Moon phases and feed times

Discussion in 'Hog Hunting Tactics & Tips' started by 437, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. 437

    437 LSB Member

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    Since I'm new to tracking this kind of stuff for hogs I started to compile what I've seen since May 27 in our locale. Will be a fun thing to track and see if there is any method to the madness or useful info. It appears there are various metrics being used on solunar tables b/c I'm finding they contradict each other on feed times and 'good' vs 'best' hunt times. The Florida hunting license app is hilarious the best nights we have had were 1 star worst rankings and slowest were 'best'. Leave it to the state! Probably trying to discourage hunters to stay home.

    My rough sketch of the past month is that feed times were not applicable or off by so many hours not useful. New moon they came out much later and not as many....single boar here, pair, no sounders at all the past several nights. Full moon right at or even a touch b/f sunset see them out and in significant numbers with sounders abounders. Doesn't really matter I'm going out to hunt anyway, but the geekery is fun to track. For fishing here on the Gulf Coast the tide is of uber importance so I always focus on 1-2 days b/f and after new/full moon. ~ 31 years of tracking Snook and Redfish behavior and it's the only thing that matters more than low pressure systems/storms, sunlight, rain, bait choices etc just gotta have good moving water.

    Wind: I know I've probably been very lucky lately, but with swirling winds I've found myself in some very undesirable positions at times and it has not mattered one bit. My average shot has been 50 yards. I could have thrown rocks at them at times. When they are intent on eating rye in the fields they seem oblivious. Actually the best 2 nights we have had the past month were 10-15mph b/f storms. We walked downwind on a sounder b/c that was the only direction we could with the corner of the property fences. Closed to 20 yards just to see if we could and mag dumped. Weird.

    Any of you hog mavens have sumn to add please do as my edUmcaShun is ongoing. One thing is still the same though with the full moon.....deer are everywhere it's insane! I thought I knew how many were out, but dang. Can't go 5 minutes w/o seeing them on the 4-5 days around full moon. I've already set up a climber in a totally new spot from thermal observations where I saw two huge bodied bucks. Cool to see the little spikes lit up they are already showing.

    What do you all find where you are? Any pattern of any kind? The more time I spend at night with hogs the more it rings true with what I've read that a pattern is really tough to find. Probably be opposite next month!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  2. djones

    djones the oink stops here! I LIKE PONIES I HEART DIRT CLODS

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    ur doin fine kid. you've only had your thermal for a week and you've already posted more kills that fakeT, the biggest poser poster here.​
     
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  3. nathan koepp

    nathan koepp Cibolo,TX

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    I guess I'll throw my .02 in, I've never truly been able to get hogs patterned when I first started out that was one of the main goals of every hunt that and kill pigs.

    Any way, there are so many factors that come into play in a pigs daily habits and routines. For example has the group been hunted heavily? If so like a group I watched one night come into a feeder, they would stand underneath a tree not fifteen feet away from the feeder but would not dare step into the full moon light until a cloud would cover the moon light. I had shot almost 60% of that group while using the full moon to my advantage this left the remaining very well educated to not coming in the full moon light forcing them to stay in the shadows of the swamp.
    Is there any crops being grow or harvested around the area? Is it cold or hot? Is it hot with plenty of water, is it hot with not enough water? Are acorns dropping? Is there a massive insect hatch? So many things to consider!
    All I have learned from my nocturnal stalking is that once you think you have them dead to rights on a pattern they go and throw a wrench in your engine.
    -Nathan koepp
     
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  4. 437

    437 LSB Member

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    I hear you....got my first thermal bagel last night I had been 6 for 6 on trips with at least one hog! Whether from pressure or pattern they were nowhere to be found last night. I looked back at the last 30 days and my buddy and I have taken a total of 16 hogs out of an ~ 800 acre area(about half that time was using green lights). We have hammered it to pieces and it was bound to put them down a bit, but hey like I practice in fishing you don't leave fish to find fish.....hit it while it's hot. Was also weird for deer I saw a single doe last night so maybe they were just in a funk with the crazy tropical depressions push up into us. Heat lightning all night long was beautiful out. Oddly in a field where we always see rabbits by the dozens I saw 2.

    The best hunting this past month(last few days of May first few of June) was right after a drought of several months with forest fires everywhere, but tons of rain softened up the rye fields and numerous sounders finally came out to play. Now that everything has softened up maybe they are on to plan B....going to venture into the woods a bit. Can't stand the thought of going to sit in a stand again already that time of year will be here soon enough. LOVE the ability to stay mobile and move around with the thermal!
     
  5. Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer Pro Staff Third Coast Thermal SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    SOLUNAR
    437, you are learning. For those of us who record our kill times and such, it becomes obvious that the solunar tables are not predictors of activity or of successful hunting. Not sure who had the idea of apply calculations derived from marine fishing successes (moon influences tide and tide influences fish behavior) to terrestrial and even avian targets, but they did. Somewhere along the way came the notion that the intended game would be more likely to be where YOU are during the peak and near peak fishing times, and that is just silly.

    You made an interesting observation and one I have made numerous times. Deer everywhere, but no hogs. So would there be a different solunar table for hogs than deer?

    One thing that I have noticed about the solunar table use is that when a proponent uses the tables and makes a kill during a peak or near peak period, the tables work. When the kill is made close in time to peak or near peak periods (which would be OFF peak or or OFF near peak), the tables still work because it was in the neighborhood. So here you have an artificial expansion of the tables to fit the data, LOL. When a kill is not made during or close to these periods, then the problem isn't that the tables don't work, but that there is an outside influence keeping the animals from showing up in front of you. In short, there is no way for the tables to fail when seen in this light because successes are proof they work and failures are proof that something else kept the game away.

    Never not go hunting because it conflicts with the solunar tables. That is the surest way to not be successful.

    MOON Brightness
    More generally are the basic moon phases. Some people claim full moons are better for hunting and they have better success during these periods. The primary reason I have seen is that animals like to be out and moving more when they feel safer and they feel safer because they can see threats better. Some people claim no moon is better and have better success during these periods. The argument here is that nocturnal animals still see by moonlight and feel safer because they are better cloaked in darkness. I personally like no moon nights better because I am less apt to be spotted, stalks are stressful, but I am not sure it makes much difference. Hunting seems good whether there is a bright moon or no moon.

    Never no go hunting because it conflicts with a given moon phase/brightness level.

    WIND
    As near as I can tell, any wind conditions that are within the norm are good hunting. If you are in an area that regularly has 20-30 mph winds, the animals get used to it and will be out just as much as animals that are used to, and out in 10-15 mph winds. Major deviations in wind to the high side does seem to drive animals to ground, but some will be out. If the high winds have been going on for a few days, then you have a new norm established and a lot will be out. My hunting at a feeder in the woods has been poorer during high wind periods. Open field hunting doesn't seem to be as influenced negatively with higher winds and I attribute this to the fact that higher winds are more often the norm in big open fields.

    The benefit of higher winds is that you can make approaches from down wind when the hogs will be nose-blind and deaf to your approach. It can be a very beneficial tool and make for a much more successful hunt.

    Never not go hunting because of the wind.

    STORMS
    Animals are said to be "moving" before the storm and or after the storm. I am not sure what "moving" means. Before the storm is often associated with increased winds and so the above seems to apply. As for after the storms, it certainly can be good hunting, when things have calmed down. Some of my best kills have been when I was caught out by a storm in a stand and staying until the storm passed and soon thereafter a hog or hogs emerged to eat at a feeder. Of course, I have also been in the same position when nothing larger than a bunny rabbit emerged and I gave up a couple of hours after the storm had passed.

    During storms, animals do tend to hunker down. Rarely do I have animals on the game cameras during anything more than light rain and I have only killed one hog during a rain event (but I am not usually hunting during heavy rain, either). When I have been sheltered in a stand during major rains, peeking out the windows, there is usually nothing to see but rain.

    I would guess that like with the winds, if you live in a place that gets regular showers, the hogs will get used to it as part of their daily routine and be out doing what they do because rain is the norm.

    Storms seem to be a mixed bag, but offer the additional dangers that come from being out in storms (flooding, lightning, hail, exceptionally high winds). Choose wisely when hunting during these periods

    AFTER STORMS
    If it has been dry for a while, the first 2 or 3 nights following a good rain seems to be a optimal time to find hogs out in open pastures, rooting in the soils softened by rain. This will continue until the ground hardens again, but it seems to be better when they haven't had easy access in a while.

    SNOW/ICE STORMS
    I love to hunt north Texas in these conditions. Getting to my hunt spots can be quite perilous and my normal hour drive may take 2 or 3 hours, but I have usually have good success under these conditions for hogs. The sample is quite small, however. Again, hunter safety may be more of an issue here than hunting success.

    FEEDERS
    When I had cellular game cameras, I often "patterned" a hog after the first visit. You may ask how you can pattern a hog based on a singular data point and the realistic answer is that you cannot! However, I found through other hogs that I had a bit over 40% chance of getting the hog on the following night and 70% chance of getting the hog 2 nights after he first came and they would come around the same time period. So the patterning is based on previous hogs and not the actual current hog. As time would go by, they would change their timing. Hogs that came at the same time for several days often would not show up or show up at a completely different time, thereby breaking the pattern. This is what frustrates people. Feeder Patterns can and do work, but are often very temporary. I have patterned hogs for several days, shown up 4 hours early to be in the stand long before they would arrive, only to find them already under the feeder or have them show up within minutes of my arrival. Weird, but it has happened several times. What is really bad is to show up a few hours early only to discover that they have already been there and gone.
     
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  6. 437

    437 LSB Member

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    Thanks that is great stuff. Yea I'm pretty much taking the solunar tables and keeping that for my fishing modus operandi. I simplified my approach when I knew the thermal was coming: I'm going out to hunt and the night is my friend now. I've gone in all conditions and don't plan on stopping, but will keep tabs on conditions and whatnot just b/c I enjoy the geekery of it all. My buddy put up a cell cam on his trusty honey hole that is already holding some HUGE big bodied bucks. Bunch of hogs showed up and they bucks haven't shown back up in a week.....he's given me execution orders to eradicate. Cant' wait to see how this goes.....they have come in for 3 straight nights and mornings....5-530am and 8-10pm. Corn is now gone....probably won't show for another month!

    Take a peek at this big sucker looks like a hog mated with one of the Holsteins just a healthy looking beast.....well probably not that big for you Texas boys, but that is a big nasty hog for FL. DJ the last picture is for you since you asked me to get pictures of giant hog nutz for your collection. Not sure where you are going with that, but I wanted to help out any way I could.

    20170626025015-18504-101MFCAM_MFDC0315.jpeg
    20170626025054-18504-101MFCAM_MFDC0331.jpeg
    20170626025131-18504-101MFCAM_MFDC0346.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  7. Jhop

    Jhop LSB Active Member SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    My take is pigs don't read. They only feed.

    The more moon light the less likely I'll see big groups and the more likely to see big singles. Most likely big boars.

    Stay down wind no matter the wind.

    You can't kill them on the couch.
     
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  8. jglass

    jglass LSB Member

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    Seems like I see the most hogs on the darkest of nights. I found the secret to success is hunting as often as you can. I'm fortunate to be able to go from my camper to my blind or tree stand in 5 minutes. Two hours of hunting is better than no hunt at all. I tried hunting late into the night and early morning but success was always 2 to 4 hours after sundown and 2 to 3 hours before sunrise. I have friends that hunt the same property but only hunt after sunrise and they seem to kill as many hogs as I do so go figure.
     
  9. 437

    437 LSB Member

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    I think I'm starting to see a little bit of predictability not so much as exactly where they will be, but I can get in pretty close to when they will be. Told my buddy last night(brought his 12 year old daughter out who is an amazing shot)....we could start seeing them by 930-10 and poof at 10:00 almost on the button 3 of them darted across a field about 500 out(spotted by a 12 year old girl who had never even held a thermal until about a hour before that). Stalked up on them, but they were not feeding they were in transit at a pretty good clip trotting along somewhere and crossed back into the state preserve. Turned south towards the swamp and poked into a field facing the state preserve. Poof I tapped on the roof of the truck to stop I saw a single boar nice hog for sure at that distance on 1.6magnification. Then I saw 3 more jump under the fence so I said let's get down and get ready. We get the rifles out and slap the thermals on. We begin the stalk about 200 out and I watched 4 more jump through the preserve fence line. Ok this could be good! I closed us to maybe 50 yards and my pal's daughter said 'I can shoot from here'. There are now ~ 10 spread out eating rye....sow/boar and a gaggle of piglets. She is 12 and shooting a 308AR extremely strong athletic kid studette lacrosse player the way she handles the rifle is really impressive. She leans on dad for some support and WHAM pig down. Kid is a natural it was quite a sight to see. Thanks to Mdmorrow for hooking my buddy up with a sweet deal on a Trail.....blood on the scope first night out. We all pretty much know this kid is going to be the sniper on the lease in short order she was born to drop game it's hilarious. Her FIRST hog kill is at night with a 308AR semi-offhand shot using a thermal that was set up in a hurry as the sun went down. Eh hem. She good. I have no doubts she will smoke a huge buck this season.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  10. Brian Shaffer

    Brian Shaffer Pro Staff Third Coast Thermal SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Yep, if you look close, you will see that hogs wear watches and if you look in their pockets, you will find that they keep strict written schedules. Hogs are much more anal retentive than most folks realize. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  11. 437

    437 LSB Member

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    It's crazy really. In the 6 weeks I've been an official night hogger it's 17 hogs(11 mine and 6 I put people on with thermal amateur free guide service) and 14 of those were taken b/t 945 and 11. 2 were taken at ~ 745-8. Oh one more I forgot about last week during a rain storm around 5pm hiding under a tree. I'm sure that will change as the year goes on I know we saw them in the winter in the fields about an hour or so after sunset....and sunset is 829 right now. Fun to track this stuff. I'm sure when I mix it all in a pot after a year it will be more like 'the more I hunt the more I kill' like everything else cna't shoot em in th eliving room!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  12. der Teufel

    der Teufel Team Phi Slamma Hamma SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    There's a lot more wisdom here than appears at first. My wife's family has some farm land, most of which is leased to neighbors. I was talking with one of the lessees several years ago, during a time of severe drought, and commented that it must be hard to decide whether or not it's even worth it to plant anything. He immediately replied "You have to plant. Otherwise you're guaranteed to get nothing!" As JHop stated, "You can't kill them on the couch".

    So, I get out when I can. As long as the mosquitoes aren't too bad, I kind of enjoy sitting out in the woods. It's quiet and peaceful except when then frogs crank up, and even that can be interesting. Now that I have a thermal monocular it's even better!
     

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