I’ve got a photo blind in the woods that I bait with corn. The nearest crops are several miles away, and seasonally, the blind provides close-up photo opportunities at many kinds of wildlife. For years, I’ve followed the Solunar tables to determine their accuracy for wildlife movement and feeding. Today offered just one more example that the tables can be helpful in determining when to film or hunt.
Solunar tables are posted in newspapers and websites, but I keep daily track with a wristwatch that has the tables built in. That’s handy. I checked it today and found that a period of minor activity would occur at 3:20 p.m. for my location. In theory, four activity periods occur each day – two major peaks and two minor ones. Since two of the periods occur during night hours, they are of little value to a wildlife watcher. But knowing the daytime peaks can be helpful.
According to my watch data, today’s major peak fell at 9:10 a.m. Since I had only the afternoon to film, I was most interested in the results for the minor peak scheduled for 3:20 p.m. The peak was a weak one, with a rating of only “1” on a “4” scale. Even so, that’s when the Solunar charts predicted movement.
I set up in my blind at about 2:30 p.m., and the afternoon woods were quiet for about an hour. But right on queue, a variety of animals and birds began to appear at the feed. Surprisingly, a raccoon was first in. Normally nocturnal animals, coons are seldom seen in daylight. But this one showed and stayed for 30 minutes, soon replaced by another raccoon as well. I remembered to check my watch a few minutes after the first appeared, and it was 3:44 p.m.
A variety of birds and squirrels also came during the “window”, which lasts about 30-45 minutes for minor peaks. This video records some of the action. No deer came, though I’ve often spotted even big bucks feeding in the open during midday activity peaks.
Solunar tables aren’t foolproof – barometer and weather have an impact as well. But in a lifetime of studying animal movement, I’m a believer. Most of the time, they’ll put you out there with the best chance of wildlife encounters.