New Science on the Moon and Deer Movement

Look for a Supermoon in the sky this Sat. evening at 11:35 pm Eastern. AKA the Perigee Full Moon, this giant moon will be closest to Earth, 14-16% bigger and 30% brighter than the other full moons of 2012.

On the flip, later this year on Nov. 28, the full moon will coincide with Apogee, the moon's farthest approach from Earth, and that one will be particularly small and dim. It will be fascinating to see if and how that late, dim full moon affects the rut this fall.

Now I segue into some new science on the moon and deer movements, a subject that intrigues me very much. Click here to watch the QDMA video. Some main points  from the film:

• The study of GPS-collared deer found (not surprisingly) that the animals move the most at dawn and dusk regardless of the moon phase.

• During the New Moon (dark) phase, the peak of deer activity is just after first light, and movement diminishes the remainder of the day (focus on morning hunts).

• Deer move more during the middle of the day during the Full Moon (something I have been preaching!) and earlier in the afternoon than usual (get on stand early).

• During the First Quarter Moon, deer move less on average than during the other moon phases (think about taking off a different week).

• Deer movement/activity is best and most extreme during the Last Quarter Moon (hunting the last hour of the day in this phase is especially good).

I'll work this science into my "Best 2012 Rut/Moon Days to Hunt" blog post later this summer, in plenty of time for you to plan your week off. comment

Comments
Hoytboy's Gravatar All good points, and you're right, it will be interesting to see how the rut is affected this year. Mike, you did forget one main point. The best time to hunt during any of these phases, is when you have time. Can't kill em from the couch.
# Posted By Hoytboy | 5/2/12 11:57 AM
hanback's Gravatar yes, that is the bottom line to it all!
# Posted By hanback | 5/2/12 12:03 PM
Dean Weimer's Gravatar Indiana's general gun season starts on Nov. 17th this year. Generally this is the tail end of the "lockdown" phase...give or take. With that crazy full moon at the end of the month it may cause the breeding to trickle along through the month. Will be interesting to see.
# Posted By Dean Weimer | 5/2/12 12:18 PM
Dean Weimer's Gravatar *

Here is a list of the 2012 Full Moons according to The Farmer's Almanac. It appears that October's Full Moon is on the 29th. This is interesting to say the least. Should cause a flurry of mid-day Hard Pre Rut activity.
Full Moon Calendar 2012
January 9th   Full Wolf Moon   2:30 am
February 7th   Full Snow Moon   4:54 pm
March 8th   Full Worm Moon   4:40 am
April 6th   Full Pink Moon   3:19 pm
May 5th   Full Flower Moon   11:35 pm
June 4th   Full Strawberry Moon   7:12 am
July 3rd   Full Thunder Moon   2:52 pm
August 1st   Full Sturgeon Moon   11:28 pm
August 31st   Full Blue Moon   9:58 am
September 29th   Full Harvest Moon   11:19 pm
October 29th   Full Hunter’s Moon   3:50 pm
November 28th   Full Beaver Moon   9:46 am
December 28th   Full Cold Moon   5:21 am


It's going to be an interesting Primary Rut in the middle and upper latitudes. Also, check out the names of these full moons. Didn't realize they each had a special name (outside of Harvest, Hunter's, etc.)
# Posted By Dean Weimer | 5/2/12 12:54 PM
David in NC's Gravatar I believe with Oct. 29th being the Hunter's Moon, the hot period would then be around Nov. 6th-8th or thereabouts? I would think that will work out well for many hunters.
# Posted By David in NC | 5/2/12 1:33 PM
Curt's Gravatar I like the Beaver Moon best!
# Posted By Curt | 5/2/12 2:29 PM
fred's Gravatar I'm with Curt... I like the BEAVER MOON.
# Posted By fred | 5/2/12 5:55 PM
johnny O''s Gravatar last year was classic..as rut activity peaked around the end of the second week and through the third week in November here in New Hampshire, as fire arm open on the 9th setting up gun season right in the sweet spot...This year will be a great opportunity for all you bow hunters, as predictions are geared toward the sweet spot coming early..since if you go on moon phase, Octobers full moon will trigger breeding, putting the first 2 weeks of November as possible sweet spot..as this year the fire arm season opens the 14th here, a bit on the tail end of the rut activity..(I think)..so get your stands set early..and shoot the bow..gonna be a bowmen set up this year. But, I could be wrong..just my opinion.
# Posted By johnny O' | 5/3/12 1:56 PM
Frank E. Huff's Gravatar MIKE, YOUR ARTICLE LAST YEAR IN HUNTING MAG. WAS EXCELLENT AND THE DATE WAS SPOT ON! GREAT JOB, SO I'AM GOING WITH WHAT YOU ARE PREDICTING!
I DO THINK THE LATE FULL MOON IN OCT. 2012 WILL MAKE FOR SOME GREAT EARLY BIG BUCK SIGHTINGS. THANKS, FRANK
# Posted By Frank E. Huff | 5/10/12 8:00 PM
John Kirby's Gravatar I ran across this QDMA video as well and thought it was a good time to put it to the test since the last quarter was coming on Thanksgiving week. I was amazed by the number of deer I saw during daylight hours both from the stand and driving to and from our hunting destination every morning. I shot a nice heavy 10 point from the Davy Crockett National Forest on November 30th at 8:52AM this year.
# Posted By John Kirby | 12/25/13 3:38 PM