went thru this little exercise a five years ago with another guy who ran my numbers.
Me and my buddies have taken 22 elk [archery] in the past 10 years [2004-2014]
16 harvests were in a moon phase of 50% visibility OR LESS [some were new moon, 1st quarter, etc] 6 harvests were in a moon phase of 90% visibility OR MORE [very near or at full moon]and quick research shows 3-4 days on either side of the full moon date have > 90% or more. Shall we say 7 days are 90% or more visibility? And approx 14 days have < 50%
Category Observed Expected # Expected
1 <50% 16 11 50.000%
2 >90% 6 6 27.273%
3 50-90% 0 5 22.727%
Chi squared equals 7.273 with 2 degrees of freedom. The two-tailed P value equals 0.0263
According to the analysis we did better than expected when the moon was dark, about what you would expect near a full moon, and less than you'd expect (zero) when the moon was out but not bright. It shows some evidence that it's better hunting during darker moon, but I wouldn't schedule a hunt around it.
There are only certain dates set by the game departments that you can legally harvest an elk or deer. They do not consider what phase the moon is in during those dates.
So to sum it all up, hunting season is only so long. Just get out there and hunt.
I prefer it full......lot easier to stumble around in the dark that way ;)
Last year full moon was crickets... nothing talking. This year it was like someone slipped Viagra into the creek. My guess is that about every other environmental condition has way more impact on rut activity than moon phase.
The shortening of daylight has the effect of cows going into estrus, not moonlight.