Yesterday buddy Mark Drury and I compared calendars and notes and came up with our annual prediction of the best days to shoot a monster this fall. This is setting up to be a tricky year (the full moons are late in the rut months) and we took into account the epic drought and EHD outbreaks (Mark has found 13 dead deer on one of his farms so far and he’s worried).
We generally don’t talk about the September full moon, but Mark believes it is significant this year. With corn burned up and the soybeans barely hanging on in drought-stricken areas, deer patterns to and from feed will change, sometimes drastically. If your bow season opens in September, and if you have a green food source to watch (fall food plot, forbs in a hay field near a pond or creek, etc.) Mark believes you have an awesome big-buck opportunity: “should be great deer movement around green feed the 5 days prior to the full moon September 30.” I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it makes sense with this drought. If you have green feed and your season is open in September, you might want to take your vacation super early. I add that if you get rains in September that green up the feed, your chances will be better than ever.
Based on the full moon October 29, we predict good to great deer movement October 24 to November 4. This is one of our favorite windows to hunt any year. This year the full moon will kick bucks into scraping and prowling in late October, and as it wanes, bucks should seek does hard those first days of November, which “will be the best week to grunt and rattle,” says Mark. If you have the flexibility during this 12-day window, watch the weather and be sure to hunt the 2-3crisp, high-pressure days after a dry or wet cold front moves through. Bucks should really move.
Over the years, there have been more record-book bucks shot November 8-12 than any other days; that week will be great again in 2012. With the moon moving toward dark on the 13th, expect to see the most bucks at dawn/dusk, though a stud on the prowl for a hot doe might come through at 11:00 am. Sit all day.
Most biologists say deer movements/sightings and rutting activity fluctuate with the weather, acorn crops, pressure, etc., but actual breeding dates are amazingly consistent from year to year in any given location, regardless of moon phase. I agree with that—if your peak breeding (lockdown) has always been around November 15, it will be close to that again. BUT, both Mark and I are more adamant than ever that bucks move more and harder during a “rut full moon” than during the darker phases. That’s way we think giants will fall Halloween week.
As for the full orb November 28, I am not putting much stock in it. Some bucks will still prowl for the last does, but the rut is winding down and there has been a little to a lot of pressure in most areas. Some big deer will be killed, though the hunting will be hit or miss and helter-skelter.
If you have any preductions, tell us. And at the end of season write me and tell me if our predictions helped you out. Good luck. comment