Moon Phase Analysis
By Guy Eastman
Without a doubt, a full moon can be an elk hunter’s worst nightmare. Taking the moon phase into account when planning your elk hunt is probably one of the most foolproof practices to ensure that you have good elk movement and rutting activity during daylight hours.
This is a guide to help you plan your hunt around the dreaded full moon this fall. Keep in mind, these are purely predictions and things can and often do change. Additional uncontrollable factors can alter these predictions; factors like snow, temperature and cloud cover can intensify or reduce the effects of a full moon significantly.
Since I usually plan my hunts from Sundays to Thursdays and leave the weekends to the masses, the following would be my best and worst dates for an elk hunt in 2020.
The best week to hunt elk this fall should be September 10-16. Good backup dates could be September 21-27 and October 16-23.
The worst dates to head afield after a bull elk could very well be September 1-10 and October 1-8.
As a final note, just remember that snow tends to make the effects of a full moon worse, as do excessively hot temperatures. Good, heavy cloud cover can make the elk hunting much better. In addition, I am a huge fan of overnight rainstorms for September rut hunting.
Keep this in mind in your planning and best of luck this fall.