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9 Deer Feeder Plans You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

deer eating in the feeder

deer eating in the feeder

Deer feeders, especially gravity deer feeders, are a great way to attract deer to your desired location, whether that’s your yard or a favorite hunting spot. Baiting deer is usually legal so long as it’s on private property (but check your local state laws, first).

The easy (and expensive) thing to do would be to head to the nearest outdoor outfitter and buy a top-of-the-line deer feeder with all the bells and whistles. But you don’t want to spend all your money baiting deer. This is where we come in, with this thoroughly researched list of gravity deer feeder plans you can learn how to build a deer feeder that you can get started on today.

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Why “gravity” deer feeders?

What’s with the word “gravity” before deer feeders? Well, not only do deer love what you put in your feeder (usually corn), but so do raccoons, squirrels, mice, etc., things you don’t want to attract more of! Though these critters can sometimes figure out how to get into a gravity deer feeder anyway, it’s still worth it to try bringing the feeder up to deer-head level and off of the ground and trees.

Prevent rotting

When you build any of these plans, make sure they include holes at the bottom for draining any moisture that collects in the feeder, and make sure that there’s no way that water can get in. Corn is notorious for rotting quickly when exposed to moisture.

The 8 Deer Feeder Plans

1. Simple DIY Wood Box Feeder

A simple wooden box deer feeder that is attached to a tree. The lid on top can be removed to pour more corn into the feeder. This might be the easiest plan to make quickly, but it’s also the easiest for other animals to get into.

If you don’t care about that as much, though, it’s a lovely design that’s pleasing to the eye and simple enough to make in a day.


2. DIY Covered Trough Deer Feeder

Here’s another aesthetically pleasing deer feeder that you can make from mostly wood. It consists of a large wooden box lifted up off the ground and sheltered by a roof. Several deer can crowd around this trough and have a snack all at the same time.

Again, this plan is simple and nice to look at, but you do sacrifice the ability to keep other varmints away. Squirrels can easily climb into this trough and have a hayday.


3. DIY PVC Pipe Deer Feeder Attached to a Tree

All it takes to create this plan is a trip to the plumbing department of your local home improvement store. Get a wide PVC pipe, a cap for the top, and an “elbow” for the bottom. This part at the bottom can be any sort you like, as long as it points back up.

When it’s time to install this deer feeder, pick a tree or attach it to your own post with screws or zip ties. Fill up the pipe from the top with deer feed. Now, as the deer eats the feed, more will be dispensed due to gravity.


4. 2 PVC Pipe DIY Deer Feeder

Deer almost always travel in herds, so it’s a good idea to create multiple spaces where many deer can eat at once. The 2 PVC pipe feeder is simply two of the previous feeders attached to the same post.

You could try installing a 3-way PVC pipe elbow for the main pipe for the same purpose. Just make sure there are holes for draining at the bottom.


5. DIY 5-Gallon Bucket Deer Feeder

The 5-gallon bucket deer feeder gets 3 out of 5 stars for critter-proofness. You can’t see it in the picture, but this gravity deer feeder plan has a wooden dowel inside of it. The dowel blocks the feed from completely pouring out, but does not cover the hole at the bottom of the bucket completely. The deer stick their noses in the pipe which moves this dowel, allowing feed to fall from inside the bucket. This feeder is hung from a tree or other post.


6. DIY 55 Gallon Drum Deer Feeder

Maybe you are drawn to the feeders from the store because they hold so much more feed. We’ve found a DIY solution for that. This deer feeder is huge, so you don’t have to fill it all the time. You need a 55-gallon drum, some 2x4s and PVC pipe. The stand for the drum to sit on is designed so you can climb up it and add more deer feed. Make sure the roof on the drum is very good and keeps water out.


7. DIY Tripod Barrel Deer Feeder

Take a very strong tripod made out of metal rods, put some slots at the bottom of a barrel, and set the barrel on top of the tripod. The slots at the bottom of the barrel can vary from 1 to up to 4 spots where deer can eat from the barrel. When you fill up the feeder, you will have to bring a ladder to stand on.


8. DIY Multi-Wire Suspended 5-Gallon Bucket Deer Feeder

If you want an engineering challenge, try out this 5-gallon bucket deer feeder suspended between several trees. You must use wire for this task because the integrity of rope can be hindered by chewing animals and excessive exposure to heat and moisture.

You will also need at least two pulleys with ratchets attached to pieces of wood. Hook up the wires that are attached to the bucket to your pulley system and crank it up. Leave enough slack for the swaying of the trees.

Though you have to be very careful when setting up this deer feeder, it could be the best out of this list at deterring other woodland creatures from stealing your deer feed.


9. DIY 55-Gallon Barrel Deer Feeder with Welding Rods

Another variation of the 55 gallon barrel method, this man created a more permanent structure by welding rods together for the stand. It still can come apart for transport, but it’s much more involved to do than the other deer feeder plans. However, it is sturdy and will last you a long time.

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Conclusion

Whether you are attracting deer for hunting or for pleasure, we hope you now have a better idea of how to build a deer feeder yourself. Deer feeders from the store can cost an arm and a leg, but these DIY solutions are affordable and fun to build.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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