Do you see a difference in Elk Activity based on moon phase?

2rocky

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One unnamed hunting magazine, has made some hunting date recommendations that certain times are better than others based on the moon phase.

Have you seen a difference in elk behavior based on moon phase?

For example, are elk less active during daylight hours during a full moon?

Or are they active at a different time of day during a full moon?

Or is it a bunch of hooey. Hunt hard and you will get an elk.
 

sreekers

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I agree, hunt hard and you will get an elk. But.....

The simple answer is this, when there is a full moon they feed and water at night. In order to find them you have to be in place glassing well before sun up, and ready to move as soon as you spot one. Full moon just means less active during the day.

Snow cover throws the moon out the window, it takes much more time for them to get the necessary food.

The combination of factors above is what dictates how my October 15th rifle season goes. If there is snow it makes for a much "easier" hunt in terms of finding the animals how active they are. If there is no snow, and a full moon, well it is more work to find them, but they are there.
 

In God We Trust

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You can use that to your advantage during the rut. Just slip in earlier around 3A.M and find them from their bugles. They bugle all night on a full moon during the rut.
 

thebugler

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I agree guys, Full moon will definetly change the day time activity for elk. I have had great mid-day success approaching the bedding area and calling bulls in. Like what was said before, hunt hard daylight till dark and you will be fine :)
 

wapitibob

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It made no difference last year in NM, nor in 2008 during that years full moon phase. Lots of discussion about it last year so I made notes on my hunt. They were still up and bugling/feeding at 10 in the morning last year. Bugled off and on all day then lit back up at 6 and headed out.
It does seem to affect them where I hunt here in Or though.
 

Ross

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I tracked this many years ago and saw no real pattern in my neck of the woods in North Idaho. For me we can't control it, so as bugler noted hunt hard and you will tend to find bugling somewhere.
 

Umpqua Hunter

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I actually seriously use moon phase in planning for when to apply for limited entry hunts I expect to draw. On several deer and elk hunts, I am in the max point pool, and am only applying during years that the season dates are right (best rut dates) AND that I don't have to compete with a full moon. With the moon calendars on line, it's easy to pick the prime dates the next five years or so and plan accordingly.

For example, I have one elk hunt I've built over 20 points for and by anticipating what the season dates will be on upcoming years, and checking the moon phase calendars, I have picked the year I plan to draw. On that same unit, I have looked at historical data, and the best success years were on years with be best rut dates, and a dark moon.
 

Swede

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I think moon phase is all hooey. I have seen no difference in their activity based on the moon. Weather and where they are in relation to the rut make a difference. Of coarse if the quarter moon is tilted up so that water pours out of it, like out of a pitcher, the elk will not be as thirsty and won't come into water as often. In other words go hunting.
I just checked the dates of my last 20 elk kills against the appropriate lunar calendar. Seven were killed when the moon was 3/4 to full, six were killed between 1/4-3/4, and seven were killed with less than 1/4 moon.
 
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anglinarcher

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Last year during the week of a fuller moon. My hunting buddy and I noticed more activity during the middle of the day (12-2 pm) than usual. At 12:30 pm my buddy missed a rag horn and couldn't convert on the herd bull with a few cows 100 yrds away feeding. The very next day I was just out of range/ tree were too thick, of a herd moving up the drainage to bed back down from feeding in the valley below at 2 pm. The following day my buddy arrowed his bull....at 1 pm.

By that third day we were hip to the mid day activity and we planned for it. It immediately paid off!

My thoughts are the elk were feeding late at night and very early in the am, and were getting hungry/thirst by late am. Last year was the first year I kept a journal so I'll check back in a decade when I might actually know something
 

tmeans

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One unnamed hunting magazine, has made some hunting date recommendations that certain times are better than others based on the moon phase.

Have you seen a difference in elk behavior based on moon phase?

For example, are elk less active during daylight hours during a full moon?

Or are they active at a different time of day during a full moon?

Or is it a bunch of hooey. Hunt hard and you will get an elk.
tmeans I know that on a archery hunt a few year back in unit 3c in Arizona's Rim Country, the elk were calling real good and I was calling in many bulls every morning and evening right up to the day before the full moon. The morning after the full moon was dead quite and it seemed like the woods were empty. I have heard guides make the comment before" avoid the full moon" when scheduling a hunt, and after this happened I can see why. But I do know that the moon influences on all fish and wildlife. But I agree with the ElkNut1 that the rut trumps just about anything. And with this Arizona archery bull tag in my pocket I am happy for that. Read more about bow hunting elk in Arizona at my blog
 

flatlander51

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What are or where can I find the rut predictions for this year? Does it matter what state or type of terrain your hunting?
 

AZ Ron

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Down here in AZ we've noticed that elk are up moving around more midday during a full moon. They get up and feed/water for a couple of hours midday. Temps seem to play a bigger role in the rut activity.

They are going to rut no matter what though. Whether at night or quietly (from pressure), they are still making babies...

The 2011 rut seemed a lot later than the 2010 rut down here. Looking forward to seeing what 2012 has to offer!
 

rckymtnguy

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There is a 2+ hour long webinar discussion archvived over on roehuntingresources if your interested in the science behind the moon phase and rut timing. Chris does a great job of breaking it down.
 
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