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Thread: Deer and Moonlight

  1. #1
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    Deer and Moonlight

    Basically my question is do deer avoid open spaces at night when there is bright moonlight? Let me give you the background to this question. I have been given permission to hunt a large paddock situated in the foot hills. The paddock itself is rolling hill side and lies between two pieces of forestry. There is new sign on the paddock every day indicating there are deer there every night.

    I have visited the paddock five times now but due to other commitments have not been able to stay past 10:00 pm. Three nights out of the five I have spotted deer on the paddock, I have even managed to take one home with me. The other two nights there has been absolutely nothing there in the time I have lain in wait. Of note, on both of these nights there has been brilliant moonlight and the paddock has been lit up enough to be able to easily see one end to the other without the aid of scope or binoculars. And yet, from the sign, there have been deer on the paddock later on in the night. I note that the moon has gone down after I have left on both occasions, 09:57 pm and 11:54 pm respectively. The other three nights when I have seen deer it has been dark, gloomy overcast with mist, drizzle and rain.

    Now rhetorical stories from ‘deer camps’ suggest that the deer are more active in nights of bright moonlight because they aren’t seen the following day as they are bedding down after a long night of nocturnal activity. A study out of PennState University, where they tracked the activity of GPS tagged deer suggests that there is less movement of deer during times of bright moonlight.

    The further I look into the subject, more questions than answers seem to be raised. My own logic tells me that light is light, be it from the moon or the sun. Deer being somewhat private, furtive animals avoid being seen and hence would naturally avoid any wide open space that is lit up and increasing there chances of being observed.

    What are others experiences in this matter? I am more interested to understand deer behaviour in open spaces rather than activity in the cover of forests or bush.

  2. #2
    Member Tussock's Avatar
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    "A study out of PennState University, where they tracked the activity of GPS tagged deer suggests that there is less movement of deer during times of bright moonlight."


    Those deer still around after millions of years know when the full moon is up you hide because the full moon is the wolfs sunshine.
    Boaraxa and Phil_H like this.

  3. #3
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    My experience in spotlightling would suggest the dark nights are best however pigs seem to be quite active in the moonlight.
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  4. #4
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Pigs eyesight isnt the best evidently
    veitnamcam likes this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tussock View Post
    Those deer still around after millions of years know when the full moon is up you hide because the full moon is the wolfs sunshine.
    I like that. Very succinct and most probably so very true.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by veitnamcam View Post
    My experience in spotlightling would suggest the dark nights are best however pigs seem to be quite active in the moonlight.

    That’s encouraging as there are pigs up there as well which the farmer has indicated he would dearly like half a side of one.
    The pigs do actually come out onto the paddock but the trail camera I have set up there indicates they tend to prefer between 01:00 am and 04:00 am. I had intended to sit out all night over Easter but unfortunately I believe there will be cattle in there then.
    Ah well, something to look forward to later on in the year.

  7. #7
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    Set up a pig trap for the pigs, works all the time when you're not there, and if you approach it quietly you can pick the pigs off with a suppressed 22 and they taste much better cos of no adrenalin etc.
    dannyb likes this.

  8. #8
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Animals with reflective eyes see better in the dark than we do. Full moon is very bright light as far as they're concerned.

 

 

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