Do you believe in the Rut prediction by moon phase ?

What's the hunt looking like this year in your area? Share!
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RE: Do you believe in the Rut prediction by moon phase ?

Postby DrummingGrouseKennel » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:41 am

I live in Shawano County, Wisconsin and have spent more days afield in the past seven years than anyone I know.  During my countless hours hanging in a tree, I have made many interesting observations and have come up with a few conclusions on the whitetail rut.  First and foremost, the whitetail rut revolves around does coming into heat.  This is the force that drives the entire thing.  There are many factors that play into determining when each doe will come into heat.  I beleive that daylength and individual health play a major role in the breeding cycle of whitetail.  Maybe the moon phase plays a role also, but I can not rule it in or out with any sort of certainty.  I have observed that over the past several years, the timing of the rut where I live and hunt always seems to play out with in the same time frame, usually between October 27th and November 16th, with the 10th and 11th of November seeming to be peak in breeding.  The seeking, chasing, and breeding stages of the rut give the impression that early in the rut, bucks are just looking for does, then as the rut progresses, they start chasing does, then finally when the doe is ready to stand they breed her.  This idea is somewhat right, and somewhat wrong.  I look at it like this.  From the end of October, through end of the breeding season, a buck has one thing on his mind, does, and more importantly, hot does.  If he doesn't have a hot doe in front of him, he will look for one(seeking stage).  If he finds a hot doe he will attempt to breed her.  If she is not ready to breed, she will attempt to evade him.  However, if she smells ready or close to, the buck will follow her wherever she goes(chasing).  The buck is not chasing her because that is the stage the rut is in right now and he know that in a day or two she will be ready to breed. No, he is chasing her because he wants to breed her, RIGHT NOW!  I have witnessed a doe being chased by three bucks so exhausted that she layed down.  When the first buck caught up to her, he tried to breed her right on the ground.  She oviously wasn't ready yet but he didn't care, he just jumped on her when she was laying down.  The buck wasn't able to successfully breed her in the sense of fertilizing the egg, but he did breed her.  Once a buck finds a doe in standing heat, he will breed her.  Once this happens, he doesn't just move on, but stays with her and breeds her repeatedly until she in no longer standing.  Buck activity in the rut is controlled by does.  A buck without a hot doe will continue to look for one until he finds one.  A buck with a hot doe will continue to pursue her until she is ready.  Given what I have stated above, that the 10th and 11th of November being the peak in whitetail breeding in the are I hunt, if I had only 7 days to hunt, they would be the 1st 7 days in November.  I have noticed the timing of the rut to vary by a few days each year, but generally is pretty close to the range I have stated earlier.  This year I have witnessed a doe standing for a buck on the 6th of November, wich proves that there is at least on doe in standing heat already this year. 

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RE: Do you believe in the Rut prediction by moon phase ?

Postby buckhunter21 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:37 pm

I live in west-central WI and besides seeing the rubs and scrapes, I haven't really noticed the deer in their rut phase yet.  They seem to be going about their usual business....Kind of strange.

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RE: Do you believe in the Rut prediction by moon phase ?

Postby ILBowhunter » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:28 pm

I have read things by Alsheimer concerning the importance of the "rutting moon," but have never been convinced by what he has said.  I agree with RNC and his contacts with the Wisconsin DNR.  The key to successful reproduction for a doe is to breed at a time that will lead to birth at the optimal time; not too early, not too late. Gestation for a whitetailed deer is approximately 200 days, so breeding around Nov 15 puts birthing around the first week of June.  The photoperiod predicts things quite well, why would whitetailed deer have evolved a more complicated means of making this happen than is necessary? 

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RE: Do you believe in the Rut prediction by moon phase ?

Postby cannycorn2000 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:52 am

I don't think that the moon phases play any significant role.  There are many biological factors that have more to say in when the rut starts. 
No Sacrifice, No Victory!


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