Whether you want to attract big game for hunting, feed a herd of white tail deer on your ranch or photograph a 10-point buck, a deer feeder is essential equipment for the task. Whatever your reasons, learning to build a homemade deer feeder from easily obtainable items can be a worthwhile experience.
Supplies and tools:
- Five-gallon bucket
- PVC pipe measuring a minimum of four inches in diameter
- Large zip ties and bungee cords
- A saw, tape measure, permanent marker and a drill
Additionally, you can choose to paint the feeder in camouflage colors.
Step 1 - Construct the Trough
With the five-gallon bucket on level ground, measure and cut eight inches from the bottom. This will form the trough for your deer feeder. A trough of eight inches is high enough to allow deer to feed comfortably and to deter smaller creatures from stealing the feed. Drill five or six small holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. Skipping this step will encourage feed spoilage as the trough will hold rain water.
Step 2 - Construct the Feed Pipe
Turning to the PVC pipe, this should be a minimum of four inches in diameter. Of course, larger pipe would allow more storage for feed and can be used if desired. Cut a slot on either side of the pipe at least three inches from the bottom. The length of the slot will be determined by the diameter of the pipe. When using a four-inch pipe as suggested, each slot should be three inches long and one to two inches wide to ensure proper flow of feed into the trough of the deer feeder.
The opposite end of the pipe can be capped at this point, although it is not necessary unless you plan to use feed that is water soluble.
Step 3 - Assemble the Deer Feeder
Place the slotted end of the pipe into the trough flush with the bottom. Mark the bucket and the pipe above and below the slots on the pipe, with the slots in an unobstructed location. This is where holes will be drilled to fasten the bucket to the pipe with zip ties. If you wish to paint the feeder, do so before final construction.
Constructing the deer feeder is completed by placing the pipe inside the trough and slipping the zip ties through the previously drilled holes. Pull tight and cut off any extra length on the zip tie.
Step 4 - Choose a location
When choosing a location for your deer feeder, choose a tree that is in a quiet area away from heavy foot traffic. Deer are easily spooked and are creatures of habit. If they are scared by your feeder or by being in the vicinity of it, they are unlikely to return.
Finally, make sure proper feed is used in your feeder. Corn is a popular choice. Alternatively, there are numerous commercially produced feeds.