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#3063171 - 12/04/12 02:10 PM Moon up versus moon down
BSK
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I have been wondering if daylight buck activity is better on mornings and/or evenings when the moon is up versus mornings and evenings when the moon is down. I just finished analyzing 25 1/2 years of hunter observation data, looking at mornings when the moon is still up (waning moon [getting less full]) at sunrise versus mornings when the moon is not up at sunrise (waxing moon [getting more full]). In addition, I looked at evening hunts when the moon is up versus when it isn't at sunset (just the opposite of mornings, the moon is down at sunset when the moon is waning, and up at sunset when the moon is waxing).

I expected to see some sort of consistent difference (better when the moon is up or when the moon is down, both morning and evenings). I did not find that. In fact, all I found is that daylight buck sightings are higher in both mornings and evenings when the moon is waning (getting less full).

However, I did find one interesting pattern. The difference between waning and waxing moon morning hunts, as well as waning and waxing afternoon hunts is greatest the closer the moon is to being full. In essence, morning hunts when the moon is waning are generally better than morning hunts when the moon is waxing, however, the difference between the two is much greater nearer the full moon (waning just off the full moon versus waxing towards a nearly full moon). The same was true of evening hunts.

Wonder why?
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#3063187 - 12/04/12 02:17 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
woodsman87
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I aint got a clue. I just hunt! haha
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#3063197 - 12/04/12 02:22 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
Boll Weevil
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Registered: 06/26/11
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Interesting.

The only observation I've seen consistently regarding the moon in my years afield is this: deer seem to already be bedded early AM (6, 7, 8, 9) and not on their feet until later in the day under a bright moon (regardless of phase). On those nights/mornings that one can practically read a newspaper under the moon's glow, it's gotten so that I actually no longer feel pressure to be in a stand really early.

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#3063200 - 12/04/12 02:24 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: woodsman87]
Winchester
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I personally like the moon overhead early in the afternoon, well before dark. But what I like even more is a good cold front with a dropping barometer! \:\)
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#3063206 - 12/04/12 02:26 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Boll Weevil]
woodsman87
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And I don't take serious data, but I always have seemed that my afternoons with a waxing moon and following mornings have been better. It has been waning the past few days and I haven't seen as much activity. On saturday, even thought it was like 70 degrees, I saw two different shooter bucks, for me probably 3-1/2s and maybe 120'' One of them was at 12:30 on the side of the road. I drove buy him three times and he never ran off. One of them was at 3:00. Saw him on the way to my stand. He chased a doe right across the cow pasture.
I do not know if this had to do with the moon or not. But it was hot and middle of the day, that was unusual to me.

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#3063212 - 12/04/12 02:32 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: woodsman87]
Winchester
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I like mid day hunting and will sit all day on a full moon if the timing is right! I still say weather has MUCH more influence on daytime movement!
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#3063228 - 12/04/12 02:44 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Winchester]
BSK
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I couldn't agree more Winchester. Weather is a much bigger player than moon conditions. But I did find that data interesting...
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063235 - 12/04/12 02:48 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Winchester]
OHVATN
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Registered: 10/09/12
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I have read before that deer movement increases during daylight when there is a moon rise during the day as opposed to a moon rise at night. For Nashville, the next daytime moon rise is Dec. 12 at 5:53am (waning crescent), Dec. 13 at 6:58am (new moon), etc. I have tried to find some correlation by going back to my prior year journal notes of sitings. Can't say I've found any correlation, but it does make sense to me. However, I do think that weather (and to a lesser extent wind speed, i.e., above or below 15 mph) has more impact on daytime deer behavior. Although too far out for the forecast to be very accurate, Dec 12 and 13 look like a cool down is finally going to arrive, with a morning rising moon. Hmm. I was already planning to play hooky on my birthday.
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#3063238 - 12/04/12 02:50 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
Winchester
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
I couldn't agree more Winchester. Weather is a much bigger player than moon conditions. But I did find that data interesting...

I agree BSK it is interesting, but do you think the next 25 yrs data would coincide with the previous 25 on moon data? Reason I ask is it seems every moon study ever done has had somewhat different results?

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#3063295 - 12/04/12 03:25 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Winchester]
log72
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Registered: 11/15/12
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Moon studies cannot be conclusive without atleast 30 years of study lol! Honestly, I never even heard this stuff mentioned till this year. A friend of mine told me a couple weeks ago to make sure and hunt the afternoon cuz the moon wuz out then. Its amazing the things we overlook everyday!
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#3063304 - 12/04/12 03:27 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Winchester]
pcrc
8 Point


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If I could hunt in my backyard all season long I might pay attention to the moon, but when all my hunting takes place 1-2 hrs from the house and is basically scheduled ahead of time anyway, I just stopped worrying about it. Maybe it's just coincidence but I have seen more deer this year when I stopped worrying about the moon.
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#3063308 - 12/04/12 03:31 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
TNDeerGuy
12 Point


Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 6099
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
I have been wondering if daylight buck activity is better on mornings and/or evenings when the moon is up versus mornings and evenings when the moon is down. I just finished analyzing 25 1/2 years of hunter observation data, looking at mornings when the moon is still up (waning moon [getting less full]) at sunrise versus mornings when the moon is not up at sunrise (waxing moon [getting more full]). In addition, I looked at evening hunts when the moon is up versus when it isn't at sunset (just the opposite of mornings, the moon is down at sunset when the moon is waning, and up at sunset when the moon is waxing).

I expected to see some sort of consistent difference (better when the moon is up or when the moon is down, both morning and evenings). I did not find that. In fact, all I found is that daylight buck sightings are higher in both mornings and evenings when the moon is waning (getting less full).

However, I did find one interesting pattern. The difference between waning and waxing moon morning hunts, as well as waning and waxing afternoon hunts is greatest the closer the moon is to being full. In essence, morning hunts when the moon is waning are generally better than morning hunts when the moon is waxing, however, the difference between the two is much greater nearer the full moon (waning just off the full moon versus waxing towards a nearly full moon). The same was true of evening hunts.

Wonder why?


My brother-in-law noticed the same thing when he had to do a long-term study for his biology degree—waning just after the full moon had a slight spike. I would be interested to see if there is more to it than that. Ever thought about getting some temperature/pressure data from those dates and see if there is a correlation there?
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#3063316 - 12/04/12 03:36 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: pcrc]
log72
Spike


Registered: 11/15/12
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I much rather play the weather. Wether it be fish or deer, both seem most active several hours before an approaching cold front & again just as the front is passing(rain stops, wind & temp changes, etc).
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#3063321 - 12/04/12 03:38 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: pcrc]
FatTire
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I hunt large agriculture fields during 75% of my sits. I can say with out a doubt when the moon is rising the movement is much stronger. My sightings are 3 to 4 times as strong. Slow days for me are 8-10 deer sightings per sit. On a great day I can see 30 to 40 per sit. I can also say that I see my best bucks on the quarters as the moon is rising. The full moon and new moon are one in the same based on my records. Movement is poor unless you are looking at the one full moon phase per year that in my opinion sets bucks on their feet and the search begins for the first estrous doe, heavy scraping begins, and based on my observations many of my bucks shift into there breeding areas. For me in north alabama that moon was the 28th of Nov. We are now seeing our regulars on the cameras disapear and are being replaced by deer that others were getting pics of in summer or early fall. Scraping is now heavy and the 2yr olds are bumping does. By the 11th of Dec the moon will be rising about daybreak and I expect us to be in full swing on the chase phase. The 11th 12th, and 13th and 14th will be hot with the moon phase being what it is the chase phase turning on.

Edited by FatTire (12/04/12 03:44 PM)

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#3063324 - 12/04/12 03:41 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: woodsman87]
RiverBuck10
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Registered: 11/25/09
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 Originally Posted By: woodsman87
I aint got a clue. I just hunt! haha


X2 but thanks for the info!! I just wake up and ask myself,,, Hunt or not to hunt??
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#3063325 - 12/04/12 03:41 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: pcrc]
BSK
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I definitely don't use moon conditions to decide when to hunt. I just find the numbers and patterns interesting in trying to figure deer out.

Now I definitely use the date (stage of the rut) to schedule my hunting. And on occassion, I will use the weather to alter days I plan to hunt. But I don't change my hunting plans because of the moon.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063330 - 12/04/12 03:44 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: TNDeerGuy]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: TNDeerGuy
My brother-in-law noticed the same thing when he had to do a long-term study for his biology degree—waning just after the full moon had a slight spike. I would be interested to see if there is more to it than that. Ever thought about getting some temperature/pressure data from those dates and see if there is a correlation there?


Very interesting that he saw a similar pattern. I doubt weather is a player in my data, as data has been collected over so many years that just about every weather condition falls into every moon category. I just wonder why that spike just after the full moon? I bet it has something to do with moon rise or set, but I can't see it yet.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063332 - 12/04/12 03:46 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
log72
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BSK what do you think the correlation to the waning moon & buck sightings is in reality?
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#3063333 - 12/04/12 03:46 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Winchester]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: Winchester
 Originally Posted By: BSK
I couldn't agree more Winchester. Weather is a much bigger player than moon conditions. But I did find that data interesting...

I agree BSK it is interesting, but do you think the next 25 yrs data would coincide with the previous 25 on moon data? Reason I ask is it seems every moon study ever done has had somewhat different results?


I'll let you know in 25 years (if I'm still alive)!

Actually, I bet my data is fairly tightly linked to the location, in that, the data might be very different for a different property/habitat/region.

I have seen where morning versus evening hunt results are VERY influenced by habitat. Big woods and acorn-feeding deer show a strong relationship to better morning hunting. But open ground and agriculture bring out a strong evening bias.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063335 - 12/04/12 03:47 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: log72]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: log72
BSK what do you think the correlation to the waning moon & buck sightings is in reality?


I honestly have no idea. It's just a pattern I've noticed. Why it occurs is a mystery.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063337 - 12/04/12 03:49 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
log72
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You say the big woods get better for the mornings & ag fields better in the evening. Could you expand on that reasoning?
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#3063349 - 12/04/12 03:56 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: log72]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: log72
You say the big woods get better for the mornings & ag fields better in the evening. Could you expand on that reasoning?


I've just noticed this pattern, even on a single property as its habitat is altered. Big, unbroken hardwoods often have considerably higher buck sighting rates on morning hunts when deer feed on acorns late into the morning. But hunters hunting agricultural regions or where food plots are the only food source around often see very little morning activity, but great hunting in the evenings as deer move out into the open fields to feed in late afternoon.

And again, I've even seen this pattern change on an individual property; i.e. big-woods habitat greatly altered into lots of clear-cut openings and food plots. Buck sighting which has been almost exclusively a morning occurance will shift to being much more common in evenings once the habitat has been changed. Basically, it's all about feeding patterns and what the deer are eating.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063356 - 12/04/12 03:59 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
log72
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Would it be likely that when they turn nocturnal, they hit those open areas at night, and as daylight approaches, they make their way to the secluded areas while browsing acorns & green browse?
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#3063363 - 12/04/12 04:02 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Winchester]
Bone Collector
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Registered: 09/09/09
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 Originally Posted By: Winchester
I personally like the moon overhead early in the afternoon, well before dark. But what I like even more is a good cold front with a dropping barometer! \:\)


yeah you, me, and everyone else \:D
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#3063417 - 12/04/12 04:16 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: log72]
BSK
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 Originally Posted By: log72
Would it be likely that when they turn nocturnal, they hit those open areas at night, and as daylight approaches, they make their way to the secluded areas while browsing acorns & green browse?


Very possible. This morning versus evening higher buck sightings is a pattern you will see over and over again on properties that are dominated by one type of habitat. I've worked on large pine plantations in the Deep South where food plots are the only deer food source. The morning hunting (for bucks) is often so bad that hunters don't even btther hunting mornings. All of the action is late evenings in the food plots. In contrast, I've seen big-woods properties where no bucks are ever seen on evening hunts. All of the buck action is in the mornings on oak-heavy ridge-tops.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3063498 - 12/04/12 04:57 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Basically, it's all about feeding patterns and what the deer are eating.

It can be just as much about whether an individual hunter is able to enter the hunting area without alerting any deer already there.

The reason many hunters find fields/food plots poor morning hunting is because the deer are already feeding in them when the hunters arrive. Most hunters park much too close to their hunting spots, and the deer are long gone before the hunters leave the vicinity of their trucks and ATV's.

By contrast, hunters choosing woods for morning hunts may arrive at a hunting spot ahead of the deer.

Undisturbed deer seem to like fields and food plots about as much in the mornings as the evenings. It's just that most of us hunters are very good at "disturbing" the deer.

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#3063634 - 12/04/12 06:32 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Wes Parrish]
Hollar Hunter
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I find it nearly impossible to hunt my food plots in the morning cause there's deer in them or bedded on the edges nearly 100% of the time. Although on the cameras most all the big buck activity is in the morning once Nov. has come and all the nuts have dropped. Before the nuts have dropped in the early archery season I find that the big bucks are out in the plots more in the evenings. The problem with hunting the plots in the evenings is every time it gets dark your stuck in the field with a dozen+ deer.
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#3063685 - 12/04/12 06:57 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: Hollar Hunter]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
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I have never really based much at all on moon phases. The only thing I do believe in from experience is that I love a cold, clear, crisp afternoon hunt with the full moon directly overhead.
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#3063887 - 12/04/12 08:30 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: BSK]
JCDEERMAN
14 Point


Registered: 07/19/08
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 Originally Posted By: BSK

I have seen where morning versus evening hunt results are VERY influenced by habitat. Big woods and acorn-feeding deer show a strong relationship to better morning hunting. But open ground and agriculture bring out a strong evening bias.


I couldn't agree more
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#3063914 - 12/04/12 08:47 PM Re: Moon up versus moon down [Re: log72]
Bobs8pt
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Very Interesting Read. The only time I realy pay attention to the Moon is the end of October (The Rutting Moon) other then That In the 30 yrs of Hunting I can say I see less deer movement during a full moon. And as said above I tend to hunt weather patterns more then I do Moon Phases
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