Best Deer Feeders for The Money – Review & Buying Guide 2018
Deer are paranoid creatures. You can do everything right as a hunter only to discover the deer have spotted you and ran away. Sometimes you need to be able to put them at ease. Happy deer are relaxed and well-fed deer that will keep coming to a sweet spot of food if it is available. This is where the best deer feeder reviews can help you solve the problem of paranoia. With a little food, you can make a big difference in your ability to successfully hunt this season.
Because a deer feeder needs to withstand your local elements, it must be durable. It must also be strong enough to withstand the abuse deer will put it through as they compete for food. We’ve put together the best options we’ve found in this category for your consideration in the chart below so you can choose the one which will work best for you.
What Is a Deer Feeder and Why Do I Need One?
The need to bait deer is one that brings out strong opinions on both sides of the equation. Those who oppose baiting question the ethics of doing it. Those that support baiting say that just because a deer comes to a feeder doesn’t mean they’re just going to shoot it. The fact is that if you’ve got some private grounds on which to hunt, you need to know what kind of wildlife is available. A deer feeder can make that happen pretty easily.
A deer feeder is advantageous over other baiting options, such as food plots or salt licks, for three specific reasons.
It creates an expected food source. Many deer feeders are set with a timer that goes off twice per day. Although some say the sound drives the deer away, the fact is deer can get used to a number of different sounds. With time, you’ll find deer inspecting the feeder at regular intervals.
It requires minimal maintenance. If you’re using a gravity-based feeder, you really can fill it and forget it. You won’t have to worry about your food plot receiving enough water every year.
It is cheaper. The average deer feeder costs about $500 per year in food costs to maintain. Compared to the cost of a food plot, which requires a time investment in addition to the cost of materials, most discover it is a cheaper way to attract deer.
Then there’s the fact that many deer get to know the sound of a mechanical feeder and come running to it. As many hunters have said on numerous forums: the mechanical feeder noise is the best deer call you can use.
How to Choose the Right Location for a Deer Feeder
A deer feeder can potentially be placed anywhere. They can also be used to move the deer from one location to another if you prefer. Some property owners believe that you need to place the best deer feeders in a dark patch of timber to get results, but the fact is you’re establishing a sanctuary. As long as there is some level of habitat protection, supplemental feeding can be effective all year long.
If there is a water source on your property with some cover, placing a deer feeder by it can be remarkably effective. This gives the animals a food and water source they can use simultaneously, which is quite attractive.
As long as you don’t place your feeder in the middle of a wide-open field, you’ll get results. Deer don’t travel very far at one time unless it is dark or they are somewhat domesticated. It is also important to make sure the feeder doesn’t go dry for an extended period of time so you can maintain the habits of the deer.
If you’re having trouble encouraging deer to eat at your new feeding station, here’s some great advice to help get you started.
How to Find the Best Deer Feeder for Deer Hunting
Size is your most important consideration. One large feeding station can support up to 25 deer. If you have a large herd on your property that you’re trying to control, you may need 2-3 large feeders to accomplish your goals. More feeding stations will also attract more deer, which will give you more hunting options when the time comes.
If the deer are relying on a feeder for their entire food intake, then they may consume up to 3% of their body weight daily from your supplemental food. Corn or deer nuggets tend to be a better choice for attracting deer, but protein pellets are better if you’re using a gravity-based feeder as this allows the animals to eat their fill as they come and go instead of binging.
For the best results, diversity is key. Look to public deer feeder reviews and product trials like you’ll find on this site to see what features and advantages each feeder can provide your property. The best deer feeder will work with numerous supplemental foods, including food plots you might employ, so that the deer are attracted to the diversity you are providing. Even then, seasonal changes can sometimes change feeding patterns, so it is important to keep track of what alternative foods are available to the deer on your property and when they are available.
What Are the Prices of the Deer Feeders?
Did you know that you can make a DIY deer feeder for under $20? This might work well in a pinch, but our experience has been that professional feeders tend to provide more reliable results. Considering some hanging bucket feeder kits are available at the $30 price point, you won’t have to spend a lot more than you would a DIY feeder and you’ll spend less time getting your feeder setup in return.
If you’re looking for a professional-grade deer feeder, expect to pay at least $100. These will have capacities that are at least 30 gallons in size. Top of the line deer feeders, which can hold nearly 500 pounds of food typically, cost about $250.
5 Best Deer Feeder Reviews:
1. Moultrie 30 Gallon Easy-Lock Tripod Deer Feeder
The problem with open deer feeders is that they can be attacked by rodents and other small pests, robbing you of your food supply before the deer ever get to it. This tapered deer feeder offers a programmable timer which allows you to provide up to 6 feedings per day. You don’t need any tools to get it setup and there are camera mounts on the exterior for the best hunting cameras to let you monitor your results. You can literally have this feeder up and running in under 15 minutes once you get it to your preferred location.
2. Wildgame Innovations Quick-Set 225
Made from galvanized steel, you literally take this feeder out to your preferred location and it’s ready to go. It has a collapsible design which allows you to easily transport or store it and you won’t have to worry about rodents chewing into the plastic in an attempt to get the food. The upright design helps to prevent most varmint attacks on your food source and the high food capacity of the holder will let you go days without having to check on it. It easily earns our recommendation today.
3. Moultrie 55 gallon Pro Hunter Tripod Feeder
This 55 gallon tripod deer feeder offers an all-metal design with a diamond-shaped spin plate which offers consistent results. An LCD timer is easy to program, which eliminates some of the frustration of inconsistent feedings that gravity systems or other manual programmable options can sometimes provide. For a herd of 25 head or less, this feeder can hold up to 6 months worth of food. Even the run times can be programmed up to 20 seconds in length so you can set a specific feed setting if desired. All in all, this is one of the best feeders on the market today.
4. DELUXE MODEL: Deer “Pig Out” Gravity Game Feeder Kit
Many gravity feeder kits tend to be overpriced or glorified 5 gallon buckets you could pick up at your local hardware store. This model is one of the exceptions to that rule. You can strap it to a tree or a post if you prefer. The weather-resistant materials aren’t going to rust out on you if you have a remote location you’re trying to maintain. It can hold up to 100 pounds of protein pellets and the snap-on lid will outsmart even the most intelligent squirrels. We just wish there were some better instructions for the setup – expect some extra time to get this one ready, but that’s our only complaint.
5. REDNEK Redneck Outdoors T-post Gravity Feeder
This is the top deer feeder on the market right now. It has all of the advantages of its smaller counterpart, except for the fact that you can hold almost a full year’s worth of feed inside the rust-proof chamber. It does weigh about 65 pounds, so you might want an extra hand available to help you get this feeder out to your preferred site. Otherwise we think you’ll love the simplicity of use this feeder offers, especially for the price.
The best deer feeder reviews will help you find the right make and model for a price you can afford. Figure out what deer you have in the area, support your herd, and you’ll be able to fill your tags at hunting season easier than ever before.