Possibly the best moon phase tip of all, is that the moon plays absolutely no part in the actual timing of the rut. However, it does potentially offer a boost in feeding times. Make sure to check out how you can forecast your own whitetail success, in my Whitetail Rut Formula.
Have you seen the explosion of moon phase charts, tables, books and articles? That's a lot of moonisms to wade through! However, are any of the dozens of tips right for you and in particular, your future level of deer hunting success?
While some moon phase information is relevant there is a large portion of the recommendations that can waste a season or two of your hard-earned hunting hours and dollars, if you take them seriously. Folks, I have an extreme passion for delivering quality whitetail strategies that you can personally apply to your real-world deer endeavors. When it comes to moon phases and hunting whitetails it is critical that you get back to the basics to find consistent success.
*You can fool big, old, reclusive bucks with these 5 simple Nocturnal Busting tips!
How To Use The Moon To Improve Your Deer Hunt
How can you wade thru the annual mess? Here are 3 critical moon phase deer hunting tips that you can use for not only whitetail clarity, but to help you elevate your potential results this season:
1. Rising Evening Full Moon Equals Late Morning Opportunity
Deer are rhythmic pattern feeders and forage at varying levels of intensity 5 times per day. When the evening conditions are dark, windy and noisy deer feed very little within their typical "dinner time" feeding destinations. However, I have experienced the opposite when it comes to bright, calm and cool conditions. Deer then feed heavily, they can be highly social and their bellies can become very full. With a rising full moon phase a rollercoaster of feeding intensity is magnified. Higher levels of dinner and midnight feeding times diminish the need for deer to feed as much during their early morning time slot. This means that although an evening rising full moon can place low priority on the daybreak feeding time, the intensity of the late morning feeding is often magnified.
2. Forget The Moon For The Annual Whitetail Rut
This is where I truly feel for hunters who plan their rut hunt vacations based on the various whims if moon-based rut predictions. Scientific Studies have proven every time that in a given location, the annual whitetail rut takes place at the same time every single year. While you may want to sit in your stand later in the morning during a full moon phase, I wouldn't recommend that you use the moon to influence your sit decisions in any way, in particular as it relates to the timing of the rut. When did the rut take place in your area last year, 5 years ago, 10, 20 or 50 years ago? Make sure to plan for that same period of time this year, because the rut will be at that same time again. That fact makes planning your hunts a whole lot easier!
3. Weather Trumps Moon Phase
Even when the moon has a minor effect on deer movements -ex. during the late morning full moon period- the weather has such a major effect on deer hunting movements that a strong case can be made to simply ignore the moon. I personally do. I purely hunt cold fronts the entire deer season and try not to miss any quality cold front for the entire season. I hunt whitetails, study whitetails and teach whitetail strategies for my full time career and although I can acknowledge the moon may have some minor influence over deer behavior, those influences are not enough for me to change any plans when it comes to hunting weather patterns.
A cold front sweeps through every 5-10 days throughout the season and is a highly defined indicator of when a mature buck will be on his feet. If the weather is noisy, windy and warm the deer hunting will most likely be extremely poor. If the conditions that follow noisy, windy and warm are cold, calm and quiet the deer hunting opportunity will be extremely high. It is that simple, and that is a good thing!
While you can't plan the best days to deer hunt months in advance, you can at least watch the weather and know exactly which days will be the best to climb your treestand. That will lead you to success a whole lot more than a moon phase prediction unless, that moon phase prediction just happens to fall on a great weather day. A fraction of the time that does actually happen.
*No matter what you try to improve your odds this season, nothing will come close to learning how to use the weather to Forecast your own success!
Best Moon Phase Tip Conclusion
Should you ever pay attention to what moon phase if happening on a given day? I personally do, but only when it concerns a rising full moon and a late morning hunt. And even then your stand location needs to be within 50-100 yards of a mature bucks bedding area and a hidden, more natural food source. However, when weather is such a string indicator of overall deer movements, I have personally experienced that ignoring which moon phase is taking place nearly all-together, is the best tip that you can practice, if your goal is to find a defined level of consistent deer hunting success.