The moon phases affect the tide, nighttime visibility, and possibly deer behavior. Whether the moon phases have a biological effect on deer, or they just use the moon to light their way at night, hunters should take notice. Review the tips below to learn how to use the moon phases to your advantage.

Guided by the Light

Deer are in-tune to their bodies’ nutritional needs, so it stands to reason that they would also be in-tune to other elements of nature. The full moon is obviously very bright, so it provides a bit of extra light for the deer to see by. Hunters have noticed that deer are more likely to venture out during evening hours by the light of the full moon as opposed to during broad daylight. They will still be cloaked by the cover of darkness, but will have just enough light to see where they’re going.

On the other hand, the new moon might encourage deer to be more active at dawn, once the sun begins to rise. The sky is completely dark during the new moon and provides no moonlight at all, so the deer might tend to bed down overnight until they receive a little light from the dawn.

Deer are influenced by photoperiodism, which is changes in the amount of daylight. Photoperiodism is part of the reason that the rut is triggered around November each year when the days get shorter and there’s less sunlight. The lack of sunlight sets off deer’s reproductive systems and starts the rut process. It’s possible that the moonlight effects deer the same way as sunlight.

Use this Knowledge to Your Advantage

Any day spent hunting is a good day, but try to time your hunts according to peak activity. Knowing that deer might be using the moonlight to see, try to set up your Stump blind in an open area. Whether that’s at the edge of a wide-open field or in a clearing in the forest, make sure enough moonlight is shining through to light up the area. As the light fades from sunlight to moonlight, the deer might wander directly into your path. Use our Stump Light to make sure you’re able to see if it gets too dark.

Since it’s also rut season, hunting according to the moon phases could add to your hunting strategy. Bucks that are already active because of the rut might be even more active around the dawn of a new moon or at night during a full moon. Our Stump blinds, like the Stump 3, are spacious enough that you can hunt all day while still having access to all the necessities. Stock up on snacks, bring a sleeping bag to roll out in the blind, and take breaks as needed.  You’ll be able to hunt any hour of the day comfortably.

It’s tough to say just how much the moon phases affect deer behavior, especially since deer are the most active at dawn and dusk consistently throughout the year. Conduct your own experiment by observing the deer at your Feedbank Gravity Feeders and see if it correlates with the moon phases. If nothing else, it will give you valuable insight into your specific herd, which you can still use to your advantage through your hunting tactics.

Do the moon phases affect your hunting style? Let us know if you hunt based on the moon phases in the comments below!

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