|A few hunters have heard me say " Don't miss hunting the evenings next week. The moon will in the right position for seeing good bucks to be on the move
early in the afternoon". After that statement I usually get a few "yeah what ever" as the disbelievers think I'm just plain stupid. But the ones that take that
information as encouragement to get into the stand every night that week and give it their all. Soon learn that there actually may be something to the lunar
position when it comes to predicting when mature whitetails will be on their feet during day light shooting hours. It is those hunters that come back to me
with allot more questions as how to better understand the method of "Using the Moons Position" to encounter more whitetails and bigger bucks.
By taking just a few minutes to read through on how to use the lunar method. I think you will soon understand that this concept works very well and that it is
just as important as your scent lok suit. Using the "Lunar Big Game Movements method" is a simple and much overlooked concept that is not only easy to
follow. But it can be used for hunting ALL big game animals. Especially, when it come to understanding why certain days produce more day light deer
movement than others.
To start understanding how to translate and then use the lunar position method for hunting big game. Let me give you all an example that I am sure you will
be able to relate to. For those that take frequent evening drives around your hunting areas in the late afternoon/evenings to glass for a potentially nice buck
to hunt and/or for those that have just simply driven around during that last hour of the day hoping to catch a glimpse of any whitetail willing to show their
face. Ask yourselves this:
1: Have you ever noticed (say over a couple weeks period) that you can be driving around each and every night to not really see a thing?
2: Then suddenly there is this one night where you start seeing quite a few doe.
3: Then the next couple of nights you see all of those same doe again. But on this night you see a few small bucks as well?
4: Then the next night or two you see even a few more small bucks but also... "WHAM"!!! THERE ARE SLAMMER BUCKS OUT RUNNING AROUND!!
5: But then the next night.....WHAT THE HELL?? Lol.... there is NOTHING OUT!
I am guessing right now you are agreeing that you have had that experience. To explain why that happens is simple. As the moon reaches/moves into a
certain position in the sky, the gravitational pull of the moon will cause big game animals to get up and "FEED". And when the moon is in that prime position
closest to dawn and dusk is when you will see the big boys on their feet in day light hours. So as a quick "how to get started reference". Next time you are
out on your evening deer scouting trips and you see the big boys moving early? LOOK UP AND SEE WHERE THE MOON IS AT IN THE SKY!! Then make a
note as to where the moon is positioned at in the sky and exactly what the date is that you seen the big bucks on the move early. That is the first step to
being well on your way to predicting the major movement periods during day light hours and when mature whitetail bucks will be on their feet early each
TIP:Through the added use of trail cameras, hunters can broaden their lunar knowledge for keying in on when those "major movement days" are going to
be. And with a good arsenal of game cameras, hunters will be able to narrow down the days for when "the big boys" should be up on their feet to move by
their stand with plenty of shooting light left. So because the peak lunar positions cause major feeding activity. Hunters will need to "place a trail cameras on
each & every trail that leads in and out of the suspected food source that is being used by the whitetails at the time. Whether it is a bean field or a food
plot....Do your best to get a camera on each and every trail. Once your cameras are in place, you will need to record the weather conditions and the wind
directions each day at dawn,midday,dusk and at midnight. This will not only allow you to pattern a specific animal as to how/where they are entering the
food source based on wind directions. But what you are looking for are the days that you capture the mature bucks showing up to feed during the AM & PM
daylight hours. As you gain a good record of that information, you should be able to see that information match up with the activity information that you
have gained while driving the roads glassing for big buck activity. Now if you have a hunting buddy that you can trust to be honest with you about his/her
own record of big buck activity. You can also use the buck movement info from their trail cams to back up your research as well. I have actually had trail cam
pictures here in Illinois (showing early evening big buck movement) match up with the same days as friends of mine that live in other states such as New
York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey,etc. So when that happens over and over.....Is that Coincidence?..... Or is it the Moon?
APPLYING THE METHOD!!
So now you are probably asking "Ok, so I drove around every night until I seen the mature bucks moving, I recorded the date and where the moon was
positioned at in the sky. But what do I do with this information and/or how do I use it"? Well the next thing you need to understand is the cycle of the moon
for which there are two different variables that you have to consider. One is the phases of the moon and the other is position.
The phases: of the moon slowly change over a period of 29 1/2 days. That meaning that from the phase of a full moon.... it will take 29 1/2 days for the
moon to return to the full moon phase. It is the phases of the moon that are believed to be the determining factors as to what triggers doe to come into
estrous. So it is that information that is important for trying to determine when certain phases/transitions of the rut that the bucks will be in. Meaning phases
like the peak of the sign phase where bucks are in transition to new areas for the rut. When a buck shows up into a new area? The first thing he is going to
do is tear the ever loving hell out of things with rubs & scrapes to alert the other deer in the are of their presence. Then that phase of the rut is followed by
the seek & chase phase which is followed by the lock down period (Peak Breeding phase) of the rut, etc.
THE POSITION: is the main variable that we are going to focus on for being able to determine them "DON'T MISS DAYS". Now yes I will agree that
there is never a day that isn't a good day to be in the woods hunting. As it has been said millions of time "A bad day of hunting is better than any great day
at work" right? Lol....well true. But if you want to be able to understand how to narrow down what will be "THE GREAT DAYS HUNTING" as well as
understand what causes the October Lull, why there is a lull in the peak rut and why there are lulls in your trail cam activities? Then read up, listen up and
take notes from the woods and the sky! Because you spend enough time with this method will soon discover the a key to increasing your success rates in
Now again, it is "the position of the moon" that will help you visually understand how the moons gravitational pull has a major effect on a whitetails/big
game feeding activity. So to understand how the moon method works, you will have to understand the mechanics of the moon.
1.) The moons position changes every second of every day. But "WILL RETURN TO THE EXACT SAME SPOT 27 1/2 DAYS LATER"
2.) The moon orbits the earth in an oval pattern and not a perfect circle. Therefore during the moons daily journey around the earth, the oval pattern will
cause the moon to become closer to the earths surface two times every day. Thus, the moons gravitational pull increases and then decreases, which is like
slowly passing a magnet over a piece of metal laying in the middle of a table. The closer it gets to the hunk of metal, the more the pull from the magnet will lift
the metal up away from the tables surface. Then as the magnet moves away from the metal, the pull decreases and the metal falls back to the tables surface.
Now compare the moon as being the magnet and the deer being the piece of metal. The closer the moon gets to the deer and/or the surface of the
earth....The more the moons energy/gravitational pull will increase causing/pulling the deer up off of their feet to feed. Then as the moon moves further
away.....the urge to feed decreases.
3.) The moon has a 24 hour and 50 minute day as opposed to the suns 24 hour day. That is why the moon is never in the same spot at 5pm each day. That
also means that the timing for the moons position of peak gravitational pull will change each day by 50 minutes and that is why the peak feeding periods
and/or peak moon times are never the same time every day. Also remember that because the moon orbits the earth in an oval pattern which places the moon
closest to the earth every 12 hours and 25 minutes. Thus you have an increase in peak feeding activities twice every day. So the moons gravitational pull is
sometimes peaking in the middle of the night and in the middle of the day. Now we obviously cannot hunt during the middle of the night. But we can hunt
when the moons gravitational pull as it is peaking during the mornings and evenings when most hunters are able to be in the stand. We can hunt during the
middle of the day as well and I will explain how to use the moon for that a little later on. But due to humans being programmed to only believe what they see.
I will explain the "easiest way to learn this method and that is when the moon is up and visible in the late afternoons/evenings.
GETTING STARTED: The best time to begin your research will in the summer months of June - August when bucks have small core areas and are
consistently using a specific food source daily. Usually at this time of the year a soy bean field and/or clover/alfalfa fields are excellent places to start finding
bucks feeding regularly. So once you have located that prime food source, you will start by watching/glassing these selected area's "EACH AND EVERY
NIGHT" Beginning the day that the moon is directly over head (aka: at meridian passing) at sunset. You will continue your scouting each night until the
moon is just beginning to rise at dusk/dark. If you simply apply those steps each and every month beginning at the start of the summer throughout the start
of hunting season. I promise that you will begin to see how every month when the moon is in this one common spot during the late afternoon/evening
hours. There is without a doubt specific days when the deer are actively feeding earlier than on other nights, along with 1-2 of those nights containing
mature bucks moving early as well, only to be followed by nights where nothing is happening at all. Thus..." LULLS IN GAME ACTIVITY"!! As well you should
notice that every month (about 27 1/2 days apart) there are one or two nights during that period where "The big boys feed early into the daylight hours as
well". Now that the light bulb is on as to how the moon has been causing all of the highs and lows throughout your hunting experiences. You will hopefully
be well on your way to your taxidermist allot more often. So don't wait until season to start learning. Waiting till the last minute may be too late to pin point
the peak activities of that one buck you've had your sights set on all year. Get the trail cams out in the woods, dust off the binoculars and hit the roads
scanning field edges.
KNOW WHAT NIGHT TO START YOUR RESEARCH: To know the best night to start your research. Go to this website
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/moonrise.html and punch in the zip code nearest your hunt area. Then locate the day when the moons meridian
passing is at the same time as sunset and start your field trips on that specific day. While you are out in the field every night. Just keep an eye out to see
where the moon it is at each night at the time of sunset. Match the deer and buck activity to the moons position at sunset for each night. And remember that
when you see the nights that the bucks are on their feet? Mark that day down and know that 27 days later, the moon will be back in that exact same spot
causing mature bucks to be back on the move in early hours of the daylight.
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