Almost nothing about deer hunting has been studied longer than the effects of the moon. And yet with hundreds of years of tradition, culture, and some significant observational research, modern technology has completely changed our understanding of this phenomenon. On this episode I talk about how the moon really impacts deer movement and the whitetail rut.

How this was studied historically:

  • Native American Tradition – The rutting moon was long seen as the sign that the prime of hunting season was at hand.
  • Anecdotal Observation – People went into the woods, saw deer and concluded it was the moon.
  • Descriptive Observational Research – Many notes and observations were compiled and correlated with moon phase to create guidelines. 

How it is studied now.

  • Trail Cameras – We can see when deer are active, day or night, and objectively quantify their activity.. 
  • Doe Gestational Research – Thousands of roadkill does are studied across multiple years and the average point of conception is compared with the timing of the rutting moon.
  • Electronic Deer Tagging – Deer are tagged and tracked day and night to determine if the moon impacts their movement and rutting behavior. 

Listen to the episode to learn about how the moon impacts whitetail deer activity.