Much has been said about deer movement in regards to the various phases of the moon and I will offer my limited observations on this. Now some may say….”Jeff…how can you comment on the moon having never been to the moon before?” These observations come from the physical phenomena of being able to look UP. Looking up, I have been able to notice when the moon is fully visible and what my hunting conditions have been like the next day or so. Very scientific.
Some researchers, such as Charles Alzheimer, have powerful data suggesting the full moon triggers rutting activity in deer. From his research, some have concluded that the first full moon after the autumn equinox, the hunters moon (Oct. 23, 2010), triggers rutting activity, while the second full moon after the autumn equinox hovers around the time rutting activity peaks (Nov. 21 for 2010). We have long known that day length is a primary trigger for changes in testosterone in deer, stimulating rutting behavior. What we are not as clear on is how the moon may impact these changes. One could argue it makes sense because wildlife tune into such constants that are consistent for thousands of years. Maybe there is something to these sci-fi theories?
Before you completely discount moon phases on animal behavior, keep in mind many law enforcement and medical facilities have documented strange behavioral abnormalities during nights with full moons. Are we influenced by the moon? The maternity ward at some hospitals would suggest so!
My own experience has told me that on full moon nights, morning deer movement will be subdued but mid day activity will be higher. This may be because deer take advantage of moon lit nights and feed longer, therefor are not as active in the 6am – 10am range? It would make sense that deer who have not been active since say…4am would need to get up and move around by noon or so the next day. Regardless, I subscribe to the theory of hunting when you can, regardless of what the lunar tables and telescopes suggest. One constant is for sure…you can’t shoot a deer if your not out there!” I wonder what impact Saturn has on deer?
Get Em’ Out There