Solunar: Predicting Animal Movement By Moon Phase
Solunar is the term used for the belief that the movement of game animals can be predicted by knowing the different phases of the moon. There are many deer and elk hunters that believe their odds of seeing game animals increase according to the different phases of the moon.
In 1926 John Alden Knight conducted extensive research on fresh and saltwater fish, compiling 33 factors that influence or control their day-to-day behavior. Through the process of elimination each factor was carefully examined and rejected, reducing the factors down to the three most important; the sun, moon, and tides. He examined 200 catches of fish, and found that over 90% of the catches were made during the dark of the moon (new moon) when the effects appear to be greatest, also noted that the catches were made during the actual times of the solunar periods.
From 1935 to 1939 J.A. Knight also made extensive studies on game birds and animals. As he had expected, game animals also responded to the phenomenon of the sun, moon phases, and tides. Although hunters are out in the field all day, we all know that deer, elk, and other wildlife tend to be up, and feeding early morning; then at evening, and during night. So while a hunter may be out in the field all day, his efforts will be concentrated on early morning and late evening. But what solunar gives the hunter is knowledge of animal activity other than the normal times of early morning and late evening.
There are major and minor solunar periods that occur during the times of SUNRISE and SUNSET during a FULL or a NEW MOON. What increases the movement and activity of game animals is when there is a MOONRISE (moon over-head) OR MOONSET (moon under-foot) during the periods of a FULL or NEW MOON. So in order to be in the right place, at the right time, you want a period when the moon is up in the sky during SUNRISE! Or know that it is directly UNDERFOOT during SUNRISE! You’ll likely catch them out in the open. Moon over-head and under-foot during SUNSET is also very good.
The best conditions can be affected by weather and other outside forces. Hunting pressure, extreme heat, high winds, cold fronts, and falling barometer fluctuations can shut animals down. But these favorable conditions can increase your chances of success during a hunt. A favorable condition is when a period occurs within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset. If there is a moon over-head or moon under-foot at the same time, hunting is even better. And the most favorable time is when these conditions occur during a Full or New Moon. It is always important to note the time and date you take an animal down, to add to your knowledge of game animal movement.
John Alden Knight through his research, concluded that the sun, moon and tides do indeed affect the behavior and movement of wildlife according to moon phase. There are many hunting experts who have written books and created charts on the subject. Charts can be found in many hunting magazines and on the internet.
Here at Rifle Accuracy Reports, we offer Solunar Information specific to the area you will be hunting in. Just contact us for more info.
CURRENT MOON PHASE CALENDAR
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