All wildlife lovers and hunters have begun to use more often deer feeders. Sure, it can take a while until you train the deer to use it and some steps need to be followed, but once you manage to install and get productive with a deer feeder, you won’t regret it!
A deer feeder improves the health of the deer on your property and, as long as it’s legal, this device gives you bigger antlers in the next season.
Supplemental feeding is essential when it comes to deer management, as good quality animals might give you good money at some point.
Let’s start with …the beginning!
A deer feeder may be simple, homemade, or it might be automated and a bit more complicated. You can even find deer feeders with rechargeable batteries or solar panels so they’re energy independent and you can easily set specific times for the feeds.
You can place a deer feeder near the edge of the woods or a field in your backyard. A deer feeder becomes also a hunting tool when in need, as it gives the hunter the chance to observe the animals at the feeder and only hunt the specimens with wildlife surviving issues.
When you install a deer feeder keep in mind that small animals might also try to use the feeder so you need to use varmint guards and feed pens. This way, the feeder is going to be used only by the deer. Of course, you can always hang the feeder by a stainless steel cable or tripod that is low enough for a deer to reach, but too high for any other animals.
Protection comes first!
No matter why you choose to use a deer feeder, you still need to take note of the risks related to such a device. You need to place it away from breeding and feeding grounds for predators, first of all. Take a look around for the dangerous plants and insects, the harsh weather or other harmful natural surroundings like sharp rocks or high cliffs.
It’s best to place your deer feeder in a place already familiar to the deer. Avoid the busy roads, crowded housing areas or popular walking trails that would get the feeder to remain unused.
Pick a quiet area in the middle of the forest or the edge of a field for your deer feeder. If you use it for hunting purposes, install it close to a trail camera so you can get a clear image on the deer trails, patterns and physical features of the deer population.
After choosing the place for the deer feeder, make some investigation on which feeder to get.
How big, how high?
There are various types of deer feeders so that you can choose the one that fits your purposes and property. Most of the models out there are made of highly long lasting UV stabilized polyethylene and typically they come with a large opening for easy filling.
If you want to go for a small deer feeder, you can find a 40-pound gravity feeder that holds 40 pounds of food, with adjustable feeding ports for you to better control the flow of food. A small feeder like this is a great tool to supplement food plots, crops and native browse that the deer use.
When your needs are bigger than that, you can find a 600 pound Deer Feeder that goes all year long and works especially as a hunting tool. It helps the land managers on large ranches also. You can also use an automated spinner that puts the deer on a feeding schedule.
If you sit in the middle, you can also find a 300 pound deer feeder, with adjustable flow ports. These kinds of feeders are made so that the antlers have minimum contact with the feeder and thus the feeder is protected from damage during the growing season.
Top 3 Deer Feeder Reviews
1) The MOULTRIE FEEDERS Pro Magnum 6 Volt Game Deer Feeder Kits w/ Varmint Guard (pack of 2) is made of metal and is programmable, so you already know it’s going to do a great job.
Here are our pros:
- This is an all-metal feeder
- It’s got a programmable kit with a battery compartment
- You need two 6-volt batteries that get you through 3 ½ months
- There is a built-in varmint guard and funnel
- The diamond shaped spinner plate gives protection against varmints
- You may schedule it for up to 6 different feed times a day
- It’s easy to set the timer thanks to the large LCD screen
- There is a lifetime warranty
- There is a variable 1-20 second run time option
- The feeder kit uses a sturdy, heavy duty industrial grade motor
- The batteries are long lasting
There aren’t many cons, when we talk about this feeder. There were issues with some orders not being shipped as it should, but problems were quickly fixed by the company.
2. A high quality gravity feeder is the Deer Feeder 225lb Capacity Rust-Proof Steel TQ225 Gravity Game Feeder. This is made of rugged galvanized steel and gives you 225lb feed capacity.
Here’s our list of pros:
- The feeder has a varmint proof design so you don’t have to worry about any squirrels or raccoons get into the feeder
- The feeder is collapsible and easy to move around
- It comes in a 6” deep box and you only need around an hour to assembly it. That is, if you have some skills.
- The feeder is easy to load from the ground as it is the feed flow adjustment
- It has no plastic or breakable parts
- It works great as a protein feeder
- Even though it’s gravity operated, you can attach an electronic spinner as on-time or a Moultrie
Some things need to be improved on this feeder, so here are our cons:
- The feeder uses only gravity. It’s true you can attach electronic spinner, but why the extra effort?
- The instructions are difficult to follow and apply
- The measurements of the bolts are totally different from what you really get.
- The customer service really needs to be better than now
- You do need some time and good skills to assembly it.
Despite these minor issues, this feeder is still a great option any time you want to go simple.
3) If you go for the simple, yet highly efficient deer feeder, try this Redneck Outdoors T-post Gravity Feeder.
This feeder is designed to mount to standard T-Post or to tree, using ratchet straps and gives many good things, as follow:
- It features a V-Groove in back designed in order to fit a T-post perfectly
- The feeding is adjustable and its height to bottom is from 34” to 60”
- You can mount this to tree thanks to concave back and grooves for ratchet straps
- It’s made of heavy duty polyethylene with 80lb corn capacity
- This heavy duty feeder is maintenance free and has no mechanical parts
- It’s sturdy and long lasting, no matter the weather conditions
- It’s easy to mount the feeder
- It’s great for managing and improvising the size of bucks
- It has 4×5” feed mouth and it feeds easily the deer
- The cover is easy to remove for an easy and fast filling
- It comes with hardware and mounting bolts
- It’s lightweight with its 10 lbs.
- The food doesn’t soak
There are only some to none problems with this feeder. The big con comes from the fact that some smart raccoons may get into it as they hang upside down and stick their head in the hole.
Apart from this, this “no batteries required” feeder is a great, economical, simple and working feeder any time of the year.
Other Top Deer Feeders
1) Best Deer Feeder for The Money
A good, low priced deer feeder, is the Moultrie Products MFH-PHB-6.5 6.5GAL Pro Hang Feeder.
This is an easy to use feeder and has many good features, as follow:
- You can schedule it up to 6 different feed times a day
- It features a diamond-shaped metal spin plate and funnel
- The ABS plastic kit housing may be easily removed from outside of barrel
- The buckets have mossy oak break up infinity Camouflage
- There is 40LB capacity
- It customizes feed dispense between 1-20 seconds
- There is built-in battery level and feed level monitor
- It features a built-in varmint guard option to operate on only one 6V battery or 4 “D”
- It’s easy to use and to program
- The electronic feed dispenses feed pretty well
- There is long battery life
- It’s versatile and lightweight
There are also some issues related to this feeder, so here are our cons:
- The lid is not easy to remove while hanging to refill
- The canisters rusts kind of fast
- The bottom is flat so there’s no use for the last of contents
- The canister is difficult to open and close, as the handle gets in the way
- This doesn’t throw very far
All in all, you still get a great deer feeder for the money you pay.
2) Gravity/Hanging Deer Feeder
If you’re looking for a big, simple and reliable deer feeder, get yourself the On Time Buckeye Gravity Feeder.
This feeder gives you 200-lb capacity and offers lots of features. Here are our pros:
- There are 3 sturdies 2” diam. Legs
- Each leg holds a separate feeding station with drain holes to keep the feed fresh for a long time
- The holes in the bottom helps drain water so the feed doesn’t soak and clog the feeder
- It’s well priced
- This is a gravity fed and there are no moving parts to break down
- You have no worries to change any batteries
- It’s for all year round
- There is a lid for an easier feeding
- It works for all types of feed
- It’s versatile
- It’s 5’ height and 18lbs weight
- It’s easy to assembly and the maintain fill
- It has a good built
Some things do need to be improved on this feeder, so here are our cons:
- Even though the assembly is not difficult, it needs 2 men for doing it
- If there are cows around, the feeder needs to be strapped to a tree as the cows may knock it over
- The legs are kind of short, but you may solve this by adding some length poles
- The feeder empties itself on a windy day as the food blows out from the “leg holes”
- There is no plate on the legs so the legs sink into the ground because of the weight of the corn
- Raccoons might get in
These are not deal breakers though, and you still get a good feeder when buying this one.
3) Digital Feeder Kit with Varmint Guard
As you try not only to find the right deer feeder for you, but also a kit to help keep away the varmint, a kit like this American Hunter Digital Feeder Kit and Varmint Guard might be the solution for you.
There are many qualities that this digital feeder kit brings and here are our pros:
- It comes with a digital clock timer and guard
- It has an adjustable feed rate
- The varmint guard keeps any curious animals away
- It fits any feed container
- It’s a weather resistant housing
- It feeds 1 to 16 times per day
- Let’s you set it to feed for different days of the week
- The adjustable feed rate goes from 1 to 30 seconds
- It’s easy to install
- There is a powder coated “No Blow” slinger
- It works with 6V battery, but a 12 V works also
- It’s pre-wired for varmint buster BL-VB1, remote control BL-RC-1 and solar panel BL-R680-S
- The kit comes with screws so that you can attach it to any feeder
- The kit shoots out wide and in a good pattern
- The mechanics of this system work well
- The price is great
The downsides of this kit aren’t many:
- The pillars joining the funnel to the base unit are made of plastic and they get easily broken
- The unit doesn’t show the remaining battery life
- It’s a bit complicated to set the clock
In the end, for the money you pay, you get what you wanted in the first place: a digital deer feeder kit that does the job and is highly efficient against varmint as well.
4) Timer Deer Feeder
In order to get a better organization on your deer feeding, you need a timer that helps you with that. A good option is The Timer Digital Deer Feeder Timer, a timer with several settings and many good features.
Here are our pros:
- It’s easy to connect this to your feeder
- You can set it up to 6 feed times per day
- It has large, backlit buttons
- It’s rather easy to set it
- There is a test mode with safety delay
- It’s reliable
- It comes with everything you need to connect to your deer feeder
- It operates both 6V and 12V systems
- It takes two AA batteries (included)
- It’s protected by a 10-amp glass fuse
- It comes with a 5-year warranty
- There is an easy digital read out and a power indicator also
- It runs forever
- There is good wiring harness and battery hook up
- Each feed time setting can be adjusted to run from 0 to 30 seconds
- You can use a 15amps fuse
When it comes to the cons, there are only two minor issues worth to mention:
- The timer is on the pricey side
- There is no motor speed setting
As you can see, this is a good digital deer feeder timer that meets most of your needs, for quite some cash.
5) The Best Tripod Deer Feeder
If you want to buy a tripod deer feeder, have a look at the American Hunter Tripod Feeder with Digital RDE-Kit, 225 lb.
It’s made with heavy duty materials and has tons of good things. Here are our pros:
- It’s a “set and forget” timing with feeding option galore
- There are 8ft adjustable legs so that you can use it as a tripod or a ground feeder
- It’s versatile and well prices
- There are 8 ft. sectional galvanized steel legs that adjust in height
- It’s easy to use its digital clock timer
- The feed rate is adjustable, going from 1 to 30 seconds
- Feeds 1 to 16 times per day
- You can set the feed for different days of the week
- The quick-release lid is efficient and keeps the water away and the feed fresh
- It operates on 6V spring top lead acid battery
- It comes pre-wired for solar panel
- It’s easy to assemble
To keep a balance, we do need to mention the downsides of this tripod feeder. Here are our cons:
- The battery is not included
- It’s a bit difficult how to set up the feeder
- The feeder needs better connectors for the feet
- Some found a bit complicated to attach the steel band around the barrel, screwing on the spinner assembly and to connect poles
- You can only load 160 lbs., not 225lbs as it says on the label
- There are no bolts to hold legs together so the feeder sinks into the ground when full
All in all, though, this will make a good buy any time of the year.
6) Spinning Feeder
For less than $100, you can get a good feeder that does what you bought it for in the first place: throws corn. Here are the pros for this Wgi Innovations/Ba Products W225D Tri-Pod Digital Feeder, 225-Lb. Poly Barrel, 30-Gals:
- There is an easy 15 minutes set up
- It’s easy to read out the timer, even in the sunlight or at dusk
- You get 4 available feed times
- There is a galvanized steel spinner plate
- The digital power control unit is efficient and has a brand new design
- The feeder is easy to install and use
- The price is great
- The height is adjustable
- The battery has a long run
- There is a 360 degree range for the feeder
- The feeder features a scouting camera mounting bracket
- You also get a heavy duty 12 piece coated leg kit that is easy to assemble
- The barrel has a capacity of 30 gal/225 lbs.
- The built in funnel minimizes the feed waste
Along with these good features, there are some things that need to be considered and improved. Here are our cons:
- The legs remain loose and they need some screw holes so that you can connect the legs together
- There are no feet so the legs sink into the ground
- The timer needs to be of better quality
But, for the money you pay, you get a good spinning feeder that does a great job
7) The Best Deer Feeder with Solar Panel
If your mind is set on a deer feeder with solar panel, get a good one, such as the MOULTRIE 30 Gallon Classic 360° Tripod Deer Feeder w/ 6V Battery & Solar Panel.
As it gives a 360-degree feeding pattern for widespread coverage, this tripod feeder has many other good things to it. Here are our pros:
- Dawn and dusk photocell timer programs up to 2 feed times per day, 4 to 16 seconds each
- There are square locking legs for more stability to the feeder
- There is plastic spin plate, funnel and housing
- The feeder features a plastic quick-lock hopper with a 5.5feet high fill
- It’s easy to assemble this, tool free also
- You get a Moultrie 30Gallon classic tripod feeder
- This a 6V rechargeable battery feeder
- There is a 6V solar power panel
- It’s made of long-lasting, UV-resistant plastic
- There is dusk setting program up to 30 minutes before sunset which gives you flexibility in pattering deer to your schedule
- The 6V solar panel is best to hook-up for game cameras
- The charger lest you float all rechargeable Moultrie batteries
- It has a good built
- It’s easy to program the timer and to put it together
- Worth every penny
The only thing that bothers us about this tripod feeder is the price, which is not on the low side for sure. But, you sure get a high quality product!