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Deer Activity, the Weather & the Moon

(all of this information is from the Complete Whitetail Addict's Manual)

 

 

Normal Daytime Deer Activity

Fall & Winter Deer Behavior

Fall signals an increase in white-tailed deer activity, which is brought on by changing food supplies and the rut. In a study by Kammermeyer and Marchinton, deer traveled greater average distances per day during the fall than they did in the summer. The deer also traveled greater distances per hour during both dawn and dusk in the fall than they did during the summer. The research also showed a shift in daytime deer activity; during the day in the summer the deer were most active at dusk, from 6 PM to 10 PM; during the day in the fall they were most active at dawn, from 4 AM to 10 AM, with activity continuing until noon.

Overall, the deer were more active during darkness in the fall than they were in the summer. This increase in deer activity during darkness in the fall can be attributed to decreasing hours of daylight (in some areas from 14 to 8 hours), decreasing foliage as leaves fell (leaving deer more exposed during daylight hours) and changing food sources. During the summer deer can feed securely in wooded areas where there is abundant forage. In the fall deer often feed more heavily on agricultural crops, and browse in more open areas, which causes them to feed more at nigh for security reasons. The change in feeding patterns from wooded areas in the summer to open food sources in the fall forces the deer to travel farther in search of food. I refer to this deer movement from bedding sites to food sources as the Distance Factor.

The graph below shows the number of miles deer regularly traveled per hour throughout the day. It shows that peak deer movement occurred at sunrise and sunset, and that during the day, the deer were lest active (probably in their daytime core areas) between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM. I suspect that the deer traveled faster in the morning, than they did in the evening, because they were in a hurry to get back to their daytime core areas before it became too light (security to a deer - when there is a lot of light - is being in an area where it is darker, or where they cannot see very far).

 

 

 John Stone's studies in Texas (using cameras) showed similar results, with peak deer sightings at sunrise and sunset.

 

How The Weather Affects Deer Activity

Several different meteorological conditions affect the comfort of deer including: 1. The Relative Temperature, such as the temperature, wind speed and direction, thermal currents, windchill, humidity, dewpoint, heat index and type and amount of precipitation that determine whether the deer feels comfortable, or to too hot or cold. 2. Wind Speed and Thermal Currents, and 3. The amount and type of Precipitation - such as rain, sleet, hail and snow.

Relative Temperature

Deer feel temperature factors (temperature, humidity, dewpoint, heat index and windchill) essentially the same way humans do. When its hot deer have a hard time cooling off, which makes them uncomfortable. When its hot and humid (creating a high dewpoint) they feel even more uncomfortable. When its hot or the dewpoint is high, and there is a strong wind, they don't feel as uncomfortable, because the wind provides a cooling affect. When its cold deer lose body heat; when its cold and damp creating a low dewpoint they lose more body heat; when its cold, damp and windy (creating low windchill factors) they lose even more body heat. Like humans, deer have preferred temperature, dewpoint, heat index, windchill, wind speed and precipitation factors in which they prefer to move.

Once the deer grow their winter coats in the fall, high temperatures keep them from traveling far during daylight hours. They usually wait until the sun goes down and the temperatures drop before moving open areas during to feed in the evening. When temperatures are low they deer often stay in areas providing protection from the wind - they move to areas open to the sun when there is no wind, or they wait until daytime temperatures rise and move during the warmer part of the day, often in the late morning and late afternoon hours.

Relative temperature factors affect deer activity because they not only cause the deer to feel uncomfortable, they can cause heat stress in high temperatures, or heat loss in low temperatures. In their study in Georgia, Kammermeyer and Marchinton found that lower temperature and dewpoint were "significantly correlated with greater deer movements in the fall." In other words, cooler temperatures in the fall resulted in increased deer activity after the deer had grown their winter coats. M.E. Nelson found that deer in northern Minnesota regularly migrated when temperatures dropped below 19 degrees for five or more days. This suggests that when it gets too cold, the deer will migrate to warmer areas, or to areas where they can find relief from low windchill factors and deep snow. In the Great Lakes states deer often migrate to deeryards in coniferous forests. In mountainous regions deer often migrate to semi-open or open areas at lower elevations.

The graphs below –of Minnesota deer sightings – shows the results from two different years in three different areas in southern Minnesota. There are five noticeable peaks in deer sightings. The highest peak occurred at 15 degrees. A minor peak occurred at 50 degrees in the summer when the deer had summer coats. A medium peak occurred at 35 degrees, which often occurred in September. A medium peak occurred at -5 degrees, often as the result of temperatures remaining below 0 for several days. The minor peak at -25 degrees was the result of consistently low temperatures in January and February, after many of the food sources had been depleted, when the deer were seen either early in the afternoon or late in the morning at remaining food sources.

The Watson and Eagan sightings paralleled each other because they were both in areas where the deer could be protected from the wind by hills and woods, when the deer were sighted in both the mornings and evenings. The Houghlum sightings were fairly consistent because they were on the south side of an open hill, out of the prevailing winds, where the deer were seen primarily in the evening. However, they were seen bedded near the food source in the mornings when the temperatures were below 0 degrees, and it was obvious that they had spent the night there instead of returning to their normal daytime core areas.

During my deer research studies in Minnesota I found that, in the fall and winter, the majority of the deer sightings occurred when the temperatures were between 0 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with most sightings between 10 and 55 degrees; and they occurred between an hour before and an hour after both sunset and sunrise. Peak sightings occurred between 15 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperatures fell below 20 degrees morning deer sightings occurred from sunrise to an hour and a half after sunrise, with very few sightings before sunrise; evening deer sightings occurred from an hour and a half before sunset until an hour after sunset, with several sightings after sunset. When the temperatures dropped below 15 degrees the deer moved even later in the morning than normal, but with fewer sightings; while evening sightings increased and occurred earlier in the afternoon than normal. The majority of the deer sightings below 5 degrees occurred in the afternoon, during the warmest part of the day.

Obviously deer in different areas react to temperature in different ways. During his studies in Texas (where it is generally hotter throguhout the year than it is in the upper Midwest) Jon Stone found that the deer were active between 25 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dewpoint

The combination of humidity and temperature is known as dewpoint. During his study Kammermeyer found that deer activity was correlated with dewpoint. During my study deer were sighted most often when the dewpoint factors were between 5 and 55 degrees, with most deer sightings in the middle range (15 to 40 degrees); deer sightings peaked at 25 degrees. After the deer grew their winter coats there were very few deer sightings occurred when the dewpoint was above 45 degrees. There were also minor peaks in deer sightings at 55 and 5 degrees. The deer sightings at 55 degrees occurred in September, before the deer had grown their winter coats. The sightings at 5 degrees often occurred after it had been cold for a period of days, when the deer were seen most often seen in the afternoon.

When the dewpoint fell below 0 deer sightings were drastically reduced. I suspect that more deer sightings occurred when the dewpoint was between 5 and 40 degrees because the increase in humidity caused the dewpoint to feel warmer than the actual temperature. When the dewpoint was below 20 degrees, the deer were seen later in the morning and earlier in the evening than normal, with most of the sightings in the evening. When the dewpoint dropped below 15 degrees, twice as many deer were seen in the evening as in the morning. When the dewpoint dropped below 10 degrees, five times more deer were seen in the evening than in the morning.

Windchill

The combination of low temperature and wind speed is referred to as the windchill factor. Deer sightings in relation to windchill factors showed even more dramatic results than sightings in relation to temperature or dewpoint. Most of the fall deer sightings occurred when the windchill factor was between 5 and 40 degrees. There were very few deer sightings when the windchill factor was above 45 degrees. This was to be expected because there were very few deer sightings when the temperature was above 45 degrees. However, light winds can actually increase deer movement when the temperature is high, because the winds provide a cooling effect. Peak deer sightings occurred when the windchill factors were between -5 and 25 degrees.

During the studies most of the doe sightings occurred between 10 and 40 degrees windchill, and peaked at 35 and 15 degrees windchill. Most of the younger buck sightings occurred between 20 and 55 degrees windchill, and peaked at 45 and 25 degrees. Most of the older trophy class buck sightings occurred between 5 and 40 degrees windchill, and peaked at 35 and 15 degrees; which was almost exactly the same as the does. I suspect that the younger smaller racked bucks moved at different times than the does and the older bucks in an effort to avoid the aggressive older bucks during the rut.

The results of the studies suggest that low windchill factors result in increased deer movement. However, when I looked at the time of day when the deer were sighted (in relation to sunrise an sunset), it became apparent that deer activity during normal daytime activity times actually decreased when the windchill factors were below 20 degrees. Instead of deer sightings occurring within the normal activity times of an hour before and an hour after sunrise and sunset, they occurred from as early as 3 hours before sunset to sunset and from sunrise to 3 hours after sunrise. In other words: low windchill factors resulted in decreased deer sightings during normal daylight activity times, and increased deer sightings during the middle of the day, probably because the deer preferred to move during the warmer portions of the day. There was also a minor peak in deer sightings when the windchill factor dropped to -5 degrees. As with low temperature and low dewpoint these windchill deer sightings occurred earlier in the afternoon than normal. In another one of my studies there was a minor peak in deer sightings between -20 and -30 degrees. However, these sightings were all in January and February, when it had been cold for several days. I suspect these extreme cold temperatures forced the deer to move in order to find food so they could create body heat and stay warm.

Relative Temperature Factors

My findings on temperature, dewpoint and windchill indicate that cold, windy weather is more of a deterrent to deer activity than cold, damp weather; and that hot, humid weather is more of a deterrent than hot, windy weather. The findings also suggests that windchill (not temperature or dewpoint) is often the determining temperature-related influence on deer activity in the fall and winter, especially when the temperatures are low. I also suspect that the heat-index is often the determining temperature-related influence on deer activity in the spring and summer, especially when the temperatures are high.

Cloud Cover and Relative Temperature

Cloud cover often keeps the temperature and humidity high, which makes deer feel uncomfortable. In my studies I found that when there was cloud cover and the temperatures were high deer activity was often minimal, due to the high humidity and heat index factors. During their study Hellickson, Marchinton and DeYoung found that bucks responded best to antler rattling when cloud cover was estimated at 75 percent.

Wind Speed

Wind speed can affect the comfort of the deer by its cooling affect when the temperatures are high, and by making it feel colder when the temperatures are low. When it was hot I often sighted the deer on hills open to the wind; in shaded or wet areas; or under trees with few lower branches, where the deer could lay in the shade and be cooled by the wind. When it was cold I often sighted the deer on the downwind side of hills and woods or in low-lying areas where the wind speed was lower.

During my studies deer sightings increased as wind speeds increased to 10 miles per hour. But, once the wind speed reached 10 miles per hour deer sightings decreased; and as with cold temperatures, the deer were found in heavy cover, in low lying areas, or on the down wind side of hills and wooded areas - out of the wind. Deer sightings in open areas dropped significantly when wind speeds exceeded 15 miles per hour, and deer sightings in open areas were almost nonexistent when wind speeds exceeded 20 miles per hour.

In Texas, John Stone's studies show that deer sightings decreased as the wind speeds approached 18 mph.

 

 As with temperature factors, the bucks reacted to the wind speeds differently than the does. In my studies, during the rut younger buck sightings peaked at 15 miles per hour and then dropped off. Older trophy class buck sightings peaked at 10 miles per hour and continued up to 20 miles per hour.

Thermal Currents

Thermal currents affect when and where deer move because air currents affect both the comfort and the security of the deer. When the weather is hot deer may seek areas where there are cool thermal currents; and they avoid areas where there are thermal currents when it is cold. Thermal currents generally rise in the morning as the air temperature rises, and fall in the evening as the air temperature falls.

In hilly or mountainous regions deer often bed on benches on the downwind sides of hills during the day, about a third of the way down the hill, where the wind speed is not as high, and where they can detect scents on the rising currents. When the deer move downhill to feed in the late afternoon they are able to detect scent on the thermals that may still be rising. During the night deer often bed in low-lying areas, where they can detect scent on the falling currents. When the deer move uphill to bed during the morning, they are able to detect scent on the currents that may still be falling.

Precipitation

Rain has the ability to cause deer to lose body heat. When it's cold heavy precipitation may cause the deer to loose body heat; consequently they often stay in secure bedding areas, or they seek areas that protect them from precipitation. However, when it's hot, deer may move when there is light to medium rain, because it provides a cooling affect. In his study on deer activity Hofacker reported that deer hunters saw more deer when there was no precipitation. Progulske and Duerre; Tibbs, Hawkins and Klimstra, and Michael, all found that deer activity decreased during periods of rain.

Precipitation of any kind (rain, snow, drizzle, fog and mist) diminishes the available amount of light, which may cause the light conditions to resembling dawn and dusk. As a result of this deer may move and feed during the day when there is light rain, drizzle or snow, because the low light factor and limited visibility make them feel secure. However, they don't often move during heavy precipitation, because they not only feel uncomfortable, they also can't see or smell very well.

If heavy precipitation persists through one or more morning and evening feeding periods the deer may begin to feed shortly after the precipitation lets up, or after the temperature warms. During heavy precipitation, especially hail, deer seek cover in wooded areas or thick undergrowth.

Generally speaking the older bucks avoided moving during medium to heavy rain during my studies. However, once the does came into they often moved during moderate to heavy precipitation, when the does remained in their core areas, which made them easy for the bucks to locate. Because snow can reduce the available amount of light and limit visibility I often saw bucks moving when it was snowing, as long as the wind speed was low. Many older bucks have also learned that fewer numbers of hunters are out during heavy rain or snow.

Barometric Pressure

Because fish and birds have air sacs in their bodies they may have the ability to feel barometric pressure changes. Geese are known to feed and begin to flock two days prior to the arrival of a storm, then migrate with the advancing cold fronts. Many hunters claim deer also feed heavily prior to a storm. During my seven-year study I found that (approximately) 40 percent of the deer sightings occurred when the barometer was rising, 40 percent occurred when the barometer was falling, and 20 percent occurred when the barometer was steady.

I did find that more deer were seen when there were abrupt barometric changes than when the barometric pressure was steady. I found no evidence that deer began to feed prior to the arrival of a storm, suggesting that they knew or "felt" that a storm was approaching. However, deer were frequently seen feeding after storms let up, especially if the storm lasted a day or more.

In his study in Georgia, Kent Kammermeyer found that deer activity was correlated with barometric pressure changes in the morning and evening. But, he noted that this is when these barometric pressure changes normally occur in that area. Illinois biologist Keith Thomas found that the highest amount of white-tailed deer movement and feeding activity occurred when the barometric pressure was between 29.80 and 30.39. I suspect that deer may react to the weather changes associated with barometric pressure changes, such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature factor changes, cloud cover and precipitation; but not necessarily to minute changes in barometric pressure.

How the Moon Affects Deer Activity

There are several individual lunar factors that may affect daily and monthly deer movement, and it appears that researchers have found correlation's between some of these individual factors, or combinations of individual factors, and deer activity during different times of the day and night, even if they are not sure what causes these correlation's. The researchers also agree that the accuracy of lunar predictor tables can be greatly affected by several other factors including weather, the rut and the availability of food.

As mentioned in the above section on normal deer activity, fall deer activity occurs primarily during low light conditions, and anything that alters the available amount of light also affects deer movement, especially during the hours of dawn and dusk. The moon reflects enough light when the skies are clear that I believe it causes decreased deer activity at dawn and dusk. Noted wildlife researcher Dr. Valerius Geist agrees with me, and says he sees fewer deer during dawn and dusk when there is abundant moon light.

How the moon affects Daily and Hourly Deer Activity

Several popular fish and game activity tables (Solunar Table, Astro Times, Feeding and Fishing Times, Vektor Table, Moon Guide) predict peak movement times of fish and game, based on the overhead and underfoot position of the moon, believing that the position alone, of the moon, will result in increased hourly fish and game activity, due to the gravitational pull of the moon at those times.

During my personal deer studies from 1994 to 2002, and again in 2009, I did not find any correlation between hourly sightings of deer - and the overhead or underfoot position of the moon - which suggests that game activity tables that predict hourly activity of deer, based on the position of the moon - do not work!

Do Game Predictor Tables Work?

Several popular game charts claim to be able to predict HOURLY deer activity (not monthly activity, which I'll talk about later) based on the position of the moon in relation to a given spot on earth. We know that the gravitational pull of the moon is strongest when the moon is directly overhead and underfoot, with the greatest gravitational pull often occurring when the moon is directly overhead. This is evidenced by the daily tides, with the highest tide usually occurring when the moon is overhead. Because the earth revolves as it moves around the sun, the moon will be directly overhead or underfoot at different times each day. The game charts take this into account, and predict that deer will be most active/feed when the moon is either directly overhead or underfoot of the animals current position because of this gravitational pull, with predicted major times often coinciding with the overhead position of the moon and minor times coinciding with the underfoot position of the moon.

The Solunar Table, Vektor Fish and Game Activity Tables, Feeding Times, Astro Table, Prime Times and Moon Guide all rely on the position of the moon, and claim to be able to predict game movement from a half hour before and after to two hours before and after the predicted times. One of them predicts poor, fair good and best days of the month. I placed all these predictor/tables on a graph and found that, because they all rely on lunar orbit, they paralleled each other within hours. However, I noticed that many of the times that they predicted were during the hours of dawn and dusk. One of the reasons hunters report seeing deer during the times predicted is because the tables predict up to four hours each day as the best times to hunt; and they often predict morning and evening times. In November, when there are only about ten hours of daylight, the chances of seeing deer are obviously fairly high during the predicted times. Because deer are most active in the morning and evening during the fall, and these are the times when most hunters see deer, I decided to check the accuracy of the tables during the predicted midday hours.

Conclusions:

In my own efforts to correlate deer movement with weather and moon factors I kept precise daily records from October 1, 1994 through January 8, 1995. To check the accuracy of these tables I chose the month of November, which coincides with the gun season and the rut in many areas. Then I compared the tables with the deer sightings of myself, and four other hunters. Upon checking the results I found no correlation between the times predicted by the table - and deer movement - other than during the normal movement times of dawn and dusk. Between 10 AM and 3 PM there was very little deer movement at the times predicted by these tables. On several occasions I watched deer lay down and get up, but could not correlate their movement with any of the tables.

All the tables predicted game activity during normal morning and evening movement times on five days in November, and above normal deer activity did occur on two of those days. But, the tables were accurate only 17 percent of the time, and only when they predicted activity during normal deer movement times, in the morning and evening, when most deer are seen by hunters anyhow. There were also four days when above normal activity occurred when it was not predicted by the tables. Overall the tables did a poor job of accurately predicting HOURLY deer movement, outside of the normal daily deer movement times of dawn and dusk.

The problem with the tables, even when they are correct, and if they work, is that they don't agree on which days or times are best to hunt. So, which table should you use? Is one better than the others? What if the select days don't coincide with the hunting season, or coincide with the days you have available to hunt? What if the select times don't coincide with the hours you can hunt? Then the tables do you no good. By the way, if you choose to use all the tables available you end up hunting almost the whole day for the entire month.

The Deer Activity Index and The Moon Guide

Because I did not know about Jeff Murray's Moon Guide until 1995 I did not check their accuracy that year. But, when I received their 1994 predictions I decided to check their accuracy against my 1994 data. To my surprise I found both the DAI and Moon Guide to be quite accurate. But, there are obvious reasons for their accuracy.

The Moon Guide predicts not only the time of day, but predicts where to expect deer at that time. Deer activity during the day is fairly predictable. At dawn and dusk deer can usually be found near food sources. During early evening hours deer usually move through travel corridors (what Murray calls "transition areas") on the way to their nighttime feeding sources. During late morning hours deer usually move through those "transition areas" on the way to their daytime bedding areas. At midday deer are generally found in bedding areas. Murray's Moon Guide suggests hunting these areas at those times, which makes it quite accurate. I did find deer in the suggested areas at the times predicted on a regular basis. But, that's where I would expect the deer to be at those times of the day anyhow. In other words: you don't need the Moon Guide to tell you when and where to hunt.

Meteorological Conditions, The Rut, Food Availability and Hunting Pressure

The reason why these tables are not more accurate is because they do not take into account the other factors that affect daily deer movement: specifically daily meteorological conditions, food availability, the rut, predatory behavior, distance to and from limited/preferred food sources, and hunting pressure. Some weather conditions cause a decrease in daytime deer movement, while other weather conditions cause an increase in daytime deer movement. Abundant food sources often decrease daytime deer movement, while limited food sources often increase daytime deer movement. The rut inevitably increases daytime deer movement. Predatory behavior and hunting pressure reduces daytime deer movement.

When you use lunar predictors without taking into account the other factors, which may cause an increase in daytime deer activity, you will inevitably miss some excellent hunting opportunities when above normal daytime deer activity occurs. If you don't take into account the other factors that decrease, and in some cases completely override lunar influence on daytime deer movement, you may hunt several days without seeing a deer. The purpose of a deer movement chart should be to help hunters reliably predict the days when deer will be most active, so they can hunt on those days, and then decide whether or not to hunt the days when deer are not active. And there is a way to do that.

Daily Deer Movement Indicator

As a result of my four-year study on deer movement, I devised the Daily Deer Movement Indicator (DDMI) which predicts above normal deer movement based on the time of day, the current weather conditions, moon conditions, the rut and the available food sources. During the same 1994 deer study as mentioned above, the DDMI predicted daytime deer movement on thirty-five of sixty days. There was above normal deer movement on thirty of the thirty-five days predicted, for an accuracy rate of 86 percent. But, there were two days when above normal deer movement occurred when it was not predicted.

The DDMI can also be used in conjunction with other predictors. By using the DDMI in combination with the DAI, or with my own Moon Indicator, their accuracy rate could be increased to 95 percent, almost double their individual accuracy rate. But, there were still those two days when above normal deer movement occurred when it was not predicted. This only goes to show that there will be times when none of the tables will be accurate in predicting daytime deer activity.

You can get a copy of the DDMI in the Trinity Mountain Outdoor Products catalog.

How The Moon Affects Monthly Deer Activity

The combined effects of the high light factor of the moon during the full moon phase (which may decrease DAYTIME deer activity during low light conditions), the gravitational pull during the full moon (which may increase DAYTIME deer activity), the increased acceleration and magnetic influence of the moon during the perigee/apogee (which may increase MONTHLY deer activity), can result in above normal MONTHLY deer activity when day and night overlap (dawn and dusk), and also during the day when there is a coincidence of the full moon and the perigee/apogee.

The problem with predicting peak MONTHLY daytime deer activity is that it appears that the full moon, perigee and apogee all affect deer movement, and that peak MONTHLY movement may occur during the coincidence of the full moon and the perigee/apogee. But, there are variances in when the full moon, the perigee and the apogee occur.

The Lunar Phase Cycle, or synodic month, and the Lunar Orbit Cycle, or anomalistic month, are on two different time frames. While the full moon occurs approximately every 29.5 days as it revolves around the earth in relation to the sun. The Lunar Orbit Cycle occurs approximately every 27.5 days; therefore, the perigee and apogee occur about 14 days apart. As a result of this difference in the two cycles, the full moon and the perigee/apogee can occur on the same day (as they did on September 16, 1997); or they can occur as much as two weeks apart.

One reason why deer may be more active during the day when the full moon or perigee/apogee occurs may be due to predatory behavior. If wolves, bears coyotes etc. are more active during the full moon or the perigee and the apogee, deer may be forced to become more active in their efforts to avoid the predators. If predatory behavior occurs at night, when the predators could easily see during the full moon, the deer may not be able to eat as much as normal, consequently they may be conditioned to search for food more during the day during the full moon, or the perigee or the apogee.

In his study on white-tailed deer R. Kent Kammermeyer found that deer activity was greater in both daylight and dark hours when the moon was in the light phase (greater than half moon) than it was during the dark phase (less than half moon). He also found that deer activity was significantly greater during the day between the hours of 8 and 10 in the morning during the full moon phase. He found no correlation between daily deer activity and tidal activity, which suggested that there was no correlation between the gravitational effects of the moon and hourly white-tailed deer activity.

In a study of sambar deer in Florida Lewis, Flynn, R.L. Marchinton, Shea and E.M Marchinton also found greater deer activity from moonrise to moonset during the full moon than in the new moon phase. No correlation between sambar deer movement and tidal activity was noted, which suggests that the moon's gravitational forces were not directly responsible for any effect the moon may have on hourly deer movement. It was noted that the greatest monthly movement of the sambar deer occurred during the seven days before the perigee of the moon.

During Kent Kammermeyer's study, Jon Stone's study and my own study, deer movement (including the movement of bucks in my study) was greatest (during daylight hours) when the moon was in the full phase. During my studies in 2009, using infra-red cameras at night, deer sightings at night, were lowest during the full moon. When deer were sighted they appeared nervous. Full moon light allows deer to see better at night than no moonlight, with the result that the sight of any dark object, or any perception of movement, may make the deer nervous - with the result that they move less during nights when full moonlight is available. This gives credence to the hypothesis that, because deer area a prey species, susceptible to predation, they forego feeding in open areas during full moonlit nights, and feed more during daylight hours, possibly in the limited visibility areas of wooded sites.

 

To find out more about deer biology and behavior and learn techniques on how to hunt deer during the different phases of the rut get a copy of the Complete Whitetail Addict's Manual, or Hunting the Whitetail Rut Phases in the Trinity Mountain Outdoor Products catalog.

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