The full moon now is not only the closest and brightest “supermoon” of 2016, but it’s also the largest since 1948. Check it out tonight because a full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034.
I don’t know if the closeness and brightness of this moon will make the whitetails rut any harder than normal, but I do believe this full-moon rut week will be a good time to kill a big deer.
If you have read my blogs and watched my BIG DEER TV show, you know I’ve been working on a new theory: that mature bucks move great during the day in and around any full moon in early to mid-November. This flies in the face of what many of you have read and been taught for years–that deer are most active at night during a big moon, and therefore move less in daylight, and thusly the full moon is bad for hunting.
But I believe I’m on to something, because the more I hunt during the rutting moon across the U.S. and Canada, the more mature bucks I seem to see wandering around the woods, or chasing does. I am not a scientist so I can’t give you any hard data to that end, I just know from more than 30 years of hunting experience the full moon in November is great for rut action.
Marcus Lashley is a scientist, and his findings on the full moon back me up, at least somewhat. “A common misconception is that deer can see better at night (and hence move all over the place) because it’s brighter when the moon is full. But according to our data they actually move less on average at night during a full moon and more during the middle of the day, and also earlier in the evenings,” he says.
I see things setting up to be pretty darn good this week. Many of the old bucks will be coming out of lockdown around then, and as they go back on the prowl for more does, some of them will move long and hard from around 11:00 a.m. until dark each day. Plan to get on stand early and hunting hunt till dark if you can hack it.
Here are 3 stands to try:
STAND ONE: There is no better spot for your stand than on an elevated ridge near a field of beans or corn. A ridge is staging area near the doe feed and a hub of buck traffic. Both local and vagabond bucks cruise the ridge, rubbing, scraping and sniffing out does. Some of this activity will occur at night, but some big deer start to move earlier in the evenings, and linger after sunup this week. Set your stand on a corner or edge of the ridge where the access and predominant wind are best. There’s a good chance you’ll see at least one good buck and maybe more.
STAND TWO: Having been hassled by bucks for days some does sneak out into CRP fields, overgrown pastures, thick cedar ditches and other out-of-the-way spots where the boys cannot so easily chase them anymore. Also, a mature buck knows when a doe is on the verge of standing for him. He’ll herd her out in the same type of cover, pin her down and stand guard for 36 hours or so, until he finally gets his way with her.
With that in mind, set a stand to overlook a weedy habitat where you can glass 100 yards or farther into the brush for breeding deer or loner bucks prowling for a doe. If bowhunting, hang your perch for a 30-yard shot along a deer trail that comes out of the woods to the weeds, or on a fence line, gap gate or similar funnel.
STAND THREE: Set a stand where a series of thin ridges, flats, shallow draws and a winding creek come together. This spot is a dumping ground for deer throughout the rut. Sneak in and sit all day. Morning or afternoon, you might spot an 8-pointer trolling on a finger ridge, nose to the ground…or a 10-pointer trotting down a hollow…or a doe running with 3 bucks on her heels…. Keep an eye on that creek and the cover around it because deer will travel up, down and across it all rut. Hunt this stand for 10 or more days this November, and I can almost guarantee you’ll see at least one shooter and likely more.
Good luck let me know how you do.