Tip: Use Game Activity Forecasts, And The Moon, To Make The Most Of Every Hunt

In the coming week you can hunt two of seven days. Which days are best? Start by considering the Game Activity Forecast and Day Hunt Rating. 

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

In the coming week you can hunt two of seven days. Which days are best? Start by considering the Game Activity Forecast and Day Hunt Rating. StephensMoon3 900

Have you ever heard a hunting buddy or someone at the archery shop say the “moon is going to be good” in a few weeks, or the “moon is going to be overhead” at prime hunting time? Have you ever thought about the moon’s impact on deer movement? If you have, this may be a strategy that is part of your regular tool kit when hunting throughout the fall. If you’re new to moon science, then I would suggest you invest some time to learn more about the moon’s impact on game movement. However, know that the HuntStand app makes deciphering the moon fast and easy, because it does all the work for you.


One resource that I use regularly when planning my hunts over a seven-day period is HuntStand’s Game Activity Forecasts/Day Hunt Ratings that are based heavily on moon period. How does it work? Once you pick your hunting location and want to view the local forecast over that week, you will also see under each day the Game Forecast Major and Minor Feeding times. Also visible is a Day Hunt Rating (Fair, Good, Excellent/Best), and the specific Moon Phase. If I only have a few days to hunt during an upcoming week, I am going to head out when as many factors as possible are in my favor, including the wind/weather and forecasted deer movement. This resource on the ScoutLook Hunting app and at allows you to find just that.StephensMoon1 900Many studies have been done, and many more articles have been written, correlating moon phases to deer movement. During most of the year most of the deer movement will be at right at dawn and dusk, especially for your mature bucks. I will say that during the rut I do not adhere to this personal rule as much. Temperatures are cooler, days are shorter, and deer movement is greater during daylight hours.


If you are not going to hunt all day during the rut, it’s wise to focus on when the moon is overhead or under foot. This is when the local does will typically move with consistency, and bucks will be seeking them. This of course results in more deer sightings, and predictably strong buck harvests, during the rut. In my experience the specific moon phase is far less critical during the rut; bucks will be moving more now regardless. However, there are times when deer movement will be off the charts during a specific moon phase. To help pinpoint these peaks, there are moon calendars you can use and reference to plan your hunts. For example; some research has been done ( to say that there will be more deer movement on a new moon and last quarter moon.StephensMoon2 900These movement/feeding times are based on the moon phases and data captured that correlates to game activity. Does this mean you are guaranteed to see deer, for example, on Wednesday at 3:32 p.m.? Absolutely not, because there are several other critical factors that will impact your sightings (where your scent is blowing as shown by the HuntStand ScentCone, barometric pressure, predators, unusual weather conditions, etc.…). With that said, there will be deer moving during these noted time periods somewhere near you if all other conditions are favorable. After my 25 years of hunting I find myself relying more and more on the moon and game forecast ratings/times. It helps me know the best times to be in the woods to ensure more game sightings, and maybe just as important, when to stay out of the woods during unproductive periods so I’m not leaving my “human footprint” out there unnecessarily. When hunting mature bucks, that can be huge.

The HuntStand app has become an all-around hunting tool for me not only for its scary-accurate weather, maps, and ScentCone data, but also for its game forecast times based heavily on moon periods. When you can put a resource like that in your chest pocket—and for FREE!—well, where I’m from we call that a no-brainer. Good hunting!



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