The temperature hovered at a “balmy” 90 degrees. The wind blew in gusts upwards of twenty miles per hour, out of due south. The Hunter’s Moon, the first full moon of November, had risen as the sun went down and set as the sun rose in the morning. I had arrived in camp just in time to hunt for about an hour before dark. I had not so much as even seen a doe. My early morning hunt had not been any better.
I returned to camp to find the three other hunters eating a full breakfast at 9:00 am. All were griping and complaining about not seeing deer, the heat, the wind and it looked like their favorite college football team was going to be defeated once again.
I ate quickly, then put a couple of bottles of water in my pack. I wanted to be back in the thorn bush and cactus by 10:00 am.
I asked where everyone would be during the mid-day. My three campmates said they saw no reason to hunt again until late afternoon. I smiled, “So no one is hunting until about three? And, I’ll have the entire ranch to hunt until then?”
“All yours Sport!” came the unified reply.
Walking out of the door I grabbed my .300 Win Mag Ruger FTW Hunter, a handful of Hornady’s 200-grain Precision Hunter,and my Rattling Forks. I planned on walking from camp, making a huge circle from one Tecomate Seeds planted food plot to another and then rattling between the feeding areas.
Several years ago when I first started hunting Texas’ famed Brush Country, I had been invited by a prominent rancher. I arrived at his headquarters well before daylight, after a full moon shining all night long. But rather than go hunt, we sent several hunters afield, then kept on drinking coffee and telling stories until almost 10, when the hunters returned having not seen a thing. “Time for us to go…” The rancher and I had hardly left his compound before we started seeing bucks. Some were chasing does, some were roaming looking for does. From about 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, we saw 32 different bucks, including several BIG, mature “bruisers”, one of which I shot just before high noon. At almost exactly 3 o’clock all deer movement ceased. We hung my buck in the barn and headed back to camp. When asked if we saw anything the rancher said as he winked, “Nope, guess they’re not really moving today!”
Over the years regardless of what I have read, in my personal experience big bucks move during the middle part of the day, particularly then during times of full or near full moons when the moon shines all night long. They also move during mid-day when there is no moon at night!
However, I have also seen many big bucks during mid-day during other moon phases.
I have taken my best whitetail bucks between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
I’m packing my lunch. The deer woods await!