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Feeder Hunters #7683971 12/09/19 07:51 AM
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I'm just curious. I have seen several posters say, "Feeder Hunters" when referring to people who sit on feeders and may need to change tactics due to acorns. I'll be honest, I've always hunted a feeder. I only have 200 acres so stalking only goes to the fence line. My property is like a Calloways Nursery of Live Oaks so hunting one tree can be like buying a lottery ticket.

My question is who doesn't hunt a feeder in Texas? If you don"t, then describe how a typical day of hunting unfolds for you. especially on smaller properties. I would like to maybe learn something new for the future.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7683979 12/09/19 10:19 AM
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If you have 200 acres; you can put a 6 acre field on it. Then you have your feeder and 300 yard shots to edges.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684005 12/09/19 12:21 PM
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I don’t hunt them. My granddad did not believe in them and therefore would not allow it. We looked around, found the deer and patterned them. We hunted right of ways, clearings, trails to water, etc. We also drove around some, spotted and stalked. There were many of “zero” days, but every year I killed a nice deer. After he was gone, I did my deal with feeders on other places, and found it to work well, especially for bow hunting, and also cause me to always be worrying if it was working, how many pics I had, and what was there. I haven’t used one in years, I currently don’t need to. There are plenty of deer moving around between the wheat fields and water sources in my area.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684030 12/09/19 01:01 PM
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I look for pinch points in trails and other cover and terrain features that deer use when traveling from point A to B. I also look at satellite images and see how the area I'm hunting merges with surrounding properties to see how cover and terrain will funnel deer movement. I could almost write a book with examples of this but not sure how many people would read it these days. It's so much easier just to sit and wait for something to show up and eat. It really boils down to three key facets of deer behavior - they know they are prey animals and for that reason they prefer to travel with cover, and they tend to be lazy animals. They will travel along grown up fence lines rather than crossing open pastures. They will cross creeks at places where the bank is not as steep and likewise, will use the saddles in hills to cross over them since it means a lesser climb. And mature bucks have their own set of travel preferences that is key to their survival. For example, rather than traveling along the peaks of ridges, they will travel along a lower line so they are not more easily silhouetted to predators. Yes, to a deer the key to survival is to stay hidden when possible, just as a doe will hide her newborn fawn.

I remember one particular spot that I hunted many years ago in Mississippi that was practically a turkey shoot. An adjacent property had been clear cut all but for a thin strip of trees and scattered brush that ran along a small creek that came into our property. Not wanting to travel across the open clear cut, the creek and thin strip of cover along it became a deer highway. I just setup a stand near the point where it came into our property and picked them off in both directions as if they were coming to a feed through, and did so without a speck of bait. I've had equal success hunting in the area where the end of fence lines offered the same basic setup.

Yes, mix in the use of trail cameras to confirm deer are using specific travel routes and you can easily harvest deer, and often more mature deer, without ever having to touch a bag of corn.

P.S. You may have to knock the dust off them, but your local public library may have a book or two that were written decades ago that offer sound advice on how to hunt deer. I have several that I've picked up through the years on eBay and other online sources. One of them includes a complete chapter on how thermals and other factors can impact air movement. For example, when hunting near the edge of an open field, expect air to be drawn towards the open field on the coldest, still mornings as the field warms more quickly than the wooded area behind you. And likewise, expect the air to be drawn away from the open pasture in the evening as it cools more quickly. This can make all the difference to a bow hunter who doesn't want to get busted by a mature buck moving into or out of a crop field. Yes, while there may appear to be no wind at all, the slightest changes in air temperature will cause changes that can carry your scent to a wary nose.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 12/09/19 01:36 PM.

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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684088 12/09/19 02:05 PM
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I have 3 feeders on our place, but haven’t shot a deer at a feeder in a few years. I do get hogs at the feeders, so they do get hunted. My deer hunting is mostly from blinds on the edges of fields.

I do believe that the feeders bring does and fawns to our place. That brings the bucks. That seems to work well when the acorns aren’t ankle deep.


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684185 12/09/19 03:54 PM
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During the rut I hunt either known travel corridors that run across our place from one neighbor to another, or bedding/cover areas I know contain does. Bucks will use the corridors to cross. They'll also check the holding areas for does.

If you hunt a place long enough you know where the deer are and the areas they tend to move through. There have been several times over the years my dad has said 'I wish we had one more deer' and I've been back in under an hour. Draws, creeks, cover, known low spots or holes in fences-all can provide good opportunities.

This year we have a small grain field that is a huge attractant. You can hunt the perimeter of the field as deer 'stage' in the cover around it, and there are known trails leading to the staging areas from neighbors' places as well as from in our own. You can also hunt further off as deer will graze and them move to bedding areas. I don't like to shoot deer in the field if I can avoid it.

We also have one of the only water sources thanks to the late summer drought. I've never seen deer use a water source like they did this year. It's in a draw that provides cover, and there is a treeline coming from the heavily-brushed neighbors place that the deer have used as a highway to get to the nearest point of the draw. That pasture has a lot of pear in it and has grassed up a lot-they 'think' they have cover but it's not hard to see them.


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684194 12/09/19 04:16 PM
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Look for trails where they are jumping the fence and hunt the fence crossings.
Your neighbors will love you for that.........
Seriously, if you are hunting over a feeder on 200 acres you are not the first, nor will you be the last.
As long as it's legal that is how we here in Texas roll, and if you don't, that's alright as well!

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: LonestarCobra] #7684331 12/09/19 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LonestarCobra
I don’t hunt them. My granddad did not believe in them and therefore would not allow it. We looked around, found the deer and patterned them. We hunted right of ways, clearings, trails to water, etc. We also drove around some, spotted and stalked. There were many of “zero” days, but every year I killed a nice deer. After he was gone, I did my deal with feeders on other places, and found it to work well, especially for bow hunting, and also cause me to always be worrying if it was working, how many pics I had, and what was there. I haven’t used one in years, I currently don’t need to. There are plenty of deer moving around between the wheat fields and water sources in my area.
This is what I believe in also . Last time I went out I found none. Fell asleep in my truck for the night and woke up and got out of the truck. When I got out of the truck it looked as if the deer were having a party around my truck with so many tracks . That day didnt see another. I think I did something wrong, haha
hammer true story


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684365 12/09/19 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Diodog
I'm just curious. I have seen several posters say, "Feeder Hunters" when referring to people who sit on feeders and may need to change tactics due to acorns. I'll be honest, I've always hunted a feeder. I only have 200 acres so stalking only goes to the fence line. My property is like a Calloways Nursery of Live Oaks so hunting one tree can be like buying a lottery ticket.

My question is who doesn't hunt a feeder in Texas? If you don"t, then describe how a typical day of hunting unfolds for you. especially on smaller properties. I would like to maybe learn something new for the future.


Based on your property description:

Create food and travel routes--in the off season clear trails for both travel and food plots.......I've noticed over the years and learned from outfitters that deer will travel the lanes you create for them, especially when everything else is thick and tall with growth. I see this all over our pasture this year. Because of the high and thick week growth, many of their primary travel routes have become roads we created and frequent to get back and forth to our hunting sets. I know an outfitter in the midwest that cuts out roads through the thick woodlots and plants them at the same time. They end up being preferred travel routes for the deer. This can also set you up well to spot and stalk your property by slowly working the edges with the wind in your favor of your trails/roads/foodplots.


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Jimbo] #7684437 12/09/19 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo
Look for trails where they are jumping the fence and hunt the fence crossings.
Your neighbors will love you for that.........


IMO, so long as both sides of the fence have good deer habitat, I see no foul in hunting a fence line. Just be sure you only take shots that have the highest probability of being able to retrieve the deer on your side of the fence. It's the guys who put up a feeder at the edge of an open pasture in an obvious attempt to draw deer from a neighbor's tract that are stretching ethical standards in my book.

Last year I took two deer from a stand that was about 20 feet from a small washout under a barbed wire fence. Being the lazy creatures they are, deer were using it to cross under the fence rather than jumping it. I even watched in amazement how a small, six-point could run under such a small washout as he was being chased by a bigger buck. I've also cases where hunters would use a piece of wire to squeeze together the strands of an old fence in order to create a low spot where deer find it easier to cross. And for the same reason, places where a tree has fallen and taken down a small section of an old fence can be great places to put up a stand. Such places are great spots to set up a game camera to see what deer and other critters might be using them.

All the comments and suggestions being made here point to how hunting whitetails can become a fun and enjoyable game of cat and mouse.

"One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted...If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it. What he is after is having to win it, to conquer the surly brute through his own effort and skill with all the extras that this carries with it: the immersion in the countryside, the healthfulness of the exercise, the distraction from his job."

Jose Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting



Last edited by Texas Dan; 12/09/19 08:11 PM.

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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684443 12/09/19 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Diodog
I'm just curious. I have seen several posters say, "Feeder Hunters" when referring to people who sit on feeders and may need to change tactics due to acorns. I'll be honest, I've always hunted a feeder. I only have 200 acres so stalking only goes to the fence line. My property is like a Calloways Nursery of Live Oaks so hunting one tree can be like buying a lottery ticket.

My question is who doesn't hunt a feeder in Texas? If you don"t, then describe how a typical day of hunting unfolds for you. especially on smaller properties. I would like to maybe learn something new for the future.



Wind in your face and the sun at your back. Walk too little, look too much, soundlessly. Look through and under trees and vegetation.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: retfuz] #7684454 12/09/19 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by retfuz
Walk too little, look too much, soundlessly. Look through and under trees and vegetation.


Your comment brings to me what an old timer once said to me about making noise when stalking deer, and it made a lot of sense. As he put it, every animal makes noise when it walks through the woods. The key is doing your best to avoid sounding like a human.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 12/09/19 08:21 PM.

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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684458 12/09/19 08:21 PM
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^^^ Yeah used to call my brother MAN WHO WALK LIKE RHINO. Could not sneak up on a trash can.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684750 12/10/19 01:51 AM
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No such thing as a "Feeder Hunter" because if you're feeding/baiting them, you're not hunting them :P The term "Feeder Harvester" is more appropriate wink Fair Chase or it isn't hunting IMO. In Texas today, the VAST MAJORITY of whitetail harvested are not taken by hunters but rather people who setup feeders and cameras and know when the deer will be coming around to harvest. I don't have anything against "Feeder Harvesting" and I understand why people do it - it's just not something that I do and it's not hunting.

Myself, I enjoy being in the woods and hunting and I don't mind leaving empty handed (if you mind those "zero" days mentioned by LonestarCobra, then hunting isn't for you) . Most people today probably wouldn't bother with whitetail if they had to actually hunt them because they'd end up leaving empty handed more so than not and people tend to lose interest in things they aren't successful at. I enjoy hunting because I enjoy a challenge and a successful hunt that you had to work for is highly rewarding (I would guess more rewarding than just harvesting at a feeder, but I've never done the feeder thing so it's just a guess).

If Texas ever banned feeding/baiting for whitetail - the whitetail population would explode because most people don't actually have real hunting skills.

Texas Dan gave the best advice.






Last edited by Binary; 12/10/19 03:50 AM.
Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684759 12/10/19 02:04 AM
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This is all highly dependent on the part of Texas youre hunting. Some of the suggestions are good if you are in East Texas or other areas where you can find these saddles and pinch points while also planting reliable food plots. Others areas like south Texas brush or western hill country the same methods are worthless. Texas is huge and it all hunts different. Food plots are big feeders no matter how you spin it anyway.

Hunt how you like and if its legal don't let any tool try to tell you its not hunting just because he thinks he does it better.

Last edited by bphillips; 12/10/19 02:07 AM.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: bphillips] #7684805 12/10/19 02:39 AM
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I started with a clod, moved up to a rock, made a sling(like David), went to a slingshot, telephone lines and cottonwood trees were my feeders——and you guys use guns? To the poster, pattern and hunt however you want.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684824 12/10/19 02:58 AM
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Our place has several cross fences and I look for trails where they travel down the fence line, find a big tree and sit and wait. Never used feeders , just don't believe in them.

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684829 12/10/19 03:06 AM
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I used to hunt feeders exclusively and, If I'm going to shoot a doe I'll put corn out so I can pick a mature one that doesn't have a late year fawn with her. But about 12 years ago I just decided it wasn't the way I wanted to hunt. The next step in my progression was to skin and butcher my own deer. I shot my first deer away from a feeder on an edge of a field in a hard rain crouched behind vegetation it was raining so hard I couldn't tell the front of the deer from the back at 40 yards. I had to sneek in another 15 yards to make him out. Shot and gutted him there in the rain. When I hung him at camp they changed my nickname to Jeremiah.

I say that not to show that I'm a great hunter (nowhere near), rather to show I enjoyed that hunt so much that I didn't mind at all the rain. Changing has forced me to learn so much more about deer behavior, habitat and food choices. I'm not near as productive as I was over a feeder, but for me, it put the joy back in whitetail hunting. Now, mind you, that's still a far second to stalking an elk or pronghorn out west. To each his own I say, but if you get bored setting in a permanent stand, hoist a lockon and try different spots.


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684858 12/10/19 03:38 AM
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The men who taught me how to hunt would always cut open the stomach of every deer that was taken so they could see what it had been eating. That information combined with their knowledge of the location of specific browse would tell them where they should focus their attention to take additional deer.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 12/10/19 03:40 AM.

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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7684895 12/10/19 05:01 AM
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Most of the deer know where the feeders are and that is where they are headed. Those trails eventually lead to a feeder or water source. With the deer population in Texas, if it wasn't for the feeders, there wouldn't be the healthy deer population that we have today. Those millions of pounds of corn that us fed are the reason for today's generous deer limits.


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7685032 12/10/19 02:01 PM
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I really appreciate all the reply’s. Some are pretty informative and others pretty funny. I do believe most hunters are like me, put up a stand, fill a feeder and wait. I don’t believe sitting on a feeder is unfair but I also think it would be pretty cool to stalk a deer! That being said, I’m not very sneaky or quiet. I would probably sound like a herd of cattle moving through the brush. I also enjoy having a beer in the stand. Sometimes just being alone in a stand and not seeing a damn thing is priceless.

I do however believe I will do a food plot next year. Thanks again..

Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7685062 12/10/19 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Diodog
I really appreciate all the reply’s. Some are pretty informative and others pretty funny. I do believe most hunters are like me, put up a stand, fill a feeder and wait. I don’t believe sitting on a feeder is unfair but I also think it would be pretty cool to stalk a deer! That being said, I’m not very sneaky or quiet. I would probably sound like a herd of cattle moving through the brush. I also enjoy having a beer in the stand. Sometimes just being alone in a stand and not seeing a damn thing is priceless.

I do however believe I will do a food plot next year. Thanks again..


So long as you buy a license, obey the regulations, and consume the resource, you're likely not to hear a gripe from most folks.

Like those who bow hunt, some simply enjoy the challenge of a more difficult hunt.

Still, I fear the day may be coming when the non-hunting majority will start asking what happened to the "hunt" in hunting.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 12/10/19 02:25 PM.

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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: dogcatcher] #7685072 12/10/19 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dogcatcher
With the deer population in Texas, if it wasn't for the feeders, there wouldn't be the healthy deer population that we have today. Those millions of pounds of corn that us fed are the reason for today's generous deer limits.


That's not true and I'm not sure what to tell you if you honestly believe that. The bag limit has been 5 for a long time now and there weren't nearly the number of feeders back when they set that. The deer explosion in Texas coincides with the elimination of the screw worm and today is fostered more by fewer people ranching small animals (sheep/goats). There's been a reduction in sheep and goats of several million head over the last 30 years. That leaves a lot of open country for deer to live.


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Re: Feeder Hunters [Re: Diodog] #7685087 12/10/19 02:49 PM
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If I want a hunting experience for a trophy animal, I don't want to sit on a feeder. If I am looking for meat, I want to sit on a feeder and make the kill as easily as possible. I know that I am old fashioned but that's the way I enjoy a great outdoor experience.
Adios,
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by dogcatcher
With the deer population in Texas, if it wasn't for the feeders, there wouldn't be the healthy deer population that we have today. Those millions of pounds of corn that us fed are the reason for today's generous deer limits.


That's not true and I'm not sure what to tell you if you honestly believe that. The bag limit has been 5 for a long time now and there weren't nearly the number of feeders back when they set that. The deer explosion in Texas coincides with the elimination of the screw worm and today is fostered more by fewer people ranching small animals (sheep/goats). There's been a reduction in sheep and goats of several million head over the last 30 years. That leaves a lot of open country for deer to live.

Over 500 million pounds of deer corn sold in 2010. Tell me that has no basis on the deer population.


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