Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hunting With The Phases Of The Moon

ADK ALM 1If I had to pick a single three-day period to hunt whitetail deer, the full moon in November would be it. November’s full moon is this Sunday the seventeenth. Many of my elders have talked about the November full moon – the hunters full moon – as the peak of the deer mating season. I myself have taken some of my best whitetails on this upcoming weekend and I’m eager to get another shot this year.

I’ve found that animals in their natural habitats generally tend to be more active during a full moon. I’ve found this true with mammals as well as fish. Becoming familiar with the moon phases and the role they play in deer hunting is sure to improve your chances.

In short, The female deer’s reproductive system is influenced by the phases of the moon. Research shows that for a variety of reasons, in three to four days surrounding the second full moon after the fall equinox, the female deer are in peak estrus. When the does are in heat bucks become careless and make mistakes. They travel more frequently and become aggressive toward other males. That’s where I fit in. I follow when the full moon occurs, and try to put myself in the right place at the right time to increase my chance of success.

The weather this weekend is warmer, with high temperatures in the forties. Not ideal hunting weather, but I doubt it will have an effect on the deer activity. There have been many good deer taken so far this season in the local communities and what I have been hearing is that the bucks are in full swing. The deer are responding to various calls and are on the move earlier in the afternoons. With the full moon this weekend it is sure to be exciting one for some lucky hunters.


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Jason Richards is a fifth generation logger and an Adirondack Guide who lives in Newcomb with his wife and two sons.

He is an experienced outdoorsman with a a passion for hunting and fishing, who has hiked, paddled, and camped in the Adirondack backcountry his whole life.

Jason also owns and operates Jason Richards Logging and Land Management.

4 Responses

  1. Matt says:

    Hi Jason

    Great article. I’ve been reading about Alzheimer’s work on the link between the 2nd full moon, phototropism and the does pineal gland which triggers estrus. Would like to talk to you as I own property in newcomb near woodruff pond. Considering some wood lot management and interested to hear what you do. I can be reached at

  2. Pete Klein says:

    I hope the skies are cloudy while we have a full moon so that some hunters don’t use the light of the full moon to jack deer using the light of the full moon.

  3. Matt says:


    What a silly remark on your part. Your comments ,as usual, paint with a broad brush and sadly propagate the wrong perception of the vast majority of hunters in the general public. Please, if you have nothing of value to say or just another remark I suggest you post it on your Facebook account and spare the rest of us