New Moon and Deer Movement

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Did the moon phase play a major role in Danny’s shooting of the big 10-pointer “Spike” in Maryland last Friday?

Blogging about the hunt, Danny wrote:

Maryland bow opener was Sept 6–the morning after the new moon. The wind direction was supposed to be out of the NNE.  I looked back through all the cam pictures I had, and it just so happened the last time we had a NNE wind was the morning after the new moon in August. Spike was at the location I call The Puddle on that very morning.

Danny hunted “The Puddle” on September 6 and saw some 18 deer moving at first light, including a bachelor herd of 12-15 bucks. He shot the 164-inch 10-pointer just after 6:30 a.m.

I refer you to the most recent study on the moon and its effects on whitetail movement, conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University (also see QDMA video below). They tracked GPS-collared deer throughout the four lunar phases, and analyzed text messages sent from those collars to determine when the does and bucks moved the most.

Referring to the New Moon, the researchers said: During this phase, the peak of deer activity is just after first light, and movement diminishes the remainder of the day and night (focus on morning hunts).

Danny did just that, even though I understand that getting to that Puddle stand is tricky in the morning. But he had hard evidence—many trail cam photos—of lots of deer, and the big buck, right there and active at daylight on the same wind and during the new moon phase to the day. He figured out a way to sneak in there without busting any deer, and he got the big buck.

Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. It just might be the first confirmed BIG DEER kill as relates to this latest moon study. It will be interesting to see how the deer movement and buck kills play out on the other moon phases later this fall.

4 thoughts on “New Moon and Deer Movement

  1. All the evidence I had pointed at the puddle. It worked. In fact I may have said that out loud last Friday when I saw the line of bucks coming. “I can’t believe this is gonna work.” (through chattering teeth). I will forever be a believer of hunting the morning after the new moon.

  2. Plan to kill the 10pt I have on camera Oct. 5th. Sounds good anyways :) but probably will never see him.

  3. Scott,
    This might sound crazy, but cross check the wind and moon phase against your cam pics. Hunt the stand that matches up with them. Lightning might strike twice. Good luck. Hope you get him.

  4. Yeah I’ve check into it and I really cant make any kind of pattern with this buck. He just shows up at any day, daytime & night time, no moon pattern to it either. Now he as disappeared the last two weeks. I had him on camera after he shed his velvet so I thought he might stick around but maybe not. Hard to say, either way I’ll be hunting hard for him or any other nice buck that shows up.

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