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How Big of an Impact Does a Full Moon Have on Deer Activity?

November 02, 2012
How Big of an Impact Does a Full Moon Have on Deer Activity? - 0

If you spent any time in a deer stand this week, you probably noticed you were sitting beneath a full moon (October 29 to be exact).

There's a continuum of opinions on how the moon impacts deer activity. The classic position is that a full moon isn't favorable for hunting because the deer spend the night feeding and rutting. They then take their days off and bed down in cover. However, others argue that a full moon can actually spark rut activity and get mature bucks moving earlier in the evenings.

I spent the first part of the week hunting the Chain Ranch in Oklahoma and witnessed a combination of these two theories (the photo above is what the moon looked like from my wheat field boxblind). I definitely saw more deer movement in the evenings and some of the guys I was hunting with took nice bucks.

But, overall, the hunting was tougher than usual. Our guide, who has been deer hunting the area since he was a little kid and guiding for more than decade, said that he consistently sees less deer activity during a full moon.

While that's probably true, a full moon is a relatively small player when it comes to deer activity. According to whitetail experts I've shot the breeze with over the years (including deer guru and BBZ blogger Craig Dougherty), the moon takes a back seat to rut phases and weather. Not to mention other critical factors like hunting pressure and availability of food. In other words, a full moon the night before a cold day during the rut is no reason to sleep in and do yardwork.

The next full moon is on November 28. Will you hunt that day? What's your take on hunting during a full moon? Comment below!

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