This document is intended to explain the sorts of hunting and the quality of food that exists in the forest using broad generalizations about the types of prey and the methods of hunting favored based on time of year and the like.
Overview: Lean, Thin times with very little food.
In Melting Waters the prey is thin on the ground and what can be caught is lean and stringy. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and small rodents are almost nonexistent at this time of year. The birds that are available are the panful of species that stay year round. Reptiles and Amphibians are only found if a cat is lucky enough to stumble onto one hibernating in a hole close enough to the surface for them to reach. The majority of small rodents are hibernating, but they do show up occasionally as they rise from hibernation for water and a small snack. Rabbits and Hares are frequently found, while squirrels are seen only occasionally.
The river is closed at this time of year, making fishing impossible. Snow is thinning, but still covers all things until the end of the moon. The open lands clear the earliest, while the snow that’s accumulated under cover remains thickest the longest.
Overview: Lean, Thin times with little food.
In First Green the prey is still thin on the ground, but birds have begun to return, as have small rodents. The ground is still too hard for the under-ground rodents to have come from hibernation, yet. Squirrels are seen more frequently, as are ground squirrels and chipmunks. Fish, reptiles and amphibians are still unavailable.
Grasses have just begun to sprout and turn green again, but the river still remains closed.
Overview: Lean times, but with acceptable levels of food for most.
In First Fishing the prey is finally starting to run reasonable well. Rodents are all out of hibernation, and the grand majority of the bird life has returned. It’s warm enough for reptile and amphibians to be returning to hunt-ability. Rabbits and Hares are breeding at this time of year, and wise cats will leave them be to ensure a good summer hunt. The biggest boon of this moon is the return of waterfowl as the pass through on migration.
Grass is here to stay for the year, and the river has finally opened and receded enough to be a safe place to fish.
Overview: Rich times with easy hunting
In Running Prey the prey really is running thick on the ground. Most species of Rodents, Rabbits and Hares have finished breeding and the young, inexperienced examples of the species are thick everywhere. Most bird species are beginning to fledge and inexperienced members of those species are also about. Care should be taken not to hunt wastefully, and to not overhung the youngest and most experienced of the species, otherwise the next generation might be too old to reproduce well.
Full foliage and grass is everywhere, The world is rich and green.
Overview: Rich times with food for all.
Hunting remains good, with all species (save waterfowl, who have already passed through) are still in evidence. Though on the hottest days prey can be thin, as it’s taken to hiding from the burning sunshine.
The foliage is rich, but the burning heat can thin and wilt the greenery.
Overview: Rich times with food for all.
As the sun burns the hottest it will burn all year, hunting remains. Strong. All species (save waterfowl) are still in evidence. Days can still be hot enough to drive prey to ground.
Foliage is still in evidence, but not of verdant spring quality anymore.
Overview: Rich times with food for all
Cheetah’s Flight marks a turning point int eh year. Bird life beginnings to thin, but they are promptly replaces by migrating waterfowl. Most other prey still runs strongly, however.
Foliage shows the first signs of decline as leaf-fall begins.
Overview: Good times with food for most.
Turning Leaves sees few birds and the least signs of waterfowl. It also marks a thinning of reptiles and amphibians. Making up for this, however, animals like squirrels, other ground rodents, and rabbits are preparing for the coming Leaf-bare and growing plumper.
Foliage remains strong, but in decline as the growing season ends.
Overview: Fair times with food for most.
First white is typified by the arrivals of the year’s first snows. Very few birds are available, while Reptile and amphibian kind are very thin on the ground. Rodents, rabbits, squirrels and the like are spending more time in hiding. The waters of the rivers and swamps are very cold, and fishing becomes more challenging. It marks one of the last moons of fishing for the year.
What foliage still surveys is likely to meet its end this moon. Soon the only free in evidence will be pines.
Overview: Lean times with food for most, most of the time.
Leopard’s red brings deeper snows and challenging hunting. The snow covering everything makes tracking what prey their is a challenge, and chasing becomes hampered. Only the finest hunters will continue to have good catches.
Foliage is buried and dead until spring.
Overview: Lean times with little food.
Snow remains thick, hampering hunting alongside the freezing cold. As snow continues to deepen even the best hunters will see their skills dampened by the conditions. The grand majority of the prey is driven into hiding by this cold, on top of the challenges of the weather.
Foliage remains buried and dead.
Overview: Lean, thin times with very little food.
Tiger’s Wraith is the bitterest, coldest part of the year. Hunting is utterly difficult, even for the best of hunters. These starting times mark a point of suffering for all cats. Starvation is a real danger.
Foliage remains dead and buried.
Dealing with Blue Moons
Blue Moons mark a year in which a single season spans an extra moon. This is caused by the fact that each year has 13, not twelve, full moons. StarClan provides the name of the year’s Blue Moon when it happens, those older cats with a good feel for how the seasons should progress can usually feel them coming on when a season draws out long.
In character they should be dealt with by simply assuming the hunting conditions and expectations of each moon in the effected season are extended for an additional 10 days.