Moon Phase, Moon Position and the Whitetail Rut

Moon Phase, Moon Position and the Whitetail Rut

When it comes to killing big bucks, I'm a firm believer in the moon phase. And while rut hunting is always good, this year the moon phases have aligned to give us even better evening hunting during the pre- and post-rut periods and the best possible morning and midday hunts during the peak of the rut.


Whenever I am in doubt about high-traffic times for animals, I look to the sky and try to find the moon. My experience is that animals move heavily when the moon is first coming up and also during the last hours before it dips below the horizon.


A very good example of this is a few days prior to the full moon. On those days, the moon will be popping above the horizon well before dark, and I can guarantee you deer movement will be heavy on those days. Then, once the moon phase is at full, it starts rising later and later after shooting hours, which is why


evening hunts during a full moon can be frustrating.

This year, there are two full moon phases that will fall within the traditional rutting period — the first occurs on Oct. 27, and the second on Nov. 25. This means that the days leading up to the full moon will be dynamite in both months for evening hunts. The October full moon aligns perfectly with the days when the big bucks typically make their first daylight appearances to check fields for the area's first estrous doe.

Here in the Midwest, I typically start seeing mature bucks the last three days of October, but with this year's moon phase, I predict some great bucks will fall from Oct. 24-26.


Then, a month later when the moon is coming up well before dark in November, the timing is excellent for the time of the rut when bucks really start to cruise and venture into new territories in search of the few remaining receptive does that have not yet been bred. Nov. 22-24 could produce some excellent evening hunting.

On the flip side of the full moon phase is the dark of the moon, which is ideal for the rut because it reduces nighttime rutting activity when bowhunters are out of the woods. This year, the last quarter of the moon starts Nov. 3, with the New Moon falling on Nov. 11. This is perfect timing for bowhunters, who should see some great morning hunts during the peak of the rut.

For full article, and additional tips for the bowhunter, pick up a copy of the November/December issue of Petersen's Bowhunting.




Recommended for You

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm! How-To

Summer Scouting Spectacular

Bill Winke - July 17, 2019

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm!




Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry> Podcasts

Still Going Strong

October 28, 2010

Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry>

Light up a buck's taste buds while drawing him in for a close shot. Whitetail

Hidey-Hole Whitetail Food Plots

Brad M. Mormann & Dr. Grant R. Woods

Light up a buck's taste buds while drawing him in for a close shot.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

The new Ravin R29X Crossbow includes everything you need for blistering speed (450 FPS!) and deadly downrange accuracy (3-inch group at 100 yards).

Bill Winke

Bill Winke's Top Five Bow Shooting Tips

Petersen's Bowhunting Field Editor Bill Winke give us his top five bow shooting tips

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

We've rounded up the best new fixed-blade broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. Check out our top picks! ATA Show

New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new fixed-blade broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. Check out our top...

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More


It's that time of year when Arrows & Broadheads

2017 Fixed-Blade Broadhead Test

Jon E. Silks - December 12, 2017

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More It's that time of year...

See More Stories

More Whitetail

Growing up in Southwest Michigan I didn't have much experience hunting hill country until I started Whitetail

Tips For Taking Hill Country Bucks in the Rut

Alex Gyllstrom - November 10, 2017

Growing up in Southwest Michigan I didn't have much experience hunting hill country until I...

When it comes to the whitetail rut, being mobile could seal the deal! Whitetail

Be Mobile to Keep Up with the Whitetail Rut

Clint Casper

When it comes to the whitetail rut, being mobile could seal the deal!

Answer this questions from Bill Winke to find out! Whitetail

Quiz: How Good Is Your Deer Hunting Area?

Bill Winke

Answer this questions from Bill Winke to find out!

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.