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How Does the Full Moon Affect Deer Hunting?

How Does the Full Moon Affect Deer Hunting?

One factor that hunters often consider when planning their trips is whether there will be a full moon during the hunt. It’s believed that deer are more active under the light of a full moon, making them easier to spot and track in the woods. But does this belief hold up to scientific scrutiny? To answer this question, we need to look at how deer behavior changes under different conditions, including during full moons. We’ll also explore any potential benefits or drawbacks for human hunters who use these lunar cycles as part of their strategy.

What Is Moon Phase?

Moon phase is a term used to describe the cyclical changes in the Moon’s illuminated area as it orbits the Earth. The most iconic of these changes is the full moon, where all of the Moon’s face is visible from Earth. This occurs approximately once every 29.5 days when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned, with the Moon being situated between the two. During this time, the night sky is remarkably bright and visible even after dusk has fallen.

This brightness is caused by sunlight reflecting off of the Moon’s surface, which is why full moons are associated with increased activity levels in many animals. Deer are no exception – they tend to be more active when there is a full moon, as the extra light makes it easier for them to forage for food and move around their environment. This can in turn make them more visible to hunters, who may take advantage of this increased visibility when planning their trips.

Effects Of Moon Phase

The full moon has a direct correlation with deer movement, and can be an important factor to consider when planning a hunt. During the few days leading up to the full moon and during the night of the full moon, deer tend to move less than normal due to increased food sources at night caused by bright, natural light provided by the moon. They may leave the safety of their bedding areas to feed in small open pockets, but otherwise they tend to move less than normal. This lack of movement can make it more difficult for hunters to find deer and take advantage of a hunting opportunity during full moons.

On the opposite side of the lunar cycle, during new moon nights, deer are much more active. With the dark night sky and the lack of natural light, deer feel safe to move around and feed on sources that may be harder to find during daylight hours. This can provide hunters with an excellent opportunity to take advantage of active deer movement earlier in the evening or later at night – especially when paired with a good food source.

Effects Of Moon Phase

Does Moon Phase Affect Deer Movement?

When it comes to hunting, one of the most important things to consider is when deer are on the move. Many hunters are of the opinion that lunar cycles can have an influence on deer movements. To make sense of how the moon influences deer conduct, we must first reflect on why their behavior may be impacted.

The most common theory is that the full moon’s bright light affects the deer’s vision. At the break of dawn and dusk, deer are most lively; their crepuscular nature shines through. With the illumination provided by a full moon, deer often move around during nighttime when visibility is improved. In addition, the bright light can make deer more cautious and the extra ambient light may make it easier for predators to spot them.

Another possible factor affecting deer movement is the amount of food available. During a full moon, deer may have an easier time finding food, since they can see better in the area. This could lead to deer being more active during the night, as they search for food.

Finally, the air pressure can be an important factor in deer movement. The air pressure during a full moon is typically higher than normal, which could make deer feel more comfortable and less stressed. This can encourage deer to move around more. [1]

How To Use The Moon To Improve Your Deer Hunt?

The full moon is an important factor to consider when deer hunting. The light of the full moon affects the behavior of deer, making it more likely that they will be active during the night hours. By understanding which phases of the moon are best for hunting, you can improve your chances of success.

One way to use the moon to your advantage is by timing your hunt in relation to when the full moon occurs. Generally speaking, the best time to hunt deer is around the two nights before, or the two nights after, a full moon. During this period, deer are most active, making it easier to spot them.

Another factor to consider when hunting is the position of the moon in relation to the horizon. When the moon is higher in the sky, the light it casts makes it easier for deer to spot potential predators. In contrast, when the moon is lower in the sky and less visible, deer feel more protected and are thereby not as watchful. As such, it is best to hunt when the moon is lower in the sky, as you have a better chance of sneaking up on your prey.

Finally, you should take into account the phase of the moon. During a crescent moon, for example, deer are less active due to low light levels. [2]

The Best Time To Hunt Deer

For optimal deer hunting, head out just after the moon has risen in a full moon phase and stay until it begins to set. This is because the moon’s light makes it easier to spot and take aim at the deer. During this time, the deer will also be more likely to venture out in search of food, making it easier to find them. In addition, the deer’s eyesight is much better at night and they are less likely to detect a hunter’s presence.

However, there are also some drawbacks to hunting during the full moon phase. For one, the light can make it more difficult to identify a deer’s gender or age. It is also important to note that some deer may become more skittish during the full moon, which can make it harder to take an accurate shot.

The Best Time To Hunt Deer

Guided By The Light

The light of the full moon can be a great guide for deer hunters, as it often allows them to see more clearly in the dark and spot deer more easily. During a full moon, the behavior of deer shifts. Not only are they more active, but their presence is also easier to pick up with the naked eye. During a full moon, deer become extra active and tend to dine later in the evening when there is more light available, making them easier to spot. Additionally, the extra light provided by a full moon can give hunters an advantage in areas where they would otherwise be hunting in complete darkness. [3]

Pay Attention To The Weather

Deer hunting is often done outdoors, and the weather can have an effect on how effective it is. Before heading out for a hunt, check the weather forecast for the area and plan accordingly. If there is a chance of rain, be sure to bring appropriate clothing and gear. Wind can also affect a hunt and make it more difficult to stay quiet, or to pick up on the deer’s movement. Generally, a light breeze is ideal for deer hunting.

The full moon can also affect the weather conditions, as it increases the amount of light in an area. This can make it harder for deer to stay hidden and make them more visible to hunters. [4]


When Is The Best Time To Hunt During A Full Moon?

To give yourself the best chance for success, hunting during a full moon should be done around sunrise and sunset. During these times, deer are more active due to the increased light levels. Also, because of the increased visibility provided by a full moon, deer are less likely to spook easily and will be more likely to stay in one spot for a longer period of time. This gives hunters the opportunity to take their shot without being noticed by the deer and being able to make a successful kill. During the day, however, deer tend to be more wary and active during this time and hunters may have a more difficult time making a successful kill.

Is Deer Hunting Good On A New Moon?

Many hunters believe the best time to hunt deer is on a new moon, as deer tend to be more active and sleeping patterns change. The lack of light in the woods during a new moon is also an advantage, as it allows the hunter to remain undetected while hunting. Additionally, deer tend to feed and travel more often during a new moon, making them easier to find and track. However, it is important to be aware of the weather conditions when hunting during a new moon, as poor visibility can hinder success.

Is Deer Hunting Good On A New Moon

Does Barometric Pressure Affect Deer Movement?

When planning a successful deer hunt, it is critical to take into account more than just the lunar phase. Barometric pressure can be equally as influential for finding ideal hunting conditions. Generally speaking, when atmospheric pressure is low, deer tend to be more active as they’re hunting and foraging for food. When atmospheric pressure is high, deer are more likely to remain in the safety of their beds, making them much harder to find.

Does Temperature Affect Deer Movement?

Temperature can also have an effect on deer movement. During the summer and fall, deer tend to be more active during cooler parts of the day. On especially hot days, deer may seek out shaded areas to rest in order to avoid the heat. Likewise, when temperatures drop during the winter months, deer may become more active as they search for food to sustain them. So even if the moon is in its full phase, hunters should keep an eye on the temperature to determine if it may be affecting deer movement.

How to monitor the moon?

The brightness of the night sky is one of the most important factors when it comes to deer hunting success. Knowing when and how to monitor the moon is key to understanding how it affects deer hunting. One way to monitor the moon’s phases and brightness is with a lunar calendar. A lunar calendar is a chart that shows the moon’s phases and how they affect the night sky brightness during particular times throughout the year. It can be used to plan and predict a successful hunt.

How to monitor the moon

How do I change the start and or end time of a hunt?

Changing the start and end time of a hunt is something that must be done with caution. It may appear that hunting during a full moon is beneficial, but in fact it can have dire consequences on your hunt and the deer population as a whole. With a full moon in the sky, deer become more cautious and aware of their surroundings. This increased alertness could ultimately lower your chances of bagging one on your next hunting trip. If you decide to change your hunt times to coincide with a full moon, be sure to stay alert and prepared for any potential changes in the deer’s behavior.

What is the best moon phase advice?

The best advice for deer hunting under moonlight is to hunt when the moon is in its new or waxing crescent phase. During these phases, the moon is at its darkest, providing cover for those trying to stalk their prey. If a hunter wants to be successful during this time, they should focus on heavily wooded areas and early morning hunts. This is because the deer are more likely to be out in search of food during these times. The full moon is the least advantageous time to hunt deer, as they have more light available and can see potential predators more easily.

What You Need To Know About The 2023 Rutting Moon?

During the autumn season, white-tailed deer become particularly active in their mating rituals, a phenomenon known as ‘the rutting moon’. For avid deer hunters, this season is particularly noteworthy. With the onset of rutting activity and heightened visibility of the animals, success in hunting has never been more likely.

Useful Video: 5 Ways To Deer Hunt A Full Moon


The effect of the full moon on deer hunting is highly controversial. Some believe that the presence of a full moon increases deer movement and makes them more active and easier to hunt, while others think that the light of the full moon reveals a hunter’s presence too easily, resulting in fewer successful hunts. Ultimately, it is up to the individual hunter to decide for themselves whether or not they think hunting during a full moon will be more successful than hunting at any other time.


  1. https://www.mossyoak.com/our-obsession/blogs/cuzs-corner/the-effect-moon-phase-has-on-hunting-deer
  2. https://www.bowhunter.com/editorial/does-moon-phase-affect-deer-movement/368567
  3. https://banksoutdoors.com/how-moon-phases-affect-deer-movement/
  4. https://banksoutdoors.com/how-the-full-moon-impacts-deer-movement/