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Old 01-21-2010, 05:11 AM   #1
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Default Elk and the full moon

I am considering an archery hunt for elk in New Mexico with an outfitter. The week I am looking at falls during the full moon period. I've hunted whitetails for over 30 years and during the pre-rut and rut it is difficult to hunt mature bucks during the full moon, as they tend to move after dark. Is this true of elk too? This will be the hunt of a lifetime for me (I hope!!) and I don't want to do a hunt during a time when animal movement is not at it's best because of the moon phase. Thanks in advance for any help!!
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:35 AM   #2
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The weather conditions during your hunt will have a much greater impact on elk activity during the rut than the moon phase will.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
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There are some misconceptions out there about weather and moon phase when it comes to the elk rut.

The simple truth is neither affect the timing of the rut. The amount of daylight (called photoperiod) is what triggers the rut. However both will affect how the elk behave on a given day. If the weather is hot then the elk are active at night when it's cooler and tend to be less active all around. They are more active when the weather is cooler, but the rut timing hasn't changed.

If the moon is full elk tend to be more active at night and are wore out by the time the sun rises. In short the moon can be a bad thing.....pray for clouds. Having said that you can still be successful elk hunting during the full moon phase because you can go after the elk unlike whitetails where you're usually waiting for them. They will still repsond to calling if you get close enough to the herd in the timber.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howler View Post
The weather conditions during your hunt will have a much greater impact on elk activity during the rut than the moon phase will.
I agree, if the rut is full on, the moon will not be a major factor.

Best of Luck,
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkmtngear View Post
I agree, if the rut is full on, the moon will not be a major factor.

Best of Luck,
Jeff
I think it is a factor, one to be reckoned with. I've seen it myself but that doesn't mean you can't change your tactics though and have some success. Don't just take my word for it. Read these other opinions.

http://cabinchat.primos.com/lofivers...hp/t38188.html
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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The full moon will pull nails out of your roof and pull new planted potatoes right out of the ground. Why in the world would you want to hunt under a full moon unless its for coyotees???
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:37 AM   #7
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If your hunt is the last week in Sept. The elk will be hot but also grouped up as the big bulls will be running herds. The full moon will have an impact. It gives the elk light to do what they need to do[rut] at the coolest temps possible. So they will but they rut at night anyway. The day time temps prior to this time frame will also have an impact on how much activity you will see during the day. The real trick with elk hunting is being able to adjust to what is happening daily. Your guide should know what to do in any case.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:30 AM   #8
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I'd take nice cool day time temps. and a full moon before I'd wish for warm day time temps. and a dark moon.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:57 AM   #9
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I'd take nice cool day time temps. and a full moon before I'd wish for warm day time temps. and a dark moon.
Agreed and you do have a point.....my only point was to say that a full moon still can be a factor that can affect your hunt.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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You can sit here and worry about all of this but you will never be able to control it. There are so many factors that can change the elks habits at anytime, you being one of them. The key like stated is to be there and figure out what they are doing and make the plans. Unless you have the flexability to reschedule a few days in advance you will never know the weather conditions. You can time the moon phase but that is about it. Make you plans to go elk hunting and have fun. I promise you if this is your first elk hunt it will be the hunt of a lifetime no matter the outcome. There is nothing better that I have expirienced to date as far as hunting species. If you do your due diligence in picking an outfitter I am sure he will have you on elk.
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Last edited by Wheatley; 01-22-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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