Elk Hunting the Full Moon?

VinnyG

New Member
Oct 4, 2018
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Colorado
Good Afternoon everyone,
I have been reading through all of the tremendous advice in these forums, and have answered many of my newbie questions. However there is one topic that I would love to have a discussion about, regarding hunting tactics during the full moon. Most sources (and my grandpa's whitetail advice) state that game animals are very inactive during the day, and to avoid hunting during a full moon as much as possible. In your experiences, has the moon phase had a dramatic impact on the quality of your elk hunts? Most of my experience is from deer and small game, and while the moon plays a part, weather and temperature has more of an effect than the moon. Does this hold true for elk?
Thanks,
Vinny
 

VinnyG

New Member
Oct 4, 2018
30
12
Colorado
Ok, thanks for the reply. Do you feel that it changes their choice of habitat, or the behavior patterns during the day? For instance, if you knew it was going to be a full moon, would you hunt different parts of the terrain than you would normally?
 

mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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I have seen some pretty adverse affects on Deer in the East and Elk in the west. Some will disagree with me and thats fine.
 

go_deep

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Nov 30, 2014
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Hunting pressure, moon, weather all play a part. For me, if the elk aren't on their feet, I get on mine and find them in their bed.
 
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JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Your problem is that the seasons are not set by the phase of the moon you just have to get out there and find them.

I have always found that they are always out for a while in the mornings as the sun comes up and they come out at dusk just before the sun goes down no matter what phase the moon is in. Also there are going to be another 1000 hunters in your general area beating the brush so you can throw just about everything out the window on how they are going to act.
 

VinnyG

New Member
Oct 4, 2018
30
12
Colorado
I suppose I am not used to the amount of hunting pressure and competition for shooting opportunities. Thanks for all the advice, it's much appreciated.
 

kidoggy

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glass, first and last light .

lots of hunters never have success because they are to lazy to get up early and to scared of the dark to stay out late..
 

Winchester

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Mar 27, 2014
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As Jim P said, the seasons are not set by the phase of the moon you just have to get out there hunt.
Also, the phase of the moon may or may not affect the elk but even if it does, it's only one of about a thousand things that can.
Just get out there and hunt first light and last light and you'll have a chance.
 

VinnyG

New Member
Oct 4, 2018
30
12
Colorado
Ok, will do. Thanks for the tips. I love to be in place before first light, and I will stay until there is no shooting light left, no worries there. I cannot wait to get out there and see some more of this awesome state. As some of the other posters have mentioned, the biggest factor I will probably have to contend with is the horde of other hunters out there in the OTC units.
 

JimP

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The best advise if you haven't hunted the area before and haven't been able to scout it out is to find a good vantage point and plop your rear down and pull out the binoculars and start to glass. First light check out any opening that you can see and as it gets lighter check along the tree lines of those openings. If you haven't seen anything by 10 or so you can start to relax but if you want to stay in the same spot keep glassing the tree lines for any movement. Do the same thing in the afternoon until dark.

When you see elk they will quite likely be on the run from some other hunters that pushed them out of their beds, watch where they go but at times that is impossible because they might run for miles. If you see nothing the first day you can go back to the same spot or try another one but once you find some that are not spooked you can make a plan to try to get closer.

Good luck.
 

Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
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They gotta sleep, eat, drink then repeat. Weather fronts, moon, time of year, pressure, wind, temps all come into play where they do it at.

You are hunting their senses. Beat two of them and you will find them and get a shot. Beat three of them and that usually equals an animal down.
 

JimP

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One thing that I didn't mention is that some of the better places that I like to glass when I go into a new area either the first scouting trip or hunting are power line clear clear cuts or fence lines. Both usually give you a great area to look at with very few trees and both are good feeding areas for elk.
 

VinnyG

New Member
Oct 4, 2018
30
12
Colorado
I will definitely keep those things in mind. Thanks for the advice. Once I have done more research I may start a new thread asking more newbie questions. You guys have been great, I appreciate all the help.
 

ivorytip

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Mar 24, 2012
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Your problem is that the seasons are not set by the phase of the moon you just have to get out there and find them.

I have always found that they are always out for a while in the mornings as the sun comes up and they come out at dusk just before the sun goes down no matter what phase the moon is in. Also there are going to be another 1000 hunters in your general area beating the brush so you can throw just about everything out the window on how they are going to act.
this........
 

Gr8bawana

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Aug 14, 2014
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Pay no attention to the moon. Just get out there and hunt. Be up on the mountain BEFORE it starts to get light and stay out there until you can't see anymore. If you spot something after legal shooting hours you'll know the general area to be the next day, again make sure you're there before it gets light.
Like someone already said, lots of guys seem to be afraid to leave camp or their vehicle in the dark and are always back before it gets dark.
 

kidoggy

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Apr 23, 2016
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Pay no attention to the moon. Just get out there and hunt. Be up on the mountain BEFORE it starts to get light and stay out there until you can't see anymore. If you spot something after legal shooting hours you'll know the general area to be the next day, again make sure you're there before it gets light.
Like someone already said, lots of guys seem to be afraid to leave camp or their vehicle in the dark and are always back before it gets dark.
those willing to curl up for the night under the nearest tree are always the ones who kill year after year after year.

the secret to consistent elk hunting success is 1% skill ,1% luck and 98% commitment.
 
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JimP

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those willing to curl up for the night under the nearest tree are always the ones who kill year after year after year.

the secret to consistent elk hunting success is 1% skill ,1% luck and 98% commitment.

Back in my younger days we used to bevy camp the night before where we wanted to be at. Then get up early enough to watch the flashlights coming up through the trees and hearing the deer and elk moving around below us. They were always cold camps with sandwiches for dinner and breakfast with warm coffee in the morning out of thermoses.

But we always got into elk.
 

Slugz

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Back in my younger days we used to bevy camp the night before where we wanted to be at. Then get up early enough to watch the flashlights coming up through the trees and hearing the deer and elk moving around below us. They were always cold camps with sandwiches for dinner and breakfast with warm coffee in the morning out of thermoses.

But we always got into elk.
I did that 2 years ago 1st rifle with my son. We had cows almost walking on us before shooting light. A few headlamps come into the park edge we were set up on and one says " I've been under that tree for 10 years" I said " well good morning sir, year 11 the streak is broken, request you keep moving on quietly as you just bumped some cows from in front of us" :)
 

JimP

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I did that 2 years ago 1st rifle with my son. We had cows almost walking on us before shooting light. A few headlamps come into the park edge we were set up on and one says " I've been under that tree for 10 years" I said " well good morning sir, year 11 the streak is broken, request you keep moving on quietly as you just bumped some cows from in front of us" :)
Yep, I had it happen to me but I was on the other end. We hiked into a area about 2 hours before sunrise and I found the spot that I wanted to be at. I got sat down and a minutes later I heard a voice above and behind me ask me if I really wanted to be sitting there in his line of fire. I quietly got up and found a different spot.