Best Deer Feeder Reviews & Comprehensive Buyers Guide

Using deer feeders is a great pastime for animal lovers and the budding animal photographer. Many use them to attract deer to their property to enjoy their amazing beauty and grace. For local hunters the idea of feeding them is more about maintaining a healthy population for hunting season. Regardless of why you want to feed, study or learn the facts, it all starts with knowing what they are and how to choose the best deer feeder.

What is a Deer Feeder and What are their Uses

First of all let’s explain what they basically are. A deer feeder is a device used to feed deer as well as other animals in the wild. They are usually used in the winter to help feed and provide needed nutrition to help keep them healthy. However, these beautiful animals will frequent game feeders year around, as long as food is provided for them on a regular basis.

Food that is used can be a mix of corn, grain, salt, cane molasses, soy beans, sugar beats and more. There are special mixes available of extra minerals and proteins that will help them stay healthy and strong during the cold months when food is harder to find.

There are many kinds of feeders available to purchase. Feed That Game is dedicated to helping you find the best type of feeder for your needs. We’ve included links to products from our most basic trough, tripod, and hanging feeders to a few of our more high-tech models below.

You’ll also read about kits that attach to feeders that allow you to set, control, and automate feeding times. Be sure to read our buyers guide that explains types, questions on what to look for, features to consider and finding the best locations.

Our Deer Feeder Best Choices

We’ve listed some of our models with the highest reviews, so finding the best deer feeder shouldn’t be too difficult!

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. Deer and Livestock Feeders by Zenature

Here’s one fine example of what a classic homemade deer feeder looks like. This is a “manger style” trough feeder, though with the way it’s built you can use it for just about any kind of livestock or other animals. You just set it up, place food in the trough, and wait for them to come. These are pre-made with included instructions.

Features

  • It’s made of white pine wood, and there aren’t any metal parts that can rust or wear down.
  • This is a DIY deer feeder and you have to assemble it, though it features pegs and pre-drilled holes.
  • The bottom of the trough is removable, which makes cleaning easier.
  • The way it’s built means that you can use it for a wide variety of ways.

Pros

  • Let’s start with the fact that this is one versatile trough feeder. It’s not just for feeding all the animals in your barn, but you can also use it as a planter for flowers and herbs in your garden.
  • With the way this one looks, you can put it in your living room as a storage container or display container. You can use it for various knick-knacks or for magazines that your visitors can browse through.
  • This is a durable product, even when you use it outdoors. It’s designed to last for a long while.
  • There’s really nothing complicated about how you use it. It’s basically a big food dish. Cleaning it is easy too because of the removable bottom.
  • You can easily find demo videos on how to assemble it online.

Cons

  • Assembly can be challenging. You might have to exert a bit of force to get the pegs through the holes. In some cases, the holes may be too small or not aligned properly.

Summary

This is the perfect style for those who want things simple and easy. It’s also most suitable for those who don’t have any raccoon or squirrel problems, as the food may be too inviting for these varmints. The fact that you can use it for plants or for decorating your home makes it popular too.

Read the Full Review 

 

2. Moultrie PVC Deer Feeder With MFHP12367 All in One Timer Kit

The automatic Moultrie all-in-one is a bit more advanced than the classic trough feeder design. It’s specifically made for people who want no-fuss convenience. This model comes with a battery-powered clock timer, and the battery power source is included. It can also be used with a solar panel to help save battery life, though that’s a separate purchase.

Features

  • This PVC model is made with ABS plastic housing, although the spin plate and the funnel are all metal.
  • This comes with a digital timer and a nice display. You can specify the time and the day when it will disperse the food. You can set up to 4 dispersal times, and you can specify how long each dispersal lasts.

Pros

  • Moultrie has improved the way its feeders use up their batteries. So, the battery life can now last for as long as 4 months before you need to replace it. Simply check the battery indicator.
  • This product already comes with solar panel connectors, so you only need to buy the compatible solar panels if you don’t want to use the batteries. There’s also an external power port, just in case you have a handy electrical socket nearby.
  • Compact, and it’s already pre-assembled. You just need to connect it to a bucket and you’re good to go.
  • It’s really very easy to use the timer, so there’s no complicated process that can mess things up. You just need to set the days and the times and then specify how many seconds each dispersal period lasts. This period can be between 1 or 20 seconds.
  • This product is also very reliable and quite durable.

Cons

  • Because it’s a compact model, the feeder motor is small. This means that it’s not quite powerful enough to sling the feed very far. It’s only able to sling food about 6 feet away which can be a problem when you have a whole bunch of animals crowding around. Having too many animals together while feeding may lead to fights and injuries.

Summary

With all things considered, this is another easy-to-use feeder that won’t give you any real problems. It’s affordable, easy to set up, effective, and durable. Just set it up properly and you will have them coming by at your designated feeding times.

Read the Full Review

 

3. American Pro Hunter Hanging 5-gallon Digital Bucket Feeder

American Hunter offers several types and models, and this particular model is one of the best hanging deer feeders on the market. This feeder comes with many of the features you need to ensure it works effectively and reliably, while not making things difficult for you.

Features

  • It works with a digital timer that you can use to disperse feed from 1 to 16 times a day. You can also adjust the release rate of up to 30 seconds.
  • This hanging type can accommodate up to 40 pounds of feed.
  • It’s made of durable plastic and comes with a waterproof lid.

Pros

  • The digital timer is very easy to use and set up. You can even set it up to specific days of the week.
  • The whole design works very well and reliably, with no annoying quirks.
  • It has a simple design that enables you to move its location easily.
  • Bucket size is ample enough if you don’t have too many feeding from it.
  • You can use this as a chicken feeder if you want. (Heck, one owner used it for feeding their cat!)
  • The lid keeps the water out effectively.
  • The battery usage is very efficient. You can get an entire year’s use from the battery at the very least.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a varmint guard.
  • You also need to buy the 6V spring-top lead-acid battery, which is sold separately.

Summary

This is one of the best hanging models available. It is basically a complete feeder kit as you have your timer, spinner dispenser and bucket. It’s very simple to use and it’s both reliable and durable.

Read the Full Review

 

4. Redneck Outdoors T-post Gravity Deer Feeder

This gravity feeder allows you to offer corn, pellets, or other types. It’s large enough to hold a lot of feed and is super easy to set up. Plus you don’t have to bother with using timers, batteries, and solar panels.

This model doesn’t sling the pellets all over the place. Here, you get a bucket funnel design and then gravity does all the work. This makes it one of the best gravity deer feeders on the market.

Features

  • Heavy duty and holds up to 80 pounds of corn or protein feed pellets.
  • Designed to mount on a standard T-post, and there’s a V-groove on its back for just this purpose. You also get the various bolts and brackets to secure it to the T-post.
  • You can use ratchet straps for adjustable height and to mount it on a tree. This product also features grooves and a concave back for the ratchet straps.
  • Made of tough plastic for long-lasting durability.

Pros

  • To adjust the height of the feeding tube, all you need to do is to be careful about how far into the ground you drive your T-post.
  • This gravity feeder protects the feed from the rain so it doesn’t get moldy.
  • With the huge capacity, you don’t have to fill it up too frequently.
  • Several mounting options to choose from.
  • The feeding tube is large enough and easy to eat from.
  • Durable enough to last outdoors and doesn’t have any mechanical parts that can break down.

Cons

  • You will have to put in a makeshift 6-inch diameter PVC pipe over the T-post to keep the squirrels and raccoons from climbing up the T-post.
  • It can take a little time for deer to get used to it.

Summary

It’s great how it works smoothly with no problems. It is true that, at first sight, deer might seem cautious of its presence, but after a short period of time, they will get used to it. These Redneck Outdoors t-post models will work reliably for years to come.

Read the Full Review

 

5. American Hunter Sun Slinger Directional Kit 30580

The American Hunter Sun Slinger is a feeder with a digital timer. and you can attach it to any size bucket. It’s made of premium materials and is designed to be long-lasting. It’s easy to install and use.

Features

  • Programming options including an easy touch digital timer.
  • The timer can be set to dispense feed up to 16 times per day. The duration of each dispersal period can be set to last up to 30 seconds. Additionally, you can schedule specific days for feeding.
  • It comes with mounting brackets and with self-tapping screws. This makes installation a breeze.
  • There’s also a built-in solar charger so you can easily use a solar panel.

Pros

  • Incredibly reliable. Many people report that their units still work perfectly – even after 6 years of use.
  • Easy enough to set up and use and for some reason your package doesn’t come with instructions. You can also go online and watch setup videos.
  • This product really doesn’t need any sort of serious maintenance at all. The battery will need to be changed when it’s out of juice, although this isn’t necessary when you have a solar panel. With the built-in solar charger, this model will work indefinitely using a rechargeable battery.

Cons

  • Its design is rather unique, and that means that it’s not compatible with standard varmint cages. You’ll have to build a makeshift varmint guard on your own.

Summary

This is another easy to install feeding device that works as intended. It offers lots of automated scheduling functions and is very durable and reliable. It will work for a very long time, though you will have to exert some effort to make your own varmint guard for it first.

Read the Full Review

 

6. Wildgame Innovations with Spinner Plate

This Wildgame Innovations tripod feeder is rated for ease of use, ease of assembly, and value for money. This is one of the best tripod models and is part of their Quick-set™ series. It boasts a durable plastic drum, sturdy legs, and a newly designed digital power control unit.

Features

  • 40-gallon barrel made of durable plastic for a 270-pound capacity.
  • Their newly designed digital power control unit has a galvanized steel spinner plate that disperses food in a 30-foot circle.
  • It has a rivet hardware system for easy, 15-minute setup.

Pros

  • Robust barrel and heavy-duty coated legs make it very durable.
  • It uses a galvanized steel spinner plate for consistent, even dispersal of food. Galvanized steel is rust- and corrosion-resistant, requiring little to no maintenance or care throughout all seasons. The spinner plate disperses feed in a full 360 degrees.
  • Furthermore, you can program up to four separate feeding times and how long it disperses as well. It can be set to 5, 10, 15, or 20 seconds long.
  • Its digital power control unit is newly designed, user-friendly, and only needs a 6-volt battery.
  • The funnel is built-in, which significantly reduces waste and allows for different feed-types.
  • Holds over 200 pounds.

Cons

  • The legs are hollow, which sometimes causes the legs to sink into the ground. Placing cans or bricks beneath the feet should fix this.
  • The battery and charger are not included with this unit. Wildgame Innovations does make a 6V solar charger that can be used to recharge the battery.

Summary

A durable and great value for its price. Additionally, its solid construction and weatherproof design make it a sturdy model that will stand up to the elements. The ability to program your feeding times will help you adapt it to the number of animals that visit making this unit highly flexible. Add that to the easy setup and you’ve got a great model.

Read the Full Review

 

Best Deer Feeders Buyers Guide

After having had a look at the best deer feeders available, you may still have some questions about which type you should buy. From feeder kits to traditional troughs, gravity, or automatic feeders, and those that need a battery or solar power to operate, your choices can be overwhelming.

Should you use hanging feeders or a tripod? Do you need a built-in varmint guard? How do you pick the right one for your needs?

As a consumer, you may be tempted to choose merely by seeing which one is the most affordable. Keep in mind that price doesn’t necessarily determine which type will be the best deer feeder. The cheapest may not work or last long, though an expensive model may be just as ineffective.

To make your choice wisely, you should think about the following considerations:

  • What are the laws in your area? Do they allow the use of deer feeders? Do they require you to remove them before hunting season?
  • Where do you intend to put your feeder? Do you have an ideal space to attract deer?
  • How many deer live in your area? What type are they? What are their feeding needs?
  • How often do you want to refill them?
  • How easy do you need the setup to be? Are you comfortable with technology, or should it be tech-free?
  • Would you need to control feed times?
  • Do you want a model that needs batteries or solar power to run?
  • Should you have anti-varmint protection for your game feeder?

The first thing to do before purchasing is to understand the laws and regulations in your area. Some states and counties don’t allow the use of feeders at all. Others allow them only through certain months or between specific dates.

For more information, take a look at some basics you should know, then go to your state or county government website to understand the local hunting laws.

Once you know whether they are legal to use in your area, you can start looking at the features and types of game feeders for deer.

Deer Feeders in the woods

Features To Consider

There are many different types of feeders with all sorts of features. Below are facts you need to consider to help you make the right choice when you are ready to buy.

Installation Difficulty

Some of these units have to be assembled first and that may not be so easy. Others come pre-assembled, but then you still need to set up the whole thing. The easier the installation is, the better off you’ll be.

Automated Features

In some cases, the more traditional designs are basically just a trough where you put the feed or simple hanging feeders. A gravity feeder is also quite simple as food is stored inside the unit and released as it gets eaten.

Others, like the automatic Moultrie models, are much more advanced with timers that disperse the food at specific intervals. These high-tech models are often battery-powered, though some may be recharged by a solar panel. We’ve listed some of the pros and cons of both gravity and spin plate, timed feeders here.

Anti-Varmint Protection

One problem you might run into is that often you end up feeding the local varmint population as well. Raccoons and squirrels can use up feed supply much quicker and even scare them away. Some deer feeders come equipped with automated timers, spinners, and chutes to prevent varmints from eating form them.

Durability

These devises are outdoors for most of the year, if not all of it. Not only must it withstand cold weather, snow, rain, and sun, but also the attention of your animal neighbors. Deer can bite, bump, and try to knock them over. Bears or other wildlife may see any feeder as a food source. On top of this abuse by animals, you’ll be refilling it for years, lobbing hundreds of pounds of feed into it.

Look for high-grade plastic and metals. Your four-leg or tripod feeder should have a stable base, while your hanging feeder should have a sturdy attachment point.

Waterproof

Keeping the feed dry and mold-free is imperative to maintain the health of the population. If mold is consumed they can elicit signs of illness such as sluggishness, lethargy, and diarrhea among other symptoms. Keeping your feed dry also means you waste less of it. After all, who wants to eat mush?

Capacity

The capacity of each will determine how many times a day, week, or month you need to refill your feeder. This aspect is important because a deer’s sense of hearing, smell, and sight are keener than ours. While they will appreciate you filling them, they won’t appreciate the smells you leave behind. The less often you can disturb the area, the better. So, having a model with a larger capacity of say 200 pounds would be better.

Is High-Tech or Low-Tech Better?

Tech is ubiquitous in our homes, schools, and workplaces. Even hunting can be high-tech with the availability of GPS, super-sensitive wind detectors, and real-time range finders – but do we need technology in our feeders?

Gravity Feeders

These low-tech feeders use gravity to disperse feed, as their name suggests. The most popular gravity feeders use simple designs to move corn or pellets from the barrel or bucket at the top down to the feeding area. Some contain screws or built-in funnels that guide the food smoothly downward.

Low-tech models are typically easy to set up and don’t usually require much maintenance. Even though these are typically less expensive than spinners, you may end up spending more in the long run. This is because deer and other animals can eat as much as they want at a time – requiring you to refill them more frequently.

Gravity Feeder Pros

  • Their low purchase price makes it easier to get started in feeding or add to your existing numbers.
  • The lack of technology makes for easier setup.
  • Fewer moving parts means less to repair and less maintenance over time. Feed is also less likely to clog.

Gravity Feeder Cons

  • Not easy to limit the amount of grain, corn, or pellets eaten by game animals and local wildlife.
  • Varmint protection may be missing or primitive, making it easy for critters such as squirrels, raccoons, mice, and rats to eat your food stock.

Automatic Feeders

Automatic deer feeders are more high tech and have mechanical and electrical components that control when food is released. A timer triggers a motor to spin, dispersing corn or pellets outward into a 20- to 30-foot circle. They are typically tripod- or four-footed units rather than hanging feeders.

There are two types of power available for automatic feeders: battery power and solar power.

Battery-powered units allow you to program multiple activation times per day and can even let you control how long the motor is activated. Battery-powered typically run on a single 6-Volt battery.

Solar-powered units give you the same type of control as the battery-powered models but use a built-in or connected solar panel for power. These photocell types have a sensor that can trigger feeding at certain light levels, often near dawn or dusk, depending on cloud cover.

The automatic style obviously have more moving parts than gravity models. Sensors, motors, spinners, battery housing — all these features can break down, and battery-operated units will need their batteries replaced.

However, the control these grant over the amount of food they disperse at a time may save you money in the long run.

Automatic Pros

  • Animals can’t free-feed from these containers so you don’t need to refill it as frequently as a gravity feeder. This also saves you time and keeps your scent shadow in the area to a minimum.
  • These units typically have more robust pest proofing. The motor and feeding ports are usually protected by cages or shields.
  • Most automatic have photovoltaic capabilities that preclude the need for batteries.

Automatic Cons

  • The timer and motor can be delicate and may require more maintenance than gravity feeders. Unless well protected, varmints can chew through wires and break them.
  • Spinners are more easily clogged than gravity-fed feeders.
  • Solar-powered units may malfunction on cloudy or stormy days.

Deer Feeders vs. Kits

You may have heard the term “feeder kit” during your search. If you’re new to feeding, you may not understand the difference.

A kit is typically mounted to a bucket or barrel to convert it to a feeder. A great favorite for hunters as they allow for greater mobility due to a smaller capacity. Kits can be purchased for gravity or motorized feeding. Powered kits can use batteries or solar panels.

Kits can be used for your more permanent feeders, too. They are easy to set up and make quick work of replacing old or broken kits. They are also known as “slingers.”

Finding The Best Location For A Deer Feeder

location of deer feeder

Now that you understand what to look for in the best deer feeders, you need to consider where the ideal location is. As we mentioned, always make sure you understand the laws for your area before purchasing.

A few other things to consider when placing them are cover, proximity to game traffic and trails, water and sleeping areas, and the location of any nearby predators and humans. If you are a hunter, you also need to consider whether the location is accessible. Is it secluded enough to attract game? Is there an area for a blind or stand?

Your chosen location will have the most significant effect in determining whether your feeder succeeds at attracting animals or not – regardless of make, model, and type.

Cover

Deer are skittish animals, rarely staying in one place for very long. They often use the same routes and stick to areas where they have cover from predators.

Avoid setting your feeder up in the center of an open field or meadow. Instead, place it at the edge of the area, ideally near a game trail already in use. The cover will help give the animals some security, which will increase the chances they’ll use it.

Water

As deer move, they are looking for three things: food, safety, and water. Placing them near a reliable water source be it a stream, pond, or seep, practically guarantees that they will see it. You could also consider placing a barrel or bucket of water in the area to help encourage wandering deer to stop.

Proximity

Deer are creatures of habit as much as we are. Minus severe changes in habitat and climate, they will use the same trails, scrapes, and bedding areas year after year.

By placing your feeder (or a mineral lick) near a trail or bedding spot that is already in use, the higher the probability that they’ll find and use it.

Predators

When choosing the location, look at its proximity to predators and human activity. Feeding and breeding grounds of any predators should be avoided. Denning and hunting areas, as well.

In addition to natural predators, roads, cultivated fields (any areas that humans use or congregate in) will stress them. If stressed, they are unlikely to stop long enough to eat.

Accessibility

While accessibility is not a consideration for the deer, it is definitely a consideration for you. If you want these animals to make a habit of stopping at your feeder, you need to ensure it is filled and works consistently. So, you want to make sure you can get to it easily.

Bottom Line on Buying the Best Deer Feeder

Whether you choose a simple trough style, gravity, automatic, or a homemade feeder, take time to study reviews and model comparisons to help you choose the best deer feeder.

We recommend using the largest capacity model you can set up and maintain. The less interaction you have when refilling it, the more success you’ll have trying to attract deer. Before making your decision, make sure you check if feeding is legal in your area.

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to finding the best deer feeders, brands, and top models.

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