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Hunting enthusiasts will tell you that one of the devices that have helped them in their hunting endeavors is a deer feeder. It is a device for those who love and enjoy the amazing grace and beauty of wildlife to attract them to their property.
For hunters, the idea of using the deer feeder is to maintain a healthy population for the hunting season. Photographers use the deer feeder to attract animals to a range where they can have good photo shoots. But regardless of what you want a feeder for, it’s worthwhile to understand what they are and the features that make the best deer feeder. For the sake of those who may be new, let’s ask ourselves,
What Is a Deer Feeder and Its Use?
A deer feeder is a device used to feed deer and other wild animals with grains, soybeans, salt, cane molasses, etc. The mixes of protein and extra minerals help the animals stay strong and healthy during the cold season when it is hard for them to find food. As long as the food is available, deer will frequent the feeder year-round.
With the market offering a myriad deer feeders, choosing the best feeder is never a walk in the park. Therefore, this article is dedicated to providing you with an expert review of the best deer feeder. We include the traditional and the most advanced feeders that are available in the market.
Therefore, be sure to read our guide that explains the types of feeders and their different features to guide you on your next pick of the best.
The Best Deer Feeders: Our Top Picks
Moultrie Tripod Feeders: Overall Best
- Heavy-duty polymer hopper holds more than 150 pounds of corn
- Fill height of 5.5, 7 or 8 feet for flexible setups
- Included Pro Hunter II Feeder Kit includes metal spin plate, adjustable funnel, ABS plastic housing, feed-level estimator, battery indicator and external power port
- Digital timer programs up to 6 feed times per day, 1 to 20 seconds long
- Quick-Lock adapter mounts to any barrel or hopper
- Included components: Feeder legs
The Moultrie Tripod Feeders tops our list as the overall best deer feeder. It boasts incredible features that have made it to be among the highly rated feeders. It has a metal spin plate, a digital timer, quick- lock hopper, among other features. Having this feeder will meet your daily deer feeding needs.
Each of Moultrie’s legs has individual legs that allow you to adjust the feeder from 5 to 8 feet and so quickly. Therefore, when it comes to refilling the feeder, you don’t require a ladder or help from other people. You can reduce the legs sizes, and once you have filled, you extend them again. If the area is prone to pests, the solution is using this model since you just adjust the height, thus deterring the varmints.
Even better is that the Moultrie feeder comes with a battery and an outer anchorage that accepts a 6 volts solar power source. So you can opt to use the port as the only source of power or to recharge the battery.
On opening or closing the lock, you don’t need to use tools to do the work. You push and twist the lock with both hands, and the task is easily done.
Another important feature of this model is that it is easy to assemble, program the timer, and load it. However, some users have recorded cases where the timer stopped to function after some days.
- Digital timer
- Durable plastic housing
- Feed level estimator
- Battery level display
- Adjustable legs
- There are claims over issues with the timer
REDNEK Redneck: Best Gravity Feeder
- Requires no installation
- Will serve you well for a lifetime.
The Rednek Redneck model is our second top pick. This device is weather-resistant and doesn’t get damaged by cold either. Besides, the mounting process of Rednek Redneck is straightforward, making it a darling for many users. Not only is it comfortable to install, but even maintenance and supervision is very low, and you go to them when it needs to be refilled.
So, if you have a tight schedule, this product is for you. You don’t need to invest much of your time refilling it or checking damages. Gravity does most of the work. However, users have reported cases where raccoons and squirrels get to the pipe where the food is supposed to be and damage it. Therefore, if the area you intend to install Rednek Redneck has lots of squirrels, you may experience a problem.
- Easy and quick to install
- Can be mounted on the tree easily
- The feeder is built with high-quality all-weather material.
- A 4 by 5-inch opening makes it easy for the deer to eat.
- Gravity feeder that requires little maintenance and supervision
- There is no timer functionality included.
- Squirrels can easily destroy the food.
- Raccoons are a common issue with this unit.
Boss Buck: Best Automatic Deer Feeder
- Tough roto-molded plastic
- Converts from gravity to auto in seconds
- 4pc round, galvanized leg system
- 200lb corn capacity; Feed ports are 10″ long and 4″ I.D.
- Two-in-one leg system for quick conversion
As the name suggests, Boss Buck is a 12V Automatic Spin cast and comes in different sizes ranging from 200 pounds to 1,200 pounds depending on the user’s need. The metal that is used is rust and corrosion-free. The hopper is made up of durable materials (HDPE) plastic and is constructed with galvanized hardware and stainless material.
When using Boss Buck, you shouldn’t expect to be having a problem with the varmints because the HDPE plastic is also UV resistant to keep the destructive animals away. When the need arises, the Boss Buck can switch from spin feeder to protein feeder. It also includes a 12v battery and even a solar panel.
- It gives you multiple capacity selections for customization
- UV-resistant HDPE made from plastic
- All metal is galvanized to counterattack rust and corrosion from weather, thus durable
- It can convert spin feeder to protein feeder
- Many users propose the legs should be staked to resist wind speeds
- No feet pads for legs so that deer don’t tip over
Moultrie Feed Station
- Gravity-driven trough design
- Durable, UV-resistant plastic construction
- 40 lb. Capacity
- Strap for Tree or post mounting included
- No batteries or programming required
This model has a strap such that you can fill the food and hang it to a suitable place. Unlike some of the other feeders that require it to be assembled, the Moultrie Feed Station doesn’t. It doesn’t need any programming, or electronics, therefore easy to use and install.
This feed station also boasts a 40lb capacity and durable construction with UV protection making it perfect for outdoors. Its shape also makes it a perfect gravity feeder.
The simple design of the Moultrie feed station relatively contributes to its affordable price.
- Comes ready for use
- Capability to attach solar
- Excellent for indoor and outdoor use
- Relatively inexpensive
- It does not come with a timer, and you have to refill it manually.
American Hunter Sun Slinger: Best Feeder Kit
- Fully enclosed varmint cage.
- Rail mount for optional accessories.
- Twist lock OR Flat Mounting.
- Q-Sets – 2 Preconfigured settings for easy setup
- 1-16 Custom Time Settings
- Sport type: Hunting
When looking for a sturdy feeder kit, then you can go for the American Hunter Sun Slinger. It is built of a metallic body and has a very powerful motor for good coverage. It throws the feed in all the directions, making it best for feeding more deer simultaneously.
American Hunter Sun Slinger has an attached solar panel that gives the battery boost and works best with a 3-gallon container. How it is made makes it hard for the wires to be damaged by raccoons and squirrels. This aspect makes many people love it. Another good thing with the American Hunter Sun Slinger is that timer programming is easy and offers plenty of setting options.
It is easy to have since it is priced at $60.
- Not hard to install and operate
- Mounting brackets
- The material is High-quality build
- It is Solar-powered
- Has a digital timer
- You have to buy the Battery separately
Buying Guide to the Best Deer Feeder
Deer feeders are essential tools for keeping the animals in the hunting area and also for bating to bring them to a comfortable range where you can shoot quickly.
They are also helpful for wildlife watchers since they can draw them to their backyard for viewing. However, if you are new with the deer feeders, you need expert advice before making your first purchase since it can be very easy for you to hit-and-miss on the best deer feeder so easily. Below are factors that you may consider before making your selection.
This is one of the factors you should consider, and it highly depends on access. If you have means of driving to the spot where you want to install your feeder, or probably you have people who are always ready to pitch in, then a heavier one is fine.
Conversely, if you have to haul it in a remote new area, you can go for a lighter one. You can also consider how much help you will need to set up the feeder, maintain it, and move it from one place to another.
The number of times you refill the feeder will highly depend on the capacity you choose. We have some refilled many times in a day; others are refilled weekly while others do it every month.
Before you buy any feeder, this aspect is very important because deer are susceptible animals. Their sense of smell, hearing, and sight is keener than that of ours. Though they will appreciate it when you refill the feeder, they won’t enjoy the scent that you leave behind.
So this means that the less often you visit, the better for you will least disturb them. This means that a feeder with a higher capacity will serve better.
Nobody would like to buy a feeder, and the next day is outsourcing for repair materials or even replacing the entire tool. These devices will be kept most of the year outdoors, and therefore you should choose one that can withstand sun, rain, and cold weather. More importantly, it is the attention of the animals.
Deer can bite, bump, and even knock them over as they try to get grains from it. They also see a feeder as a source of food, so when the food runs dry, you can’t imagine what may happen to the feeder, they will try to knock it, and if you choose one that can’t withstand such scenarios, then it will get damaged very quickly.
Therefore, a plastic or metal feeder will be ideal. You also need to look at the base of the feeder; your four-legged or tripod should be stable enough. If it is a hanging one, make sure it has a sturdy attachment point.
Ease of Filling
Feeders come with different heights. You need to choose one that is safe; you can fill with ease when standing on your truck’s bed. If you are not attentive to this, you may end up getting one that pouring a 50-pound bag will require you to carry with you other equipment such as a stepladder. This can be a real hassle if you are going for a long trek.
As mentioned above, some companies are manufacturing auger-style feeder fillers to address the challenge. If you happen to land a feeder that you are experiencing challenges to fill when standing at the back of your truck, then you can go for the auger-style feeder. It will offer you an easier time quickly, easily, and safely filling your feeder though it is somewhat expensive.
A good feeder should have a funnel-shaped bottom that will make the corn continuously flow in the direction you want it to flow. People who own feeders with no funneling mechanisms cause them problems since they have to shake them every time they walk by to make sure corn falls into the spinner.
To save you the burden, make sure you pick a feeder with either an internal or external funnel to save you the regular job that gravity should do.
Some of the feeders come with units that have to be assembled first while others come pre-assembled. Feeders that come being not assembled may be difficult for those who are not used to it. So, the much easier it is to install the units, the better it is for you.
Deer love grains, and so are the case with other animals such as squirrels, raccoons, and a good feeder, should be designed in a way to keep them away. When you set a deer feeder, raccoons are among the destructive animals that will visit. And since it is entirely impossible to fence a feeder and leave a way to let in deer only, it may become quite a bother for you.
Some of the raccoons have become smarter than you can even guess. They hang on the bottom of the feeder with three feet and rotate the spinner with the available foot. All along, your grains would be pouring on the ground. Worse is that these animals and squirrels can chew through wiring, causing the feeder failure.
So when you go out to buy a deer feeder, try to varmint proof it yourself. Deer feeders come with varmint proof motors that range from heavy-duty to rather flimsy ones. A well-built one will work better than a chicken wire and zip tie solution.
The traditional units were designed in a way that you just put the feed and gravity release the grains as they are eaten.
But today, we have the automated models and are much more advanced, having timers that disperse grains at specific intervals. Some of them are battery-powered, while a solar panel may recharge others. In each case, we have the pros and cons, and you should consider them before you place your order.
Hanging vs. Standing
Most of the deer feeders stand on three tripod stands on four legs or hang from a structure. As expected, each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, when you choose the tripod stand, you can set it anywhere without minding about a tree to hang. However, the tripod can easily get damaged by cattle, deer, and wild hogs unless they are strongly made.
The four-legged feeders are more stable than the tripod, but again they are more expensive than the tripod.
When you choose a hanging feeder, it requires you to hang it on a tree and sometimes not be accessible. But the pros of these types of feeders are that you can hang them away from destructive visitors such as cows and other animals.
Homemade Deer Feeders
While many people buy deer feeders, we have another section that tries to build for themselves feeders. But before you start working on it is advisable to research so that you can determine what features you need and what else you can add.
The buyer’s guide above will help you decide on crucial factors such as the size of the feeder you will make. For example, if you need one that you will refill once per week, you will have to buy or build a relatively bigger one.
If the area you intend to install the feeder has raccoons and squirrels, it tells you that you need a feeder that will deter them from messing up with the tool. If you intend to install the feeder with other animals like the cows, you may have to use one that you hang or more stable. A tripod may not be ideal in such a case.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.