Sitka Gear
elk and the full moon
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
[email protected] 12-Sep-22
Hancock West 12-Sep-22
Inshart 12-Sep-22
WapitiBob 12-Sep-22
bowyer45 12-Sep-22
Bowaddict 12-Sep-22
scentman 13-Sep-22
swede 16-Sep-22
ohiohunter 16-Sep-22
Rocky D 16-Sep-22
Rocky D 16-Sep-22
Marc W. 16-Sep-22
Marc W. 16-Sep-22
[email protected] 16-Sep-22
Hancock West 16-Sep-22
swede 17-Sep-22
recurve43 17-Sep-22
Tracker 17-Sep-22
WV Mountaineer 17-Sep-22
WapitiBob 17-Sep-22
swede 17-Sep-22
Rocky D 17-Sep-22
Hancock West 17-Sep-22
Ambush 17-Sep-22
ohiohunter 18-Sep-22
WV Mountaineer 18-Sep-22
fdp 18-Sep-22
12-Sep-22
Sept 10, Full Moon, A recent article states the following: Werewolves aren’t the only creatures reputed to get a little crazy under a full moon. Lots of species are especially active when the moon is full—elk included. And the moon is full 12 times a year, unless it’s a year with a “blue moon” when one lucky month boasts two. Two full moons can occur in any month except for February, which is shorter than the 29.53-day lunar cycle, even on a leap year.

Whether the official number is 12 or 13 per year, each full moon gives elk a chance to cut loose. Biologists have observed that during the full moon phase elk are particularly active at night because they can see better to feed and spot predators more easily. This full moon confidence boost means that they stay out all night instead of foraging in just the early mornings and late evenings. The result is akin to an elk hangover—especially during the rut. By the time the sun replaces the moon, elk are exhausted and overindulged to the point they stay bedded down until night rolls around again. This can be a serious downer for hunters hoping to catch elk out and about during daylight hours.

What happens when the full moon coincides with the peak of the rut? Well, to put it modestly, bulls bugle, battle and breed all night. Some data suggests that conception rates might even spike during those wild nights of uninterrupted wooing.

From: Hancock West
12-Sep-22
I believe the same thing happens with whitetail.

From: Inshart
12-Sep-22
Although I have never kept "data" on the full moon phase, I will say that it seems that I see more whitetail between 10AM and about 2PM on full moon nights, which to me makes sense, up all night, get up to flex mid day, back down for a nap.

From: WapitiBob
12-Sep-22
I’ve followed bugling bulls till 11am the morning after a full moon in multiple states. Evidently the elk I hunt don’t read the internet.

From: bowyer45
12-Sep-22
If you wait for perfect conditions you won't hunt many days at least the way the weather has been these last few years. I believe that yes the elk do bed earlier during a full moon which means you should hunt them earlier before they bed. Most hunters though are hours late in getting to the spots the elk crossed at the very crack of light. Of course that is only possible if you know the elk in your hunting area. Its a short hunt but very deadly. Puts them on a more constant time schedule.

From: Bowaddict
12-Sep-22
Killed my bull Friday about same time I’ve shot many, full moon or not, 6:00 p.m. killed my biggest during full moon at 7:30 a.m. I’ve also had crappy days during full moon, I think weather is a bigger factor.

From: scentman
13-Sep-22
Charles Alshimer wrote articles and books on this very same subject for Whietails to the exact sequence that Paul stated about Elk... if you have ever bartended on a fool moon you now it effects on animalistic behavior. ;0)

From: swede
16-Sep-22
I used to keep a log of my elk kills including day and time. This season I shot a 5X5 on September 12 at 6PM. Hunt every day you can and don't pay attention to moon phase.

From: ohiohunter
16-Sep-22
Sex crazed animals are more active (amazing observation, I know), outside the rut conditions and moon are more of a factor. But I do believe a new moon during the rut leads to more daylight action.

It’s not about what you kill and when, it’s more about how many animals are roaming vs not. I think deer hunters are more likely to see the “theories” in action bc they’re usually tactically stationary compared to run n gun’n.

Over head and under foot ungulate activity.

From: Rocky D
16-Sep-22
“ Hunt every day you can and don't pay attention to moon phase.”

That will work but if you only have six days to hunt I would definitely not plan it to coincide with the full moon unless that’s the only time you have to hunt.

I watch the effects of the full moon year around with a four month deer season and year around pig hunting I have found that you can kill during this phase but typically I see less animals.

This is especially true when dealing with the Georgia heat.

From: Rocky D
16-Sep-22

From: Marc W.
16-Sep-22

From: Marc W.
16-Sep-22
My elk action in Wyoming slowly tapered off as the moon got fuller. Bugling went from several different bulls daily to nonexistent. Just my observation on the first 10 days of the season.

16-Sep-22
I agree, get out and hunt when you can. Following Colorado elk success for 2019, 20, and 21 .

Not scientific but.......I have found out, less activity in the early AM with Full moon.

2019, Full moon, Sept 14, New moon on Sept 28 , Killed bull Sept 3, 9 am, 12 days before Full.

2020, Full moon Sept 2, New moon on Sept 17 , Killed bull Sept 17, 7 pm, Ten day before Full.

2021, Full moon Sept 20, New noon on Oct 6, Kill bull on Sept 15, at 7:15 PM. Two days before Full.

From: Hancock West
16-Sep-22
Its not that you cant kill animals during a full moon your just less likely too. You see less movement and you can only hunt so early. The hunt all you can method only works if you live somewhat close to the animals your hunting. Being 1000+ miles from elk country and likely to only having a few chances to chase them in a lifetime you can bet if i were to book a hunt with an outfitter it wouldnt be on or near a full moon.

From: swede
17-Sep-22
It's not that you can't kill animals during a full moon your just less likely too.

I must disagree. With over 30 elk kills, I have found no correlation between moon phase and elk hunting success. I have seen a huge difference between sitting on the couch at home and being in the elk woods hunting.

From: recurve43
17-Sep-22
What Swede said!

From: Tracker
17-Sep-22
I hunted WY the week of the Full Moon. Bulls were very quite during the day after 730 and were not heard until just before dark. They did answer our bugles during theses times but it was obvious they were headed to bed early.

17-Sep-22
Hunt when you can. But, the moon affects the times ungulate, squirrels, birds, fish, etc… are most active. It’s undisputed.

From: WapitiBob
17-Sep-22
Yea, like global warming.

From: swede
17-Sep-22
It seems that one of the most prevalent myths surrounding deer movement is the moon phase. There have been many studies that did not find a correlation between the phase of the moon and deer movement. Our study, however, found that deer movement increased at a new moon (little to no moonlight) and a full moon (the most moonlight) (below, chart A). One concern of this study was that a full moon occurred twice during the rut. To ensure this was not influencing the movement peak we saw at the full moon, we analyzed deer captures and the moon phases of movement during fawning and the rut (below, chart B). However, the graphical analyses do not show the rut having an important impact on the number of instances captured on the full or new moon. Outdoor Life May 2022 The study was done in the State of Pennsylvania.

From: Rocky D
17-Sep-22
Study was conducted on doe only for the month of October.

Hmm, doe are moving between crop fields and acorns and are probably moving less than most any other time of the year!

To quote the head deer biologist for the state of Ohio he said “when there’s lots of acorns in the woods it’s really tough to hunt the deer because you got to get within their 150 yard circle.”

So I don’t know how conclusive that this study can be taken!

From: Hancock West
17-Sep-22
Ive hunted deer for 25years and to say daylight sightings arent affected by a full moon is non sense. Our daytime sighting go down by a minimum of 70% like clockwork. It affects it in a major way almost or worse than severe storms & high temperatures. We always see them in the fields on the way to the farm well before sunrise when they can't be hunted.

From: Ambush
17-Sep-22
Can't remember which one it was but, one magazine used to have to the "Soluner Calendars" with the best time to hunt and fish. Some folks followed them religiously and swore they were bang. They only killed game when the calendar said they would, But then they only hunted those days. Kind'a like the guy that has his favorite lure that catches ninety five percent of his fish.

From: ohiohunter
18-Sep-22
25yrs! No way.

Everything influences animal behavior in one sense or another. Living things respond to stimuli, moon, weather, pressure, seasons, vegetation, joggers, vehicles, etc. So thinking your 0.0000001% observation of the whole are definitive is an act of futility. Do you really think the activity you observe in high pressure Midwest whitetail woods is the same thing that is happening in the high desert? Hey, if your tactics work by all means have at it, but don’t think your experiences reflect the whole. Maybe if you say “the science says” before your claim it will be more valid?

18-Sep-22
My science says animals react to the moon. To me, that’s all that matters. To Bob and Swede, not so much. If I were hunting with them, we’d hunt the same. No matter the moon.

From: fdp
18-Sep-22

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