Best Deer Feeders Reviewed & Rated
One of the most hunted animals is the deer, a vulnerable mammal mostly hunted for its meat and antlers. Because wild animals are likely to get frightened when people are nearby, finding and getting close to a deer is not as simple as it seems. One solution to this problem is to lure the animal to you with food. Deer feeders are widely popular to animal watchers as well as hunters. Feeders draw wildlife to one place good for viewing and hunting purposes. They come in a variety of sizes and designs: they can be small in size and simple or there are more advanced options, larger and automatic. Whether you choose to feed wildlife or use the deer feeder as a trap, in order to get the best results it’s essential to pay attention to the feeder’s features.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Easy to use timer eliminates the guesswork
Attaches to any size bucket
Ready to go out of the box
Outstanding battery life
- Moultrie All in One Deer Feeder
- Deer and Livestock Z-200 Deer Feeder
- Moultrie Tripod Deer Feeder
- Moultrie MFG-13104 Deer Feeder
- Moultrie MFHP53764 Deer Feeder
- Moultrie MFG-13053 Deer Feeder
- Banks Outdoors Feed Bank Gravity Deer Feeder
- Redneck Outdoors T-post Deer Feeder
- American Hunter 225lb Deer Feeder
- American Hunter R-Pro Kit Deer Feeder
10 Best Deer Feeders
1. Moultrie All in One Deer Feeder
Easy to use timer eliminates the guesswork
Attaches to any size bucket
Ready to go out of the box
Outstanding battery life
Corn can cause it problems
The timer can be touchy
Guess who makes the list again? It’s easy to see why, since Moultrie clearly knows how to make top quality feeder products. This one is a bit smaller than some of the others, and the motor isn’t as powerful. However, if your feeding needs are less pressing, and you’re looking for a low priced, efficient model with enormous battery life, look no further than this one.Read more
Ready to go
I’m not saying that you’re not a serious hunter if you don’t go for one of the bigger models. What I am saying is if you want to spend your spare time hunting, and not worrying about your feeder, this one is ready to go as soon as you open it is a great thing.
Keeps on going
This feature is perfect for those hunters who have found their sweet spot a decent drive away from their homes. The battery on this feeder makes it so they won’t have to travel back and forth to make sure it works.
Cost and Value
This feeder comes with a very good price attached to it for all the useful features and solid construction that it boasts. Since you can basically set it and forget it, it’s perfect for first-time users.
2. Deer and Livestock Z-200 Deer Feeder
Attracts the most animals in an area
Can also be used for gardening or as a cooler
No varmint protection
The biggest surprise of all comes from Zenature with their basic level deer and livestock feeder. It beat out Moultrie and other high tech feeders and is a champion at getting the job done.Read more
There is nothing wrong with being simple if a product works as intended. Zenature took the most basic concept and made a feeder that attracts the most game.
The bottom of the feeder comes off that that it is easy to fill and clean. This type is one that is placed in an open area for the deer to help themselves. No need for batteries which makes this option budget-friendly in the long run.
Cost and Value
Sometimes the old ways are the best, which is something that Zenature has proven thoroughly. This is the most dependable feeder you can buy with a price that is consumer-friendly.
3. Moultrie Tripod Deer Feeder
High durability in bad conditions
Wind resistant metal spin plate
Varmint guard is of average quality
The Deer Feeder Elite Tripod lives up to its name and provides excellent feeding options. Hunters won’t have any issues setting it up and using it for a full season.Read more
Accurate Digital Programming
Within minutes you’ll be able to program it to feed 6 times per day between 1-20 second increments. Once set, it is dependable enough to not get out of alignment.
This one has locking technology that doesn't require tools to place or remove the feeding kit. Added UV protection makes for durability over time when exposed to the sun. Sturdy legs with added locks will ensure the feeder will stay standing.
Cost and Value
Even with a weak varmint guard, the mid-high price of this feeder is worth it. There is a lot of positive value behind this feeder and the company that made it. Moultrie comes through with a winner once again, proving that there is more to a feeder than the small things. It’s close to being the best on the list, and with a stronger varmint guard would’ve been #1.
4. Moultrie MFG-13104 Deer Feeder
Comes with a strap for multiple mounting purposes
Batteries are not required
Misses some of the useful programming features of tech-driven feeders
There is little hesitation when people make the decision to buy the Moultrie Feed Station. It’s a practical feeder with a lot of traditional roots.Read more
Mother Nature Is the Best Feature
There are no smoke and mirrors with how the unit operates, as it uses a gravity-driven design to disperse food. Not only is this method proven, but it is highly effective at getting the right amount of food out at all times.
A selection such as this allows you to order in multiple quantities at a decent price. This lets you place feeders in different locations to scout out multiple locations.
Cost and Value
This is the lowest priced feeder on the list, but also the lowest-tech. Considering how well it works, that shouldn’t be a problem in accessing its longtime value. With the right placement, this can be the best feeder you’ve ever purchased. It’s simple and relies on gravity to get the job.
5. Moultrie MFHP53764 Deer Feeder
Solidly built for longevity and varmint protection
Only one 6 volt battery required
The digital timer is not the best
One Moultrie product comes after another, this time with the Pro Magnum. This is a more relaxed version of their bigger models yet still offers some really good mechanics.Read more
Great Varmint Protection
Using an all-metal, diamond-shaped spinner plate, the Pro Magnum has superior varmint protection. There will be no worries about what is picking at the food you put out during the season on.
This feeder comes with a Timer that allows you to set six separate feeding times. Which is great for luring in the deer at different points throughout the day. Plus the larger sized LCD screen reduces the stress and headache that comes with setting these up.
Cost and Value
At an average price, consumers will get a top grade feeder. You won’t have any complaints about the setup or construction of the unit. The Pro Magnum has a healthy amount of fans that have used it for multiple seasons. It’s a fair priced deer feeder that will get the job done right.
6. Moultrie MFG-13053 Deer Feeder
Great battery life from a single 6 volt
Quick-lock adapter is a must for speed
Newer version lacks the same quick-lock functionality
Moultrie makes the list again in what seems like the millionth time. This particular feeding kit makes it to one of the top spots by being small and quick, and a lot less of a hassle than the average feeder.Read more
Useful Quick-lock Adapter
With the adapter in play, this feeder can be mounted to any hopper or barrel. That is insane flexibility, and can really help if you have something already set up near the hunting grounds.
It can be frustrating to see your feed scatter to thinly because the wind took it right from the feeder. With this one, you are provided wind-resistance, which reduces the chances of the feed being scattered thinner than you desire.
Cost and Value
Make sure to get the first generation version of this and it will be worth it. The price is low, so there should be no problems worrying about wasted money. Speed can make a big difference when you have a lot to set up during the hunt. You can count on this model to not slow you down when it counts.
7. Banks Outdoors Feed Bank Gravity Deer Feeder
Holds up to 300 pounds of deer food
Keeps out un-wanted varmint
Adjustable feeding ports
Water-tight seal lid for freshness
Might be mounted too high for some deer. Some reviewers recommended lowering it.
The Banks Outdoors feed bank made our list because it is heavy-duty, well-designed, and a great investment for you to make if you are serious about feeding all the deer coming around your property.Read more
The Banks Outdoors feeder feature four feeding holes and can hold up to 300 lbs. of food at one time. It mounts well on one 8-ft 4x4 post (not included), which may require having a vehicle to haul out to the feeding site.
Designed to reduce food waste
This feeder has a water-tight seal lid that keeps all of the food inside dry and fresh. With 300 lbs. of food in the vessel at one time, you don't want to risk wasting it and having to replace it often. With this feeder, you won't have to worry. The deer will get their feed for days at a time.
Cost and Value
This is definitely a pricier option (if not the priciest on this list), but we believe that it's worth the investment if you are able to make it. Considering that it can hold up to 300 lbs. of feed, has a water-tight seal to keep the feed fresh, and is well made, we get the price and the value.
8. Redneck Outdoors T-post Deer Feeder
Mounts with a tree with ratchet straps
Specifically designed for T-posts
Paint to mount to anything non-T-posts
As a company, Rednek has enjoyed a lot of positive criticism with their T-post Gravity Feeder. It’s small, efficient and is everything you’d want out of an entry-level deer feeder.Read more
Adjustable Feeding Tube
Using a simple system, the height at the bottom of the feeding tube is adjustable. Users can angle it from 34-60 degrees without too much of a hassle.
For those with a busy schedule, this one might be a great choice for you. The number of times you have to treck to the feeder will vary by the amount of feed it can hold. This one offers a capacity topping out at 80 pounds. That will most definitely cut down the number of trips you will be making.
Cost and Value
It hovers at around an average price, so the features fit the costs. With a very solid build, it will last for years without breaking. This is one of the low tech options on the list, and also one of the most reliable. A little bit of research will prove just how powerful this can be during the season.
9. American Hunter 225lb Deer Feeder
Comes bundled with varmint buster accessory
One of the largest feeders you can purchase
The leg support is a bit flimsy
Large would be the best way to describe this American Hunter feeder. Hunters won’t have any worries about having to refill this feeder during the season, and there will be plenty left over afterward.Read more
With 225 pounds of available feed space, this is a great choice for putting in remote areas. That way you won’t have to travel out to refill it in undesirable locations.
Now we have come to a selection that can be left out all year round. This feeder had been built to last. Making it perfect for those who might live in areas that get a little crazy with the weather scenarios.
Cost and Value
A little bit of time with this medium-high priced feeder will show its value. There is a lot of potentials, and it can even be used without the included tripod. When there is a place that you don’t want to keep checking upon, this is the best model to get. It has more than enough space to last a full season and beyond.
10. American Hunter R-Pro Kit Deer Feeder
Easy to install
Adjustable feed rate
Includes a digital clock and timer
Some reviews say that it might not consistently work
This American Hunter R-Pro kit made it on our list because it is built well and has nice features. This deer feeder can protect itself from unwanted guests and is designed to last a while.Read more
One of the best features of this deer feeder is that it is built to last. The outer housing is made from a durable plastic that is designed to not only deter and keep out unwanted varmint but also to be weather-resistant in even the most extreme weather conditions.
The digital timer on this American Hunter deer feeder is a nice feature. With it, you can control the feeder and designate when its feeding time. This will keep you on a feeding schedule that you can design and can also help you save on food waste.
Cost And Value
This feeder is at a mid-range price point, and for its performance, design and digital timer feature, we think it's a pretty good deal all around.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Durability was our first criteria and covered waterproofing, material quality, and longevity. You can truly judge the value of a feeder by looking at the materials used to make it. While we did show a preference for waterproof products, we were more concerned about the actual build quality. So there were some models with waterproof protection that didn’t make a list. That’s not uncommon and shows that the feature is nice to have but not the ultimate decider of what makes a good feeder. We also removed feeders that did a bad job of keeping bacteria out since it led to moldy and stale food.
But keeping water out isn't the only thing to worry about keeping out. The other is varmint, like small rodents, squirrels or raccoons in the area that love to get into the feeders. Once they have moved on from the lower hanging bird feeders, these small varmints like to get into the deer feed as well. This will not only spoil the food for the deer and keep them away, but it will also use of the feed a lot faster than you would probably like, therefore costing you more to constantly re-fill the feeder. A durable and well-designed feeder will help to keep these pests out.
Feed support covered the type of food that could be used, the amount and of course the size of the feeding area. These three things together were hard to find in some products, which led to us cutting down the feeders on the list early.
There was no favoritism in the type of food that was compatible, and it was more about how many types the feeder supported out of the box. Having a diverse mix of food attracts more deer and also keeps their diet healthy so they come back for more. With the feeders that won out in this criteria, they had a higher chance of getting deer to come back to the same spot.
Extras was another electric-only feature that we sorted through, mainly to look at how feeders handled scheduling. Some use simple scheduling features that didn’t even require a read of the manual. Others were complex, doing a good job of mixing in preset and custom scheduling options. We rewarded products with the latter since they were the most useful, but there were only a few feeders with custom scheduling options. They were sorted on the list appropriately, gaining an advantage over a lot of the other feeders with default options.
Price was the easiest criteria to go through since most of the deer feeders were low priced. With even the most advanced feeders having an acceptable price range, we were able to fully shape the top ten by removing overpriced products. If an expensive product was left on the list, it had a remarkable feature set that couldn’t be duplicated by lower-priced feeders.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
At the very least, electric feeders should last the season even when they are on a busy schedule. Extra points were given to products that showed promise for multiple seasons since they benefited customers with larger workable areas. These feeders made it further up on the list and come highly recommended.
Feeders can get backed up due to aggressive animals, so keeping it maintained is a must. Maintenance is more important than keeping it clean, as a hunter would rather it smell like the environment it is in so it’s a more attractive feeding place. So other than unclogging it when needed, no other maintenance is required outside of changing batteries if necessary.
Other Factors to Consider
By "use" we mean placement. But still, that is how you will be "using" the feeder. First and foremost, it is essential to find out if your state or area allows you to use a deer feeder in the first place. If so, then the next thing to consider is where you are going to place it on your property. For example, if you are going to use a feeder that holds corn, then you won't want to place that feeder on the edge of a tree line that is near to a field of fresh corn. That doesn't give the deer any motivation to hit up your feeder if they have a fresh field to turn to. Consider placing the feeder in a position on your property where there isn't another access to the same or another type of feed. This will help you be more successful in getting deer to your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can Generic Batteries Be Used in Deer Feeders?
Surprisingly, yes. Unless you get a model that uses a lot of battery power, using generic batteries is fine since most of the models use very little power through the day.
q: How Important Is The Varmint Guard?
It depends on what type of game you’re hunting. If varmints in your area tend to keep your game away, then the guard is a must. Just remember that some situations would benefit from having varmints occupy a small area to bring out the bigger game.
q: Do Deer Feeders Need To Be Cleaned?
No, unless there is something blocking them from functioning. You want the feeder to smell like the environment it is in, so leaving the ‘stench’ on it is important.
q: How Many Deer Feeders Should One Person Buy?
Herd size will determine how many deer feeders you should purchase (and also the size of each). There is no real hard count for each, but a good average would be one feeding station for each 25 deer. It is better to have a lesser amount of feeders than too many since too much can actually harm the deer. If a clear deer count isn’t available, then use the land as an average. For every 400 acres, place one feeder in a good place. Acres or headcount is a good variable to go by when deciding on the number of feeders to buy.
q: Does Placement of Deer Feeders Matter?
Placement is a big deal to deer, so if the feeder is in an awkward place then they won’t gather to eat. Transition areas in an already habituated area are best, but in truth, experimentation will be required to get the best results. The trick is to put it in areas where it looks the most natural without hindering your chance to scout. Areas, where tree stands can look over the feeder without being noticed, is a nice touch. This isn’t uncommon and can be great for using through multiple seasons. Another note to placement is to avoid areas where another wildlife mix since they will try to use the feeders more than the deer.
q: What Is The Average Amount Of Feed That Deer Go Through Daily?
Habitat conditions determine this amount and will vary wildly even if you crunch the numbers. Deer take in about 1.5% of their body weight at max, and that was based on the type of feed that was used.
That number can easily change to 3% of their body weight if a varied mix of feed is used that satisfies their nutritional needs. With the numbers not really having an average, it is a better idea to look at the type of food used rather than the average per deer. As mentioned before, having less food is better than overfeeding deer.
q: Do You Have To Use A Specific Kind Of Feed?
For some models, yes. Feeders are sorted based on their type, meaning that gravity designs will have different feed choices than a trough design. Usually, you can spot the compatibility of the food on both the feed and feeder product specifications. There is no way to miss it, and it is a rather vital point of information if you want to maintain efficiency.
Putting the wrong type of food into a product will cause problems, notably with electronic feeders. Jam ups happen because of this, leading to a very difficult cleaning process. Always use the type of feed that is recommended for the product rather than guessing its type.
q: Is There A Guarantee That Feeders Will Attract Deer?
No guarantees can be given on the effectiveness of feeder products. There are a lot of things to consider, starting with the type of deer that are in the area. Once you get past that, the placement of the feeder comes into play. Is it a quality feeder that deer won’t second guess? Next up is the type and quality of the feed used for attracting deer. Animals eat from multiple sources, and there is a chance that they may not want the type of food you’ve put out. This pickiness with their diet leads to different scenarios where you will have repeat deer and sometimes no deer at all.
q: Can Food Plots Be Used In Combination With Feeders?
Food plots are planted in areas made to nourish wildlife. They contain legumes, wildflowers, grains and more. A good use for them is after a crop has been harvested, which in turn helps with the natural flow of nature through the changing seasons. It is still different from re-vegetation, so the use of food plots with feeders makes a lot of sense if you are striving for food diversity in your scouting or hunting area. There are many benefits to having both, and it ensures a repeated source of food for deer even if the feeder is not meeting their daily nutritional needs.
q: Can Old Food Harm The Deer?
Yes, and it leads to digestive and reproductive issues in deer. Most deer are smart enough to stay away from bad food, but some will be desperate enough to ignore the clear warning signs. That is why it’s a good idea to check on feeders and change out old or moldy food. A lot of this also comes down to getting a feeder that has good protection from outside elements. Waterproof feeders are recommended if they aren’t placed in an already protected area. When feeders continue to serve bad food, deer will move on to another source and force you to change up your strategy.
q: Are Electric Models Better?
When you have no plans to return to an area after setting up a feeder, electronic feeders turn out to be the better option. This is usually the situation for areas that aren’t on your land, or for spots that don’t have good scouting positions. Battery operated feeders are usually gravity types and are the perfect products to set up and leave alone. Power lasts for many months without needing to change out the batteries, even if you set it up to have a busy schedule. But even with these advantages, electric feeders are still an optional buy.
q: How Can Laws Affect The Way You Handle Deer Feed?
There are laws in effect that restrict not only the use of bait but also feeders. Like all laws regarding animals, things will be different depending on what state you’re in. Laws change on a yearly basis, so it is always a good idea to check up on these changes so that fines don’t add up. Feed laws are in effect to keep deer from gathering too much in one place and spreading illness. This is a big concern when food is scarce in the area and they are fighting, or when they go too far away from their natural habitat and have to deal with unavoidable predators.
q: What Is Acidosis?
Acidosis affects deer that consume large quantities of digestible carbohydrates. This isn’t isolated to deer and has also been found to trouble elk. On the serious side of acidosis, when it spreads it results in the death of multiple mammals in good physical condition. It can go from a minor bother to a huge problem in areas where lots of deer gather. This is how diseases are spread, even when they start off in small groups. The problem is treatment is troublesome since the condition causes death 24-72 hours. The only solution is prevention by having a balance of the correct feed available so animals don’t overindulge.
q: Are All Feeders Waterproof?
No, and that is exactly why placement is a big part of making the most out of a feeder. When your product doesn’t come with a locking lid or lacks waterproof features, then putting it in a covered area will protect it from the elements. But even with good placement or mechanics, food is still going bad over time or is introduced to bacteria that make it moldy. This can also happen if you keep water near the feeder for the deer to use. In the end, waterproof feeders are great to have but don’t guarantee that the food will remain fresh for multiple seasons.
q: How Does A Locking Mechanism Help?
A locking mechanism is helpful when you need to limit food in an area to specific times of the day for non-electric feeders. It also keeps out aggressive animals like bears, wolves and other predators that scare away deer. When you notice food is getting old and can’t immediately empty the feeder, simply lock it up until a changeover is possible. Having a locking mechanism opens up a lot of options that would otherwise require separate pieces. Not all feeders have it available, so always check the features.
q: Which type of deer feeder is the best choice?
This really all depends on what you’re using it for, and where you need to use it. If the location you want to provide food for is far away, and regular upkeep of the feeder is inconvenient, then either an automatic feeder with a timer or a gravity feeder, are your best bets. With an automatic feeder, you can set exactly how much feed is used and when thereby keeping your expenses low and mitigating the need to go fill the feeder often.
The problem with this is being automatic, there are a lot of parts that can break. This is where gravity feeders come in. They have few to no mechanical parts, which means you will never have to go fix it. However, getting the feed out is totally dependent on the animals themselves, giving you no control of the frequency that the feeder is used. One way around this is to attach a large hopper with at least a 200-pound capacity, giving you more time in between fills, though this won’t do much to lower your feed costs.
q: Is using a feeder to hunt unfair?
Maybe? The general consensus is no, but this does bring up a whole ethical debate among hunters and critics. To put it simply, feeding deer does not guarantee that you will be able to hunt them all. What it does is provide a food source for several animals, improving the chances of population growth in the area for years to come. As a natural side effect, this means that yes, there are more deer for you to hunt. Now, from an ethical standpoint, getting meat in this manner is far better for everyone involved than buying it from a supermarket. In the end, your personal moral code is going to determine its fairness in your eyes.
q: What are the differences between types of feed?
That’s a whole article unto itself, but here are a few general points. The biggest determining factor for the different types of feed is the type of animal you want to attract, but rather the season in which you want them to show up. In winter conditions, it is crucial to provide food packed with calories and protein, so the deer can start to repair some of the damage done during rutting season. This means no corn. Corn is great as a filler, and in warmer seasons deer love it, but it has none of the nutritional value they need to survive to Spring. The best bet is to feed them grains that are high in fiber. Come spring and summer, almost anything goes, and the deer aren’t very picky.
To sum it up, the main difference is nutritional value, and the more you are aware of this, the more healthy deer you'll get.
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