MYOG: Super Easy DIY Deer Corn Feeder Plans For Hunting

Updated September, 2015: I used these DIY deer feeders with great success last year and will use them again this year. I actually forgot and left one out and it is […]
Cheap easy DIY deer feeder box bottom

Cheap easy DIY deer feeder box bottom

Updated September, 2015:
I used these DIY deer feeders with great success last year and will use them again this year. I actually forgot and left one out and it is no worse for wear after a year out in the weather.
Occassionaly, if I let the feeders get empty, the deer will get testy and knock them over. However I have had no problems with this as long as the feeders don’t get empty.
Also, I have found that tossing handfuls of corn in about a 15 foot circle around the feeder helps the corn last longer, as they deer spend longer searching for each little kernel. I like to encourage the deer to spend more time near the feeder. 🙂

Bret at BlueRidgeFirearms.com and I were talking about deer hunting and the CVA OPTIMA V2 SS/Camo muzzle loader / black powder rifle – .50 Cal. – KonusPro 3-9×40 with Soft Case that he sent for a Gear Report review. I mentioned to Bret that a friend of mine has several 55 gallon drum deer feeders and they seem to have lots of problems with reliability. Bret chuckled and told me how the hunters in his area have solved the “how to feed deer for cheap” problem. The idea was so simple that I didn’t even need to see any plans for making a deer feeder. However, I searched the internet and have included a few drawings and pictures of this and other similar deer feeder ideas in case it is helpful.
By the way, if you wonder why I like Bret and his store, this is a great example. He could have sold me some deer feeders, but instead told me a cheap & easy way to solve the problem. Not everyone is willing or able to take on DIY projects. I suspect that most folks that read this will end up buying something instead of making something. It is easy to find the lowest price on stuff via the internet these days. Finding a retailer that will actively steer you towards a better deal is much more rare.
But I digress…

Bret said to start with a 4″ diameter PVC pipe about 3-4 feet long (I have read others suggest using 6″ or even 8″ diameter PVC pipe).

Cheap easy DIY deer feeder with screen at bottom

Cheap easy DIY deer feeder with screen at bottom

Strap, tie, or zip tie the pipe to a tree or a post so that it is held securely upright with the bottom about 1 inch above the ground. I’ve also read that any flat surface will work, and some folks like putting the pipe over a piece of 2 foot x 2 foot piece of plywood, or anything similar and flat. I’m thinking of using the lid from a 5 gallon bucket. You can see in the image above a sort of box added to the bottom. The image at the right has an elevated platform with screen to let water drip through. Keep it simple or make it more complex. Whatever works for your application.

Fill the pipe with your deer feed (I use corn), then cap the top of the pipe to keep water out. Some of the corn will spill out of the gap between the ground and the base of the pipe.

As deer eat the corn from the bottom of the pipe more corn will spill out through the 1 inch gap.

What we LOVE about this is that it is CHEAP and EASY. According to Bret, it is also very effective.

In looking around the internet I also found some folks saying that you can use green sewer pipe instead of PVC, and that the sewer pipe is considerably cheaper.

If this design is too simple for you, you might try adding a “Y” section to the bottom to make a little bowl for the deer. An advantage of this design is that you don’t have to position the feeder 1 inch above a flat surface.

I made 3 feeders using 2 types of pipe and end caps, and 3 different methods of holding the feeders in the field. Used a 3″ hole saw in a power drill to make the feeder opening. The end caps hold in place ok, but I stuck a bit of duct tape on the bottom ones for good measure. Duct tape makes everything better.

#1: an old 3″ PVC pipe with a bolt through it to attach 2 legs made of scrap wood. The end caps are little inserts that were less than $1 each, and were the only parts purchased. Grand total was less than $3, including part of a $1 can of flat black spray paint.

DIY PVC deer feeder 3" front

easy deer feeder from scrap materials in less than 1o minutes

#2: 1/2 of an 8 foot section of 4″ PVC sewer pipe + 2 PVC end caps + some scrap wood for legs and a few zip ties. Pipe was about $12… $6 for 4 feet of it. End caps were about $2.50 each, $5 for the pair. Already had the flat black paint, scrap wood and twist ties.About $11 total and about 7 minutes to make.

DIY PVC deer feeder 4" sewer pipe - deployed

This 4″ sewer pipe feeder is supported by crossed boards held together with zip ties.

#3: 1/2 of an 8 foot section of 4″ PVC sewer pipe + 2 PVC end caps + an old metal post + a long spring from the door of an old dishwasher. Pipe was about $12… $6 for 4 feet of it. End caps were about $2.50 each, $5 for both.. Already had the flat black paint, post & spring. About $11 total and about 10 minutes to make.

DIY PVC deer feeder 4" sewer pipe in field - mounted

Recycled steel post and spring from the door of an old dish washer hold this PVC feeder in place

A word of caution I found on a message board that I frequent: “Just a thought but I read an article years ago about these type of feeders and the author used this type of pipe (not sure if 6″ or what) but he visited the feeder and found a dead doe with it’s muzzle stuck in the pipe. He assumed it was trying to reach further up the pipe and got stuck and starved to death.” I have not seen this happen, and hope I never do.

Is it legal to feed deer where you hunt?

Is it legal to feed deer where you hunt?

You should also check the local laws to be sure that using a deer feeder is legal. In my area there are no restrictions, but I’ve read that other areas either don’t allow the use of deer feeders at all, or only up to 30 days before deer season starts.

Here are some pictures of other deer feeder plans that I found around the internet (none of these are gear-report.com images).

 

 

 

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.