Best Automatic Feeders for Deer

The use of automatic feeders for deer has grown more popular to deer managers and deer hunters in recent years. Gone are the days when it is a struggle to provide consistent deer feeding throughout the winter months. Similarly, gone are the days when hunting would seem like a very difficult endeavor. When seasons of cold or when native vegetation is scarce, feeders guarantee that a deer does not migrate to someone else’s property or food plot. With deer feeders, advanced deer managers get to ensure that every deer gets their share of supplemental feed and that supplemental feed is delivered when needed. In the hands of an experienced deer hunter, automatic feeders for deer promise high chances of a better hunt. Once the deer hunter is at the hunting ground, he can just set the automatic feeders for deer up, understand his prey’s behavior, and focus on not missing the deer of his hunting dreams. 

automatic feeders for deer

Knowing which first deer feeder to purchase can be a tedious task, especially if you want to make sure that your investment is going to give you the best results. So, to simplify things here is a rundown of the automatic feeders for deer available in the market: 

  • Moultrie All-in-One Hanging Deer Feeder with Adjustable Timer;
  • Moultrie Pro Magnum All Metal Housing Deer Feeder Kit;
  • Moultrie Pro Magnum 30-Gallon Hanging Deer Feeder;
  • Moultrie 5 Gallon All in One Deer Feeder with Timer;
  • Moultrie Pro Hunter Metal Feeder Kit – ABS Plastic Housing;
  • Moultrie 15-Gallon Directional Feeder; and
  • Moultrie Tripod Elite Feeder.

Sure, there are other quality feeders out there, but everything you could want in a feeder, you can get with any of the Moultrie feeders. Moultrie, as the leading brand of deer feeders, recognizes that feeding the deer on your land and hunting ground is essential in today’s game manager. From tripod feeders to hanging feeders, Moultrie has it covered. The Moultrie feeders are well-made and durable that can be mounted just about anywhere. Additionally, the feeders are designed to feed on demand or according to a set of schedules. Since it is understood that game managers vary in needs, Moultrie provides a wide variety of simple, smart, and easy-to-use automatic feeders for deer.

Moultrie All-in-One Hanging Deer Feeder with Adjustable Timer

Moultrie is certainly the leading name in the field of breeders. One of its products to ever make it to the market is the All-in-One Hanging Deer Feeder with Adjustable Timer. It is basically a pack of 2 feeders in one where each feeder can store as much as 5 gallons. With it tapered-shaped buckets, no food is lost during consumption. Its other key features include a digitally smart timer, metal spin plate, and zero assembly.

Moultrie Pro Magnum All Metal Housing Deer Feeder Kit

Like the previous feeder, this model is also technologically advanced. As a matter of fact, it comes with a large LCD screen for hassle-free and effortless programming and a built-in battery indicator and feed level estimator. The innovative diamond shaped-spinner plate is user-friendly while the varmint guard makes sure that all your feed is well-used to six feeding times. 

Moultrie Pro Magnum 30-Gallon Hanging Deer Feeder

Moultrie Pro Magnum 30-Gallon Hanging Deer Feeder is equipped with a digital timer program and can feed up to six times a day. The barrel, funnel, and spinner plate is made of metal. The spinner plate also has raised edges that prevent the action of wind. This model is designed to have a built-in feed level estimator and two battery compartments for more service time. When it comes to warranty, this feeder comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure you a peace of mind.

Moultrie 5 Gallon All in One Deer Feeder with Timer

The reason why this deer feeder is a standout for most deer managers is that it is an all-in-one feeder that has a significant amount of capacity. It comes with an assembled feeder, bucket, deer feeder batteries, funnel, and programmable digital timer. Its carry handle allows you to set it up easily as well as move it around whenever you need it. The key features of this feeder are the attached solar panel, 4 different feeding times, and an impressive 5-gallon capacity.

Moultrie Pro Hunter Metal Feeder Kit – ABS Plastic Housing

This deer feeder kit provides you the comfort to set it up in any outdoor area. It is equipped with innovative technology that is designed to help you with a much easier deer feeding process. The digital timer program lets you feed six times in a day while the duration of its feeding session can be customized accordingly.

Additional features include:

  • quick lock design
  • external power cord
  • battery indicator
  • wind-proofed metal spin plate and funnel
  • food level features estimator
  • varmint protector

Moultrie 15-Gallon Directional Feeder

Moultrie 15-Gallon Directional Feeder comes with ratchet straps to mount the unit to a tree as well as a bracket to attach the unit to a t-post. It can discharge feed in a narrow 30-degree path, which allows you to place the feed exactly where you want it to be. Its other notable features are 15-gallon hopper, 6 volts battery, and directional feed pattern.

Moultrie Tripod Elite Feeder

This model is large enough to hold more than a hundred pounds of feed because of its durable and easy-fill hopper. It can be programmed to fit any feed. It also comes with anti-clog, varmint shield options, and rugged weather-resistant with easy lid lock.

The automatic feeders for deer discussed above come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. While there is no official set of deer feeder types, Moultrie feeders fall on the following types:

Tripod Feeder

This type of feeder is known for its bells and whistles that make it look sophisticated. A tripod feeder is basically a container that holds the feed, which can either be a drum, a barrel, or a roundish pod. The container is held aloft by the three legs of a tripod while the electronic spinner plate takes and whirls the feed outward in a 360-degree circle at set times throughout the day.

It can land around the tripod with feed and can attract more than one deer. The electronic spinner plate may sometimes spread feed over the ground, resulting in varmint attraction.
The timer can be set to disperse feed multiple times in a day. The timer may not work properly if you do not frequently check on it and just practice a set-and-forget mindset.
Instead of letting the deer take as much feed he wants, this type of feeder has a timer that only spreads the feed for a little time, allowing it to be preserved.
It can operate in a field or an open area where branches and posts are not needed.
It has a large capacity that can hold up to more than 200 pounds of feed.

Hanging Feeder

Like the tripod feeder, this model also has an electronic spinner plate that disperses feed. It uses a container in the shape of a bucket or a drum that you should hang from a branch or a post.

Unlike other feeders, it can be used in woodsy environments. If you hang the feeder from a high location, it can be difficult for you to refill the feed.
It comes with a small container, which can be a great thing when you only need a smaller feeder. Finding the adequate branch or post that can support a feeder that has a capacity of more than 200 pounds may take some legwork.
It can be put out of reach from four-legged creatures or destructive visitors like hogs, bears, raccoons, squirrels, etc.
This type of feeder is easier to conceal. For hunting purposes, this one makes an impression that the feed is not related to the feeder.

Overall, coming up with a list of the automatic feeders for deer out of so many is based on certain features that make each model unique and distinct. Here are the deer feeder features that are considered:

Ease of Installation: Part of what makes a deer feeder a standout among others is its ability to be installed and assembled with ease. This is an important factor, especially for deer hunters. When it is hard to install and assemble the feeder, the deer hunter may end up wasting his time fidgeting around and missing all hunting opportunities. Therefore, the easier it is to install and assemble the feeder, the more convenient it will be.

Ease of Filling: If your feeder is too tall to fill, it may cause you serious safety problems. A tall feeder may also become a hassle when you are going on a long trek. Choose the feeder that provides you ease of filling, such as auger-style feeder fillers. As long as the feeder is not too low for varmints and other animals to reach, you have the right feeder.

Type of Spinner Plate: As mentioned earlier, a spinner plate whirls feed outward in a 360 degree circle at set times throughout the day. Before buying a feeder, decide whether you want a pretty basic spinner plate or a high-tech one. Basic spinner plates can spread feet a couple of yards out while high-tech models can shoot feed 30+ yards outward and 30+ yards across.

Stability: Once you get several pounds of feed in your feeder, the legs of the feeder should be strong enough to hold such weight. Similarly, once your feeder gets banged around by four-legged visitors and even pickup trucks, it should be stable enough to withstand that kind of damage. To make sure that you get the stable feeder, look for the one with reinforced, square legs.

Durability: This feature is a big consideration in choosing the right deer feeder. A durable feeder can withstand the weather, the animals that try to pry it apart, and the general wear and tear. Since plastics degrade quickly, it is recommended to use models that are made of metal.

Weight: This feature largely depends on the access to the location. If access to the location is tough, a heavy feeder may require a lot of your effort. Unless you have big buddies to help you pitch in, a heavy feeder may not be a good idea. But if the feeder is going to be placed in an easy to reach location that you can drive right up to easily, a lighter feeder will work just as well. Aside from setting up and maintenance, the weight of the feeder can also affect the ease of moving the feeder from one place to another.

Weather Resistance: Common sense should tell you that a deer feeder is meant to be used outdoors. Thus, it is important to select a feeder that can withstand all types of weather conditions. If you purchase a feeder without a good quality build to resist harsh weather like winter or heavy rainfall, it may not last long enough.

Containment Capacity: If you ask yourself how much feed do you want the feeder to hold, you are putting into consideration the containment capacity of the feeder. Depending on how big of a deer feeder you need, the size of the feeder is related to the population of deer in your property. Similarly, it is related to the number of times you want to feed your deer. If you do not want to visit the feeding area frequently, choose a bigger or high capacity feeder that does not need to be refilled as often. 

Timer Settings: The industry standard for most feeder models is a capacity of six timed releases per day and a sunrise/sunset dispersion feature. Before buying a deer feeder, check if it meets this timer setting standard. 

Funneling Ability: The problem with flat bottomed feeders with no funneling mechanism is that you have to always shake the feeder to make sure corn falls down into the spinner. To compensate for this hassle, make sure to select the flat bottomed feeder, which has either an internal or external funnel which will keep corns moving in a specific direction.

Varmint Protection: The automatic feeders for deer should come with varmint protection or varmint proofing. Deer are not the only animals who love corn. Other animals that live in the woods can be pretty destructive. For example, raccoons are one of the most destructive varmints to visit deer feeders. They do not only eat corn, but they also love to chew on wirings and cause feeder failure. By choosing the feeder that comes with a varmint proof motor, it is not impossible to fence your feeder. In this way, you can keep varmints out but let deer in. 

Waterproof Capability: The slightest bit of moisture that can get into the barrel may ruin your feed. To refrain this from happening, choose the feeder which has a waterproof capability from shields to barriers, materials, and feeder tops.

Locking Mechanism: Most deer managers and deer hunters overlook the lid or lid lock as an important feature when it should be something to consider. Locks are great, especially for persistent animals that somehow get your feeders open. To ensure your feed is safe, some models come with actual locks, while others have lids that snap shut to keep animals out.

Battery Display: The reason why battery display is a good feature of a feeder is that it is a great tool for you during the feeding process. It will let you know when to replace the battery and save you from wasting away a non-functioning feeder.

Hanging Versus Standing: A tripod feeder stands on three or four legs while a hanging feeder hangs from an accessible limb. The good rule of thumb is to decide which type of feeder you want- tripod or hanging. If you want a tripod feeder, you can virtually set it up anywhere, requiring no post to support it. On the other hand, a hanging feeder can require a tree to support it, but you can set it out high enough for destructive visitors to reach.

Warranty: As a general rule of thumb, always opt for the feeder, which is made of high-quality materials and has a good warranty. The most common feeder to have a warranty is a metal-walled feeder.

Related Questions

What should I put in the deer feeder?

The most basic feed is corn, but since deer feeders are not only aimed at feeding deer but attracting deer during hunt as well, you can add a blend of corn, grain, and other plants. You can either but this mixture from a store or make this feed at home. You can try to come up with a sweet feed and add high-protein nuts such as acorns and chestnuts.

Where should I place the deer feeder?

The right location can be a bit tricky, but as long as you adhere to these important requirements, you can have the ideal location for your deer feeder.

  • First, analyze a spot where deer usually come around.
  • Second, do not place the deer feeder in an open ground as it can hardly ever attract a deer.
  • Third, the deer feeder should be in covered places such as the back of a tree.

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