Outdoor Life

Best hunting times

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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How can hunters determine those times when wildlife are most active?

For hundreds of years, hunters have acknowledged that there are certain times of the year when wildlife are more abundant. Native-Americans and other cultures that lived off the land were totally dependant on knowing the best hunting times. Although primitive cultures did not have the convenience of modern hunting supplies, knives and specialized equipment, as today's hunter does, certain rules regarding the hunt have remained unchanged down through the centuries.

Many people are attracted to hunting because of both the challenge that the sport offers and the natural beauty of the scenery.

What makes hunting successful?

Finding the best hunting times as well as the best locations are critical as hunting is largely dependent on being able to intercept the animal at the proper location and being in position there. Learning to blend into the surrounding scenery by wearing camouflage clothing is just one technique hunters employ for success.

Since the 1800s, fisherman have relied on solar and lunar influences to determine the best times to fish and have understood that the best hunting times occurred when the moon was overhead or underfoot as well as during certain moon phases. Game hunters and fishermen recorded the dates and times of their success and these records became the first hunt and fish charts or as they are sometimes known, solunar tables.

Who was John Alden Knight and how did his work influence finding the best hunting times?

In 1926, John Alden Knight conducted pioneering research on the solar and lunar influences on the best hunting times. He gave his research the name, solunar (sol for sun and lunar for moon) His study concerned the various influences that affect wildlife activity. Knight compiled a list of thirty-three factors, which affected the day-to-day behavior of fresh and salt-water fish. One by one, the factors were examined and rejected. Three of them, however, merited further examination. They were the sun, moon and tides.

The tables Knight created were published in 1936 and they clearly illustrated periods in each day of both major and minor activity. His findings became the root of common hunter knowledge today and it is generally known that the best hunting times for fish and game are based on two solar triggers; namely, dawn and dusk. With some animals, dawn marks the onset of daily activity and with others it is dusk.

Since John Alden Knight's publication in 1936, the most significant improvement in understanding the best hunting times has come with the more recent computer capability to calculate the combined effect of solar and lunar influences. Research has clearly indicated that there are certain times that a hunter or fisherman is three times more likely to see game or fish than during other times.

Weather is another critical factor that any good hunter knows will affect wildlife feeding activity. It is so important that all charts and ratings for wildlife activity include local current and forecast weather.

So whether you catch game or fish by hook, gun or bow and arrow, the best results will only come from that age old chore of “doing your homework.” Ascertaining the best hunting times beforehand is sure to reap its own rewards after the hunt.

Happy hunting.

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