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HOGGETTER's picture
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Elk rut and the Moon

Im getting ready to put together a OTC archery elk hunt for CO and i always have hunted the last ten days of the season. It has been pretty good and we've usually had a cold snap to get the bulls started.
I just looked at the callender and the last ten days (9-17 / 9-26) are on the full moon and i'm worried about them not giving me enough opertunity? I could alway go the week before (9-10 / 9-19) and hope for the best. I'll be packing in for eight streight days and there will be no other hunter in this nasty canyon full of elk.
What do you think????

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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

In my experience the elk will many times be active throughout the night, tend to quite down early morning when it's darkest, and become active again around mid-morning. There aren't any hard and fast rules for hunting rutting bulls, but that's my experience. I think the hunting can be just as good. That last week is a good time to hunt generally.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

Hoggetter, I think you should hit the last week anyway. Check out this link and when these guys project the bulls to be at peak rut this year (2010).

http://www.elkheaven.com/the_rut.htm

It looks like that will be prime time.

HOGGETTER's picture
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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

Thats a nice weblink artical. I does show in their opinion the peak falling during the last week of the season, but they also stated the you should hunt the new moon phase closes to the peak if the peak falls on a full moon.
I'm still scratching my head Think

Critter's picture
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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

What area of the state are you planning on hunting? With your deer tag and then a archery elk tag you will be yoyoing back and forth a little.

HOGGETTER's picture
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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

Unit 71 archery elk

Unit 22 rifle deer, third season

Location: Utah
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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

This subject has come up several times and there is some disagreement among hunters about how the moon effects rutting elk. I think the confusion comes from the terms used. Here is my opinion:

The moon phase will not effect the rut in any way. The moon phase will however effect when the elk are most active. During a full moon phase the elk will be more active at night and less active during the day. They are still rutting but when they are up all night doing what rutting elk do they are simply tired and sleep most of the day.

Same can be said during warm or hot weather.

Some hunters will tell you that because they see little to no activity during the day that the "rut is late this year" or the hot weather is "keeping the elk rut from starting". IMHO those statements are not true and these hunters are simply not understanding what the elk are really doing. Photoperiod or the amount of daylight is what triggers the rut.

Having said that hunting a full moon is generally tough simply because the elk aren't all that active during the day. I would prefer to avoid that time if your intention is to really experience the elk rut during your hunt but that doesn't mean you can't have success during a full moon phase and it doesn't mean the elk will be completely quite and sleeping all day either.

HOGGETTER's picture
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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

Thats why I stated enough opertunity during the full moon phase.

What do you think EX???

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Re: Elk rut and the Moon

I'm not a big follower of the moon phase. I do believe elk will feed out more in the evening during a full moon, but estrus cycles are linked to photoperiod, not lunar phases. And bull elk rutting activity is triggered by estrus cylces. And if it's hot, they won't feel like stirring things, if it's cool, they'll feel their oats a little more.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: Elk rut and the Moon
HOGGETTER wrote:
Thats why I stated enough opertunity during the full moon phase.

Hog I hope you didn't think I was aiming my comments at you or in response to your comments. I simply just thought I'd share my opinion on the subject. If you notice though in the last few years and you'll see it again this year there will be several posts about rut timing. Somebody will say "it's late this year because it's hot" or the opposite. I read a few posts where some say it seems to be getting later and later every year on these boards just last year. Last season we got into a little bit of a debate about this and I tried to stir a conversation (not a debate) over the winter about rutting elk and almost no one replied. If we really want to be good hunters I think its important to discuss these types of things and understand what is really happening. I'm in no way trying to toot my own horn or say I'm an expert on the subject I'm only repeating the knowledge I have aquired from real experts.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: Elk rut and the Moon

Hog I guess I was aiming my comments at you because you were the original poster. I guess what I was trying to say is that I wa trying to help, not be combative if I came across that way.

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