If you are trying to improve the quality of deer hunting on your property, you may be considering a deer feeder. Nutrition is one of three key factors that contribute to the antler size and health of bucks, making supplemental feeding one of the best ways to improve both the health of your deer population and your hunting yield during deer season.
Choosing a Feeder Style
There are several different types of deer feeders for sale on the market. The feeders that automatically release supplemental deer feed are among the most popular. They are able to dispense feed consistently, which means deer will be more likely to return, knowing that they can get fresh feed every time they visit.
Automatic deer feeders also ensure that feed remains dry and fresh, keeping it from coming into contact with moist ground and harsh weather. This is thanks to the sealed storage bin from which the feed is dispensed.
Some types of feed require a specific type of feeder. Pellets, for instance, need to be dispensed at the same rate that the deer eat them. These feeders are also the best choice if you have a large deer population and predict that more than one deer will be feeding at it.
The wide variety of deer feeders also bring with them a variety of installation needs. Quick installation is key when selecting a deer feeder. If humans are present for too long in the proximity of the deer feeder, deer may ignore the area in favor of safer feeding areas.
The size of the feeder is extremely important. In addition to being more convenient in terms of refilling, large capacity deer feeders can more easily accommodate deer with large antlers. Since the goal of most supplemental feeding is to promote greater antler growth, the bigger the feeder, the better. A feeder ranging between 3000 and 6000 pounds is ideal for most hunters. In fact, a 6000 pound feeder can last year round without refilling.
Any major purchase must take cost into consideration. Deer feeders can run on the expensive side, but consider it an investment. Do not go into debt just to purchase a deer feeder, though. It should be easy enough to find a feeder that is within your budget.
The best deer feeders are meant for use by deer and deer only. One way many feeders accomplish this is by releasing the feed at a height that other animals cannot reach. More expensive feeders may also include a feed pen or pest guard, which can be worthwhile investments depending on your ecosystem.
While you should place your deer feeder in an area accessible by some sort of vehicle, it is important to place it far enough from well-traveled roads and highly populated areas. Ideally, a feeder should be placed just on the edge of the woods. Many deer feeders now come with an automatic timer which can help prevent food from going bad. If it is within your budget, it is strongly recommended to pay a few extra dollars for this feature.