The different phases of the moon can affect animal movement. Many hunters, especially deer hunters, believe they can increase their odds of success by hunting during certain phases.

The moon goes through phases, or in other words, the amount of moon we see changes over time. This is caused by the position of the sun, earth and moon. As the amount of light on the moon, moving from right to left, is increasing, the moon is said to be waxing. When the amount of light decreases (or the darkness increases), the moon is said to be waning. This is only true in the Northern Hemisphere; it's the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere.

John Alden Knight took folklore, along with some research, and came up with the Solunar Theory. He found the sun, moon and tides affected fish and wildlife activity. Knight published his Solunar Tables in 1936. The tables, now published in many sporting magazines and online, provide the best times for fishing and hunting.

The Solunar Theory states the closer you are to the sun or moon, the stronger the influence. The day of a new (dark) or full (light) moon provides the strongest influence each month.

Hunters know that game tend to feed during dawn and dusk. What increases wildlife activity is the effect of a moonrise or moonset along with the specific monthly phases of new and full moons. When a Solunar Period falls within 30-60 minutes of sunrise or sunset, it's good. When there is a moonrise or moonset during that same period, it's better! The peak time, however, is when all of those times occur during a new or full moon.

This is where solunar tables come in. You must calculate the precise times from each table by taking into account your geographic location (east or west) of a base point (Time Zone) and adjusted for Daylight Savings Time. The tables help a hunter find the days and times of peak wildlife activity.

Keep in mind that other factors will affect wildlife activity, such as the weather, hunting pressure, etc.

Below is the current phase of the moon. To view or purchase a solunar table, visit the following web sites.

moon phases