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Moon phase and deer movement

Old 09-17-2005, 08:09 AM
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Default Moon phase and deer movement

I have tried to research this and found conflicting opinions,(and probably will here as well) regarding how the moon phase effects deer movement. I am not talking about breeding behavior, but how a bright moon effects how secure they feel. I have always been told and believed, that deer will bed down earlier on moonlit nights, and they will go to their bedding areas later on relatively moonless nights. As most of you know last year's first week of October featured a full moon, and this year it will be new. Should be interesting to observe the effect the opposites have, if any, on the lateness of morning deer movement. Any opinions or knowledge of this phenomena from the vast store of woodscraft on this board?
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Old 09-17-2005, 09:09 AM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

Good question, and I have followed moon phases for years in relation to deer movement. I have read tons of articles as well and the bad news is I have not noticed much of a difference. There are too many other factors that outweight moon phases such as storms, predators, hunting pressure, food availability, and breeding to name a few. I feel these are more important to deer movement than the phase of the moon. A controlled environment is the only way to test deer movements to moon phases yet there is still uncontrolled factors that come into play. However, I don't mean to discourage anyone from trying to get patterns becauseeven a slight advantage can be useful. I do know one thing for sure. I shot a 140" class 10 pointer two weeks into the season, which is usually a dead time, with a completely full moon above!
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Old 09-17-2005, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

My experience has been that MOST OF THE TIME, deer will bed earlier in the morning following a full moon -- if it's A CLEAR NIGHT. The evenings though have often been pretty good for me. It could be that the deer are hungry since they stopped feeding earlier tha usual.

That said -- I too killed a nice buck in the morning after a clear, full-moon night--but that was during the rut and he was grunting along after a doe.
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Old 09-17-2005, 01:13 PM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

This is one area I really haven't paid much attention to though I am sure there is some legitimacy to the claims. The only thing moon related that I have noted is that deer movement seems to be supressed during a full moon.
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Old 09-17-2005, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

I agree with your full moon theory,but not the moonless night theory.,I have noticed deer move mostly mid-day during full moon,evenings with a first quarter,mornings with a last quarter,and not much at all during a new moon.Also none of that matters when pressure or a hot doe comes in to play.
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Old 09-17-2005, 03:11 PM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

I just read an article, can't remember where...but it had to be one of my magazines. ANYWAY, they tried to prove some of these theorys/statements by a bunch of "EXPERTS" who were big Moon Junkies. The final results was, there are too many variables. Even when things were perfect to prove the moon theory.... it didn't happen regularly enough to be taken as fact. Nothing more than "Chance" odds. My advice, which has been proven...NOT!!!.... is to go whenever you can. You can't kill them sitting in the house. Deer get up and feed throughout the day and night. When they've fed for a while the flop and chew the cud. For all you spot lighter fokes...how many times have you pulled out into a field and turned on a light to find all the deer belly down taking a snooze. They quite often just flop inside the woodline and get up and feed when they feel like it through out the night. Even when they slink off to their daytime "Bedding areas" they still get up and urinate, munch a little and retire again. They just don't travel as far as they do at night.
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Old 09-17-2005, 03:44 PM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

My advice, which has been proven...NOT!!!.... is to go whenever you can. You can't kill them sitting in the house.
I subcribe to this theory as well. I have been asked, as I'm sure many here have, why are going out at 11:30 AM or whatever? My reply is "because this is when I can".
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:53 PM
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Default RE: Moon phase and deer movement

We have had grat luck at 11:30-1:30 especially during full moon,or after thanksgiving when the deer have had time to figure out most people are not in the woods at that time.I also agree with alot of what david said,however sometimes it does seem like the moon does have an effect on deer movement.Ihave kept records for quite a long time,and have killed most of my deer duringfirst quarter,then last quarter,then full moon,and finally a handfull during new moon.I would think deer would move more during shooting hours in new moon phase,but it seems to not be the case.Maybe deer movement is less concentrated,during new moon,and that's why they ramble less during that time....?I know for sure after thanksgiving it is hard to kill a deer down here,during shooting light.They have already had 2 months of pressure by then.
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