Ask The Biologist

Once in a Red Moon

Once in a Red Moon

By Bob Humphrey

There are many moon theories out there, but here’s another to add to the list.

QUESTION: What is a red moon, and when does it happen? I hear this all the time: “Hunt the red moon.” My calendar doesn’t have a red moon on it, and it’s a deer hunting yearly calendar. — Mike Z.

ANSWER: I’ve heard all sorts of theories, suppositions and old wive’s tales trying to relate the moon to deer hunting, but that’s a new one to me.

I have heard of something called a blood moon. This is a phenomenon when, during a total lunar eclipse, the earth blocks all direct sunlight from illuminating the Moon’s surface, but some light reaches the lunar surface indirectly and is reflected back in a reddish hue.

The full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox (first day of fall) is sometimes referred to as the Harvest Moon, because it occurs during the time of harvest. The next full moon following that is sometimes referred to as the Hunter’s Moon, because it is when people traditionally shifted their concentration to hunting for their winter’s supply of meat.

It is also occasionally referred to as the blood moon, presumably because blood is spilled during the hunt. However, it’s more a means of marking time than any indication the hunting will be better or worse during that period.

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Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd