Beware of the crescent moon

Notes from the North Woods

This dramatic pairing of a brilliant crescent moon with Venus occurred in the night sky over the High Peaks.

This dramatic pairing of a brilliant crescent moon with Venus occurred in the night sky over the High Peaks.

Last week, I had planned to write a column about the effects that moon phases play in triggering animal movements.

The story, as I had it framed in my mind, was to focus on autumn’s harvest moon, which occurs on Sept. 19 this year. The harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox.

I wanted to compare and contrast the frequency of game movements triggered by the arrival of the harvest moon with those that occur as a result of the hunter moon, which arrives 30 days later on Oct. 22.

Many sportsmen, and sportswomen believe the first full moon of autumn marks the beginning of the first period of whitetail wanderlust and the second full moon begins the most intense period of buck activity.

Bucks may begin attracting a harem shortly after the harvest moon, but they rarely begin to breed until the hunter moon has passed in October. Predictions for this year’s indicate the dates of Oct. 24 and 25 may be the beginning of the annual rut.

According to legend, Native Americans considered the hunters moon to be the ‘medicine’ that caused deer to be so reckless.

As a result of numerous scientific studies, evidence reveals it is actually the diminishing hours of daylight that triggers the whitetail’s mating season.

I was framing the story in my head last weekend, as I drove back from New York City.

We made the long trip south to LaGuardia Airport to send our daughter off on a flight, as she’ll be studying abroad this semester.

Rather than deal with the heavy traffic leaving the city on I-87, I decided to take the Taconic Parkway for part of our trip home.

At the sun set, the moon appeared as a silver sliver in the evening sky. And as it sunk slowly below the far horizon in the early evening sky, Venus appeared to be perfectly aligned with the rising moon.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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