Early Season Elk, The Heat or the Moon?

Give me cooler temperatures and a full moon over hot weather and no moon anytime!

Early season archery elk season is under way and the reports I am getting are that temperatures seem to be having more of an affect on the elk than normal.  I don’t think the full moon is helping either.  So the long debated question is, would you rather be hunting higher than normal temperatures and the dark of the moon or much cooler temperatures and a full moon?

My personal preference is give me cool mornings and evenings and I will take the full moon.  I have always believed that if you have cool damp mornings and evenings, the cow elk start their estrus sooner.  I also believe that the bulls testosterone levels begin to elevate, when that happens their rutting activity is more consistent.

Just like us humans, when the temperatures are cooler we are much more active than on 100 degree days.  History shows the elk are the same way.  They stay out longer in the mornings and get up earlier in the evenings.  The one thing I have really noticed over the years are the bulls are much more vocal when cooler temperatures exist.  The combination of warm temperatures and a full moon is the recipe for success and lends itself to unproductive days.  In many cases the elk won’t even begin their activities until after dark and will be back in their bedding areas before daylight.  This is what I call a bad formula for archery elk hunting.

One of the only solutions to hunting in warm temperatures is finding the water holes.  Sometimes this can be very difficult to do based on current drought conditions in your hunting area.  In my opinion, it is the single best tactic that has greatest potential of success.  Find the water!

Sometimes we are dealt with both issues, warm weather and a full moon.  What I do know that is you can’t stick one sitting in the den watching TV and it beats the hell out of being at work!

The Outdoor Quarterback