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Feeder pens and mature bucks? #4087664 02/27/13 10:10 PM
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RedSnake Offline OP
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I've heard before that mature bucks are less inclined to jump into a feeder pen than younger age class bucks -- any truth to this?

I have several mature bucks that had been hitting my feeder until I put hog panels around it.

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: RedSnake] #4087680 02/27/13 10:18 PM
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mbavo Offline
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Ours jump in all the time

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: mbavo] #4087710 02/27/13 10:29 PM
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I say it varries from deer to deer. We have had some 4-5 year olds that live under the feeder and some that wont come to a corn feeder period.

I think hunting pressure can magnify it.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: RedSnake] #4087731 02/27/13 10:36 PM
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I believe from my experience that most of them are not comfortable jumping in a pen. If they grow up with it, they will because they have been jumping in as a younger buck.

I also believe it makes a difference what type of feeder you have in the pen. From my experience they don't like tall large feeders that are above their head and antlers.

This really came to light for me when I started using a Capsule Wildlife Feeder 5 years ago. Because it sits on the ground and requires no pen around it, I found that mature bucks were comfortable feeding their not long after setting up a new location whereas this would always take much longer for them to be comfortable with the traditional elevated barrel type feeder with the pen around it.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #4087766 02/27/13 10:51 PM
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I think what pitchfork said above is true in a lot of cases, if the bucks grow uo with pens they are more comfortable with them.

We have several mature bucks on the lease (the place has never had a feeder on it till last season) hat never eat from a penned feeder, only pics we get of them are on hand corn or coming and going on trails. We have a big nontypical that will eat from a cheap pipe feeder but thats it, and it doesnt have a pen around it.
On my family land i dont have to pen my feeders and dont have problems with the big bucks eating out of a gravity feeder but they havent been seen at a spin feeder thats 50 yards away.

Last edited by jshouse; 02/27/13 10:54 PM.

Originally Posted By: cameron00
If I send my neighbors a text and ask them to give me feedback on my lawn and plant rye into a giant dong pattern, I'm probably going to get some less than positive feedback. Same goes here.
Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #4087783 02/27/13 10:58 PM
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Have in river bottom and had to put up fence to keep the hogs out, Bucks don't seem to mind it.

Last edited by Texmel; 02/27/13 11:07 PM. Reason: change it
Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Texmel] #4087791 02/27/13 11:03 PM
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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Navasot] #4087795 02/27/13 11:04 PM
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the pen in the tasco pic was the first year the place had ever had a feeder pen on it. these pics are from two different countys also

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Navasot] #4087927 02/28/13 12:13 AM
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Ok. Thanks fellas. Hoping this one will at least continue to cruise by the pen!


Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Navasot] #4087937 02/28/13 12:20 AM
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Feeder pens size is critical with mature bucks they need a lot more space than younger bucks or doe. Give them and the other deer lots of space. Feeder height has never been an issue for but more the feeder style. I like feeders with a flat plate that deer can eat out of then stand and see what is on the other side of the feeder. They need to be able to see danger approaching. Taller the better IME. PITA to fill also being taller. Also if you have to many deer at one location I will add another feeder with some distance in the pen between them. Dominant doe or bucks will homestead a feeder keeping other deer off. It never fails that all deer show up at feed the same time and jockey for a place to eat. Raising deer eating out of a pen and a style of feeder will make them feel more comfortable than starting older deer on feed. Never hunting over a protein feeder will make a huge difference. Stress is a major issue with deer on feed and how well they do.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: stxranchman] #4087947 02/28/13 12:24 AM
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Thx ranchman. I've got 8 16' hog panels in a circle. Is that big enough?

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: RedSnake] #4087957 02/28/13 12:29 AM
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Depends on cover inside the pen and what you have for feeder inside there. I like 10 panels at a minimum. I have had to take a panel down or open it partially like a gate to get deer in a pen. Then close it up after 4-6 weeks.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: stxranchman] #4088010 02/28/13 12:50 AM
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Where I hunt I never see a buck in the pen and hardly ever near a feeder. They stop hitting them all together in October through January. Most of our does act the same as well. They will just walk right by like they don't exist. Each county seems different.

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Txduckman] #4088053 02/28/13 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted By: Txduckman
Where I hunt I never see a buck in the pen and hardly ever near a feeder. They stop hitting them all together in October through January. Most of our does act the same as well. They will just walk right by like they don't exist. Each county seems different.


You most likely hunt where there are acorns.

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Txduckman] #4088145 02/28/13 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted By: Txduckman
Where I hunt I never see a buck in the pen and hardly ever near a feeder. They stop hitting them all together in October through January. Most of our does act the same as well. They will just walk right by like they don't exist. Each county seems different.

Where I have been it seems to be the complete opposite till the rut closes in. Bucks dominate feeders from Sept till early Nov. The doe start to disappear till food plots come on. They just don't like to get chased by every buck at the feeder when they show up. I have seen some ranches in South Texas that have very close buck to doe ratios very rarely get a picture of a doe in a protein feed pen during the antler growing season. Also like posted above mast crops can change deer eating patterns also.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: stxranchman] #4088164 02/28/13 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on cover inside the pen and what you have for feeder inside there. I like 10 panels at a minimum. I have had to take a panel down or open it partially like a gate to get deer in a pen. Then close it up after 4-6 weeks.

Do you use 36in or 48in tall panels?


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: stxranchman] #4088174 02/28/13 01:54 AM
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I missed out on what would have been the biggest deer of my life once over this debate. I got on a new lease and did not really know what to expect as far as deer size. All the current members told me "if a buck walks up and jumps right in your pen that's not the one you're looking for". So, opening morning my first sit at daylight out walks a 11 point that would probably score close to 160. He walked straight to my pen and hopped in. I thought WOW, they must have some great deer here if the big ones don't jump in the pens. So I videoed him for almost an hour and let him walk. When I got back to camp and showed everyone the video they all told me how crazy I was for not shooting him. Never saw him again and ended up shooting a mid 130's deer that year.

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: thewrap] #4088180 02/28/13 01:54 AM
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If cattle are not an issue and only hogs, I use 34" hog panels. If cattle or other livestock then I will use 52" cattle panels and cut down one every so often for easier access. That height will depend on livestock problems in the past.
Originally Posted By: thewrap
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Depends on cover inside the pen and what you have for feeder inside there. I like 10 panels at a minimum. I have had to take a panel down or open it partially like a gate to get deer in a pen. Then close it up after 4-6 weeks.

Do you use 36in or 48in tall panels?


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: BowSlayer] #4088198 02/28/13 02:00 AM
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This is a 48" tall pen. I think the next one I build will not be as tall.








Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: BowSlayer] #4088256 02/28/13 02:24 AM
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I personally think it has a lot to do with the age of the bucks. I have noticed over the years that young deer seem to almost rely on the feeders. To the extent they will feed there almost every day.

However the 3,4, & 5 year olds rarely rely on the feeder. They may cruise by and occasionally hop in, especially during the hot summer months, but during the season they won't be caught inside them. I think this has to do with their role in the breeding process.

Once they get into the upper age range certain deer can once again be patterned at a feeder. They are no longer the primary buck doing the breeding and seem to need the easy meal.

There are obviously exceptions but I have had deer on multiple places that seem to have followed this cycle. Disapear for the most part except for the occasional picture only to reappear regularly three or four years down the road.

Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: Leonardo] #4088447 02/28/13 03:27 AM
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They don't know it's a pen. They easily jump in so they don't THINK about it being enclosed. You are making this too hard.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: LakeForkLodge] #4088597 02/28/13 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: LakeForkLodge
They don't know it's a pen. They easily jump in so they don't THINK about it being enclosed. You are making this too hard.


They dont know its a pen but they still see the fences around them and i think a pen that is too small is definately a deal breaker for some bucks. The biggest buck on my place is on high alert just eating at the feeder without a pen, u wont convince me that a small pen around it wouldnt make a difference to him.

You wont i say!


Originally Posted By: cameron00
If I send my neighbors a text and ask them to give me feedback on my lawn and plant rye into a giant dong pattern, I'm probably going to get some less than positive feedback. Same goes here.
Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: jshouse] #4088626 02/28/13 04:33 AM
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Deer really don't like to jump any fence. They prefer to go under it or thru on opening in it rather than over a fence. The have poor depth perception also. So jumping into a cluttered or tight pen is not the appealing to them I would think. Will they? Yes. If they are raised doing it then they will. Hunger trumps all their fears and hesitations also causing them to things out of the norm.


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: jshouse] #4088629 02/28/13 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted By: jshouse
Originally Posted By: LakeForkLodge
They don't know it's a pen. They easily jump in so they don't THINK about it being enclosed. You are making this too hard.


They dont know its a pen but they still see the fences around them and i think a pen that is too small is definately a deal breaker for some bucks. The biggest buck on my place is on high alert just eating at the feeder without a pen, u wont convince me that a small pen around it wouldnt make a difference to him.

You wont i say!


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Re: Feeder pens and mature bucks? [Re: stxranchman] #4088636 02/28/13 04:43 AM
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I noticed a big difference in the number of mature deer hitting one of my feeders after I took the pen down. On our ranch and in our area, deer are used to feeders and pens. They were there long before the deer of today were born.

I believe that a pen does make a difference, for the most part and agree that the size of the pen is very important.

Just my 2cents


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