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View Full Version : moon phases and deer rut in south alabama


n10sivern
11-17-2010, 11:13 AM
trying to plan out some vacation days. as all of you that hunt in south alabama know, the rut typically begins in the middle of january all the way to the middle of february depending on the year. from reading up on the correlation between the full moon and the rut, it appears that the rut generally takes place during a full moon cycle. looking at the lunar tables for january, the full moon is january 19th. my question is, do you think the rut will take place during this full moon or the february 17th full moon? i'm guessing it'll be january but you never know. last year, the biggest deer i saw all year was working a scrape line on january 31st. i looked back at the lunar calendar and that was during the full moon. my understanding is that the bucks generally only work scrape lines prior to the rut and between ruts, which contradicts what i saw last year. i guess the whole point to this is i'm confused on when to GUESS the rut will occur and when to take extra time off to hunt.

M.Magis
11-17-2010, 11:16 AM
Take your time based on when it's historically good in your area. The lunar tables are garbage. The rut is the same basic time year after year, no matter what the moon is doing.

blumsden
11-17-2010, 12:59 PM
I do believe the rut generally is the same time every year, however i do believe that the moon phase does affect deer movement to some extent. With that being said, hunt as often as you can that time of the year, especially during the week of the 17th. We're not in south alabama but closer to central and thats when the big boys are on they're feet around here.

n10sivern
11-17-2010, 05:41 PM
Just grasping at anything. I know the rut usually happens during the same general time, but that's a 1 month window. As far as the moon affecting the rut, I have no clue, but have heard that for years and wrote it off as BS. However, I know people that specifically hunt according to the moon phase and they do quite well. Is there any research that proves or disproves this.

FloridaBoy
11-17-2010, 09:12 PM
I like the week between the first quarter and the full moon. You have a major solunar in the morning that seems to get the does on their feet feeding. When the does are up, so are the bucks (just like ladies night at the bar :p)


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dodger
11-18-2010, 01:33 AM
its been proven that moon phases do not affect the rut of a whitetail deer...

FloridaBoy
11-18-2010, 05:57 AM
I agree, but I do believe that the moon affects daytime deer (doe) movement.


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blumsden
11-18-2010, 02:33 PM
I agree, but I do believe that the moon affects daytime deer (doe) movement.


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I agree with this. I think sometimes we don't word it quite right. When someone asks about how the moon phase affects the rut, a lot of people will chime in that it doesn't effect the rut, and i guess to some extent this is true. I do know that daytime activity by doe's, as has been said earlier, in my opinion is effected, therefore causing bucks to be on there feet. Weather also effects deer movement. Thats all that anybody is looking for, is an edge to be on stand when the big boys are on their feet. We say how does it effect the rut, what we should say is how does it effect daytime deer movement because during that special time of the year, thats what we are looking for.

shack
11-18-2010, 03:20 PM
If given a choice I would rather hunt the rut when the moon is dark.

crimson n' camo
11-18-2010, 04:07 PM
The rut in South Alabama is so spread out that I would not put much stock in trying to predict which week might be the best in any given area ahead of time. You will probably find that it varies a little from one spot to another.

dodger
11-18-2010, 04:26 PM
Alright let me ask you this... If the moon is full and for 2 nights it's bright outside... On the third night it's thick overcast and almost as dark outside as it is when the new moon rolls around... Does that mean that the deer are going to still move at night as the have the past 2 nights or does thy mean that deer are going to move more in the daytime??? When the rut is in full swing it dosent matter what the moon is doing you better be in There cause you can't kill em at home and to find out when the rut kicks in go somewhere that they do a big buck contest in your area and look at the entries and see when they really start to score deer... That's the best way to date the rut in your area

n10sivern
11-18-2010, 07:17 PM
Ok, then how does the moon affect deer movement other than they are more nocturnal during full moons. Is it because of the full moon or just because there is more light at night?

blumsden
11-19-2010, 07:34 AM
To be honest with you, i don't think anybody really knows. I know if given a preference, i like to be on stand when the moon is overhead and there is a high pressure front in place. I think it may be the position of the moon more than anything. I can't explain any of it, it's what i've experienced while hunting 30-40 days a year for the last 30 years. During a full moon, i see deer early morning until about 8:30, after that i don't see that many until midday on into the afternoon. I will say this, 3 days before a full moon, be on a food plot. I've seen good bucks on plots during this time. As i said before, i can't explain any of it. It is what it is, my experiences.

n10sivern
11-19-2010, 08:17 AM
Alright let me ask you this... If the moon is full and for 2 nights it's bright outside... On the third night it's thick overcast and almost as dark outside as it is when the new moon rolls around... Does that mean that the deer are going to still move at night as the have the past 2 nights or does thy mean that deer are going to move more in the daytime??? When the rut is in full swing it dosent matter what the moon is doing you better be in There cause you can't kill em at home and to find out when the rut kicks in go somewhere that they do a big buck contest in your area and look at the entries and see when they really start to score deer... That's the best way to date the rut in your area

I've never heard of a big buck contest before, especially not near where I hunt. Guess I can Internet search for one that posts results up. As for where I live, there are no big bucks much less contests.

dodger
11-19-2010, 10:26 AM
I've never heard of a big buck contest before, especially not near where I hunt. Guess I can Internet search for one that posts results up. As for where I live, there are no big bucks much less contests.

You can pinpoint the rut in your area you can look on the MDWFP website an look at the "rut map" it gives a well educated guess to the dates of the rut in your area... I've got some friends and family who hunt on the coast that do very well around the end of January into February... And there is a big buck contest up at a place in Brooklyn on 49

oneshotbrowing5
11-19-2010, 04:24 PM
last year was the best rut i have seen in a long time. from jan 10th on threw feb 10th with the 2nd week of jan being the strongest!!!! i will have to go back and look in my notes and see what the moon was doing. however i personaly think that had to do with my resent doe harvest. not the moon.

JBGulf Shores
11-21-2010, 08:50 PM
Our best week in January 2010 was the 2nd week and just into the 3rd.

Man if we could just hunt the first 2 weeks of FEB it would ROCK!

Arch_e_Tech
11-22-2010, 10:09 AM
I hunt central AL and the rut didn't start here until the last week of Jan. last year. Because of that, this year I plan to take off from work the last week in January and hunt every day. If for some reason, I see that it is starting earlier than that, then I will make adjustments accordingly.
As stated earlier, I see more doe movement on full moon cycles than new moon cycles and those sitings are typically early in the morning up till about 8 or 8:30. Then I don't see any more deer till the last hour of daylight.
So I will probably let everyone at my office know that I could be gone durring the last 2 weeks of January. I'll keep a tab on my trail cams and personal observation and when it seems the rut is kicking in..... I am outta this office and in the woods! :D
By the way.. got my first doe of the season on opening Saturday!!! Cooked fresh backstrap Saturday night!!!!!!:p