Charles Alsheimer has made a name for himself as an outdoor photographer and journalist. He has written several books and has been published in most of the major outdoor magazines.
In my mind, Alsheimer is noted more for his studies on moon phases and whitetail behaviors than anything else. He has been making predictions about the timing of the rut in relation to the moon for years. He has many dedicated followers that apparently have noticed his predictions can be effective and accurate. Personally, I am and have always been on the fence with his predictions.
This year, Alsheimer is predicting a very prominent rut that is also very early. The dates he gives for the chasing phase are about Halloween to November 8th. He says it will be “phenomenal” because it is a “synchronized rut”. He says that buck’s testosterone level will peak around November 1, the doe’s estrous level will peak around November 1, and the full moon is right before that as well.
Mr. Alsheimer’s entire 5 minute and 26 second talk about the 2015 rut is on this attached video.
I am interested to hear the reader’s thoughts. My personal opinion is that the science is good, and there is something to this. However, here in Southern Illinois, our weather is fairly warm still during the early rut dates, and I am worried that this will result in most of the chasing going on at night. One area of skepticism I have is that I cannot imagine that the timing will be the same in Marion, IL as it is in Rockford, IL. Alsheimer draws a line from Oklahoma City to Charlotte and says these dates are good for everybody north of that line, but I have a hard time swallowing that.
In my experience, while I think the moon plays a big role, I still think the calendar trumps it. The week of November 10th has historically always been good to me, and I doubt this year will be any different. In fact, my biggest three bucks were killed on November 7, November 8 and November 10. Those are days I hope to be in a stand all day long. I say all of this, but I must also add that I have tremendous respect for Charles Alsheimer. He has spent countless hours studying and photographing whitetails, and he is far more knowledgeable than I am. I guess I am just too stubborn to listen to him completely.