Deer are opportunistic. Once they discover a viable, constant food source, they will continue to return until the food is gone. Setting up a deer feeder is a common method of attracting and holding animals on your property -- provided you do not allow the feeder to run dry. While many types of commercially produced feeders are available, a trouble-free, gravity-fed homemade deer feeder can be made out of a metal dustbin in a less than an hour.
Drill 4 evenly spaced 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) holes around the sides of a metal dustbin, 10 cm (4 inches) from the bottom of the can.
Widen the holes to 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter with a jigsaw, keeping the bottom of each hole at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the bottom of the can. Remove any sharp or rough edges from the holes with a metal file.
Turn the dustbin upside down. Drill a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) hole in the centre of the bottom of the can.
Drill a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) hole in the centre of the bottom of a 30 cm (1 foot) high plastic tub; the tub should have a diameter at least 60 cm (2 feet) wider than the diameter of the rubbish bin. For example, if the bottom of the rubbish bin is 60 cm (2 feet) across, the tub must be at least 1.2 m (4 feet) in diameter.
Invert the tub over the bottom of the dustbin, so both the bin and the tub are upside down. Line up the holes in the centre of the tub and dustbin. Insert a 2.5 cm (1 inch) diameter washer over a 2.5 cm (1 inch) long bolt. Insert the bolt through the holes in the bottom of the tub and dustbin.
Flip the tub and dustbin over. Place a washer and nut over the bolt on the inside of the bin. Tighten the bolt firmly in place with a spanner.
Place the feeder in an area where you want to attract deer. Locate two rocks of approximately 2.27 kg (5 lb) each. Place the rocks in the bottom of the bin to give the feeder ballast so the deer will not be able to easily push or knock it over. Position the rocks between the holes against opposite sides of the bin so as not to block the openings and restrict the flow of feed through the holes.
Fill the feeder. Cracked mineral corn is one of the more commonly used feeds to attract deer. Fill the plastic tub with feed to the top of the holes on the outside of the bin before filling the dustbin. As the deer eat from the tub, gravity will pull feed from inside the bin.
Place the cover on the can. Hook one end of a bungee cord to one of the handles on the side of the can. Run the other end of the cord through the handle on the cover then stretch and hook the cord to the opposite handle.
- "White-Tailed Deer: Ecology and Management"; Lowell Halls; 1984
- Do not allow the feeder to run dry or the deer will damage the feeder trying to get the cover off.
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