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Hunters’ success hinges on the moon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janet Rohde   
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:23 PM

IRON RIVER—Will the best period for deer hunting already be over before the 2012 firearm season starts?
According to research conducted for years by Charles J. Alsheimer in “Hunting Whitetails by the Moon,” the prime chase period this year will end on Nov. 4. But it’s not all bad news for firearm hunters.
Don McDonald recently brought in Alsheimer’s hunting predictions, which lists the rutting moon period, the prime chase period and the breeding window.
The rutting moon period, when does are in full estrus and the bucks are in maximum rutting, is at its maximum on the day of the full moon.
The “rutting moon” takes place on the second full moon following the autumnal equinox (the first day of fall).
Alsheimer’s tables show that the prime chase period coincides with Michigan’s firearm season (Nov. 15-30) in only two of the next nine years—2016 and 2019. This year’s chase period ends on Nov. 4.
But don’t despair, added McDonald.
According to Alsheimer’s calculations, the first four days of the firearm season (Nov. 15 to 18) will be during this year’s breeding window, and hunters should have a very good chance for success.


Year    Rutting moon     Prime chase
period    Breeding window
2012    Oct. 29    Oct. 26 to Nov. 4    Nov. 5 to 18
2013    Oct. 19    Oct. 16 to Oct. 25    Oct. 26 to Nov. 8
2014    Nov. 7    Nov. 4 to Nov. 13    Nov. 14 to Nov. 29
2015    Oct. 27    Oct. 24 to Nov. 2    Nov. 3 to Nov. 16
2016    Nov. 14    Nov. 11 to Nov. 20    Nov. 21 to Dec. 5
2017    Nov. 3    Nov. 1 to Nov. 9    Nov. 10 to Nov. 23
2018    Oct. 24    Oct. 21 to Oct. 30    Oct. 31 to Nov. 13
2019    Nov. 11    Nov. 8 to Nov. 17    Nov. 18 to Dec. 1
2020    Oct. 31    Oct. 28 to Nov. 6    Nov. 7 to Nov. 20