Checking On The Wildlife Feeders

Here in southeast Texas hunting season starts in just a few weeks.  Archery season starts the first Saturday in October, while regular rifle season starts the first Saturday in November. In order to get ready for deer season my dad and I went to the hunting lease to check on things.

While dad used the tractor and brush hog to clear the ATV trails I used a 4-wheeler to get from one stand and wildlife feeder to the other.

The first feeder had been knocked over sometime during the off season. The first feeder is not included in the video. The top of the drum was bent so that the lid would not go back on. but the damage was nothing that could not be fixed with a nice sized hammer.

The second feeder was in pretty bad shape. The feeder was on the ground, and the drum was caved in where the legs attached to the drum. The drum will either have to be replaced, or beat out from the inside with a sledge hammer.

The third feeder was standing up, but the motor housing was open; the battery and timer were on the ground. The timer was put back in the housing, and the battery was brought home to recharge.

The fourth feeder was probably the best of the bunch. The feeder was still standing and motor housing was still closed.

A couple of the ATV trails had a fallen tree across them. Which is no big deal, I just need to bring a chainsaw out there to cut the tree into manageable sections.

How Does a Wildlife Feeder Work

A wildlife feeder works off a battery, timer, motor, spindle and a drum which is where the corn or other feed is stored.

At a defined time the timer spins the spindle which throws corn in a circle around the feeder.  Deer, hogs, squirrels and other wildlife go to the feeder to eat the corn that has been thrown on the ground.

Some people put a solar panel on their feeders to keep the battery charged.

Feeders vary widely on how much feed they hold.  Some may hold 200 pounds of corn, while others may hold  2,000 pounds of corn.

On the topic of Wildlife Feeders

Some people disagree with using feeders to attract wildlife.  Here in southeast Texas deer have so many natural food sources that it can be rather difficult to setup a stand and see deer on a semi-regular basis.

Wildlife feeder throwing corn with a box stand in the distance

Just because you have a wildlife feeder does not mean you are going to see deer or hogs.  The smart animals move at night when no hunters are around.

There have been times when I have not seen a deer for days on end while hunting over a wildlife feeder.  Trail cameras show the deer going to the feeder shortly after dark to get the corn.

On the ethics of using a feeder, while the deer are eating the corn the hunter has time to size up the deer and pick which one would be best to harvest.  Rather that picking a random spot over a deer trail or overlooking an oak tree, and seeing a random deer come along, people that hunt near a feeder get an idea of how many deer, age and size are in the area.

Just because a hunter sees a deer at a feeder does not mean the hunter is going to take the deer.

 What’s Next

The next step will be to fix the bent feeders, put fresh batteries in them, put some corn in the drum, then test the timer and motor to see if everything is working ok.

I need make a special trip to the hunting lease with a 4-wheeler and chainsaw to clear the fallen trees.