September full moon

Tejasbow

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
85
Looking at the Lunar calendar for September and the full moon will be the 2nd week of September. After last years hunt being a full moon and they were all herded up I had decided that I wanted to get in front of the moon.

DO you guys think with the moon being that early in the season that they will herd up with the moon? Trying to get my date down.

Thanks
 

Beendare

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
5,337
Location
In Traffic
I've never worried too much about the moon on elk hunts. I DO think it has a negative effect.

I just had an interesting example; I hunted a buddies ranch in central Ca for hogs [very lightly hunted] and 2 weeks ago they got into a bunch of different groups of hogs. We hunted during the full moon and saw maybe 30% of what they had seen.
 
OP
T

Tejasbow

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
85
beendare- Yes night grazing has a negative effect on all animals.

5milesback. You do not believe that the lunar phase effects the breeding cycles of animals? I can tell you first hand it sure does Texas whitetails.
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
10,516
Location
Colorado Springs
5milesback. You do not believe that the lunar phase effects the breeding cycles of animals? I can tell you first hand it sure does Texas whitetails.

Elk will generally go into estrus up to three times from August to October. That's 1.5 to 2 complete moon cycles.
 
OP
T

Tejasbow

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
85
Appreciate the help guys.

Good info 5miles. Thanks. So I gather you do not put any weight into the moon phase when trying to schedule a hunt?
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
10,516
Location
Colorado Springs
Good info 5miles. Thanks. So I gather you do not put any weight into the moon phase when trying to schedule a hunt?

Of course I do.......but not because of herding.;)

My bottom line is......I'm hunting regardless, but I consider everything and make adjustments as needed. The easiest elk hunt I ever had was the bright full moon the night before opening morning, not a cloud in the sky, hot as heck, dry as a bone, and had a bull come screaming in at 0720 that morning to 25 yards.
 

6x6

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
59
Location
Utah
Moon, shmoon! I have experienced that they are active in the next afternoon after feeding at night. Just a change in routine for me. If you are on the elk, they will be there, moon or not.
 

COLOelkman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
297
Location
Lakewood, CO
Am I missing something as the lunar calendar I see shows full moons on Sept 6 and Oct 5? To me I'm looking forward to this compared to what it was in 2016.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk
 

Ridge Ghost

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
1,012
Location
Missoula, MT
I have never seen anything to suggest that they "herd up" based on moon phase.

What I have seen is that on a full moon they may feed at night and head to bed much earlier in the morning. With little morning activity, it can have the illusion that rutting activity is shut down completely. This is not the case. When elk bed earlier, they will often get up around mid day to water, stretch their legs, feed, etc. The guys that leave the woods after a quiet morning complaining about the moon can really miss out, because it can turn on right after they leave.

Also, if the herd has a hot cow that's ready to breed you can throw all of this information out the door. Full moon or new moon, with a hot cow close by, expect bugling all day long.
 

wytx

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2017
Messages
999
Location
Wyoming
Right on Ridge Ghost. Hunt all day during the full moon, evenings have worked better for us in heavily pressured areas during the full moon. All depends on those hot cows.
 

Hayguide

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
107
Location
Hayward Wisconsin
I hunted a full moon last year in SW Colorado- 1st season. First day passed a fat cow (EE tag) that was with a Spike near a spring creek at 11am, second morning saw two good bulls heading into dark timber from a park- I was 700 yards away. I positioned myself and waited all day-minus a 1 hour nap! I called the big one- a 6-5 270ish bull out of dark timber with only 15minutes of light left that evening and killed him. worst conditions you could ask for, 20MPH hot wind, 68 degrees at 10200 ft and a full moon. Still managed to see 7 elk in two day- SW Colorado- OTC area- 2 miles from a trailhead.. My experience- not to shade NM at all but I hunted NM 3 times- hunted hard and took two small bulls. In SW Colorado I have shot my biggest bulls, a 320 in 2010 and a 270 last year. saw a 330 being packed out in 2009 from the same area by an outfitter crew. I would defiantly hunt NM in 16, but there are no guarantees with any state and sometimes you get surprised like I have been in good old Colorado.
 

ElkNut1

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,946
Location
Idaho
I'm not a biologist but have done some research on the subject!

Photo-periodism [length of daytime light hitting the retina of the eye] controls pretty much everything in an elk’s life not the moon. The length of day triggers all the hormone releases which in fact control the rut. These hormone releases trigger bulls to rub off velvet, trigger the cows cycle which there are three main ones but can be as many as 4. The first happening around the 25th of Aug. then around the 15th of Sept. 3rd around Oct 10th & 4th around first week of Nov. which is final one.
Elk will then start the building of fat for the winter. So the peak for breeding cows happens mid Sept into the first week of Oct. A cow is in Estrus for a period for 12-15 hours but if she isn't bred in that time frame will have to wait 21 days for her next window of opportunity. Of course not all cows come into heat/estrus at the same time. The older cows, aprox 7-8yrs & older generally come into an estrus cycle first followed by the younger cows.


If a cow was born as a fourth cycle cow her first cycle as a 2 + yr old could be up to 9 weeks later than a lead cow but will regulate back as a 3 yr old. So don’t be confused with a lot of full moon myths. All the moon does is let the animals go nocturnal. Hot weather can slow down the search for cows and bugling during day light hours. The heat can lead elk towards being lethargic just as it does us! Cows cannot control when their estrus cycle will start, in other words they cannot choose it happening only after night fall! Full Moon times during peak rut times are magic! Locating elk at night during this phase or an hour or so before light is at the top of our list!We put more elk on the ground on OTC DIY elk hunts where the Rut laps a full moon or even close to it. Personally I prefer a full moon at those times!


ElkNut1
 

Hayguide

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
107
Location
Hayward Wisconsin
Elk Nut-good stuff. So, do you think that Cow I passed on Oct 15, last year that was alone with a spike at 11am was in heat? Do spikes get to breed much?
I killed a very nice 6-5 that I think was 4 maybe 5 years old -about 1/2 mile from that spring location the next day.. He was with another bull slightly smaller- the bigger of the two reacted to my cow call- He came charging out of black timber- raking. He was alone, but a cow was standing 300 yards away. I was in the middle in the cover of pines-but watching a smaller park at 10,300 ft. Conditions were horrible, but I got lucky and got into a small pocket of elk. I didn't bump them and just hunted slow and stayed out of the open areas. It worked.
 

ElkNut1

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,946
Location
Idaho
Hayguide, thanks! Good question & description of how your encounter went in both cases. It's very unlikely the cow was in Heat/Estrus or you would have had multiple bulls in the area competeting for here since there were other bulls in the vicinity. Do spikes generally get to breed cows? No not generally but you know how things can go in the elkwoods, there's never a never, but really unlikely. Elk are social/herd animals, it is common place to have spikes & cows to be around each other, nothing unusual there.

On your next day encounter with the two bulls in which you took one it's certainly common for lone bulls or bachelor bulls to respond to a cow they do not know! Elk know one another by their sounds be it cow or bull in their given areas. Sure there may have been a cow or more that were unseen but these bulls knew there was nothing in heat in the area including the cow you saw or you would have encountered competitive bugling well before you got there. Your cow call raised their hopes that this new cow (you) in the area which they were unfamiliar with might be one that could be in or nearing estrus so they came your way to check you out in hopes they stumbled on a hot cow! Sept & Oct are rutting/breeding times, bulls know this & don't like leaving anything to chance so given the opportunity they can certainly come your way to investigate this lone cow! (you) Nice work on getting it done!

ElkNut1
 

KMT

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
608
I have only elk hunted in September for about 20 years, but I don't give moon phase a second thought. Elk do what they want when they want.
 

bmanning

Newbie
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
2
Location
Alabama
The lunar calendar that I just checked has the full moon on 06 September...so the second week 10-16 should be great.
 
Top