Hunting around moon phases

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Hunting around moon phases

Post  ridgerunner on Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:40 pm

I see this topic come up a lot. I feel 90% of time season dates are the major determining factor and not the moon phase so you just need to deal with what you get. Now that's just my opinion. I bring this up now cause it looks as though I'm finally at the point where I could draw a Colorado mule deer tag I'd been waiting for, unit 61 3rd season. So I've been researching everything I can about it. One thing I've found that has me wondering is if I should wait one more year before putting in for the tag. Look at the 2015 and 2016 3rd seasons vs moon:

2015 3rd season runs from 10/31 to 11/8, for that week the moon is first quarter going to new.
2016 3rd season runs from 11/5 to 11/13, for that week the moon is new going to 3rd quarter

Another thing I'm thinking is the 2016 3rd season falls 5 days later than 2015. That's almost a week closer to the mulie rut.

So here's where I'm at, It's taken a while so want to get the most out of the points I've earned. I'm good to go this year if I do draw, it's way to early for me to tell for 2016 season but fingers crossed I could make it out then. But between moon phase and season dates I'm wondering if it would be betters odds (if any) waiting till 2016. Any thoughts?
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Re: Hunting around moon phases

Post  Willy on Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:07 am

Just my opinion, and this relates only to the Colorado mule deer draw your going for. I have a much stronger opinion of moon stage and whitetail.

Have you scouted the area you are going to be hunting ?
Are you familiar with the areas muley migration patterns ?
Are the deer in the area your trying for Resident or are the migratory ?

If your hunting resident deer, and 3rd season I would want to be there with a dark moon, 3rd season game has been messed with since late August and without the rut or significant snowfall those big bucks are staying in the dark timber till that sun goes down. The exception being if your hunting close to private land that has a food source like alfalfa. High country Muleys and Muleys that have access to agriculture are totally different animals.

I have seen full blown rut activity that first week of October, but its rare and it is always years when the snow flies early and deep. Again, High country and Alfalfa fed muleys are different.  A wise old man told me when I first started going to the mountains that Old mature Mule deer bucks are the last animals to make the move from the way high country. His exact words were, the wont come down till the snow is rubbing their B---s.
And over the many years I have been going I have found that to be right on the money. And if the snow is deep and they are down with the rest of the herd, they wont stand for the youngsters to be messing with the does even though they haven't started breeding yet.

The way the weather has been the last 4 or 5 years, I would want to be there as late as I could. We haven't had good snow in the 4th season for the last 4 years.  All this is based off Western Slope hunting in 54, Elevations from 8,000 to 12,000. No alfalfa.
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Re: Hunting around moon phases

Post  ridgerunner on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:03 pm

Thanks for the reply Willy. I haven't scouted it in person, just research and satellite pictures. The CO hunting guide states the deer do migrate to lower altitude as fall progresses. The unit ranges from 4.6 to 10.3K. I'll be DIY hunting public land so hope to find bucks that have moved to lower altitudes for the rut. If I need to go high to find them it shouldn't be an issue either. The unit seems to have a lot of oak brush then changing over to pinion/juniper as it gets lower. I'm not to thrilled about that as I've hunted terrain like that in the past. I don't expect to be close to any crop fields. There is no 4th season. I've watching this unit for several years, it seems to have decent access and is one of the trophy management units. I've considered one of the early rifle hunts but ya need a few more points to get one of those tags. I'm not hell bent on 61, it's just that none of the trophy units I stand a chance at drawing a tag in really stand out to me.

I'm kinda thinking to hold off for one more year and hunt new moon going to 1st quarter. Then if I do make it out this fall hopefully I can take a drive over that way for a look. Last year I got out there 5 days early before my hunt but was flat out of time once it was over.
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Re: Hunting around moon phases

Post  Willy on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:20 pm

if there is no 4th season there are probably some slobs to be chased there. Nothing harder to hunt than oak brush and no snow.  thats a recipe for rapid hair loss and high blood pressure. they just disapear in that stuff
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Re: Hunting around moon phases

Post  Pa. Bowhunter on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:32 pm

I do not hunt by the moon , usually. I did however buy one of those moon phase wheels from Cabelas 3 years in a row. More of a research thing , curiosity or maybe a binge buy Very Happy !!! The main reason I don't worry about the moon is I hunt each and everyday . But when the moon is up early , during daylight hours I am in the woods !!
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Re: Hunting around moon phases

Post  Boss Gobbler on Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:22 pm

I spent 3 or 4 years doing my own research on the moon. I would write down the moon phase, rise and set times, and the number and gender of deer I saw. The only thing I learned is that for some reason I see better deer movement on my farm during the first quarter of the moon.  Like Rick said if the moon is rising in the afternoon deer will be on their feet earlier in the evening.
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Re: Hunting around moon phases

Post  Willy on Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:25 pm

The absolute best three days to be in the stand in my opinion out of the whole year are the three days around the full moon in November. The days when the moon is rising in the last hour before sunset are by far the best days out of the year for me.  Just my opinion.
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