Smoky Mountain Hunter’s Moon

Smoky Mountain Hunter's Moon is on the rise!

Smoky Mountain Hunter’s Moon is on the rise! Photo credit – Victoriabuzz.com

Smoky Mountain Hunter’s Moon is on the rise this month. This full moon is often called the Blood Moon, Sanguine Moon and the Full Hunter’s Moon. The native Cherokee knew that the Hunters Moon meant leaves are falling and the deer are fattened up after a long fruitful summer in the mountains. Settlers and Native peoples made plans to stock up on food for the winter as cooler weather takes hold. It was the Hunter’s Moon that helped them fill the pantries.

Similar to the Harvest Moon in September, the light of the Hunter’s Moon made it easier to see game in the hours that are normally dark. This Moon rises about a half an hour later than sunset each night. This rise time happens more quickly than normal Moon rise. The big, bright moon would be in full view as the evening twilight faded into night. This allowed hunters to pursue prey long into the night.

Fields were traditionally harvested and reaped in the early weeks of fall which allowed hunters to see game more easily as they search for discarded grains. Elk, deer, fox, rabbits and other animals could be spotted in the shimmering light of the moon. The Hunter’s Moon is given a special honor of “feast day” in Western Europe and Native American tribes being the last big celebration before winter.

Contrary to popular belief neither the Harvest Moon nor the Hunter’s Moon are any larger or brighter than any other full Moon. Due to the Moon’s non-synchronized orbit and phase cycles, some years it may appear closer or further away.

Some of our favorite places to view the Hunter’s Moon in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are Cades Cove, the porch of Oconaluftee Visitors Center, Cataloochee and Clingmans Dome.

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