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Hunting The Moon Phase Does it Really Make a Difference?

DuckBuckGoose PHJ ProStaff - Cincinnati, OH

Moon phase calendarSome guys I know swear by hunting moon phase patterns. Others think it is an “old wives tale”. Honestly I'm not sure where I stand on this argument yet, but after studying the the theories around this a little more, there is some research to show that the various phases of the moon can have an effect on not only deer activity, but on deer mating behavior as well. Perhaps for these reasons, or their own personal experience, I hear more and more hunters are talking about moon phase deer hunting and using it as another tool in their arsenal as they try to take that big buck.

If you’re not yet familiar with moon phase hunting, one of the most popular theories suggests that the female deer’s reproductive cycle is influenced by the different phases of the moon. This theory also says that a doe’s reproductive cycle peaks in the three or four days surrounding the second full moon AFTER the Autumnal Equinox (which is around September 21-23, depending on the year). Due to their instinctual drive to breed, bucks are generally ver active around this time, and may be more easily seen during daylight hours, as they are moving about looking for "hot"does. If you would like to check out what the moonphase will be when planning your dates for "deer camp" or days off this fall, here are a couple of web sites that I found that you might find helpful:

In my opinion, the best resource to help you figure out the effect moonphase has on deer behaviour in your area, is keeping good records in your own hunting journal and coming to your own conclusion.  That's why we automatically append moonphase data to every hunting journal you make here on  If you haven't started tracking activity levels and moonphase by joining ProHuntersJournal, you can set up your hunting journal for free by clicking here.

To learn more about hunting the moon phase and the different phases of the rut this year, check out our 2011 Rut "Cheat Sheet" article. 

I can’t promise you that hunting the moon phase will help you harvest a trophy buck this year. But when it comes to hunting, it never hurts to try new things and keep learning. Good luck in the woods this fall and shoot straight!


Posted 10/4/2009
Great article like always. I suspect the moon phase does kick-start the does estrus cycles since the rut may vary each year by up to a couple weeks and photoperiod is always the same. It`s a controversial topic, but I believe it to be true.
Trophy Room
Joined: 7/8/2009
Posted 10/31/2009
I'm a firm beleiver in moon phase/solunar tables.I've seen game activity during the major/minor periods on too many occasions to dismiss it.Geese getting up and flying like clockwork when predicted,bucks standing in open fields at mid-day etc....there's definately something to it?I hunt ALL DAY whenever I'm able to,but sometimes just knowing that the predicted major activity period is nearing is enough inspiration to keep me shivering on stand for a couple more hours.
Joined: 10/29/2009

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