If you've done any deer hunting at all, you know the Moon phase plays a part in the behavior of deer. Not only Whitetail Deer, but Mule Deer and other game animals. I know people who will not go deer hunting when the Moon is full. You don't have to miss out on some of of the hottest hunting of the deer season just because the Moon is full. Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of any Moon phase during the deer hunting season.
Here are my experiences with the different Moon phases during the hunting season. These are not cut in stone as many circumstances other than the Moon phase can influence deer movement, such as other Hunters, weather fronts, predators and the rut. All things being equal, here is what I've learned over the years. I use the Moon Guide to help me figure out the best times to be hunting. It's just another tool in my Buck hunting arsenal!
Full Moon At Night - Clear to Partly Cloudy Skies During the Day - No Rut
This has to be one of the toughest times to hunt unless it's the rut. Deer, and most all game animals, will start moving shortly after dusk. They'll feed throughout the night and generally bed down before dawn. Sometime around mid morning to the middle of the day, they'll get up briefly.
The best times I've had for hunting in this Moon phase has been the times of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If I think that I'll not be able to sit all day, then I hunt between 9 and 3. You'll be surprised at the deer, including bucks, you'll see up during the middle of the day.
I'd have my stand near the bedding areas. Deer will get up and move, but they'll not likely head to the major feeding areas unless a front is coming in.
Full Moon At Night - Clear To Partly Cloudy Skies During the Day - Rut
When this situation happens, I'm hunting the does. This is almost like the situation above, however does will feed closer to fields and open areas. The bucks will either be with the Does or scent checking them downwind.
I normally set up downwind of the food source. If there is an edge of thinner timber and thicker timber, I'll set up just inside the thicker timber knowing that a bucks prefer to stay in the thick stuff and use their nose to scent check the Does.
The only exception to this is if I know a Doe is in rut. If I see one that's in rut, I'm hanging with that gal because a buck will walk down the middle of an interstate to stay with her.
Being this is the rut, I'll hunt nearly all day long. I'll switch off stands if I think it's necessary. For example, I might hunt the bedding areas from dawn till midday and then slip into another stand in a feeding area about 1 till dawn.
In fact, now that I think about it, if the rut is on, I hunt the Does no matter what the weather. The only way I'll switch up is if I see a buck with a Doe heading into a thicket. He's likely herding her there so he can keep close dibs on her and keep her away from other bucks.
Like the old saying goes, when the rut is on, all bets are off!
Full Moon at Night - Overcast Skies During The Day
This situation is nearly as good as anything. Overcast skies tend to make the deer more comfortable and they seem to move much more freely during the day.
In situations like this, I'm hunting just downwind of food sources or in the transition zones. I feel the Moon has minimal effect under these conditions. Overcast skies are generally an indication that either a front is moving in or has moved in, minimizing the effects of the moon.
Full Moon During the Day - Bright Skies
Pack a lunch! Especially if it's the rut!
I don't know what it is about a Full Moon during the day, but if could choose any weather to hunt, it would be a bright day with the moon above during the Rut. I'd bet I'd kill a good buck also.
Even the early season and the late season seems to be good times to hunt when the Moon is out during the day.
Full Moon During The Day - Overcast Skies
Once again, I believe weather fronts and overcast skies minimalize the Moons affect on deer. I don't consider this time to be all that special, so I'll probably be in my normal hunting patterns unless the skies are forecasted to clear.
Blue Moon Months
For those of you who do not know what a Blue Moon is, it's the second full moon of a Month. It doesn't happen very many times. If it happens in November, baby I'm hunting the second Full Moon period for sure!
I don't know why the second Moon of a month has such a strong attraction on deer, but from my experience it does. I'm hunting all day on Blue Moon days no matter when the Moon is full - day or night. For me, it's simply one of the best times to hunt ever!