Deer hunters have been trying to identify the best times to head out whitetail hunting since there have been deer to hunt. With research and wildlife studies it would seem that technology could be used to give us the ultimate hunting tool. Although there have been some applications developed for computers and mobile devices, they are all based of the Solunar Theory developed by John Knight back in the 1930’s.
Knight was an outdoorsmen and sportswriter who perfected his fish and game activity theory over a period of many years, making observations while whitetail hunting and out fishing. This solunar table pioneer found that all fish and game — including deer, turkey, bass, and trout — are more active during different times of the day and night.
Knight examined many different variables to determine their effect on hunting times and fishing times. Of all the factors he examined, the position of the sun, moon, and tides were determined to be of the utmost importance. He noted that there are 2 “major” time periods and 2 “minor” time periods each day that fishing and hunting are most likely to be productive. Because of the effect of the sun and the moon, he named these times “Solunar Periods” which have been compiled into solunar tables for almost 8 decades now.
The best whitetail hunting times and best fishing times occur at the peak of the major and minor periods. These roughly correlate with high tide and low tide times. Tides occur roughly every 12.5 hours, but because they are caused by a complex set of interactions — the sun and moon’s gravitational forces, rotation of the Earth, and the shape of the near-shore bottom — the tide times will vary somewhat from the solunar table periods. Solunar periods have been equated to equilibrium tide times, but the important thing to know about solunar tables is that they are effective and identifying the best whitetail deer hunting times.
The best hunting times and best fishing times vary day to day with the moon phase, but the best wildlife activity occurs around a Full Moon and New Moon. If you are looking to maximize your whitetail hunting time, then I would suggest studying the solunar table. Just keep in mind that the buck of a lifetime could walk into your life anytime that you’re out in the woods.