full moon buck compress

2014 moon phases for whitetail hunters: new (dark) October 23…first quarter October 30…full November 6…last quarter November 14

I checked with my friends Mark and Terry Drury, like I do this time every year. We put our heads together and came up with some predictions for hunting the upcoming rut and moon phases.

We like this year’s moon setup because it should enhance the seeking phase of the late pre-rut leading into the full moon. Halloween week is good for bowhunting every year, especially later in the week toward October 30 and 31. With the first-quarter moon waxing toward full this week this year, deer movement near food sources in the afternoons should be on fire, and it should stay that way through November 4 or so. If a cold front hits and cool weather holds in your area during this time, the hunting should be dynamite.

On or around the full moon Nov. 5-11, some of the best buck movement will shift to the mornings. Both the Drurys and I have come to love hunting a full moon that occurs the first week of November because it seems to make the deer rut hard all day. (The science is mixed on this, but our many years of field observations say it’s so.) You’re apt to see a shooter on his feet at 8:00 a.m.…11:00 a.m.…2:00 p.m….any day this week, so hang on stand as long as you can.

“Love this rut!” summed up Mark Drury in a text. “If we get cool temperatures will be an awesome, classic rut!”

If the land you’re hunting has crop fields and/or plots and light pressure, I’d suggest you hunt those first 5 days of November. Hunt stands near the feed and focus on the afternoons. A stand on a slightly elevated ridge 100-200 yards off a corn or bean field would be a smoking hot spot either afternoon or morning.

If the land you’re hunting is mostly woods with some mast but overall limited food, think about hunting a week later, maybe November 6-12. Historically, if you check the record books, these are the very best days in any year to kill a monster buck. Set your stands back in the woods along trails and travel funnels, and hunt bucks coming back to hook up with does near bedding areas in the mornings.

If you can hack it, stay on a deep-cover stand all day. I expect some giants to fall from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the big moon November 6-12 this year. Good luck.