As the Whitetail season approaches hunters start to plan their Archery and Gun season in hopes to bag that trophy buck. Those with land go to great efforts to improve their odds and advantage, by creating food plots, bedding areas, water holes, Mock Scrapes, and using Trail Cameras. But even many of those hunters overlook the most important advantage of all, the Moon Phases.


From my 50 years of hunting the Whitetail Deer the most important thing to know is; when are the big bucks moving and when is the most Deer activity occurring? The answer to this is simple and explained below.

Tips: Deer favor White-Oak Acorns over Red-Oak Acorns. Find the Food and water sources. Learn how to use the Moon’s Position for Deer Activity. Draw the bucks to you by creating a Mock Scrape.

Here are the best tactics for increasing your odds of tagging a nice Buck, even if you’re hunting on public land. These strategics are listed in order of priority and if used will give you an advantage and even bragging rights over your friends, year after year.

#1 Moon Phases

Really this should be called Moon Positions, since it’s the position of the moon that triggers the Deer to move. The peak time, or best time to hunt is what is referred to as the Red Moon, when the moon is rising at sunrise or setting at dusk. Early mornings produce the best Deer activity when the moon is rising within 2 hours of sunrise. Late evenings are best when the moon is setting within two hours of sunset. And noon will produce the best Deer activity when the full moon is directly above.

2020′ Best Deer Activity; Dates & Time

  • Sept 19, 3 pm
  • Sept 22, 6 pm
  • Sept 24, 7:30 am , 8 pm
  • Oct 5, 3:30 pm
  • Oct 10, 7:30 am
  • Nov 17 2:30 pm
  • Nov 20, 5:30 pm

#2 Hunting Oak Trees (Acorns)

Hunt in or near Oak trees, with a good Acorn crop. If you have the ability to hunt near Soy Beans or Corn fields, then find those Oak Trees that hang over the edges of these fields

Tips: White Oak Acorns are the best, Red Oak if you do not have the option. If no crops, then find the biggest Acorn drop, typically the largest Oak Tree in the woods. Oak Trees will skip years of producing Acorns so check to make sure there is a good corp, there should be many on the ground already.

#3 Scent Control

Don’t let your scent keep that big boy from coming in. Plan your entry and exit route, keeping away from any deer trails and leaving as little scent as possible. This route may not be the most direct and may take you out of your way a little, but it will be well worth it.

Make sure to put your stand downwind of the Deer Trails and place it above the scent and visual line (typically at the 15 – 18 ft mark).

Tip: Use a scent control or blocker (natural or purchased).

#4 Make a Mock scrape

A Mock scrape is a must and is the one thing that will attract Deer and bring that Buck right to you.

You can make this scrape by taking a natural vine from the woods, approximately 1” – 1.5” in diameter, and 6′ long. Hang the vine such that it’s 5′ above the ground. Next scrape the ground below it in a circle about 2′ in diameter, clearing all leaves and sticks, now add a little doe urine on it.

You will want to set your stand up ~20 yards away. I Have seen Doe and Bucks find this scrape and start leaving their scent on it within a few hours.

Tip: Hang your vine straight up and down, do not touch the bottom 2 feet of the vine leaving your scent. You can use a small rope for hanging the vine.

#5 Water Source

Look for a corridor (deer trail) between the Food & Water Source. Once you find this take into consideration the above information I have listed and set up your Mock Scrape and Deer Stand.

Tip: Keep an eye out for a Deer Trail Spoke Wheel. This is a spot where multiple deer trails cross in a small area. These are great places for a community Mock Scrape and to hunt.