Friday, October 9, 2009

Full Moon Fever

No I'm not talking about Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers either, though I am a fan. More so, wondering why it seems that several of the big game openers occur during or immediately prior to a full moon. Not sure if the Fish and Game Departments plan this or if it's just happenstance. Certainly does get me to wondering though.

My archery elk hunt began Aug. 29 which was 6 days prior to the full moon. My recent mule deer hunt began Oct. 3 which was the day before a full moon. My next elk hunt starts Oct. 28 which is 6 days prior to a full moon. My last and second season archery elk begins Nov. 28 which is only 5 days before the full moon. One of these hunts is 5 days long and another only 11 days. Sure does make it that much more challenging to find deer and elk considering they are feeding at night then bedding down during the day. The best remedy for full moon fever is weather and in the form of heavy cloud cover. This way they are unable to forage all night and will need to do so during the day. Increasing the hunters chances greatly. Weather can be the hunters best and worst friend for big game and is certainly the wild card for every hunt. Also a factor for waterfowl too, but to a lesser degree.

My recent mule deer hunt was uneventful and somewhat frustrating. I saw a beautiful 4 x 4 with a little kicker off his G3 making him a shy 5 point on his right side. None the less it was the morning before the season opened that he and his forked horn buddy came to within 65 yards of me. We both just stared at one another and then they casually walked off and continued browsing. I shrugged and heaved a long sigh of disbelief. Wondering if our paths would cross again in the days to come. It was not to be and after several days of walking, glassing and being woken by the glaring full moon, I retreated home, empty handed and a bit discouraged.

I had seen the two of them on opening morning as the horizon started lighting up. I made a plan to swing wide and come in below them so as to keep the wind in my favor. My heart was pounding and I was hoping they would bed down soon. I continued my stalk and took a quick look through my binocs and before I knew it I was busted. My heart sank and I felt the blood turn cold in my veins. I gave them one long hard look as they briskly trotted away, out of sight and range. I continued to work the same area for the next several days and had zero luck. I wasn't hearing any rifle shots in the distance either. Comforting in some ways and then again not. I returned to the cabin where I was staying and glassed to the alfalfa fields across the way, watching 20 to 30 deer feeding without a single worry. They were pressured from the surrounding mountains and had found a free pass on the private fields. Eating to their hearts content and bedding down along the fields edge.

I am pretty darn sure that the big buck, was the same one from last year. I chuckled when I saw he had young forked horn with him, another sacrifice. Unfortunately I won't be able to get after him again this year. So I will keep my fingers crossed that he will once again outwit the rest of the hunters this season, so that he and I may pick up this dance next year.

All in all it was still a good hunt, an honest hunt, and one I won't soon forget.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt


Anonymous said...

It is kinda ironic that so many hunts happen around full moons and I do believe it has an effect on the deer.
I am sure your time will come and I'd like to say a bad hunt is better than no hunt at all.

Live to Hunt.... said...

Terry, first I love the new header photo, that is awesome. Those darn deer are so sneaky, I think they know a little too much sometimes. We underestimate them...

Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...

Full moons also make people and animals do crazzzzy things! It still sounds like fun! I love the new photo on your blog!

Jennifer Montero said...

You describe perfectly that cold rush you get when you get busted by your prey. I know that feeling -far too well I might add!

Good luck with the next elk hunt, hope the weather's cooperating!

Like the new header photo with Jet


Terry Scoville said...

LTH, they are very sneaky indeed and for sure often underestimated. I know I did.

Shawn, the affects of a full moon are far from being understood. Yet we all feel its power.

Jen, yea that cold rush is quite a dismal feeling for sure. I felt it from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

Thank you all for the compliments on my new header photo.

suzee said...

Welcome back to the land of reality Terry. Its so great to get away from it for awhile. Had to go back and read 'Wetlands Buck', that was an awesome experience to get that close, and to think you may be seeing the same 4 point two years running. Something to dream about till the next round and hopefully he will show up.

I love the full moon nights when I'm laying out, but you are right the create a problem with the game and the feeding habits. Seems like the most activity we say this year was during the darkest coldest night. If this keeps up we may have to go halves on a beef. Ah, it can't be that bad, still a lot of hunting left. so its the 28th before you get the next chance = good luck!

Terry - this is gary but I see I'm signed in under Sues name, so rather redo this I thought I'd just esplain! Later, gary

suzee said...

Terry... I love your hunting accounts... I can hear, smell, and feel, all the sights sounds and emotions... feels like i've been right there with you!I'm sorry there's no venison in the freezer for all the efforts you've put in this year... but you have my greatest respect, and are one I look up to!

Blessed said...

I love your new header!

Sometimes I wonder if game animals get access to our season calendars... they always know just when to disappear and reappear!

Terry Scoville said...

Blessed, Gary and Suzee,
Thanks for the kind words. Yes I do believe the moon favors the game. I too may be looking at splitting 1/2 a beef with John again. I just got back from a couple days of trying to find Mr.buck and had no luck again. Came home with some birds though.
Getting some nice walks in anyhow.

Cristina Acosta said...

Love the new header photo and logo Terry!

ma'am said...

We hunted in the Ft. Rock unit, and only saw two fast moving buck. Not much sign, few tracks, despite a promising snow storm.

It was a good tune-up for elk season, and a fantastic family time with our college aged kids.

All in all, a successful season.

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