How Much Feed to Give Your Deer and What Deer Feeder to UsePosted by on 02/26/2016 to Whitetail Deer Management
The amount of feed you put out at one time is dependent upon several variables, the main one being your objectives for feeding. The number of deer using your feed site can also have a huge impact on how much feed you will go through in a given time period. If you want to ensure that nutrition is not a limiting factor for your deer, use a free choice gravity feeder such as the one pictured here.
This feeder has around 20-25 deer using it regularly and there are 8 ports so multiple deer can access the feed at one time. If more than 30 deer are using a feed site, consider increasing the number of feeders so that fewer deer use each one. Too many deer using a feed site can cause stress when they fight over feed. This feeder holds 2,000 lbs of feed and depending on the time of year, will last around 3 months before it needs to be refilled.
If you want to maximize longevity of your feed, spin feeders such as this one are a great option.
to drop feed at intervals of your choosing. When I use spin feeders, I like to drop feed for 15 seconds and track the normal activity patterns of deer by dropping feed in the morning and evening. I try and have it fall about 30 minutes after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset which promotes daytime movement. Even if it’s not hunting season and I’m just supplementing their nutrition I still want to encourage daytime movement.
Big feeders are by no means mandatory. This Outpost Feeder can be easily concealed among a tree’s branches and you can raise/lower using rope. It holds about 20 lbs of feed and if you spread a few of these around your property you can prevent deer from concentrating around a single food source.
Putting feed on the ground will help bring in those wary bucks that for whatever reason will not approach a feeder. If you feed on the ground, however, you have to deal with non-target species like squirrels and raccoons having easy access to your feed. Also be mindful of the moisture at ground level. Our Supplement Gold has a mold inhibitor, but any grain products have the potential to mold if conditions are right. Start by putting out 20 lbs and see how long it lasts. Increase or decrease the amount you put out so that it doesn’t sit on the ground for more than a week.
Having a trail camera at every feed site is a great way to track feed usage as well as keep a running inventory of bucks in your area. This time of year is a great time to pick up bucks from neighboring properties that have exhausted their feed resources and are looking for new options. If you have an active feed site, established deer trails help lead new deer directly to your property. It never ceases to amaze me how a new buck comes into a feed site for the first time and behaves like he has been there many times prior.