Best Deer Feeders: Must Buy in 2020

Best Deer feeders

Looking for the perfect deer feeder? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

There are many types of feeders available on the market that ensure a higher success rate for hunters each time. And I can tell you from experience that picking the right one for your needs isn’t easy. 

The kind of feeder that you buy should comply with factors such as weather, deer population, local regulations, etc. But regardless of where you’re from, there are feeders just right for you.

Hi, I’m Andy, and I have been in the hunting game for a good while now. And because of that, I have had the chance to check out many deer feeders out there, good and bad. 

But today, I bring you some of my personal favorites, combine any of these with our best deer attractant choice and you will have a great combination that will ensure you have a great hunt.

Top Gravity Feeders

1. Moultrie Feed Station

Sale
Moultrie Feed Station | Gravity Feeder | UV-Resistant...
  • Gravity-driven trough design
  • Durable, UV-resistant plastic construction
  • 40 lb. Capacity

It is an established fact among hunters that some of the best deer feeders are the ones that don’t involve too many electronics or moving parts. Going by this principle, Moultrie brings this very basic feed station that doubles up on efficiency using nothing but pure gravity.

It provides all the ease of use with a great result at a highly cost-efficient price tag.

My Experience

One of the essential things that I learned from my hunting sprees over the years is to keep it as simple with the lures as you can. Deer are, for the most part, intuitive creatures who can sense highly mechanical gears and sensors in their surroundings.

And this is precisely where this particular feeder scores higher than most electronic feeders.

The first time I used it, I noticed that it maintains a very simplistic approach owing to its uncomplicated design.

It has a basic trough design that lets the food collect at the feeding base freely. There is no high-tech mechanism involved to regulate the passage of deer food in this unit. It is an entirely gravity-driven layout.

The other thing that I really like about this feeder is that it holds securely when strapped on to the tree, unlike many simple feeders that slip off after a while. Feeders can also slip due to the feeding action of deer.

But, with this Moultrie Feed Station, you don’t have to worry about food going to waste in any way.

I like to prepare the feed by mixing a handful of corn and berries. The problem with this is that grains and bigger berries often get stuck in mechanized feeders. This can break the mechanism and render the unit useless.

However, the Moultrie gets this right. Since it doesn’t include any restrictive or regulative mechanisms, nothing gets stuck. This way, all the food is dispensed over time.

What Could Have Been Better? 

The only issue I had with this feeder is regarding its construction. Although the brand claims to use durable, UV-protective plastic, it comes across as weak and flimsy.

The lid of the feeder is often easily accessed by raccoons and squirrels that eat up the food. It is also doubtful as to whether it can handle sudden impactt.

Pros

  • Simple, gravity-driven layout provides great ease of use
  • Doesn’t require batteries or any sort of setting up
  • Straps onto trees and stays put for a long time
  • Non-restrictive trough design allows free passage of food
  • Can be mounted on a post

Cons

  • Plastic body seems weak and flimsy
  • Small animals could access the food storage unit

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2. REDNECK Outdoors T-Post Gravity Feeders

Redneck has made some really functional designs for its feeders for a substantial period of time. One of the things the brand guarantees is high durability and foolproof resistance against weather onslaughts.

Their T-Post Gravity Feeder is a functional, gravity-driven feeder that works efficiently as a lure to attract game.

My Experience

I bought the T-Post Gravity Feeder a good while back when I was on a hunting tour with a few friends in North Central Texas. Among many baits and lures, this was definitely one of the things that I hoped would get us some good game.

As I mentioned, I’m all for uncomplicated feeder designs. This is one of the primary reasons I bought this one.

This mountable feeder can easily go on a post or tree. That is possible due to its concave back and grooves that help you mount the unit onto a tree easily. Moreover, the feeder blends well with the surroundings and appears more natural to the deer.

One of the most significant benefits of this feeder is that it can hold almost 50 lbs of feed. This lasts for a good few weeks. Simply remove the unit cover to quick-fill it.

The 4×5” feeding mouth of the unit makes it easy for deer to eat from it.

As I pointed out before, one of the biggest pros of this product is the durability of the overall unit. It is constructed using all-weather polyethylene, which helps it endure against the onslaughts of fluctuating weather. This feeder holds even in storms and cyclonic weather without losing its structure in any way.

The non-restrictive design of the feeder allows free passage of feed. It requires no assembly or batteries to dispense and is overall a pretty cost-effective method to attract deer.

What Could Have Been Better?

While there are a lot of positives to this feeder’s design, the flaw that stands out is the absence of a proper lid or cover to the hopper and the muzzle. Small animals such as squirrels and raccoons can easily eat from the muzzle. I have also noticed some of them get on the hopper to steal grains. 

Pros

  • Uncomplicated layout and design
  • Holds a substantial amount of grain
  • Easy to mount on a post or strap onto a tree
  • Extremely durable, weather-proof polyethylene construction
  • Cost-effective

Cons 

  • Squirrels and raccoons can easily eat out of the muzzle 

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3. Banks Outdoors Feed Bank Gravity Feeder

Banks Outdoors Feed Bank Gravity Feeder, 300 lb....
  • NEW 300 lbs design; Coon proof. Corn or Protein
  • Mounts on one 8-foot 4×4 (not included) set 3-feet into the...
  • Single post won't interfere with or damage antler growth.

The Feed Bank Gravity Feed from the brand Banks Outdoors is, in all aspects, a “mega” feeder. It is an enormous feeding unit with a four-way dispensing aperture. It is also entirely gravity-driven and does not hold back any food.

My Experience

I first came across this feeder while hunting with my troop in Post Oak Savannah. This feeder set up by the organizers of the hunting event itself. The entire thing was supposed to last for two weeks straight, with the hunters camping on-site.

The deer started to emerge and feed from it by the middle of the first week and got used to it in no time. This yielded some pretty good game for us over the last week.

It can hold around 300 lbs in feed capacity, which is a heck of a lot to last you for the better part of the month. 

One of the things that I really like about this feeder is that it has a partial coverage on each of its four feeding muzzles. This helps create a barrier for raccoons or squirrels. However, it in no way makes it problematic for deer to feed out of it.

The four feeding ports on the unit can actually be adjusted to control the amount of food dispensed from them. This prevents wastage and makes the food quantity last longer compared to other feeders.

It goes without saying that this unit is significantly durable and resistant against weather onslaughts. The UV-stabilized polyethylene material makes it an enduring structure that holds up even under the toughest of situations.

And on top of that, the sealed overlapping waterproof door of the feeder protects food from rain and storm, keeping it fresh always.

What Could Have Been Better?

Although there isn’t much to criticize about this feeder, the one thing that may be an issue to some is its top-heavy structure. It could be difficult to mount it on the post, which could naturally be a hassle for some. 

Pros

  • Extremely durable construction
  • Holds up against severe weather situations and under immense pressure
  • Four-way feeding ports can be adjusted to dispense the required amount of feed
  • Waterproof overlapping feeder door keeps food fresh
  • Stores around 300 lbs of food

Cons

  • Quite a top-heavy unit

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Top Tripod Feeders 

4. American Hunter Digital Tripod Feeder

American Hunter Tripod Feeder Digital 225 lb. Capacity...
  • Made with heavy duty materials
  • The most innovative Game feeder on the market
  • Feeders and accessories will improve the interest of Wild...

American Hunter is a brand that has always delivered nothing short of quality when it comes to hunting gear. It believes in a versatile approach to ensure a satisfactory experience for all its users.

Their digital tripod feeder is specially designed to ensure a precision target on your prey as it is lured by the feeding unit.

My Experience 

When I was initially learning hunting techniques, I had some serious doubts about digital tripod feeders. I was never really into gadgets and techy stuff when it came to hunting. I preferred the old-school feeder designs, and all of these digital feeders looked like too much work.

However, I was introduced to the American Hunter digital tripod feeder by one of my fellow hunters. And I must admit that it changed my hunting game for good.

This digital feeder comes with a timer that dispenses the food from the barrel at set intervals. You can set the times for dispensing food, and it will help you map the feeding patterns of your prey.

The tripod stands up smoothly and is strong enough to sustain its capacity of about 200 lbs in food along with the weight of the barrel.

The timer is not too difficult to use as long as you stick by the rules provided in the user manual.

I must say, I quite like the enclosure design of this feeder. It has a substantial seal on the outlet and inlet to prevent spillage. It also keeps raccoons and squirrels from stealing from it.

But, the overall thing that it helped me with is observing the feeding times and patterns of the game. The timer definitely makes all the difference by taking the guesswork out of the situation. And that means precise targets and hits 8 out of 10 ten times, at least! 

What Could Have Been Better?

The construction could definitely be better. The parts seem to be a bit shaky, and the materials feel cheap and flimsy.

The joints on the structure are not all that durable, and they can give way under pressure after a while. Moreover, it is a pretty expensive unit.

Pros

  • Allows easy tracking and mapping of feeding patterns
  • Sealable outlet covers protect feed from spillage, varmints, and weather
  • Timings for dispensing food can be easily preset
  • Holds about 200 lbs of food

Cons

  • Materials feel cheap and flimsy
  • Quite expensive 

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5. Moultrie Tripod Feeders

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Moultrie Deer Feeder Elite
  • Digital timer programs up to 6 feed times per day, 1 to 20...
  • Durable, green plastic Quick-Lock hopper with a fill height...
  • Metal spin plate and funnel, plastic housing; built-in...

Moultrie is a reliable brand when it comes to hunting gear and has made a name for itself in the department of quality feeders.

The brand believes in keeping it simple for their feeder designs. That just might be the reason behind the user-friendly approach to their digital tripod feeder. It features a foolproof design that allows you to precisely track your prey’s feeding times and patterns for a successful hit.

My Experience 

This was one of the digital tripods that I bought because of all the positive reviews, back when I first started testing out digital feeders for myself.

I’m not gonna lie, this feeder really cost me substantially. However, I have had a good experience using it.

It has a nice and simple mechanism where you put the food in the “bucket” or the feeder unit, set the timer on the digital control board, and let the device do its business.

It will scatter the food periodically at set intervals according to how you have programmed it. This gives you a clear picture of when you can expect the deer to emerge.

It helps you map the feeding patterns of the animals as they progressively get used to the set-up and tune your hunting skills according to the timing.

One of the things that I really like about this feeder is that unlike most other digital ones, it actually scatters the food far and wide. The benefit of this is that it covers more area, attracting a greater number of deer. This allows the animals to feed comfortably and get used to the unit faster, helping you observe their behaviors better.

In terms of durability, the unit fares a tad bit better than the gravity-driven feeders from this brand. It can sustain the expected amount of pressure during climatic fluctuations. That’s a strong pro for any feeder.

What Could Have Been Better?

One of the things that I wish this feeder had was a bit more space. It does not have too much capacity, holding about 100 lbs or so of food.

The other thing that I should mention is that the LCD display and the functions on the control board have malfunctioned quite a few times for me. 

Pros

  • Well-built, durable feeder construction
  • Maintains a user-friendly format and approach.
  • Helps you map your targets’ feeding times and patterns
  • Scatters the seeds far and wide, luring more animals in
  • Protects food from spillage or varmint attack

Cons

  • Pretty expensive
  • Holds less food
  • Controls can malfunction

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Best Hanging Feeder

6. Wildgame Innovations Pail Feeder

Wildgame Innovations Pail Feeder, Real Tree Camo Steel,...
  • Dawn and dusk available feed times
  • Galvanized steel spinner plate
  • 6v battery operation(not included)

The Pail Feeder from the brand of Wild Innovations is one of the top-selling feeders right now. This one is a “spinner-plate” feeder that operates on a 6v battery to dispense food. It is a highly cost-efficient model that will provide you with plenty value for your money.

My Experience  

I have been using this particular feeder for a long time now, along with another spinning model from Moultrie, which I’ll review for you right after this one.

This is one of the first spinner feeders that I ever tried out for myself.

I like the easy-going and uncomplicated mechanism of the entire thing. It is literally an upturned, spinning pail that scatters food, and there’s no rocket science involved in the techniques.

The feeder uses a galvanized spinner plate to scatter food for the game. Galvanized steel is an extremely durable and formidable material that endures the toughest onslaughts of fluctuating weather conditions. This ensures substantial product longevity, lasting you for a significant period of time.

With that said, I should also mention that it is a pretty lightweight and compact unit that can be easily hung without much hassle or effort.

This feeder spins sharply, scattering feed far and wide to lure more deer. Its subtle camouflage pattern keeps it natural for the animals so that they are comfortable around it.

The unit holds around 50 lbs of food, which is not bad for its size. And the lid of the dispenser ensures complete safety against rain and thieving varmints.

Personally, the price that this one came at was an absolute steal. It’s an update from gravity-driven feeders with not much cash spent.

What Could Have Been Better?

This is an economical feeder with no restrictive mechanisms. This is why the unit empties in two days. Also, the handle needs an anchor point for the rope, which could be pretty challenging to set up.

Lastly, this feeder basket does rust, which can cause it to break apart after a while.

Pros

  • Uses an efficient galvanized steel plate to scatter feed
  • Holds about 50 lbs of food
  • Simple, user-friendly mechanism runs on 6v battery
  • Camouflage pattern keep it natural for the animals
  • Spreads food far and wide, covering more area
  • Economical and affordable
  • Protects food from varmints and weather

Cons

  • Empties within a couple of days
  • Feeder basket is not rust-proof
  • Requires an anchor point for the rope

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7. Moultrie Pro Magnum Hanging Deer Feeder 

Moultrie Pro Magnum Hanging Deer Feeder |30-Gallon |...
  • Digital timer programs up to 6 feed times a day, 1 to 20...
  • All-metal housing, barrel, spin plate, and varmint guard
  • Built-in feed-level estimator, battery indicator, external...

This one right here is my other favorite in the feeder department, and something that I still use. The Pro Magnum from Moultrie is a digital, yet spinning feeder that comes with a timer and can be preset to dispense food six times a day.  

It is a highly successful feeding setup that gives you the best of both worlds—a spinning model and a digital unit.

My Experience

The Moultrie Pro Magnum is a recent purchase for me, but I’ve tested it enough to know that it is a beast of a feeder.

It is really nothing like the safe, innocent-looking, simple feeder models from Moultrie. Rather, it is a high-performing model that comes with the required controls.

Since it is a hanger model, it is easy to put up. It consists of a durable all-metal housing, barrel, and spin-plate. You can program the timer to dispense up to six times with a range of 1 to 20 seconds each. The metal spinning plate ensures that the food is scattered far and wide and has raised edges to protect the feed from the wind.

This unit also features an integrated feed level estimator that controls the amount of food that is dispensed. This prevents any loss of food by spillage and also protects it from inclement weather. Additionally, the unit comes with a varmint guard that keeps the content from being nicked by squirrels and raccoons.

However, that one thing that I really like about this feeder is that it comes with external power-ports and solar panel connectors. These enable you to fix the unit up with solar panels (sold separately) if you don’t want to use batteries to run it. But if that isn’t your cup of tea, the dual battery compartment should definitely come in handy if you want extended battery life.

Overall, this feeder is absolutely genius and does a great job of what it’s supposed to do.

What Could Have Been Better?

Well, to address the obvious, this feeder is pretty expensive. It did almost break the bank for me, and the only assurance I had was the lifetime warranty that came with it.

But, even with that, I believe that the cost is pretty high. There are decent alternatives at affordable prices out there that can do the job just fine, for that matter. 

Pros

  • Dispenses food at set intervals six times a day
  • Brings you the best of spinning plate and digital models
  • Holds 30 gallons of feed
  • Comes with external ports and connectors for solar panels
  • Integrated feed estimator manages the amount of food dispensed
  • Dual battery slots extend the field life of the product

Cons

  • Pretty expensive

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8. One And Done Game Feeder 

One and Done Game Feeder - Loads 130lbs, 250 lbs, 500...
  • No assembly or tools necessary, can be setup anywhere by...
  • Multi-patented directional feeder allows for the most...
  • 55-gallon drum holds up to 250 lbs. 1 cup of feed covers the...

The last one on my list is this digital feeder from One and Done. This is also a mega-feeder that holds about 250 lbs in food quantity. It is basically a 55-gallon drum, which is generally used in areas that see substantial game herd traffic.

My Experience 

The reason I put this on the list of best overall feeders is that it covers area dimensions like no other, scattering food very far and wide. With this feeder, you can expect a single cup of feed to cover a wider field range than other feeders. 

This significantly helps in two vital ways. Firstly, it saves time and effort to a great extent, and secondly, it lures more game to the spot.

This feeder is, by far, one of the most user-friendly ones out there right now. It has an uncomplicated barrel-design that features a Smart Program TM digital timer. This allows you to preset a schedule lasting up to six feeding times a day.

It also allows you to customize the feed dispensing time between a range of 1-99 seconds. Another great feature of this unit is that it can run on as little as a single 12-volt battery, or up to the huge capacity of a car battery.

While I was observing the precision of the feeder, I noticed that the unit maintains high accuracy in its throws, as well as in calculating how long the food source will last.

One of the things that really impressed me about the feeder is its build. You can bet that the GMWA welding will hold up against ravaging climatic situations. And, more interestingly, it does not have any plastic pieces that could possibly be chewed on by squirrels or raccoons.

What Could Have Been Better?

Even after all of these great features, if there’s one thing that irks me about this feeder, it’s the sealability of its inlet. The top gasket of the unit needs to be placed correctly every time you open the lid. Otherwise, it leaves a gap through which water can enter, destroying the feed.

Pros

  • User-friendly design
  • Does not require assembly
  • Has excellent coverage, scattering over great distances
  • Timed settings dispense feed six times a day
  • Allows you to map the feeding patterns of the animals
  • Durably built to sustain immense climatic pressure

Cons

  • Top gasket could leave a gap if the lid isn’t placed correctly.

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Deer Feeder

Deer feeder

Given all the types and styles of deer feeders out there, it can be pretty difficult to find the ideal one for your needs. Price is also a major determining factor.

So, here are the main things that you should consider before purchasing a deer feeder.

Capacity

The amount of feed required generally depends on the area that has the feed station. If it is well-populated with game, then you will need to get something that can hold a substantial amount.

Material

Deer feeders spend days and weeks out in the harshest of weather situations. The materials and build quality of deer feeders are probably the most important things to consider while buying one.

Materials such as tough polyethylene can sustain a fair amount of wear and tear without falling apart. Metals are, undeniably, the best choice, but they may rust.

However, the type of material will also depend on your budget.

Types

The most common types of deer feeders generally include gravity-driven, timer, or spinning-plate (automatic) feeders. While gravity feeders are the cheapest and simplest ones, digital feeders can cost you more than $100.

But, the advantage to automatic and timed feeders is that they save a lot of time and effort by scattering the feed to great distances. This also attracts more deer, allowing you to observe their feeding times and habits.

Installation and Use

No matter what type of feeder you get, make sure that they are easy to install. These are supposed to make your feeding job easy and not require you put a lot of effort into assembling them.

Many feeder types, such as digital ones, will require you to get certain parts from elsewhere, such as batteries or solar panels. This can be time-consuming and costly.

Also, whatever you get should be easy to run. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of getting it in the first place.

Weather and Varmint-Proofing 

Apart from deer, feeders also attract varmints such as squirrels and raccoons. You also need to consider onslaughts of bad weather. Thus, it is essential to make sure the feeder that you choose comes with protective guards for such factors. Otherwise, it can lead to substantial loss and damages.

FAQs

How high off the ground should a deer feeder be?

Ideally, the feeder should be at least 72 inches off the ground. This will prevent any bucks from getting their antlers caught up or hit in any way. The sides of the trough should be about 24 inches off the ground for allowing fawns to feed from the dispenser.

How many deer feeders do I need? 

The best way for you to determine this is to assess the herd size. I recommend one feeding station for every 25 deer. There should be at least one feeder unit for every 400 acres. Studies have also shown that the more feeders you can make available, the more deer will be lured to the supplemental feed.

What are the best times to set a deer feeder?

The best times to set a deer feeder are just before sunset, around 5:00-5:15 pm. or so. These are the prime times when you can expect herds to turn up in search for food.

How do I attract deer to my feeder?

To successfully attract deer to your feeder, you will have to know exactly how to mix the food. Whole corn kernels are greatly enjoyed by deer and can attract the animals in no time. Scatter a bag of feed around the feeder to let more of the food scent reach the deer.

Conclusion

I hope you liked what you read and that I was able to provide you with all the insights into deer feeders that you need to find one that works for you. Thanks for giving it a read!

Till next time!

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