Solunar Correlation Hog Hunting Results: 2019 & 2020

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Double Naught Spy, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I know some hunters live and hunt by solunar tables. If so, my results may not fit your paradigm

    Years ago when I got into hunting, I was looking for anything to help increase my success with hogs. I learned about the solunar tables and major and minor peak periods when animals were most apt to be "moving" based on the relative positions of the sun and moon (which is not the same thing as how much illumination is provided). Apparently, the solunar tables were developed in the early 20th century based on fishing results and tested and confirmed accordingly. Apparently, these periods correlated with tides and when fish tended to be feeding the most. Somewhere along the way, somebody decided it must also work for ALL terrestrial animals as well, regardless of species...which is rather bizarre given the lack of testing to validate the broad spectrum usage.

    My initial testing years (2011?) ago was with just correlating with hogs showed up at my feeder. There was some inherent bias there. Even so, I often found hogs not present during solunar peaks despite there being corn on the ground and hogs showing up during off periods more frequently than during peak periods. This indicated to me that the theory might be flawed and I gave up on it.

    The question came up again in 2019 when somebody pointed out that my videos contain the data necessary for re-examining this issue for hogs (times and dates, and I know the locations). At this point, I am doing exceptionally little hunting over a feeder and so I am out finding hogs on other people's properties. So the bias of using a feeder is largely gone.

    For those of you who don't know, for any given day, there are usually two minor peak periods of 1 hour each and two major peak periods of 2 hours each. So basically, 1/4 of every day includes peak periods. In Vegas, those would be great odds, no?

    I made 102 observations on hogs when I hunted them in 2019 from 76 nights of hunting where I saw hogs. That is out of 160-170 total nights of total of hunting (so I didn't see squat a lot of the nights). A hog "observation" was any uniquely identified time I saw (and usually went after) hogs. If I watched a single field during the course of 8 hours and went after hogs 3 different times, then that would be 3 observations. Of those observations, 16 were during solunar major periods, 8 were during minor solunar periods and 78 were during non-solunar periods. In other words, slightly less than 1/4 of the observations were during solunar periods and slightly more than 3/4 were during non-solunar periods. This seems to correlate well with the fact that solunar periods only comprise slightly less than 1/4 of the time and non-solular periods comprise just over 3/4 of the time. This indicates to me that solunar periods have no real bearing on hog hunting given that when I actually did see hogs, statistically the odds were no better than random chance that it would be during a solunar peak period.

    So for 2020, I actually noted in my videos when I spotted hogs whether it was during a solunar major period, solunar minor period, or not during a peak at all. I had 253 observation events where I saw (and usually went after) hogs. Of those, 201 were during non-solunar periods, 37 during major periods and 18 during minor periods. So in 2020, not only did the solunar tables fail to predict increased hunting success (actually seeing hogs) during peak periods, these periods actually produced less results (only 20%) and off peak periods saw hogs at 80% (so, higher than expected).

    Given that I did not see a higher than random chance expected number of hogs during the solunar peak periods that are supposed to be when the hogs are really moving and hence when hunting is supposed to be better, it is my contention that the solunar tables are not valid for predicting when hogs are apt to be moving. After I posted my 2019 results on a local hunting forum, I was informed by some solunar advocates that the solunar tables are good predictors of animal movement and that my results are flawed because I did not take into account all other factors such as weather, hunting pressure in the area, road noise, ranching activity, etc. etc. etc. and I was assured that all other things being equal, that solunar tables are good predictors for when animals will be moving, including hogs. I thought this was an amazing position to take because there is no way to control for all other factors and on any two nights, all other factors are never equal.

    In looking at hog behavior, about the only times that hogs are NOT 'moving' is when they are bedded, wallowing, birthing, or injured. The rest of the time they are feeding, watering, mating, or on the way to feed, water, or mate. So it is my contention that using solunar tables to schedule hunts is not apt to actually be beneficial to hunting success. You are as likely and potentially more likely to find hogs during non peak times than during peak times. The only thing that is certain, however, is that if you don't go after hogs (such as because it isn't during a solunar peak), you definitely won't get any hogs. Never pass up an opportunity to hunt hogs because it isn't a solunar peak period.
     
  2. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    My dad used to swear by the Solunar Tables for fishing, especially when fishing for Muskies. We had to be on the water during a peak time, regardless of time of day or weather and many times, if there was not a major period at sunrise, he would sleep in. Always tickled him when us boys would get up before light and hit the water when the chart showed low success and we would come home empty handed. He would be sitting' at the kitchen table with a empty coffee cup and dirty plate from breakfast, and tell us how sweet it was to sleep in. Over the years I did see a correlation between the tables and success, but found that dusk and dawn, and low light periods due to weather are still the best for fish and game. High Pressure or after a cold front still shuts off the fish, and even peak times based on the chart are dead times. Just one more tool in the toolbox, if used appropriately.
     
  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I have found no correlation between solunar tables with deer later in the season. In the early bow season (Sept.) they work fairly well if I subtract an hour from what they say. When cold fronts start moving through, the tables are useless IMO.
    I hunt deer prior to and during lulls in the rain. As soon as the skies clear and give 'bluebird days', the deer seem to hold tight and not move much. Light drizzle is usually good weather to hunt although it can get miserable at times.
     
  4. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    As far as all the 'other' variables go, there's a statistical thing called Autocorrelation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autocorrelation
    That is, the extraneous noise is random and it eventually cancels itself out if you take enough samples. The noise will diminish and the signal will remain. I think you've made a good case for believing that Solunar Tables are not good predictors of hog activity.
     
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I've yet to see Solunar Tables taken as seriously by hunters as they are by fishermen. Mostly because the basis for the tables are tides and the magnetic pulls on bodies of water(and human and animal bodies are 50-70% water) by the sun and moon. Back long before I has ever heard of Solunar Tables, my grandpa always told me to make sure to be fishing when the moon is directly overhead. This came from personal observations he made long before John Alden Knight revealed his theory in 1926. Native Americans had names for full moons based on hunting during those times long before Europeans appeared in the horizon. Many old beliefs are now known to have basis in fact. I know of some deer hunters that swear by the moon phase and deer movement, yet studies done in Texas show no significant changes in deer behavior, other than during a full moon they may be able to see food and predators more easily at night, and thus, may be slightly more active or relaxed. I believe that weather and the ability of fish and game to detect upcoming changes in weather, have much more affect on behavior than the sun and moon. I have had the best days of my life fishing on lakes right before a thunderstorm hits, while friends fishing on a lake outside of the immediate storm area have a unsuccessful day on the water. Many times those days I saw multiple hawks hunting while driving to a deer stand, were also the days I saw the most deer. Many times, weather changed while I was on stand or immediately after I got out. Many times those changes were not predicted by the weatherman. There were a few times when after a evening stand of seeing many deer and letting an arrowed deer lay till the next morning, because I was insure of the hit and because there was no rain predicted, I woke up to rain before the sun rose and I could get back on the blood. I have a large bird feeder down at my son's property that I look at when going out to my evening stand during bow season. Outside of the rut, activity at the feeder is a good indication of how active the deer and squirrels will be that night. Those times when I see a ton of squirrel activity, I generally see deer.....and then there are those days when nuttin' is moving, not even the squirrels.
     
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  6. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I don't know about comparing seriousness of hunters versus fishermen, but over the years I have dealt with some extremely adamant hunters who lived by solunar tables for scheduling their hunts. I have upset more than one by suggesting scheduling hog hunting around solunar peaks is a waste of time. As I noted above, there has been some actual studies that validate solunar theory for fishing.

    I don't doubt this to be be true for you where you are hunting. Location specific activity can be very specific to a given location. I used to be amazed how I could be hunting in a blind on my property and my buddy was hunting less than 3 miles away on his property and how the activity at his place could be completely different than what was going on at my place. This was part of what initially bothered me about the solunar angle as we were both in the same solunar geographic area. Some nights, of course, we would see very similar things. Other times, very different.

    I am not a deer hunter, but I do hog hunt a lot of properties (spot and stalk) under crepuscular and nocturnal conditions. About the only times I am definitively less apt to see hogs are during heavy down pours, during sleet events, and during high winds. With that said, I am not apt to be doing a lot of hunting anymore during heavy down pours. I have shot a bunch of hogs during light rains/scattered showers. As for high winds (>15-20 mph), some of my best hunts have been in high winds, but getting hogs in open pastures during high winds is rare for me. High wind hunts are often great because if you play the wind right, the hog won't smell you and the noise generated by the wind will cover any noises you make during your stalk. Otherwise as I noted above, hogs are on the move most of the day with some limited exceptions. They move when no storms/fronts are coming. They move when the storms/fronts are coming. The move between bands of showers. They move after storms have passed. It is because of this frequency of movement that it would seem that the solunar tables are such a poor predictor of hog motion, as well as a lot of other oft used factors.
     
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Just relating my experience. Over the years I have been given a ton of free calendars from banks and other businesses. Many of them have the "best" fishing days on then, denoted by a fish symbol of some kind by the date. Never have seen one with a animal instead of a fish showing best "hunting" days. Might come down to the fact that hunting seasons are shorter than fishing? Hog season in the south is a year round proposition, so maybe folks are pickier on what days they hunt? Around here the gun deer season is 9 days.....and opening weekend everyone and their brother is out, regardless of what the tables say. Wild turkey season is dependent on which week you draw a tag for, so again, you hunt regardless of the Tables or the weather.

    My experience is also that folks either swear by the Tables, or they swear they are a hoax. For the most part, I think they are a confidence thing. Regardless of fishing or hunting, the more confident the person is that is doing it, generally the harder they work at it and the more successful they are. While folks still primarily hunt/fish the low light periods of dusk and dawn, maybe having a major in the middle of the day makes them stay out a tad longer and thus have more success?
     
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  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    It may be a confidence thing, like wearing your lucky shirt, and then is backed up selectively by confirmation bias. Part of the reason I my analysis and would record on video for my geographic location whether or not it was during a solunar major period, solunar minor period, or not during a solunar period was to help remove the issue of confirmation bias. (sorry, mixing 'peaks' and 'periods' as different solunar sources use different terminology for the same thing)

    Sometimes. Sometimes they just dupe themselves like folks who use miracle products and note their successes that result, only it wasn't the product. For example, people that use magnets on their fuel lines or using the tornado/vornado fuel vortex spinners that report getting better gas mileage...only when tested in blind tests, the products failed to work.

    While I don't doubt deer hunters do this, hog hunters are fairly notorious for believing in miracle attractants "that really bring in the hogs." I have had guys bring them out to my place to help assure we would have a good hunt and then they are shocked when they didn't work...and then the excuses start, sort of like the folks with solunar tables proclaiming how good they work, unless something keeps them from working. So basically, the claims are that the product or method is proclaimed to be wonderful when it works, but when it doesn't work, it fault is always elsewhere and NOT with the product or method. Funny how that works.
     
  9. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    Mammals, especially herbivores, are dependent on their feeding/digestion cycles. These are counted in hours, and in many species correspond with specific times of the day. The location of their feeding depends on vegetation, and their movements are determined by the relationship between grazing/browsing ground, water, and resting ground. No much space for the sun-moon dance in there...
     
  10. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    Well when I clicked on your post and there was not a video of you shooting hogs at night I was instantly sad. But, this is good info and meshes with an ongoing suspicion of mine. Appreciate the post, good info:)
     
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  11. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I think there is “something” to the solunar charts. I’ve seen them be proven right too many times. But I think location and conditions must be favorable in order to see the activity. Whether that be for mammals or fish. And nothing in 100% all the time. Some people are happy and active on sunny days (high barometric pressure) I’m most happy and most active on overcast days (low barometric pressure).

    If you’re hunting public land, and the chart says that the major period is going to be between 10:00-13:00. You’re odds of seeing the activity are going to be basically zero if you’re hunting a 5 acre field and the wind is blowing 25mph. But if your in the thick stuff, I think you your odds go up greatly.

    Likewise, if you’re fishing Ray Roberts lake for largemouth in March, and the major time is 07:00-09:30, fishing in the middle of the open water likely isn’t going to produce much activity. However, if you’re back in a creek where the water is in the 60’s or even 70’s, you very well may see an increase.

    When you speak of confidence, I have seen that absolutely ruin a fisherman in tournaments. And it’s honestly something to watch. I’ve seen them be in the lead by a small margin but they’re on fire. And they break off a big fish or lose it at the boat. They get ticked off and they don’t catch another fish for the rest of the day and lose the tournament. It’s really something.

    I have not seen it happen as much in hunting. But I have had days where I’m just not feeling right about the area, or maybe I’ve got something going on at work, and never see a thing.
     
  12. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I threw out solunar tables years ago. I simply could not find any correlation between the charts and when deer/pigs showed up on trail cameras. If a major feeding period just happens to line up with the times I can be in the woods, I consider it a plus, but I don’t plan hunts around those tables.
     
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  13. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I have checked the tables for several years now and have seen it pretty close most of the time, but a weather change does make a difference. While sitting in a blind with the land owner he asked when the major time was. I told him 5 -7 after checking my GPS. Later he pointed at 2 does and then his watch. It was 4:45. The last buck that I shot was choreographed. I had to ship guns and missed the minor time that morning. Major time started at noon. I shot my buck at 12:30.
     
  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    So what I understand when most folks tell me how well solunar tables work is a lot of confirmation bias. They recall the times it works and proclaim it to be a good indicator, but forget or ignore the times when it didn't work, and/or then blame the failure on other factors. At that point, it becomes non-falsifiable (and invalid) because they are defacto giving credit only when it works and blaming other factors when it does not.
     
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  15. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Hogs move because:

    • They are Hungry
    • They are Thirsty
    • They are Hot
    • They are Cold
    • They are seeking a safe place
    • They are fleeing an unsafe place
    • They are procreating (or seeking a mate with which to do so)

    I can think of nothing concerning moon phase or its position that would bring about or alter any of the above.

    If a hog is Hungry, Thirsty, Hot, Cold....etc. It WILL take measures to correct the issue based on when and how it is safe to do so (AND a host of other influences) but NOT because the moon 'says so'. Certainly not that the moon in any way gets them feeling all froggy inside. They could give a damn. They move when they want/need/have to.....period.

    In over 30 years of hunting hogs (Deep East Texas, Pineywoods, so this might be area specific) the ONLY thing I've noticed is that hogs seem quite nervous (or at least more alert) on bright, moonlit nights. Clearly preferring to travel or expose themselves under the cover of darkness. Now....I don't consider that behavior to be borne of Moon Phase, its simply a 'safety thing'.

    And that wraps up my unscientific and anecdotal take on it.
     
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  16. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    This reminds me of gardening according to the phases of the moon. My gardens would thrive or fail for the most part depending on my efforts and sweat equity, or rainfall. If I fished to much instead of working the garden, either the weeds or insects would take over. The successful deer or turkey hunters that I know don't sit at home, they invest lots of time and money to make it happen.

    An old friend that always had a beautiful garden would say: "I don't plant on the moon, I plant right here in the ground."

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
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