As long as there are deer hunters, there will be deer feeders.
We won’t say that owning a deer feeder is completely necessary for your deer hunt, we’ll just say we won’t be going with you. Whatever your opinion of deer feeders is, you can’t deny that they make hunting a much more fun experience.
When it comes to hunting for deer feeders they can all start looking the same. Corn capacity? Spin rate? Battery life? All of these are common concerns that we took into consideration and address in our buying guide below. Without further ado, here are the best deer feeders you can buy before you head out on your next deer hunting trip.
The Best Deer Feeders
OPI Capsule Feeder
Marketed as the world’s safest game feeder, the Capsule Feeders 250 Pound Game Feeder is so called because of the patented capsule design that practically eliminates the danger of working underneath a four-hundred-pound barrel. This design is called the sit-and-feel style of feeder. It allows anyone of any age or height to fill up the feeder from the ground. No longer do you have to worry about climbing up a ladder (on ground that could be soft or unstable) while hauling several dozens of pounds of corn. Of course, another issue that could present itself with a game feeder is transporting and storing the feeder itself. Fortunately, the Capsule Feeders is a very moveable and portable feeder as it is very lightweight, being much lighter than comparable steel barrels. Despite its lightweight, it’s also incredibly durable and rust resistant. This feeder is even resistant to animals, as the low center of gravity allows the feeder to rest very securely on the ground without the risk of it being knocked over by the feeding animal (which would not only spill out the food, but also potentially harm the feeder). Last but not least, this feeder utilizes a solar panel that ensures the battery will be charged twenty four seven. All you need to do is fill up the feeder and then set the timer!
As the name suggests, the Moultrie Pro Hunter Hanging Deer Feeder has a capacity of thirty gallons in the feeding barrel, which equates to approximately two hundred pounds. Two hundred pounds of feed will be enough for at least four months of feeding, or a good full hunting season. The barrel is constructed out of a heavy-duty barrel, as is the metal hanging bar that is included as part of the package. In addition, the ABS plastic kit housing that ships with the feeder is also very user friendly and durable. The Moultrie operates with a digital timer that can be programmed to feed six times a day, with each feed lasting between one to twenty seconds depending on how you configure the system. A one 6-volt battery is required in order to power this timer. The timer has a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree feed pattern for the most widespread coverage possible.
Wild Game Innovations
The Wild Game Innovation Pail Feeder is designed primarily for dawn and dusk feeding, which is the perfect time for hunting when the deer are most active. The pail for the Wild Game Innovation has a total capacity of six and a half gallons or fifty pounds, and it is a hanging pail design (meaning that it hangs from an elevated location such as a thick tree branch or a separate tripod). The Wild Game Innovation utilizes a galvanized steel spinner plate with a real tree extra camouflage barrel for extra concealment in the woods. The feeder is powered by a 6 volt battery; however, the battery is not included as part of the package and therefore will need to be bought separately.
The Moultrie 5 Gallon All-in-One Hanging Deer Feeder incorporates a digital timer that can be programmed to feed up to four times a day, with each feed time lasting between one to twenty seconds. Four AA batteries are required to power this feeder; not only are they included as part of the package, but AA batteries can also be bought separately for a cheap price as well. The batteries will last for up to four months out in the field before they will need to be replaced. As the name suggests, this Moultrie has a feed capacity of five gallons, which is in a collapsible plastic bucket (which helps reduce shipping costs) with a built-in funnel and a wind resistant spin plate that’s built out of metal. No assembly is required with this feeder and the package that you will receive includes the actual feeder, the bucket, batteries, and the funnel. All you need to do is pour in the feed and set the timer.
Easily the most traditional style of feeder in this list, the Zenature Deer and Livestock Feeder is simply a wooden trough that is designed to be filled up with feed and then utilized as you see fit. While it is built primarily with deer hunters in mind, it can also be used for livestock or other large animals such as hogs as well. There are no metal pieces in this feeder of any kind, and assembly is incredibly efficient with no nails or screws required. The bottom half of the feeder is removable, which aids in cleaning the trough before putting it away for next hunting season. As an alternative, however, you could also use this feeder as a multi-purpose item by using it as a planter or a garden as well. Built entirely in the United States, the Zenature Deer and Livestock Feeder may not be the most advanced feeder on the market, but it’s also the most simple and easy-to-use, and the fact that it could also be used as a garden means it’s arguably the most versatile and practical.
The Moultrie 6.5 Gallon Pro Hunter Hanging Deer Feeder is a smaller sized feeding system from Moultrie in comparison to their larger thirty-gallon model, but for some people the smaller size will be more convenient and portable. This feeder is designed to mount onto any hopper and barrel with the aid of the quick lock adapter that is sold as part of the package, and no tools are needed in order to use it. The bucket itself is constructed out of metal and has a 6.5 gallon or forty-pound feed capacity, with a Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camouflage coating to keep it concealed out in the woods. This feeder is also digital and can be programmed to feed up to six times a day, with each feeding session lasting between one to twenty seconds depending on what you choose. The feed is released in a wide 360 degree parameter. Only one 6 volt battery is required to run the feeder. As an added bonus, a metal spin plat that has raised edges will protect the feed from the wind.
The Redneck Outdoors T-Post Gravity Feeder is a heavy duty and all-weather feeder that arguably provides you with the greatest bang for your buck out of all other feeders available on the market. With no mechanical parts, the Redneck Outdoors is largely maintenance free and is guaranteed to not break apart even in harsh weather conditions. To use, you simply need to attach it to a fencing t-post with the V-groove located on the back. Alternatively, you can just attach it to a tree with the aid of a ratchet strap. The reason the Redneck Outdoors is all-weather is because of its polyethylene build material, which is a highly durable product and is utilized on several other outdoor products such as kayaks. The barrel has an eighty-pound capacity, while the feed mouth has dimensions of four inches by five inches that make it super easy for the deer or any kind of animal to feed. The Redneck Outdoors ships with a cover that is easy-to-remove, mounting bolts, assembly hardware, and grooves for attaching the ratchet straps.
Built utilizing the highest quality materials available, the American Hunter 305802 Sun Slinger Directional Feeder Kit utilizes a very straightforward timer program that offers you with a greater variety of feeding options than some of the other deer feeders on the market. For example, whereas most of the other feeders that we have examined on this list will only feed from one to six times a day, the American Hunter can be programmed to feed up to sixteen times a day, with the feed rate also being adjustable from one up to thirty seconds (in comparison to the standard one to twenty seconds). You can easily set the feeder to your desired time thanks to the digital timer on the side that is incredibly easy to find and use. A 6 volt solar charger has also been build into the American Hunter to ensure it remains charged throughout your day. Additional features that the American Hunter comes with include the ability to feed on different days of the week, a powder coated downspout and slinger, self tapping screws that make installation super easy, and mounting brackets.
American Hunter 5-Gallon
If you’re looking for a deer feeder that is effective, affordable, and easy-to-use all at the same time, then the American Hunter 5 Gallon Digital Hanging Bucker Feeder will be a superb choice for you. There’s nothing better when it comes to deer feeders than digital technology, and the digital timer on this American Hunter can be programmed to feed anywhere from one to sixteen times a day, with an adjustable feed rate of up to thirty seconds per feed. Total capacity in the bucket is forty pounds, which is more than enough for the vast majority of deer hunts. The timer can also be easily set to feed on different days of the week for added convenience. The bucket itself is constructed out of a very durable plastic that will last you for many years and is fully weather resistant and waterproof, a major asset to have during the fall especially when it can rain hard outside. Rain will ruin the feed and make it less appetizing to deer, so the fact that this is a waterproof feeder makes it a very worth investment.
Moultrie Pro Magnum
Moultrie makes great deer feeders, which is why we’re including several of them in this list. The 30 Gallon Pro Magnum Hanging Deer Feeder meets if not exceeds the standards that Moultrie has so effortlessly set on the market. The Pro Magnum in particular comes installed with a built-in feed level estimator, an external power port, a battery indicator, a varmint guard, funnel, barrel, spin plate, and a solar panel connector (however, the solar panel itself is sold separately). The digital timer system is designed to feed up to six times a day, with a one to twenty second time per each. The timer is run by a single 6-volt battery; the battery indicator built-in to the side automatically let’s you know how much of a charge is remaining. However, two 6-volt batteries can still be used for an extended life. The Pro Magnum is built to last, thanks to its durable all metal housing, metal varmint guard for protection against pests such has squirrels and birds, and a metal spin plate. The spin plate in particular features raised edges that are designed to protect the feed from the wind, so you won’t need to worry about that. To use, the Pro magnum is designed to hang from any elevated surface with cable, rope, or a chain. Moultrie backs up the Pro Magnum Hanging Deer Feeder with a lifetime warranty, which shows that they stand by their products.
Deer Feeder Buying Guide
Deer Feeders, like hunters , come in all different shapes and sizes. Most deer feeder models fall into a few different styles; Gravity, Electronic Tripod, Trough. These types are great solutions for certain situations, like most things, it all just depends on the environment you’re going to be hunting and your understanding of the game in the area.
Below are the metrics we used in determining the best deer feeders available , and one you should use when making the decision on picking the feeder. Obviously, the feeder is only going to be as good as the area you’re hunting, but these should make it easier if you’re deciding between two feeders for your next hunt.
What Type of Hunter Needs a Deer Feeder
It’s somewhat of a misconception that everyone needs a deer feeder to be a successful hunter. While deer feeders are an awesome addition to any bow or rifle hunter’s arsenal, you really only need a feeder if you plan on hunting the same area over and over again. So, hunters who own or are part of a hunting lease property who have certain areas they think they’d like to hunt for many years to come are perfect candidates for getting a new deer feeder. Otherwise if you’re just a weekend warrior that likes to hunt different places throughout the hunting season, it’s probably best you spent your money on better portable hunting blind.
Features to Consider
Probably the most common type of deer feeder out there, and typically the most expensive as it uses heavier material and has many more moving parts. These types of feeders typically come in with spinning base which will scatter the corn or feed in a much larger area, thus enabling more deer to gather around the feeder. These types of feeders are great when they come with varmint guards, hopefully made of a strong metal alloy to prevent raccoons.
The gravity model of deer feeders is a great alternative to the electronic tripod style of feeders. These feeders typically are for hunters that don’t want to worry about if the battery is charged, or the spinning disc is working. Gravity style feeders take all the potential problems of the electronic tripod, and eliminates them by using gravity to
The trough style of deer feeders literally are that, a trough. These types of feeders are excellent for people hunting in areas only for a weekend, or are hunting in a protected hunting and are certain that the biggest animal in the area is going to be a deer. We recommend this feeder only for those who are on a tight budget and don’t mind other animals getting into.
Weight is a double-edged sword when it comes to selecting your deer feeder. Obviously the heavier the feeder the less likely an animal, most of the times not a deer, can knock it over and get into the feed. With the feeder weight in mind, you should also consider how much the feeder weighs because what gets set up, must be put back. So, if you’re a lone hunter, it is probably the best idea to pick the least cumbersome model out there.
This only applies to the gravity and tri-pod style feeders, but is one that is important to consider. The majority of feeders that are purchased are going to be setup out into the wilderness, far away from power. These types of feeders do run on some rugged batteries, but anyone who has ever owned a feeder knows that sooner or later there will be a power problem. Whether it be a squirrel chewing through the wires, or rain water shorting out the system, the power will go out. To plan against this happening we recommend making sure you have a solar power attached to the unit to ensure that the feed is spread, even when you’re not around.
Deer feeders are made for deer, but that doesn’t mean that deer are the only ones that will try and access that corn inside the silo of the deer feeder. In fact, most animals that will be going towards your feeder will not be deer, but rather varmints who are looking for a quick and easy snack. While varmints are annoying and can tear up the area around the feeder, you need to also consider the bigger animals that won’t stop until they get into the feed. If you’re hunting spot is surrounded by larger animals such as goats, llamas, bears, cows, or horses it’s a good idea to pick a feeder made of stronger materials such as metal.
Something that can be overlooked especially when shopping online is the capacity of the deer feeder itself. This mainly will be a preference on how frequent you hunt the area, the number of feeders in the area, and how often you want to lug a 50-lb. bag of deer corn up a ladder into the feeder. If you’re wanting a set-it and forget it type hunting spot, try and find a tri-pod deer feeder because it can support a much larger amount of weight.
For anyone who has hunted deer, the sound of the feeder going off is the queue to get ready to watch the big bucks trot into the area. However, how the corn is spread out can make or break a hunt. Some feeders spread the corn in a tight radius which isn’t ideal when you’re wanting to attract a big herd of deer. Finding a feeder with a spinner that can create a much bigger radius of food will only attract more deer to the feeder.
The adage “you get what you pay for” seems to ring true when choosing between a plastic deer feeder or a metal one. If you’re an avid hunter and know this is something you will be doing for years to come, it’s best to go ahead and spend the extra cash on a feeder that can withstand the elements. Plastic is fine for the fair-weather hunter, but if this is something you want to enjoy for years, pick something that is going to last.
Care and Maintenance
Any good deer feeder should be able to pay for itself within one season of deer hunting, but if you want to prolong the life of your feeder there are some steps required in taking good proper care of it. No matter the material it’s always best to store the feeder indoors when not in use. The more time the unit spends outside, the shorter overall lifespan it has.
One thing that is important for hunters who own metal feeders to limit their exposure to water. Not so much rainfall, but water that can make its way into the feeder and sit for days and weeks on end. This will not only result in a foul smell, but also rust out the barrel of the feeder itself.
We recommend at the end of every season to completely clean the feeder out and repaint the inside with some rust-proof paint before every season to keep your deer feeder running strong for years to come.