Deer Feeder: DIY or Budget Academy Model

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by KansasTrapper77, Jun 9, 2022.

  1. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    I would like to get a deer feeder set up this year to assist with a stand I enjoy sitting in but that can have some long shots.

    I've wanted to make a deer feeder for awhile and while checking out what my local Academy had for feed spreaders and battery boxes I've noticed that some of the budget 2 piece 30 gallon feeders would probably be cheaper than me making my own feeder. But are the worth it?

    My plan for a DIY feeder was to use a decent quality 30 gallon drum I have lying around and attach an "American Hunter SunSlinger Game Feeder Kit with Solar Charge" and come up with study legs with something I have lying around the farm.

    So the question basically is, are the budget <$150 feeder worth it or better to build my own redneck engineered one?
     
  2. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Honestly I don't think the deer will notice the difference, as long as it works. Do get a varmint guard to cover the spinner plate, or the coons will manage to figure out how to get the corn out in short order.

    The one thing I'd try to avoid is plastic, if at all possible. The squirrels are hell on plastic feeders, worse than the coons I've seen.

    IF it's commercial plastic, VS homemade steel, I'd do steel.
     
  3. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    Do yourself a favor and build your own even if it cost more and it will last a lifetime. 30 gallon steel drum will work but I prefer 55 gallon drums so the entire feed mech is underneath to help protect it from sun and rain. I also don't have to go fill it as often. Put a funnel in it so all corn is used. Use some heavy wall pipe for the legs. We use drill pipe. Corn is heavy and the hogs are brutal in my part of the world. We ended up having to stake our legs into the ground because of the hogs. They will kick a leg out from under one to get to the corn. 12 volt system with a solar panel. I also take 1 inch sq cage material and build a cage that fits around the whole bottom of the barrel. This keeps the coons and squirrels from emptying your feeder in short order and they will. If the little turds can reach the spinner they will. I have had to replace timers, solar panels and batteries but that's it in a little over 30 years. Have fun...
     
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  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    We're using self service feeder heads (from Academy) on 55 gallon drums. The electronic feed spreaders always seemed to fail at the worst possible time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
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  5. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    Well the 30 Gallon drum I have is plastic but it was a chemical container so it’s higher quality plastic. And luckily we don’t have hogs yet on the farm. We did have one, a single hog that did an amazing about of damage by himself but he seems to have moved on.

    I was kinda thinking of mounting the feeder on steel legs of some kind to one of the plastic and steel pallets that chemical comes on sometimes. That way I could pick it up and move it with the skid loader if I wanted to.
     
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  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have been pretty impressed with this timer feeder.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYIPLC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Only requires 4 AA batteries, lasts longer than any 6 or 12v non solar I have owned by a good bit. I am not kidding, 4 AA’s (lithium) last more than a year feeding twice a day.

    It was recommended by a friend when I told him I needed a light easy to move feeder. It’s bolted to the bottom of a 7 gallon metal bucket, a cable allows it to be looped over a tree branch, like this.

    C3DE1E0E-9622-4618-BC7D-940EF9313579.jpeg

    Or just tied to the side of something like this on demand deer protein feeder.

    F1EEAA75-B4E4-4683-8F90-BD6A9103568D.jpeg

    Of course it depends on how much you feed but at the rate that is successful for me, I can go 2 weeks without stopping by before running out or corn.
     
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  7. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    Jmorris, I saw that one on Midway and thought there is no way in hell that thing will last, but interesting. A year at twice a day? I probably wouldn’t feed more than once a day. I’m trying to make the corn last. I don’t want to be driving out to it all the time to top it off.
     
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  8. hnusz

    hnusz Member

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    South central ks
    Buddy of mine makes these . Kinda expensive but he makes lots of them.
    Kansas prairie deer feeder he's on just about every form social media. Have no stake in his company just know him from work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Personally, I wouldn’t have bought one without the recommendation by my friend. It does work though. Small sample size but I know two people that are happy with them.

    It’s not a “bucket full of corn” stand though, keep that in mind when refilling.

    One that made the most of every pound, was the Kenco “straight shooter”.

    3C365F83-A607-4A33-81B7-B1240DAEAD56.jpeg

    They used two 6 volt lantern batteries but have ver good life. The timer circuit was also ingenious, in its simplicity.

    It had a single button, that’s it. A photocell detected light at dawn and it’s absence hours later at dusk. When you powered it up you pressed the button for how long you wanted it to feed at those two times.
     
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  10. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    If there are bears in your area, forget a tripod feeder. Get a bucket-type and suspend it between 2 trees on a cable otherwise you'll just be creating headaches for yourself.
     
  11. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    Sadly no bears.
     
  12. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    South Western, OK
    i prefer hanging feeders: Fewer problems with raccoons. This is a 15 gallon garbage can with a Moultrie feeder unit attached:


    EnSLGYql.jpg
     
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  13. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I have two cheap feeders that have lasted 10 years or more. Chuck R is right about about the squirrels being rough on plastic, but the bears are worst. I have had the lid ripped off of one feeder by bears and a squirrel chewed a hole in the top of the other one. I had to bolt plywood on both of the existing lids. Squirrels and coons will climb the legs and swing on the spinner if you don't have a wire guard. To be honest, you get what you pay for.
     
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  14. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Only feeder i can recommend is Outback Feeders. But HOLY MOLEY are they expensive! Bought land with an older 1000 lb model on it. Motor was dead. They sent me a new one for free ($650 value), even knowing i personally did not buy the feeder. I feed only after first frost through late spring. I set it off 4 times a day for 30 seconds per cycle. I go through about 500 pounds a month.

    I have one of the small plastic hopper style feeders too that the coons quickly found out how to open. A few screws solve that. We dont have but a few squirrels on my 80 acres because there are no nut bearing trees. Im right on the edge of the eastern "forests" and western grasslands in n.e. KS

    Personally i would do homemade. Sounds like a fun project. If you do put it on legs, you really need to protect any wiring with a METAL sheath. I jerry rigged the new motor on mine just to get it going, and them darned coons chewed the wires to shreds. Or a pack rat maybe. Regardless, protect that wiring.
     
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