Some people live and die by astro charts, swearing all they have to do to be more successful is time their trips to coincide with the listed major and minor feeding periods.
Others don’t give the charts a second look.
I happen to fall into the second category. I mean, I’m going when I can go, no matter what the chart says. I’ll refer to tide guides before hitting the coast, but that’s about it.
However, I can remember a trip to a buddy’s hunting camp when my friend’s dad referred to his watch (which showed the major and minor feeding times) and predicted when deer would be moving the following day.
I rolled my eyes and chuckled as I hit the rack.
The next morning I sat on the stand watching squirrels and listening to birds — right up until pretty much the time my buddy’s father had predicted.
All of a sudden deer began feeding in the food plot.
That wasn’t the only time he nailed it, by the way.
So there’s something to the astro guides, and that’s why you’ll find them in each and every issue of this magazine. Click here to find them online.
The trick is learning how to read them.
That problem was pointed out recently when a subscriber called and complained that our charts didn’t show major and minor feeding times. So I made a call to the creator of the chart to learn more.
What I discovered was that all the information you could want is included in our astro charts.
First, you can just look at the “Best Days” column to get a feel for when you should expect the most action. Simply put, the longer the shaded bar the better the hunting or fishing should be.
If you want to figure out when during a particular day you should focus your attention, just move to the right.
The major feeding times are listed on our charts as “Primary, moon overhead” and “Primary, moon underfoot.”
These two periods happen every day, and vary from an hour to 3 1/2 hours long. These are the times when fish and game can be expected to feed the heaviest.
Unfortunately, you can’t always count on the solunar cycle to work out so major feeding times fall during daylight hours.
That’s when minor feeding times come into play.
No, you won’t see those words on our astro charts. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t listed.
Just look under the “Moon rise” and “Moon set” columns to find out the peak times of the minor feeding periods. Just as with the primary feeding times, there are two minors per day.
Now, the minor periods are shorter, usually lasting only an hour or so.
That means that if, say, moon set is at 11:30 a.m., the minor feeding period will run from about 11 a.m. through about 12:30 p.m.
That’s not the only information available. You also can identify with a glance when a major or minor period overlaps dawn, noon or dusk.
Such overlaps are marked with small sun symbols on the applicable primary times, with overlapping moon sets/rises being marked with bold type.
So now you can flip to the astro table each month and plan out your vacation time to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.