Hunter's Moon

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Hunter’s Moon

***** Location: England, USA
***** Season: Autumn, October
***** Category: Humanity


The full moon of October is called the Hunter’s Moon in England because it coincides with the start of the official legal hunting season which begins 12 October, “The Glorious 12th”. The moon at this time is close to the earth at this latitude; thus very large and reflecting a lot of light for night hunting.

It is a widespread countryside practice in England to hunt all kinds of wild creatures on foot or on horseback, often with a pack of dogs kept specifically for the purpose. Foxes are popular as prey as they are viewed as vermin by many farmers. Also, grouse, quail, partridge, pheasant, duck, and other game birds (wild or raised for the shoot). Game birds are protected by law until 12 October, so “The Glorious 12th” is the start of the shooting season; as well as other hunting activities.
When the very large and bright October moon coincides with clear skies it is called a “Hunter’s Moon”, allowing the hunt to continue on well past the early dusk or begin well before the late dawn.

Hunting (shoot) is another kigo for autumn in England.

It is likely that hunting with dogs will slowly die out as an acceptable hunting method; following recent legislation to end it as a rural sport. This will of course cause some interim conflict - but the likelihood is that those images of "the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" in the John Peel tradition of horns blowing to call packs of dogs to marauding slaughter of wild foxes, hares and deer will go the way of bear-baiting and cock fighting. "Ahhh," some say, "sic transit gloria mundi".

It does, as a sideline which no-one seems to have picked up on yet, protect badger setts from "lamping". the practice of going out with a lamp and terrier to flush out badgers and kill them. This based on a completely unproven idea that badgers are responsible for the transmission of bovine TB. The recent legislation has no effect on the shooting season though, so the mass slaughter for sport of tame game-birds bred for the purpose, although much reduced from the excesses of the Edwardian era, will still be a feature of the October landscape for a long time to come.


Worldwide use

ForeWord Magazine, a major independent publishing trade journal, has awarded Stoeger Publishing’s book, Mr. Whitetail’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon with a Gold Book of the Year Award. Established in 1998, ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards program has become one of the most prestigious honors for independent presses and their authors.

Weishuhn’s book takes readers along on his journeys in search of trophy big game animals in regions as diverse as the windswept prairies of Saskatchewan, the arid hill country of northern Mexico and the woodlands and gravel hills of his native Texas. Throughout the 160-pages of this adventure book, Weishuhn recounts tales of the hunt and lessons learned through his extensive hunting career.

Tonight’s full moon is traditionally known as the “Hunter’s Moon.” The Harvest Moon fell in September this year. November will bring the Beaver Moon (sometimes called the Frost Moon), and the Yule or Long Nights moon falls in December.

。。。Now and then
。。。The clouds give us a rest -
。。。Moon watching.



Dear Hunting Season in Michigan

Bow Season (Archery Deer Seasons) starts October 1st and Rifle/Gun Season (Firearm Deer Season) runs November 15-30th with Rifle Season as the most popular. Typically a male 'sport' the men folk will leave for the weekend or even a week to hunt with their buddies, leaving behind their wives who dub themselves 'Deer Hunting Widows'.

700,000 hunters receive hunting licences and bag around 500,000 deer. In Michigan the deer Population is estimated to be 1.75 million. Deer hunting isn't just considered a sport here, it is also necessary to restrain deer population. Each year there are tens of thousands of white-tailed deer/car collisions in Michigan plus hundreds of thousands of deer starve durring our snowy Winters.

Deer Season
a pick-up truck parked
on the edge of the wood

Michael Baribeau


Deer season is certainly a strong kigo in the South in the US. In Arkansas we also have a bow season beginning in October, and a gun season November through part of December (I think). It's mostly a guy thing here as well, though a few women do occasionally go hunting with their mates.
Hunter's moon is a Native American name, occurring in October and November, when the moon can be seen more clearly because the leaves have fallen from the trees.

Johnye Strickland

Things found on the way


Hunter’s moon ~
swimming in milk
a cat flea


Hunter’s moon,
A stick match lights up
A hound’s eye.

Andrea Zipper


a hunter's moon
the o's of howling dogs
ring in the mists

Jane Reichhold

Related words

***** Fox, game birds of any kind . Kigo for Autumn in England.

See the MOON entry for more MOON links.


Proposed by: Eryu



Michael Baribeau said...

deer shining
down dirt roads
the Hunter's Moon

Michael Baribeau

Shining Puts Bad Light on Hunters
by Dan Small

"It’s that time of year again, when many red-blooded hunters step up their scouting activities in hopes of locating a buck. Deer are on the move, especially at night, as anyone who drives in rural areas after dark will attest. Some hunters are on the move at night, too. Armed with high-powered spotlights, they drive slowly along rural back roads and shine adjacent fields in search of deer."


Regarding the opening remarks that the moon is closer and brighter in October, although the Moon's distance varies slightly around the Earth it is not enough to be visibly appreciable. It isn't that the moon is any brighter in October that designates it as the Hunter's Moon but that 'any' moonlight is handy when hunting at night just as the Harvest Moon is so designated due to its coinsiding with harvest time and not due to any special characteristics with the moon its self...

The Astronomer's Universe: Course Notes
The Moon: Size, Shape, Nature

"The moon's orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle, and at various times it is a little closer to us or a little farther away. (This is something you will be exploring in the second lab exercise.) The consequent variations in its apparent size can be measured, with care, but are much too small to account for the very striking psychological effects we notice."


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

hunter's moon --
the tension at the end
of the dog's leash

Paul David Mena


PaulM., Bunnik, The Netherlands said...

hare beware
of moving shadows
in the moonlight

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