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DIY Deer Feeder Guide: All Types Covered for Hunters & Ranchers

How to make a deer feeder
Written by Erik Himmel

You are probably interested in this post because of your love for hunting and animals. I believe you’re one of those folks who sought to have an animal visit whenever they want to have a good time. No doubt, if your desire is actualized, it will be an excellent experience since it will allow you to access most timid animals and explore more of nature’s beauty.

Actualizing this will be perfect if it’s done in the best natural way. This process is an ideal option, if all you want is to have animals feed themselves naturally and safely.

How to Make a Deer Feeder-With Any Hunter’s Budget

a Deer Feeder-With Any Hunter’s Budget

If you intend to feed animals in the absence of danger, then any of the deer feeders below will be a perfect gem. You can also spend some bucks on the best deer feeder for better results.

PVC Pipe Feeders

Just as the name goes, the feeder is mainly created with PVC of size 4, 6, 8, to 10 inches. It is also essential to have in mind that other products like driveway whistle pipes or the Tressel type can be used for this project.

Below is a list of three types of PVC deer feeders that can be constructed within the comfort of your home.

a) Gravity Feed Deer Feeder

The gravity feed deer feeder is one of the easiest since its operation employs the gravitational force to dish out the right amount of feeds. Aside from being the easiest, it is also known as the cheapest feeder, with a minimum of $20 -$30, and within 20 minutes, you can easily get one ready.

Materials needed:

  • Five-foot, four-inch diameter PVC or a different pipe
  • A grate
  • PVC wye
  • A plug

Procedure:

  1. First of all, fix up the PVC straight one end of your 4 -5-inch diameter pipe.
  2. Now position the grate underneath the wye; this will ensure rainwater that gets stuck into the feeder is drained correctly.
  3. To ensure water doesn’t gain entry into the feeder from its top, fix a plug at the top of the feeder you intend using. (The plus are designed in such a way that the cap can be set on it quickly, and this helps to restrict water from gaining entering into the feed.
  4. At this phase, the feeder is quite ready for use. You can transfer it to the ideal location or hunting view and strap it on a tree or pole using ropes or ratchet straps.
  5. Now fill up the feeder with enough corn. First of all, you need to fill up the opening on the wye; start from the upper part.

b) Feed on demand PVC Deer Feeder

The feed on demand is one of the most accessible types of feeders you can make from PVC. This time you don’t need to use any special tool or cut out any plastic.

Materials needed:

  • Four small eye bolts
  • A 10” x 10” piece of plywood or scrap lumber
  • Camo or Spray paint
  • Purple primer
  • 2½ -3- length of 6” PVC pipe
  • 6” slip-over PVC cap
  • 6” PVC wye.
  • Cement

Procedure

  1. First of all, you need to prime the edge end of the PVC pipe and at the same time, repeat the process on the other side of the wye.
  2. Position both pipes together and then add some amount of cement.
  3. Drill up two holes directly on either side of the pipe, and ensure it is directed halfway upward, while you place two eye bolts; the eye bolts will help attach the feeder to a tree or pole using a ratchet strap or a rope.
  4. Ensure you add the slip over the cap of the PVC and create a little hole to get across the top.
  5. Create a different hole, but this time this should be done on the side of the PVC while you close to the cap where the last eyebolt will be placed. This will help prevent and control offensive critters that will want to pull off the entire lid meant for the feeder.
  6. I believe you’re creating a feeder and not one of those toilet fixtures, or do you want it to look like a toilet fixture? I guess the answer to that question is a NO! So, to avoid this, use a simple paint on it and allow it for a few days to dry properly.
  7. Lastly, fill up the feed with about 40 -50 pounds of dried corn. Once that is done, set the feeder to the desired location. Don’t forget to fix it on scrap lumber or plywood top; this will help keep bugs away. It’s vital to secure the feeder to a fence, tree, or any durable post.

c) Red Neck Deer Feeder

Creating this feeder can be pretty simple once you have previous knowledge on how to go about it, if this is unlike you, then you can carefully adhere to this instruction below.

Red Neck Deer Feeder

Materials needed:

  • 6” PVC pipe
  • Camo paint
  • Cap
  • 3¼-inch plywood
  • 36” drywall
  • Drill
  • Furniture glue

Procedure:

  1. Once you cut the pipe to an approximate size of 4 -5 inches, then select a shorter or longer length, which depends directly on what you need at the moment. It is crucial to scuff off the surface of the PVC pipe you want to use; this is to ensure the camo paint holds properly.
  2. Now attach a round wood using glue and ensure the block of wood used fit perfectly with the entire pipe diameter.
  3. Ensure the PVC is rightly mounted directly on the base while it covers the entire wood used. Try to create some holes across the circular block and the pipe.
  4. You will have to drill 4-3” hole or something a bit smaller and position it on the base of your pipe; this hole is meant to allow corn seeds ooze out from the feeder.
  5. Place the cap on the upper part of the PVC, and this helps control rain from gaining access to the feeder.
  6. Create another circle and make sure it has a similar diameter if compared to the size you cut earlier. Now stick it directly to the drywall.
  7. Create another hole across the center and ensure it goes across the drywall. This serves as a significant gauge that will allow a slow drop down once an animal comes feeding off the corn, and will help to notify you on the right time needed to make another refill. The drywall can also be painted; doing this will make it more visible.
  8. Lastly, carry out some camo painting on the feeder and make sure it is properly dried. Once all the above steps are in place, you re good to go.

Bucket and Barrel Deer Feeders

This is yet another fashionable standard style of deer feeders; it has to do with the use of barrels or buckets; the use of trash cans or plastic barrels is recommended for its construction.

One of the surprising differences a feeder constructed from this method is its ability to retain enough food; it can also be positioned in a way and manner that the deer has to nudge the bottom whenever it attempts to get some meal from it.

You can place an automatic timer and spinner as an addition to this style –if you intend to convert it to an automatic feeder.

Our primary style here includes:

a) 5-Gallon Bucket Deer Feeder

Materials needed:

  • A sturdy rope
  • Metallic tin
  • An old fashioned broom handle or a simple metal rod.
  • 5-gallon bucket

Procedures:

  1. Create a hole underneath a five-gallon bucket. Make sure the hole is about ¼ inch – ½ inch a bit larger when compared to the old fashioned broom handle.
  2. Place two nails at the side of the broom handle and ensure it is in an opposing direction; the pin should be at least 6 inches long from one end.
  3. With the longer end facing downward, slide the broom handle directly into the bucket and make sure it gets across the hole that was drilled. If the nail is placed correctly, it will ensure the handle is secured and also prevent it from falling off.
  4. Use the sturdy string to tie one part to the handle of the bucket while you extend the string directly to the brand while ensuring the broom handle is kept hanging about 3-5 feet above ground level.
  5. Make sure the bucket is filled up with enough corn before closing the lip; this will help secure water droplets from getting into the feeder. It is also advisable to spread enough corn seeds at the base of the feeder.
  6. The metallic tin should be attached directly to the metal rod or underneath the handle. If this is carried out correctly, with time, the deer gets to learn how to nudge the metallic tin to get more corns from it.

b) Barrel Deer Feeder

A feeder can also be created with 30-35 barrel gallons, and this can most times be purchased at an affordable price. The feeder can quickly be filled with a variety of grains, e.g., oats, black oil sunflower corn, or different grain. It works wonder when used on the ground since it will not just feed deer but also feed poultry birds as well.

Here is how to come up with a perfect barrel feeder.

Materials needed.

  • A 55-gallon barrel made of plastic-free from chemicals or pesticides
  • A PVC feeder wye/ head
  • A 2 x 4 lumber piece

Procedures:

  1. To get started, you will need to wash all the barrel properly.
  2. Now cut the lid that is located on the barrel, to do this, cut out the edge of the barrel; this will help create a perfect opening via which grains can be channeled directly into the feeder. Try to avoid cutting the barrel with a torch since this can lead to vapors and explosion. We recommend the use of a saber saw, since it most suitable to carry out the task properly.
  3. At the end part of the barrel, cut out a ring shape; the shape is needed to fit the head of the PVC on it.
  4. Use glue to attach the head of the PVC while assembling it correctly to create a passage; the corn poured into the feed will get across the created gate.
  5. Now you can proceed to build a complete base using a barrel feeder and lumber piece.
  6. Once all is set and done, then it’s time to feed enough corn into the feeder. Afterward, close the lip to help keep water off its surface, then use straps to create enough support.

c)  55-Gallon Gravity Deer Feeder

Creating a gravity feeder at home can also be one of those tick tack activities to get involved with since the process is cheap and easy; you don’t have to go 360 degrees.

Material needed:

  • 55-gallon barrel made from plastic
  • A 4 inch PVC for tube feeders
  • Treated 2 by 4 by 8

Procedures:

The maximum time needed for this construction is approximately 1 – 2 hours. Here is how to get started.

  1. Once your barrel is washed thoroughly, cut across the upper part of the barrel and take off the lip.
  2. Make a round hole where the wye will fit into it perfectly. You can do this using a hl jigsaw.
  3. Place the wye directly on the bottom hole and use a plastic adhesive to glue it properly while you’re assembling the entire feeder.
  4. Finish up the entire process by creating a perfect design on the feeder using the camo paint, though this is optional.

Tripods Deer Feeder

These feeders are created from three stumps, hey feeders, and wooden stands; it is pretty similar to feeders that are used when feeding cattle, sheep, and goat.  Deer feeders that are grouped within this category can most time stand on their own or are added manually.

Tripods Deer Feeder

When it comes to these feeders, there are four excellent plans that are affordable, fun to use, and straightforward. Without further ado, let’s take a brief look at each of this plan.

a) Wooden Deer Feeder

Caution: Before starting, it is imperative to take proper measurement, and uses professional work tools for drilling and cutting, and use waterproof adhesive on the constructed joints. Doing and ensuring all of these are in place will help you create a perfect, professional, long-lasting, and rigid structure.

Materials needed:

  • 4 by 4 lumber- 4 pieces
  • 2 by 2 lumbar- 2 pieces
  • 3/4” plywood- 1 piece
  • 2 by 4 lumber- 6 pieces
  • 2 by 4 lumber- 2 pieces (for the rafters)
  • 2 by 6 lumber- 2 pieces
  • 3/4” plywood- one piece

Tools:

  • Jigsaw, miter saw
  • Safety gloves
  • Drill machines, drill bits
  • Carpentry pencil, tape measure, spirit level, chalk line

Procedures:

  1. Planning and designing a perfect frame will be your first step to actualizing this project. You will need to create pilot holes all through the component and then screw up 2 ½ inches 22 1/2 inches. Confirm that the entire corners are all in right-angles.
  2. The next phase is to attach the 4 by 4 legs directly to the frame and then screw it properly.
  3. Dig a hole about 20 inches deep and try to secure the feeder stand directly to the ground.
  4. Fix the 2 by 2 cleats on the interior part of the frame –this is carried out by drilling a pilot hole across the clits and then fastening it firmly to the frame using screws.
  5. Now you will have to fix a piece that has an approximate size of ¾ inches, and it is crucial to ensure the entire edge is well smoothened; this will make all part and joint –gap-free!
  6. Now you have to fix the rafters on the vertical support system that was created with drill holes and screws.
  7. Use ¾ inches plywood. Fix the sheets directly on the rafter and ensure all the edges are correctly aligned.
  8. Finally, you can choose to give the feeder a perfect and professional outfit and ensure the entire gaps and holes are filled with wood fillers. Afterward, allow it for a couple of hours to get dried.

b) Homemade Deer Feeder Trough

If you want to know all the steps involved when setting up a deer trough feeder, stick closely to the guide below.

Homemade Deer Feeder

Materials needed:

  • 30-gallon barrel made from plastic
  • 2 ½” screws
  • Iron sheet
  • Lumbar size of different pieces
  • Drill

Procedures:

  1. ​You will need to cut the barrel you intend using into half and ensure both halves are equal.
  2. Proceed by constructing a durable table/ base that will suit the table you intend using on the feeder. You will need to screw all different lumber pieces together.
  3. Afterward, you need to sit the trough on the table/base you have constructed, then try to make the necessary adjustment and make sure it sits properly.
  4. Create hole to get across the trough that is located on the table frame then insert 2 ½ inches screws on it; this will help keep the trough in place.
  5. Use some vertical support – you can use long lumber. The lumber will also add some support on the iron used to also help water from gaining access into the feeder.
  6. You can give the feeder a camo touch, though this is optional.
  7. Lastly, transfer feeder to the ideal location where you fill up the trough with enough corn, all set and ready for the deer to visit.

c) V-style Deer Feeder

This is also so one of A, B, C Deer feeder you can fix within a couple of minutes.

Material needed:

  • Electric drill
  • 2, 10 foot 4 by 4 lumber piece
  • 8 by 1½” wood screws
  • 2, 8 foot 2 by 4 board made from wood
  • Roofing nails
  • 2, 8 foot 2 by 12 lumbar board
  • A tin of roofing sheet
  • Wood file/ rasp
  • Grit sandpapers
  • 10 sinker nails

If you intend to come up with something durable and professional, then adherence to the steps below will go a long way.

Procedures

  1. First of all, you’ll need to fabricate a feeder in a trough-shaped.
  2. Cut out the board into three different foot piece; this piece will be used to make the sides of the trough. Now the other two-foot piece should be cut into two separate halves and assembled to create one-foot pieces. Afterward, ensure the board is secured using screws.
  3. Use the screws to fasten the trough directly on the post at about 32 inches above ground level with the aid of 10 penny nails.
  4. It is vital to make sure you level them properly.

d) Deer Feeder for Enclosed Pen

If you intend to create a feeder that can be used in a closed pen, you can go further with the instruction below.

Materials needed:

  • Electric drill
  • A lumber posts made from different sizes
  • 8 by 1½” wood screws
  • A plastic piece cut out from a barrel

Procedures:

  • Create out a base by fixing up four-post directly on the lumber board. Make enough holes across the lumbar pieces and use a screw to attach the poles. Ensure the board is lowered a bit to the ground.
  • Move the base straight to the pen and position it on top of four different stone, arrange it, and ensure it matches perfectly with the four corners.
  • Add up some lumber pieces on the top of the feeder; this will serve in place of the roof.
  • Afterward, use round plastic that was created and place it on the center of the baseboard, attaching it firmly with screws. The sole aim of the round plastic is to ensure the corn remains within the feeder.

Conclusion

Above is the list of significant plans for creating a feeder. The good news is the entire steps are quite easy to startup and can be done with less expensive materials, and above all, it takes less time.  The whole plan is categorized into three; these are; barrel/bucket, trough feeders, and PVC. And each of the methods mentioned above works perfectly if adequately planned and designed.

You can choose one from any of the above plans and stick to all the steps outlined to get something perfect.

FAQ

Q. 1: Where should I put my deer feeder?
A. Deer finds it most comfortable to feed during the dark hour, evening, or early in the morning. So it is crucial to know the right position where you intend to place the feeder, but this should be a place where it will stalk perfectly.
Q. 2: Do feeders spook deer?
A. No, deer don’t get spooked by feeder. Although most times, this can also depend on how the feeder is used. If you have a deer close to the feeder and eventually it goes off for no reason, then the feeder might be a bit scary.
Q. 3: Do feeders scare big bucks?
A. Emphatically yes! Using a spin feeder during summer can lead to this effect. Take the feeder downwards and empty it to the ground, two months before the season. Most bucks that are mature will avoid the feeder while its fixed on a pole, but when it on the ground, they quickly access it.
Q. 4: Does baiting deer make them nocturnal?
A. Baiting does not make deer go nocturnal. Deer go nocturnal when exposed to pressure. Using bait piles will only encourage more of nighttime feeding. A bait pile less than two gallons will only give more room for competition and cause the deer to visit a bit earlier.
Q. 5: When should deer feeders go off?
A. Do you want your feeder to go off once you’re in the stand? Or probably you want it before first light or after it becomes dark to allow enough time for it. Once the feeder is off at night, the deer feeds perfectly once it dark.

New
Highwild Deer Feeder Kit - Digital Timer - Metal Spin Plate - Easy Setup - All-in-ONE (3 Pack)
  • Ultra Portable ALL-IN-ONE Design.
  • Easily mounts to any barrel.
  • Durable ABS plastic housing, metal spin plate and funnel.
  • Digital timer programs up to 4 feed times per day, 0 to 20 seconds each.
  • Powered on 4 AA batteries (not included).
New
Highwild Deer Feeder Kit - Digital Timer - Metal Spin Plate - Easy Setup - All-in-ONE
  • Ultra Portable ALL-IN-ONE Design.
  • Easily mounts to any barrel.
  • Durable ABS plastic housing, metal spin plate and funnel.
  • Digital timer programs up to 4 feed times per day, 0 to 20 seconds each.
  • Powered on 4 AA batteries (not included).

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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