Feeders

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Beardendy88

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Jul 7, 2012
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North Alabama
Here’s a question to pick some of you guys brain. I can’t plant any food plots because on our farm we run cattle so instead I use feeders during the spring and summer months for protein and what have you. So the question is how many feeders do you guys think is appropriate for a 200 acre farm? Right now I just use two but wanted some more input. Thanks.
 
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MickThompson

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Aug 9, 2006
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Cookeville, Tennessee
I think they are a waste of time and money so I was going to let someone else advise you. Feeding on a piece that size will help the neighbors as much or more than you.


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MickThompson

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Cookeville, Tennessee
It’s the most expensive food you can provide and requires constant upkeep. You also put more browse pressure on the resources on your farm immediately around the feeders. Late summer range shifts mean that many of the deer you fed all summer will be somewhere else by the time season opens, and home ranges extend far beyond your 200 acres. The deer will spread back out once the attraction dries up.

Could the deer see some benefit? Maybe, but you probably will see limited benefits to your hunting.

What are you doing in the woods? Any harvest, thinning, or hinge cutting?

How about hayfields? Can you add clover, etc to improve them?

Odd corners?


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Mike Belt

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Lakeland, Tn.
I agree with that assessment. You're feeding deer that probably won't be there come hunting season. It may feel good to think you're benefiting your herd but in reality only a couple of the deer feeding there may benefit. The cost and time devoted to it really outweigh the outcome.
 
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TheLBLman

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Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN
Beardendy88":w5xp6rnm said:
So the question is how many feeders do you guys think is appropriate for a 200 acre farm?
Zero.
Mick's elaboration as to why is spot on.

Are cattle free-roaming 100% of your 200 acres?
Surely there's a bit of that you could "work with" regarding habitat manipulation, at least on a seasonable basis?
For the same time & money, the area deer will likely receive much greater benefits.
 
ImThere

ImThere

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Aug 24, 2006
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Lewisburg, Tn
Hot Fence a small plot it will keep the cows out but not deer


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Beardendy88

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North Alabama
Well I hate to disagree with you guys but I’ve been running feeders for 7 years and on average every buck I see feeding on them I see during deer season or throughout the year on cameras at all times of the day feeding. I find them as a very useful tool. Maybe it helps that my farm is what I believe mainly used for bedding and a huge soybean field is just right beside me. I know everyone is different. I don’t feed corn but I do feed a protein mineral mix. The hot fence idea is very useful and I think I’m going to use that!
 
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TheLBLman

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Every situation is different,
but I'd speculate you'd still see those same deer (during deer season) even without those feeders :)
IMO, it's something other than summertime feeders bringing/keeping deer on your property during hunting season.

Beardendy88":3qludsez said:
Maybe it helps that my farm is what I believe mainly used for bedding and a huge soybean field is just right beside me.
If you have heavier cover (and less pressured) land than what borders you, yes, you should hold relatively more of the deer (more of the time) than the property that borders you. Just realize those deer, for the most part, should be part of the same deer herd using both your property and a much larger surrounding area, at least typically this would be the case.

Certainly a huge soybean field is the preferred summertime food item of your localized deer herd, which would seem to negate summertime feeding benefits? Then, after harvest, that huge field should be a large area unsuitable for bedding, whereas you have more heavier cover?

I may have misunderstood regarding your acreage, as was thinking it was mostly cattle pasture?
 
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pass-thru

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va
I don't like feeders at a personal level. To me, wild animals should be treated like wild animals and not livestock, and feeders crosses that line. Food plots are a habitat improvement that can benefit all wildlife. So I vote for zero feeders and instead put those resources into measures that enhance your habitat.
 
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megalomaniac

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Mississippi
one of my farms sounds just like yours... 100 acres of fescue hayground and 100 acres of cattle pasture. Bordered by beans and cedar thickets off the property. I pull the deer onto me by frost seeding clover in February in the hayfields, and I rotate the cattle off 40 acres of pasture Sept 1st. While not a single deer actually lives on that farm due to it being open ground without any cover, I have no problem getting them to jump the fence to come to my food, especially in late season when it's scarce elsewhere.

Feeding during the summer would be worthless if there are beans nearby, IMO. Now protein after season closes until spring greenup would prob be beneficial and more bang for your buck.
 
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buckaroo

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easttennessee
If you want to really help the deer, get your chainsaw out and whack down an acre or 3 of some timber
 
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Hunter 257W

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Franklin County
As mentioned above frost seeding clover into your pastures every February would be a Win-Win for both your cattle and the deer.

I don't like feeders because it's going to cost a lot of money to keep multiple feed bins full for all the deer that will use 200 acres for say 6 months of the year.
 
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barkscraper

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morgan
I plant 6 acres a year in plots plus a run feeders and keep 100 acres for cover which is never hunted or scouted but you have to start somewhere. It takes more than one thing to manage your deer but if you do nothing then nothing will change. 2 to 3 feeders would be fine but use a feeder that will give the deer all they want the sling feeders fall short and will not give them enough.
 
hard county

hard county

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Nov 26, 2007
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I like feeders used responsibly for specific jobs, I think every property in america can be be improved by more than feeders and in a cost effective way. Exclusion cages around fruit or mast trees, planting stuff outside your fences in your pasture would be one example. Fertilising and sowing your pastures this fall will put weight on your cows and the deer will eat along side them. I'm guessing the feeder would be outside of a fence, but maybe all your fields are in pasture and the feeder would be in the woods? If so hinge cutting preferred browse trees and cutting undesirable trees can be helpful. Good luck.
 
shoningram

shoningram

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Nov 11, 2010
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English Mountain, TN
Great article. The problem I have with my feeders is keeping the bear off them. Any suggestions?


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Smo

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Sep 6, 2012
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North of Al. & South of Ky.
I feed after the season is over.
It’s my belief that the herd , especially the pregnant Does really benefit from feeding due to the lack of vegetation and other available food sources.

I feel like by feeding the Does after the season there’s a good chance they will remain on or near my property, thus the chances of their fawns being born on or nearby.

From what I’ve seen on my farm, when the Does raise their young ones nearby , they tend too hang around until hunting season.

Also I find it a valuable tool to “inventory” the remaining buck herd after the season closes.

I don’t feed during the Summer months, because there’s plenty of food available at that time.

I do maintain a year around mineral lick.

I only have 80 acres to work with, mostly thick cover and scattered hardwoods.

I only run one broadcast type feeder and two mineral licks on my place.

I have the feeder set to come on twice a day , morning and afternoon.

From the end of deer hunting season until things start too “green up” I keep the feeder going.

At the rate I feed it usually only takes 200 - 300 pounds of whole corn too keep them around .
Not a major expense...

I do maintain a couple small clearings/ plots of 1 acre or less on my place, they contain clover, fescue, winter wheat in the late Fall and I broadcast “ special plot mixtures “ in as needed.
For me that’s what seems too work the best, others mileage my vary.
 

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