Ask The Biologist

Fool Moon Fever

Fool Moon Fever

By Bob Humphrey

Should you believe half of what you see and none of what you hear?

QUESTION: I’ve read a bunch of stuff on how the moon affects deer movement, and it seems to say the full moon doesn’t have any effect on them moving less during daylight. Still, I always seem to see fewer deer around the full moon. My trail cameras also get fewer pictures around peak hours, but a few more at odd times during the day. What’s the deal?

ANSWER: There’s a lot of empirical scientific evidence from numerous studies of radio- and satellite-collared deer showing the full moon has little, if any, influence on daily movement patterns of deer.

Being a biologist, I tend to believe the science. However, my experience over nearly 50 years of deer hunting, and that of many hunters I’ve talked to, has shown quite the opposite. While research has yet to show any clear connection, my personal experiences indicate there is something there.

When information in the books differs from my experiences, I tend to go with what I’ve seen first-hand.

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