What Moon Phase do you prefer to elk hunt and why?


New member
Jan 17, 2013
I prefer the week of the new moon when bowhunting the backcounty for elk. I'm curious if anybody prefers a different moon phase and why?


New member
Jan 9, 2013
I also prefer the new moon.  Seems like if there's a full moon the herd is out partying all night and ready to bed at dawn.  I like to catch the herd rutting around because that's obviously when bulls are most vulnerable.  In my experience calling goes better as well when the herd is more active a couple hours before daylight through about 10 in the morning, which typically happens with an overnight lack of visible light. 

Hunting elk is kinda like a game of poker though, what it comes down to is doing everything you can with what you're dealt.  I had a hunt planned for the new moon this year and my wife's sister decided she'd plan her wedding on that week.  So now I'm adapting to a later than ideal hunt with a waning moon.  Success is in a man's ability to adapt to various situations.

Big Tex

New member
Jan 8, 2013
I'm generally more focused on the dates than the moon phase and I like the last two weeks of Sept regardless the moon phase....At least that's what I'll be telling myself while out hunting the full moon the 3rd week of Sept this year.


Nov 30, 2012
I kept a detailed log of moon phase, rutting activity, etc for 8-10 years, and finally realized it was pointless...  :p

Personally, I like hunting the week before a full moon, IF it falls close to the beginning/middle of the month. I also don't mind hunting a full moon, as the elk are bedded more throughout the day, and I love hunting bedded elk.

With that being said, every state is different. In Arizona, the moon phase had a major impact on the elk behavior, and calling elk in AZ during the full moon was rough. In Idaho, it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue.

If I could line up a perfect week of elk hunting (in Idaho), it would be September 8-15th approaching a full moon. BTW, I just looked at the calendar, and it looks like the elk in Idaho are in trouble this fall!  ;)


New member
Jan 7, 2013
For any type of hunting or even fishing for that matter I haven't planned a trip around the moon phase. I take note of it and see if it affects it one way or the other but haven't found any hard facts yet. I always find that weather has a larger impact on movement than anything.


New member
Apr 16, 2013
Any phase is OK with me. Still hunting.
I use the full moon to get on them in the night,then wait them out or go after them in their beds during shooting hours. I've sleep right near them during the day after a night stalk.