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Texas Sportsmen's Junction - Deer Hunting Basics - Feeder Basics

    In Texas, it's legal to feed the deer to get them where you want them. Some folks might see this as unsportsmanlike, (probably people from states where feeding is not allowed).  Feeding benefits the deer more than the hunter.  All of the deer will get the benefit of the supplemental grain in their diet, not just the one I'll bag and take home.

    If you are maintaining a lease from year to year, supplemental feeding helps insure  productive hunting and a healthier population.  Many people feed year round, as the game ranches do. At the very latest you should start feeding on your lease by September 1.  Another common mistake is to stop feeding at the end of deer season, when times are tough for the deer. Continue feeding through March, to give the animals the best chance at having a healthy wintering. 

    Feeders come in all flavors.  You  can buy a kit for about a hundred bucks on the low end.  You   provide the barrel, the labor, etc.   A decent mid range feeder runs about two hundred dollars.

    If you buy a battery, get a motorcycle battery, works just as well and half the price. A  freshly charged battery will usually last all season, but not all year. Taking along a battery charger is a good idea. 

    Where to place the feeder?  Just off an established game trail is a good spot. If wild pigs are on your lease try not to put it on a pig trail.  Look for a clearing with nearby brush or cover so the deer feel safe while feeding.  Locate the spot with an eye towards locating a deer blind or tree stand in the area. The feeder should be east or west of where the blind will be. In Texas (generally) the prevailing winds are north/south, so theoretically if you are east/west of the feeder your human stink won't be carried to the deer.  Don't place the feeder near a fence line, too much chance a wounded animal will cross the fence and disappear.

    If  there are cattle on your lease, you will need to fence the area around your feeder to keep them out. Be sure and ask the lease owners permission. After you've set up the feeder, drive fence posts ( buy the drive in with a hammer kind at the feed store or lumberyard )  every 6 feet and string 4 strands of barbed wire around the perimeter. Tie to the fence posts with wire. Remember, this has to keep out 1200 lb. cattle so string it tight. Leave enough room inside the perimeter so the deer can get in and out easily.

    If there are wild pigs on your lease you will need to put "pig panels" around your feeder,  get  them at  the local  farm  and  ranch  supply. 

    Putting a salt and mineral block in your feeding area is a good idea. The blocks are very reasonably priced and last a long time. Minerals build strong bones, teeth, and ( very important ) antlers.  

        How often do I  feed ?  Twice daily works for me. About 15 minutes after sunrise each morning  and about one hour before sunset each evening.  You can set up your feeder to spray corn eight times a day if you like. But my way you can go two - three weeks between runs to fill the feeder. A typical feeder holds about five (fifty pound) bags of deer corn.  

    Like to add something to this article? Thoughts of your own about this subject?  Think  I'm  full of  it?  Send  comments  and  contributions  to: basics@texas-hunt-fish-camp.com    

For more info. on managing the game on your lease or property see CHAMA    

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