Moon phase and mule deer

Etxnoodler

New Member
Jul 20, 2020
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Going on my first mule deer hunt in early October. Season is 2 weeks long. I’m trying to decide if I want to be there the whole season or scout a week before and hunt the first week. Was leaning towards scouting a week then hunting, BUT the week before is a full moon and the first week of season Is pretty much a full moon. From what I read mule deer are starting to go nocturnal at that time anyway so I’m wondering if the full moon will just make this worse, making scouting hard if they are mostly moving at night? What do y’all think? Will the moon phase mean I’ll mostly be waiting for the last few minutes of light and the first few and the rest of the day be a waste? Should be pretty glassable area.
 

LCH

Very Active Member
Jun 28, 2015
706
160
Southern Indiana
I'm no help with the moon. I've never paid much attention to it for any species. But, if I could be there for 2 weeks, I'd say go the two weeks that you can have a rifle in hand the entire duration.

That's what I'm doing this October anyway..
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
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1,005
Avoid the full moon if you can. 3 out of 30 were killed on a full moon and all were killed in the morning...

My opinion.

31414
 
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mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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Whats interesting is that if you take out the 3 days of full moon. It shows that most deer are killed when the moon is an average of .4 (meaning only 40% of the moon is showing). To me, that tells me something. Especially when I create matrix and sort and add in rut, pressure, and temperature. I can almost pick the days when I want to kill deer and I have wind direction and treestand locations also figured into the equation. For me, if I am planning vacation days to hunt I can target the days where my data shows me a prediction of my best chance to put a tag on one for any specific stand location on my property. I still hunt regardless of the moon phase if I have time, but I certainly dont hunt my best stands on a full moon. EVER.

But your more than welcome to tag a buck however you see fit by doing whatever helps you....

I should note that this is eastern whitetail data. Not mule deer data. So if I was glassing this data would pretty much go out the window and I would be behind my glass.

31418
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
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Dolores, Colorado
My experience is that mule deer are nocturnal most of the year, winter excepted. I have probably 100 to 150 mulies around my place and except for when there's snow on the ground, they feed early evening, all night and early morning. Weather plays a big role too. Wind, rain and snow will change their feeding habits a lot. I usually hunt early morning and early evening. A lot depends on the area I'm hunting too. If I know the area well and where they are bedding, I'll do a lot of glassing and spot and stalk during the day.
 
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Etxnoodler

New Member
Jul 20, 2020
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0
Whats interesting is that if you take out the 3 days of full moon. It shows that most deer are killed when the moon is an average of .4 (meaning only 40% of the moon is showing). To me, that tells me something. Especially when I create matrix and sort and add in rut, pressure, and temperature. I can almost pick the days when I want to kill deer and I have wind direction and treestand locations also figured into the equation. For me, if I am planning vacation days to hunt I can target the days where my data shows me a prediction of my best chance to put a tag on one for any specific stand location on my property. I still hunt regardless of the moon phase if I have time, but I certainly dont hunt my best stands on a full moon. EVER.

But your more than welcome to tag a buck however you see fit by doing whatever helps you....

I should note that this is eastern whitetail data. Not mule deer data. So if I was glassing this data would pretty much go out the window and I would be behind my glass.

View attachment 31418
Yeah hunting whitetails if its a full moon I generally sleep in and hunt mid day for bucks. Didn't know what effects It would have on mule deer.
 

jimss

Member
Jun 10, 2012
142
2
I think moon phase can definitely be a factor to keep in mind. Some areas it may be more important than others. If hunting areas with deep timber and it's extremely hot weather with a full moon my guess is you will likely see few bucks during daylight hours. In areas with lots of open country the moon phase may not matter as much because you can generally get up high, glass, and locate bucks all day long irregardless of moon.....similar to antelope hunting all day long. Intense hunting pressure plus a full moon plus warm temps can lead to frustration! As a contrast no moon, cold temps, and light hunting pressure can definitely benefit the hunter!
 

mosquito

Active Member
Nov 1, 2012
168
203
NE ohio
Ive always been a firm believer in the more time hunting the better my odds period. I do believe in moon phases and sent control and this and that . There is something to all of it but i wouldn't trade it for time in the field . Ive killed a ton of deer (whitetails)in my blue work parts directly leaving work and going straight to the woods. When i have the time i practice sent control and i do watch the moon phases however i hands down vote for another week of hunting.
 

kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
5,219
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idaho
I thought deer could see pretty well in the dark???????????????????????

I can't speak to hunting during full moons. but NEVER fish in the rain. fish won't bite when it's wet. ;)
 

Joseph

Active Member
Jan 25, 2014
221
108
Creston BC Canada
I would want to be there for the whole season, you can scout pretty efficiently with a rifle in hand. The more days you have to hunt should mean that you have a better chance of success. Yes some get lucky on the first day but I would venture a guess that most guys put a fair view days and miles on before they get a chance to pull the trigger. I know I do. I would want the whole 14 days. Oh yeah and to your question about moon phase is really kind of moot isn't since like you said the full moon is before the season opens.
 
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