Moultrie Feeder

To paraphrase country music legends Alabama: If you’re gonna hunt in Texas, you’ve got to have a feeder on your land. Of course, that axiom applies to many other states, too. No matter where you hunt, as long as the law allows supplemental feeding, it’s hard to imagine a situation where a quality feeder wouldn’t enhance the property. But how many feeders do you need for the acreage you’re working with? And what kind of feeder should you use? We’re glad you asked.

FEEDERS PER ACRE

I like to have a minimum of one feeder per 20 acres of cover. That’s because the majority of places I hunt are fairly limited in size. On a common 40-acre parcel in the Midwest and Northeast, there are typically about 30 acres of cover and 10 acres of “something else.” That might be food plots, ag fields or open ground. In that scenario, I’d employ two feeders.

For larger parcels, like those found throughout the Southeast and Great Plains, you can get away with fewer feeders per acre if you create food plots and/or have more significant agriculture to provide food. But having feeders is still important because they help focus deer movement in areas you choose, and you can utilize a feeder in an area of thick cover that mature bucks love to hang out in.

Moultrie Gravity Feeder

FEEDER OPTIONS
The type of feeder you use should be determined almost exclusively by the type of access you have to the site. While 55-gallon, tower-style feeders like the Moultrie Pro Hunter Tripod or Pro Magnum Metal Tripod will cost you a bit more up front, you’ll have to fill them less often, thus reducing the amount of intrusion at feeder location.

Of course, hauling 55 gallons of corn or pellet feed isn’t something you can do easily without a vehicle of some sort. In areas where vehicle access is limited, opting for a smaller model with a programmable timer and battery powered spreader, like the 6.5-Gallon Directional Hanging Deer Feeder or the 5-Gallon Standard Deer Feeder, could be the way to go. These are ideal for positioning in thick cover near stand locations.

And if you want to go super low-profile, the Feed Station Pro requires no battery power, holds 80 pounds of feed, and is easy to hide in a variety of locations.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

With a plan in place for the number of feeders you need and the types of feeders you’ll use, the fun part comes next — getting them up and running. And now is the time to do it. Deer will find the feeder in a hurry — especially if you add a little sweet-smelling attractant to the corn. But bear in mind that it will take them a little time to get totally comfortable with visiting the feeder in daylight hours. Setting feeders in the summer months gives deer plenty of time to not only find the feed, but to also become acclimated to the new food source well before hunting season kicks off. —Tony Hansen

About the Author: Tony Hansen manages for and hunts mature whitetails in his home state of Michigan, where sweating the details is the only way to succeed. When not hunting his own properties, he can be found pursuing deer on public land throughout the whitetail's range. Tony's writings have appeared in Outdoor Life, Traditional Bowhunter, North American Whitetail, and Bowhunter.