Does the moon have an impact on hunting conditions? Well that depends on who you ask? We all know that deer like to move and feed under the cover of darkness. Sit down with hunters and whitetail research experts Charles Alsheimer and Wayne Laroche and they would say yes, but only to the point of determining the start of the deer rut. These two have spent four decades studying whitetail behavior and how the moon influences a whitetails behavior in relation to the November rut.
If seems to make sense that as a nocturnal creature, sensitive to low light conditions, a whitetail deer would have some sensitivity to the moon and its phases. Research suggests a link between lunar cycles and whitetail behavior. It needs to be noted however that this phenomenon is not as crucial as other determinants. Weather and/or doe to buck ratio or the general health of the doe play a more important role influencing deer.
One theory suggests that the two most important phases of the moon are the new moon and the full moon. These two phases appear opposite in the sky and thus have an opposite impact on deer behavior. But the problem is not all full moons are created equal, based on their distance from Earth and the tilt of the planet. Therefore the moons impact is different from full moon to full moon.
The one thing that everyone can agree on, is that you can predict the fall rut by the November full moon, or the second full moon after the official start of Fall. The bottom line is this. No one can prove scientifically that the moon does or does not have an influence on hunting conditions. This is one debate that will continue for generations to come.