Dr. Robert Sheppard, Jerry Simmons and Horace Gore on...

The Deer Rut and the Influence of Moon Phase

10/20/2016 Comments (0) Deer Hunting

Psychological and Physical Effects of the Moon on Deer

2Psychological Effects of the Moon on Deer:

Most of us concern ourselves primarily with moon phase and the amount of moonlight in the woods the night before we hunt. However, another determining factor of deer movement may be the times at which the moon rises and sets. Is there a correlation between when the moon appears and disappears in the sky and deer movement?

“I believe deer movement is determined as much by when the moon appears as to how much light the moon gives off at night,” Horace Gore, a trained wildlife biologist reports. “I think the moon may have a psychological effect on deer. When the full moon is shining, but clouds cover its light, deer still will move, even though the night is as dark as if the moon is in a dark phase. If the moon comes up at 3:00 pm or is up in the daytime, then I think you should hunt during that time because I believe the deer will be active.”

The Effect of the Moon on Deer According to Location and Air Temperature:

According to longtime deer hunter and outdoor writer, Charles Alsheimer, who conducts deer-hunting seminars throughout the country, location and temperature are two key ingredients which must be factored in when you’re considering the effects of the moon on deer movement.

“I find the effect of the moon on buck movement depends on where you’re hunting,” Alsheimer explains. “If you’re hunting whitetails in Texas, usually not much animal activity occurs during the day after a full moon the night before. However in the Northeast, especially north of the Mason-Dixon line, I haven’t observed that moon phase affects deer much. Providing weather conditions allow for deer movement, I still see deer movement during the day after a full moon in this region. I tend to believe temperature is much more a factor in causing deer movement than moon phase.  For example, in the Northeast during hot weather, no matter what the moon phase, because of the deer’s heavy coats, they won’t move as much as they do during cold weather and when there are high winds.”

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