We’ve all been waiting for the cold weather to start, and for deer to start moving around. Are you seeing increased activity in your area?  When’s the best week to be in the woods?

We liked Mike Hanback’s recent article at www.bigdeerblog.com, looking at weather patterns, traditional rut curves, and also considering hunting pressure.   It also helps to consider the lunar calendar.

Just as the moon affects ocean tides, it impacts deer behavior in ways that we don’t fully understand. Although whitetail deer move at night, they will move more when the moon is full and their eyesight is enhanced. Mike Hanback has been a deer hunter for 30 years and now hosts a hunting show on the Sportsmen’s Channel. Here’s his calendar for the coming month and how he believes it will affect deer behavior:


From Kansas to Virginia to Canada, 90 percent of the adult does will come into estrus and be bred from roughly November 5-20, regardless of moon phase or weather. It’s been that way for decades in the Northern two-thirds of North America, and will continue to be that way forever. Take off anytime from Halloween though Thanksgiving, and you’ll hunt some phase of the rut. Anytime you hunt rutting deer you are going to have a good time, and with the potential to shoot a big buck.

But I do believe that some days and weeks are better than others each year, according to when the various phases of the “rutting moon” occur each November. I base this on two things. One, 30 years of hunting and observing whitetails as they seek, chase and breed each November. And two, my keen interest in all things lunar, and how the four phases might affect deer movement. I read all the moon research I can get my hands, and then compare that data to my field notes.