Deer Hunting Moon Phases

Moon Phase Deer Hunting

Fisherman have known for years that moon phases affect fishing.  But what about deer hunting moon phases?  Does it affect them as well?  First let's take a look at what is a moon phase.

​The moon phases refers to the position of the earth, sun, and the moon.  The two phases that are the most important for hunting is the new moon and the full moon.  A new moon occurs when the moon is between the earth and the sun.  As you might expect this makes for the darkest nights.

​The full moon is the exact opposite.  The moon, earth, and sun are again in alignment but now the earth is between the moon and sun.  This means the sunlight side of the moon is exposed to the earth making for brighter nights.

Best Moon Phase for Deer Hunting

One theory on moon phases is that does come into heat within a few days surrounding the 2nd full moon after the autumn equinox.  The autumn equinox is usually around September 21st - 23rd.  By knowing this you can plan your hunts around this time as the bucks will be moving during the rut in hopes of breeding a doe.​

The other theory is that animals tend to move more during full moon periods.  Most deer tend to feed during the low light hours just as most animals do.  Observation shows that deer also tend to move more during the full moon bright periods than they do on the darker new moon times.

Unfortunately no serious tests or experiments have been ran in regards to deer hunting moon phases.   However, that shouldn't stop up from doing our own experiments.​

My Take

Personally, I think the moon phases do play a role in deer hunting.  But I also like to keep my own records.  Whenever, I've encountered deer while hunting or taken a deer during the season, I make a note of moon phase and weather conditions.  

It's these notes that are hugely important to helping me understand what are the best times during the day and months to deer hunt.  From what I've found moon phases do play a role but temperature plays a big role as well.  By combining the two, I can find the best days to hunt during the season.

I suggest you do your tests and see if you don't see a pattern.  Track the weather, date, and the moon phases.  I think you just might find that big dream buck is there around the full moon.  Happy hunting!​