Deer Feeders
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8 Deer Feeders That Will Increase Your Odds Of Success This Season


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Deer hunting can be challenging, so many hunters are out there looking to tip the odds a bit, and a suitable deer feeder can help you do that. Where legal, wild game feeders can help attract deer to your spot and keep them there for extended periods. Used in conjunction with food plots and other attractants, you will seriously increase the odds of that big buck staying on your property and giving you a chance to harvest him during the daylight hours. While hunters in the past used to dump their corn or other feed on the ground and leave, many modern big game feeders are advanced pieces of technology that allow the hunter to control precisely how much food is being distributed. It also allows you to set feeding times that help condition whitetails to visit more often during the daylight hours.

Today we'll briefly discuss some of the legalities of using these feeders to up your odds of success this season. We'll also discuss how best to find a feeder that suits your needs, and we'll recommend some of the best deer feeders on the market right now that will change how you hunt this season.

Choosing a Deer Feeder, Filling It, and Legalities

There are many different options on the market, which bear some thought before deciding on one. For instance, if your area has tons of squirrels, raccoons, and other creatures, we recommend staying away from hanging deer feeders designed to mount on trees. The tree gives other critters easy access to the feeder. Oddly, the little thieves chew up even the most heavy-duty feeders trying to get the food inside. In those situations, we recommend a harder tripod feeder kit for smaller animals to climb and raid. It should also be heavy and have the ability to be staked down. That's to prevent feral hogs or bears from knocking it over.

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Think about how often you want to fill the feeder. A simple gravity deer feeder works excellently if you can check it often and keep the feed topped off. It's less ideal for a hunting property farther away from home. In that situation, we'd go with something that has a digital timer on it that distributes a set amount of food at set times. Automatic deer feeders condition deer to eat in daylight hours. A feeder timer control unit also helps to assure the animals won't eat through several hundred pounds of expensive feed in one night. This is a critical consideration in areas with a feral hog problem, as large sounders can empty even the largest of wildlife feeders overnight.

As for what to put in your feeder, most hunters like to use deer corn. However, corn isn't always the healthiest of feed for deer. Mostly just because corn doesn't add a lot to nutrition, it's not a bad idea to mix shelled corn with specialty deer pellets or mineral supplement additives to help with antler development and pack on weight for the long winter months.

Finally, we do want to address legalities briefly. Many states now have partial or total baiting bans in place. These are primarily to protect against spreading things like chronic wasting disease, which is deadly for deer. Most states do not ban the sale of deer feeders or feed even if they have these laws, so don't assume it's legal just because you see that stuff in stores! Read your regulations carefully because some areas may be under a total baiting ban while others might put a limit on the amount of feed you can put out.

In some cases, there are total deer feeder bans. The most common citation many game wardens issue is tickets for illegal baiting. Know before you put anything out to avoid unpleasant discussions with local law enforcement. With all this said, let's look at the best deer feeders on the market today. We picked various styles and price points to fit almost any budget.

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1. A Robust Feeder From One Of The Top Brands

Deer Feeders

Amazon

Moultrie Pro Hunter II Feeder Kit, Amazon $329-$350

One can argue the Moultrie brand has set the standard for what a quality deer feeder should be these days. The Pro Hunter II tripod is an excellent choice for anyone who wants durability and can program exact times for feeding. Moultrie makes a 30 and 55-gallon version of this feeder that features a metal hopper that will stand up to the elements and keep bait thieves out. There's also a varmint guard to keep them from climbing up in the first place. It broadcasts feed 360 degrees around the feeder through the metal spinner plate and funnel. The Pro Hunter II includes a digital timer where you can program up to 10 feedings a day with dispense times between one and 60 seconds. It operates via a 6V rechargeable battery. Pair it with Moultrie's 6-volt solar panel, which can run indefinitely in the field. We like this one for anyone who lives a long way from their hunting property or lease and wants just to set it and forget it for long periods.

2. An Affordable, Portable Option That Conditions Feeding Times

Deer Feeders

Bass Pro Shops

Wildgame Innovations Quick Set 50, Bass Pro Shops, $54

The Quick Set is a solid choice for anyone looking for affordability and simplicity. This hanging deer feeder utilizes a 6.5-gallon pail design that can hold up to 50 pounds of feed at a time. Wildgame Innovations say this feeder only takes five minutes to set up. The spin plate is made from galvanized steel, so it will hold better for anyone who hunts in wet conditions. It has a coating that makes it less likely to rust. It distributes the feed in a 30-foot circle around the feeder. This feeder features a photocell power control unit that allows you to adjust the feed times to dawn and dusk when that big buck will feel more comfortable moving. We like this feeder for the hunter on a budget as it is only $55 yet offers some functionality you'll find on more expensive models.

3. The Easiest and Safest Refilling Option

Capsule Feeders, Amazon, $489-$1,349

 

This option is expensive, but something is to be said about its convenience. Filling a traditional tripod feeder requires climbing a ladder with a heavy bag of feed, raising the potential for accidents. This feeder sits safely on the ground and can be refilled easily by anyone. Provide an old 22-inch truck tire as a base, and you're in business. This feeder uses an auger to lift the feed to the spinner and distribute it around the area. As a bonus, this corn feeder comes with a heavy-duty solar panel to keep a 12-volt battery that runs the motor charged. The digital timer can be programmed for six feedings a day. This is a good option for the bear country because the lower center of gravity makes it harder for a wayward bruin to damage it, even if it does smell the food inside. Capsule Feeders offers capacities between 100 pounds and 1,000 pounds. So, depending on how long you want to go between refilling, there's something for everyone. This feeder is often on sale, too, so you can usually get a deal on it.

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4. A Simple, Budget-Friendly Gravity Option

Deer Feeders

Academy Sports

Game Winner 6 Gallon Tree Feeder, Academy Sports, $30

This simple design is great for hunters who want something simple without breaking the bank. The Game Winner only weighs four pounds but holds up to six gallons of corn that dispenses simply via a gravity feed system. This is a good option for a more subtle setup in places that don't have many squirrels or bears. The secure twist lid provides an excellent seal to keep the feed inside dry until it is dispensed. We appreciate the extra drain holes in the spout, which help prevent the feeder from filling with water and ruin a lot of expensive feed before the animals even have a chance to eat it.

5. An Adjustable Height Option That Also Offers Jumbo Capacity

Deer Feeders

Cabela's

Boss Buck Gravity Protein Feeder 1,200-pound capacity, Cabela's, $879

This vast tripod deer feeder is a perfect solution for anyone who wants to reduce refilling trips. The hopper has a jaw-dropping 1,200-pound capacity. This feeder is also ruggedly built. The primary hopper is made from heavy-duty UV-protected plastic. No more worries about components rusting in the rain or snow. This gravity feeder can be converted to an auto feeder using an optional spinner plate and 12-volt battery kit that is programmable with 16 feed times. Another nice feature of this feeder is that the height can be adjusted via the galvanized steel legs. It's not a cheap feeder, but it will take many years of abuse in the field.

6. The Easiest to Fill Metal Feeder

Deer Feeders

Amazon

Texas Hunter Wildlife Stand and Fill, Amazon, $799

If you have been looking for a feeder built of metal but still easy to fill, you might want to consider the Texas Hunter. This 300-pound capacity feeder stands on four-foot legs that make it easy for most hunters to refill the hopper without standing dangerously on a ladder. This feeder is made from galvanized steel with a powder coat finish that helps it stand up to the elements quite nicely. It stands on four extension legs that can be stabilized via included stakes. The timer can be set for up to nine feeding times per day. This feeder comes pre-wired for a solar charger and consists of a 12-volt rechargeable battery. They even include the varmint guard, usually sold separately with this feeder. Texas Hunter backs their products with a 5-year limited warranty.

7. A Gravity Feeder That Only Allows Deer to Feed

Deer Feeders

Amazon

REDNEK Outdoors T-Post Gravity Feeder, Amazon, $137

If you have been having problems with raccoons, feral hogs, and other pests eating all your feed overnight before the deer can get to it, this feeder is the solution to your problems. This post can be mounted on a tree or a post. This feeder is designed so the deer eats directly from the feed mouth, which only they can reach. It's a simple yet effective way to deal with bait thieves. This feeder is also quite durable as it is made from heavy-duty polyethylene that will withstand years of abuse. It also hosts a healthy 80-pound feed capacity. This one might take a little longer for the deer to find because the food is concentrated in the food mouth. However, once they know about it, they'll return daily. And you can feel better about dropping money on expensive feed knowing only the deer are eating it.

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8. An Affordable Gravity Tripod Option

Moultrie 30 Deer Feeder Gravity, Bass Pro Shops, $169

The last feeder on our list is a simple gravity-fed tripod feeder that can fit into the budgets of most hunters. This 30-gallon feeder holds up to 200 pounds of corn, and the funnels allow you to adjust the flow. This is an excellent option for anyone who doesn't want the hassle of messing with timers, batteries, and solar panels but still wants something that can sit in the woods for an extended period between fill-ups. Plus, it's just a well-made, durable plastic feeder that will last through years of abuse in the elements. This feeder is probably the most uncomplicated tripod to set up on this list. Moultrie keeps things no-nonsense to get them in place and then works on other chores, like setting up your hunting blinds and treestands.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels for original videos

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