Over the past two or three seasons I've started paying more and more attention to the moon and how it affects deer movement. There's been a lot of research on this over the years and seemingly a lot of theories to go along with it. One of these theories is that deer movement peaks during specific "moon times" or when the moon itself either peaks overhead (where we can see it) or underfoot (where we can't). The Moon Guide, which has been around for some 15 years now, is a handy dial that tells the moon times for each day.
This is my 3rd season using the Moon Guide, and while I certainly don't hunt exclusively by what it tells me, I can definitely say that there seems to be some merit to these "moon times". This has been holding especially true for the 2010 bowhunting season. I've seen more deer, and specifically more bucks, on days when the moon times peak during the morning or evening hunts.
Just this past weekend our moon times were peaking at roughly 1 pm and again during the middle of the night. These are what some may consider "bad" moon times for hunting. We all know that deer move during the middle of the day, but by and large the majority of their movement is during the night. So with the moon peaking at 1 pm I'm sure some deer where on their feet, but by and large the movement should have been mostly at night.
After 6 hunts this weekend I did see some decent deer movement, but it was all does and smaller bucks. The big boys seemed to be hiding somewhere. Which for the first week of November, with cold temps, is pretty unusual. With some exceptions, the majority of bowhunters I talked to this weekend didn't see much for big buck movement. Was it because of the moon times? Possibly, but who really knows for sure? One thing I do know is that a lot more bucks hit the dirt over Halloween weekend than this past weekend. With similar weather conditions, colder in many cases actually, what was the big difference? You'd think with November finally here that more big bucks would be up on their feet, when in fact the majority of people I talked to actually saw less deer.
As for me personally, my vacation time and extended hunting trips have been planned around "good" moon times this year, and so far I'm two for two with a buck and a doe both hitting the ground. During the weekends with "bad" moon times I'm yet to see a shooter buck on his feet from my stand. Coincidence? Maybe.
If you want to keep an eye on the moon times yourself, pick up a Moon Guide from the Bowhunting.com store. It just may come in handy when you're planning your next hunting trip. Click here to purchase your Mooon Guide today.
Speaking of which, we have good moon times starting this Thursday through Monday and a cold front set to move in as well. Mark my words, it's going to be another great weekend just like Halloween!