Full Moon effect..?

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OK, the rifle opener is tomorrow. The ground is snowy, the weather is clear and cold. There is a full moon waning.

So, get up before dawn to walk out back because the deer are dancing in the moonlight?

Wait till the sun's up since the deer are sleeping in because they were reading in bed late?

Either/Or because the full moon messes everything up anyway?

Thoughts please.
 
My thoughts? Hunters are a superstitious lot and are generally very poor at statistical analysis of their own memories. They have their lucky hunting underwear/shirt/coat/rifle/what-have-you and if a correlation is noted, it can readily become fact as a matter of story telling. Sadly, my lucky underwear wore out years ago. I hunt hogs and in the hog world, there are those that are very pro full moon and those that are against it.

Last night, I was reading the hunting progress of the gentleman on another forum that noted the full moon and lack of deer activity. This was echoed by another poster that said it was actually true, so there is apparently some common knowledge on this? Well, I am reading the texts in near real time (+10 minutes) while sitting in a field waiting on hogs, a field with 9 deer browsing in it. This was the same full moon as the OP, yet I am seeing the one thing I don't want to be seeing which is lot of deer, LOL. My point? Either you are where the animals are, or you aren't. He wanted deer but had an empty field. At the same time I wanted hogs but had a bunch of deer. Neither of us were happy. However, had I blown off hog hunting because the moon was full, then I would have missed out on the hogs we found about an hour later. The bottom line is that you won't even get an opportunity if you are back home. prostrate on the couch, contemplating your astrological hunting horoscope.

Don't skip hunting because some celestial event isn't supposed to be beneficial. If you have the chance to hunt and you want to, go hunt! You can rest assured that not all deer read the same playbook. Not all hogs did, either.

Here is one of many articles on the subject, with some various opinions of lunar impact on deer.
 
I've seen both, either good moon light the deer are up moving early and seen where they stay up most of the night and they wake late morning to last lunch. Weather and hunting pressure probably affect what they do, but with snow on the ground, cold and a full moon I'd think they would be moving early.
 
The full moon this time of year is supposed to trigger the rut in many places. I've found the week before to more accurately predict it. I see deer up and feeding near noon during a new moon in all months. There is something to the moon's effects on individual organisms otherwise we wouldn't have "lunatics". ;)
 
Thoughts please.
Dad always said that when there's a full moon, deer (I'm talking mule deer) will feed all night, and bed down in the heavy timber or thick brush during the day. I'm sure Dad knew what he was talking about, but I believe whether or not mule deer stay "brushed up" during the day depends a lot more on hunting pressure than how much light there was for them to feed in the night before.
On the other hand, I've seen very few really large, mule deer bucks out walking around in the middle of the day during hunting season. I tend to think that one of the reasons why those old boys got so big is because they stay bedded down during the day - especially when they hear rifle shots in the hills. ;)
 
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The only thing the full moon does is allows the deer & other animals to feed all night. That way they are beading down before sunrise with full bellies & usually don't get up until noon or a little after to get water. Or at least that's the way it is in my hunting woods.
During full moon I hunt water holes from about 10am to sunset when the deer get back up to start feeding again. The only exception in if it's dead cold the deer will move to stay warm, but they don't move very far.
 
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The full moon this time of year is supposed to trigger the rut in many places. I've found the week before to more accurately predict it. I see deer up and feeding near noon during a new moon in all months. There is something to the moon's effects on individual organisms otherwise we wouldn't have "lunatics". ;)
I think here we are in the late to post rut phase by now.
 
I think here we are in the late to post rut phase by now.
It depends on where you're located. When I hunted in Alabama near Selma, the does didn't come into estrus before the end of January. Some parts of Florida (southern) have the rut in late July into August while along the Georgia border the does come in about mid January. Where I live it's about November 15th.
 
I think an incoming cold front affects deer behavior more than moon phase.
I have found that you can go by some of the Hunt/Fish solunar tables in September and October but when the fronts start, they determine deer feeding times.
In Alabama we had winter fronts that were mostly cold rain and lasted about 3 days. If I got in the woods on the last day of the front in my wool clothes, the deer came out in droves just as the rain quit. As soon as it cleared and the bluebird skies showed up along with the NW wind, a deer was hard to find.
 
I think an incoming cold front affects deer behavior more than moon phase.
View attachment 1181784
I snapped this pic the evening before the temp dipped into the teens. There were 19head in this group...another group was feeding about ½mile to the north.
If you see a cold front headed your way, get set up near the groceries!
I believe that also.
 
A full moon has never stopped me from going out.
mostly because there are never “absolutes” hunting deer.
But, my experience is that on the nights of a full moon I have never seen deer in the evening until after shooting light has passed.
Again, that is just my experience, but is agreed on by many of my hunting friends.
 
The only thing the full moon does is allows the deer & other animals to feed all night.

I spend 98% of my hunting time hunting at night using thermal and night vision. I can assure you that the full moon doesn't allow for deer and other animals to feed at night. They browse and feed quite well on pitch black nights with no moon.
 
Deer do tend to feed and move more at night when there is a full moon. They also move to bedding areas and cover earlier. But they are still in their territory. They don't have caves to hide in. They sometimes move during the day. The people I hunt with like to only hunt to 9 AM, then again after 3:30 or 4 in the evening. And they like to all move to stands together. I have shot many deer during the day when I hunted alone. This year I went to my stand about two PM and shot a deer before anyone else even got out. I told them you can't shoot your deer sitting on the couch.
 
Don't skip hunting because some celestial event isn't supposed to be beneficial. If you have the chance to hunt and you want to, go hunt! You can rest assured that not all deer read the same playbook. Not all hogs did, either.
Well sure, but when you're juggling work and family responsibilities, and have to find time to hunt, it would be nice to be going on a day when you think the odds are in your favor. I don't know when that is, but I believe (no statistics to back it up) that when it is cold up north with high winds, the deer try to stay out of the wind.

I know that weather fronts affect fishing. We fished a particular lake for a week every year around the same week and our best days were just before a storm front came through and during the rain. Once the rain stopped, forget it. That's Miller time.
 
Pennsylvania's 10 year study on deer movement. Oddly, moon phase played no real role. Here is an early result, but the study is ongoing. Basically, moon phase did nothing for deer movement. https://www.deer.psu.edu/wandering-in-the-moonlight/
That was very interesting. Thanks for the link. What I find most surprising is how little the deer moved during the study. Even the peak hour, the deer only moved about 130m. In addition to the average distance moved, it would be interesting to know the standard deviation, or some other measure to estimate what proportion of deer are on the move and likely to pass by a hunter.
 
wombat, the study has completely 10 years and 1200 deer studied and it ongoing. They apparently released more up to date data, but the folks that seem to be talking about it don't seem to have an original citation and I haven't found one yet...but there is supposedly more data available. Of course, it is going to be somewhat geo-specific
 
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