Autumnal Equinox

Vital Information is an educational resource from Deer & Deer Hunting. The CD contains hunting wisdom about shot placement, biology, physiology and ethics. How has it helped your hunt?
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:25 pm

Autumnal Equinox

Postby bailey » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:36 pm

New to site hello from MA, Have a question the Autumnal Equinox the artical I read in Deer and Deer said the best time to hunt in two weeks after the 2nd full moon which is Oct 23. Any help will be great. Thanks

SoIll Dawg
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:01 pm

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby SoIll Dawg » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:48 pm

My understanding is that in addition to moon phase there is also the shortening of the days.  Due to this the rut does not happen until November.  Therefore the rut will not peak until the end of November this year during the full moon of November.


User avatar
eagle eye
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:39 am

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby eagle eye » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:46 am

This year may be different then most if you believe the trends of rut mainly being triggered by the phases of the moon. This year the second full moon after the autumnal equinox is on October 23rd therefore triggering the seeking phase a couple of weeks earlier than usual. What this also means is that the secondary rut will kick in about two weeks after the typical mid November date.

I know this may sound a whole lot like scientific blabber but for the past few years i have payed very close attention to the moon phases and the patterns of the deer on one 2000+ property I hunt and there are very strong paralells. additionally if you can pair the timing with a food source such as acorns or a watering area you double your chances of being where the does are when the buck starts looking as well. Last year I took three deer and on of my sons took another and all of them were either early in the morning at water or early afternoon at a food source.

Be safe and enjoy
John Wojtas
Enjoying the moment and always striving to enhance our hunting heritage

Posts: 605
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: SE Ohio

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby scottflesher » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:25 pm

I had a different take on Charlies history of rut predictions and I posted serveral comments prior to the recent D&DH episode which confirmed my posts. From my understanding the autum equinox this year falls on 9/23. The full moon is also on 9/23, but Charlie says that the rutting moon is the 2nd full moon AFTER the autumn equinox. This means that the rutting moon is actually November 21st this year. This will be a very late rut AKA trickle rut. What this means (and you can verify by the 9/3 episode of D&DH, is that a few does will come into heat in late October, but the majority of does should come into heat the week of Thanksgiving.

Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:55 am

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby NEW61375 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:15 am

My prediction...if you wait til late November-early December for the rut you are going to miss the boat.  Photoperiod (gradual loss of daylight during this time of year) and all of the dark nights around the new moon on Oct 7 will certainly ramp up testosterone and estrogen levels in deer.  This will trigger lots of aggressive activity in bucks and likely trigger many does breeding cycles.  Considering the fact that a does breeding cycle lasts around a month, I am guessing many does will be receptive to breeding about a month after that new moon week in October (about a month after Oct 5-11).
One more fun fact to know and tell is the fact that if you look back to 2002(lunar cycle=8 year repeating cycle) the moon phases are almost identical to 2010(within 1-2 days).

Lunar Rut Predictions came out in the October 2002 issue of Deer and Deer Hunting the title line read, 2002 Lunar Forecast: The Worst Rut Ever? So if you have any field notes from 2002 or rut predictions/results that info could be useful.

Moon Phases __________Oct 2002 _____________________________Oct 2010

New moon ______________Oct. 6_______________________________Oct. 7
First quarter _____________Oct. 13______________________________Oct. 14
Full____________________Oct. 22______________________________Oct. 23
Third quarter_____________Oct. 29______________________________Oct. 30

Moon Phases__________Nov. 2002 ______________________________Nov.2010

New moon______________Nov 4_________________________________Nov. 6
First quarter_____________Nov 11________________________________Nov. 13
Full___________________ Nov 19________________________________ Nov. 21
Third quarter____________ Nov 27________________________________Nov. 28

Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:55 am

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby NEW61375 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:22 am

I have never understood the theory that a full moon triggers anything in a deer.  Scientifically speaking everything I have read  indicates that bright light stimulus(sun or moon) causes decreased levels of melatonin output from the pineal gland and that darkness triggered mainly by photoperiod  increases output of melatonin and trigger a deers (also sheep, horses, etc) annual breeding cycle.  The added darkness around a new moon spikes the output even higher.  The full moon has the opposite effect. 

A little confusing where the full moon theories come from.  For example if the "Rutting Moon" is Nov.23 what does that trigger, if we think that triggers a doe to come into heat that would put her being bred the end of December, if we think the full moon prior to that one on Oct.23 triggers  it that would put deer being bred around Thanksgiving, both seem late. 

The autumn equinox is usually around Sept 22-23 and usually near a full moon so even if you believe it is the full moon that causes a does breeding cycle that is the closest one as far as dates go to when many hunters experience that rut and that would have does being bred near the 3rd or 4th week of October, it is closer to November but not really when most see the rut.  It is fairly common knowledge that if you can hunt the first 2 weeks of Nov. you should.  I dont think it is a coincidence that happens to be almost exactly a month after the first new moon, every year. 

The second full moon of Autumn was called the "Rutting Moon" by the indians.  I don't think they named it that because it triggered the rut but that is the time of year the majority of their focus shifted to hunting and when deer activity increased.  That half of the moon cycle(from new to full) this year is from Nov. 6 - Nov. 20.  Take from that what you will but I will be hunting hardest from Halloween through Nov 20.  I guess we will know soon enough.

User avatar
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:10 am
Location: South FL, BooHoo...

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby SwampLife » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:53 am

Yea I mean the last few years the rut seems to have been very predictable for me where I hunt w/o even considering the moon, at all.
No Shortcuts. No Excuses. No Regrets.

Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:42 am

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby dewde » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:44 am

Last year I took three deer and on of my sons took another and all of them were either early in the morning at water or early afternoon at a food source.
Quotes by Famous People
Celebrities Quotes

User avatar
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:22 am

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby mnmaverick » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:16 am

Seems like this year, with the prediction of a strange rut, the best idea is to be in the woods from Oct 30  through November!!! I'll be out there every minute I can!

Posts: 605
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: SE Ohio

RE: Autumnal Equinox

Postby scottflesher » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:42 am

very true. I'll be doing the same.

I've seen alot of scrapes already and this is really early for them. I have a prediction based off Charlie's prediction.

This year the primary and secondary rut will be backwards. I'm thinking that 10-15% of the does will be bred around October and the remaining 85-90% will be bred in late November.

From my experience, the primary rut (Mid November) usually results in the majority of does being bred (85-90% as a rough guess) and those remaining does who weren't bred, will come back into heat 28 days or so later, during the secondary rut.
When I heard Charlie's prediction, I visualized the exact opposite happening this year. It will be interesting to see what transpires.


Return to Vital Information

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests