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Is Bigger Always Better #7691937 12/18/19 01:20 PM
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DQ Kid Offline OP
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Thinking of consolidating 3 penned feeder locations into 2 larger, more centralized ones for next season and was wondering what are known benefits to having larger pens? My current pens are on the smaller side, probably 5-6 panels and hoping to double those in size. Currently not uncommon to have 2-4 doe in the pens at one time and 1-2 bucks. With larger pens should I expect more does potentially in at any given time, bucks? I will run a combination of spin fed corn and on demand gravity protein feeders. What has been the direct experience of the THF when switching from smaller to larger feeder pens??

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7691946 12/18/19 01:38 PM
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Bigger the pen more tolerant other deer are, but the biggest attribute is when feeding protein, more ports you have more deer will eat protein.

Summer bachelor groups have a pecking order and most groups spend a limited amount of time at a protein feeder, so more ports more feeding opportunity

If you only have four ports probably only going to feed 2 dominate deer while the group is there for a limited time.

Now say you have two feeders total of 8 ports now you are feeding atleast 4 deer out of that particular group if that makes sense.



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Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7691947 12/18/19 01:39 PM
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Bigger is better, especially if your pens are that small to begin with. My opinion only, is that 10 panels is the smallest to make one.


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Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7691954 12/18/19 01:43 PM
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IME you can't go too large, 12-14 panels are ideal.....while your at it consider upgrading your feeder to a 1000# Alamo feeder. The design of this feeder throws out a perfect circle of evenly spread corn. Didn't realize what a difference that makes until I started watching 7+ bucks feeding at the same time because of how spread out the corn is so no deer can dominate a pile from the rest........


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Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7691962 12/18/19 01:51 PM
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When I switched from 6 hog panels to 10, it made a significant difference in the number of deer that I not only saw in the pen, but around it also. (bigger is better)!
On how many feeders that depends on the size of the property and amount of hunters.

I forgot how many acres your property is but lets say a person has 100 acres and it is usually just him hunting but sometimes a family member or friend.
I would not have over two feeders on that size of a place.

I would have both feeders placed so they can be viewed from a main blind for rifle shots and have another rifle blind setup that only overlooks the second feeder in case you have that extra hunter that needs a blind to themselves. This will ensure that when you are hunting by yourself out of the main blind you see all of the deer at the feeders instead of having the possibility that they are feeding from a third feeder that you cannot see and have an opportunity for a shot up

Last edited by Stub; 12/18/19 01:54 PM.

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Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7691996 12/18/19 02:23 PM
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Yep bigger is always better. As others have said I doubt you can make one too big.

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7692029 12/18/19 02:58 PM
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I'm at half an acre for my pen. I gave up on panels and fencing and ran a single strand of hot wire a foot off of the ground to keep hogs out. I don't have cattle or anything else to deal with, just hogs. This has worked so much better then I ever hoped it would, no more hogs stealing all the corn and running the deer off, and now the deer are out there all night long, and every year there are more then the year before.

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: krmitchell] #7692036 12/18/19 03:00 PM
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Good advice above. Also, depending on the height of your blind, bigger means less chance of your shot hitting a panel square and ricocheting away from where ya were aiming for. Then too, how big can you go before your land owner says something?


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Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7692046 12/18/19 03:06 PM
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My experience may not be helpful, the smallest feed pen I've built was 8 - 16' panels and that was only due to limited space.
IMO it was a waste of time & effort.

No one can accurately predict if you'll see more deer inside a pen if it were larger.
Depends on deer population, distance to cover, if you have deer waiting their turn at the feed source, if pigs routinely come to existing feed pen to eat corn thrown outside of pen.
I'd say going from 3 feeders down to 2 will concentrate the deer that use your property to the 2 feeders.

Larger pens ( IMO properly sized ) keep the corn inside of the pen so as to not attract / tempt undesirable species from trying the pen to find a weak point to access.
At least reduce the frequency & amount of pigs coming to them, if they can't access feed, sooner or later they'll move on to where they can.
Larger pens help deer feel less contained, less fidgety calmer when inside, as you've seen deer don't always get along with each other, more room inside the pen less fussing & fighting and jumping in & out to avoid each other / or a dominant buck or doe.
I firmly believe when you reduce the amount of pigs attracted / coming to your feed source you'll see more deer.

Just me, how far a corn feeder slings corn is the bare minimum pen size, from there I like to have at least several feet to the panels.
I consider 10 - 12 16' panels a small feed pen. 12 - 16' panels is as small as I will build one. 14 - 18 16' panels is what I normally use.

I know several that use panels or quality 32" ~ 39" field fence as a feed pen / food plot protection for 1 - 20 acres, that way they can have that size food plots fenced off from livestock & pig destruction.
If you use field fencing it must be installed correctly, no shortcuts. Barb wire top & bottom wire for re enforcement is always a good idea in areas with an infestation of pigs.

I'm definitely in the bigger the pen the better crowd.

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: Stub] #7692194 12/18/19 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Stub
When I switched from 6 hog panels to 10, it made a significant difference in the number of deer that I not only saw in the pen, but around it also. (bigger is better)!
On how many feeders that depends on the size of the property and amount of hunters.

I forgot how many acres your property is but lets say a person has 100 acres and it is usually just him hunting but sometimes a family member or friend.
I would not have over two feeders on that size of a place.

I would have both feeders placed so they can be viewed from a main blind for rifle shots and have another rifle blind setup that only overlooks the second feeder in case you have that extra hunter that needs a blind to themselves. This will ensure that when you are hunting by yourself out of the main blind you see all of the deer at the feeders instead of having the possibility that they are feeding from a third feeder that you cannot see and have an opportunity for a shot up

This up


Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7693275 12/19/19 06:50 PM
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Again, it really depends on the amount of deer in your area. If you have a high population of deer than you definitely need a big pen (12-18 panels.) On a ranch with a low deer population, you could get away with 8-10 panels. The taller the panels (32" hog panels is what I use) than the bigger the pen. Cattle panels which are more than 50" high would definitely require a large pen size (15-20 panels.) Remember, the higher the panels then the higher your deer blind will have to be to shoot over them.

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: Hunter Daddy] #7693323 12/19/19 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunter Daddy
Again, it really depends on the amount of deer in your area. If you have a high population of deer than you definitely need a big pen (12-18 panels.) On a ranch with a low deer population, you could get away with 8-10 panels. The taller the panels (32" hog panels is what I use) than the bigger the pen. Cattle panels which are more than 50" high would definitely require a large pen size (15-20 panels.) Remember, the higher the panels then the higher your deer blind will have to be to shoot over them.

Not sure how to answer that, I have a all place around 70 acres and generally draw in 1-4 deer nightly and 1-2 early mornings with 1-2 being bucks to my current locations. My concern is that it is not as inviting as larger pens may be and maybe my deer numbers could increase 10-20%?

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7693375 12/19/19 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DQ Kid
Originally Posted by Hunter Daddy
Again, it really depends on the amount of deer in your area. If you have a high population of deer than you definitely need a big pen (12-18 panels.) On a ranch with a low deer population, you could get away with 8-10 panels. The taller the panels (32" hog panels is what I use) than the bigger the pen. Cattle panels which are more than 50" high would definitely require a large pen size (15-20 panels.) Remember, the higher the panels then the higher your deer blind will have to be to shoot over them.

Not sure how to answer that, I have a all place around 70 acres and generally draw in 1-4 deer nightly and 1-2 early mornings with 1-2 being bucks to my current locations. My concern is that it is not as inviting as larger pens may be and maybe my deer numbers could increase 10-20%?


I have all but one feeder penned this year. Most of then pens are 5-7 panels with one being smaller. Based on camera activity the feeder without a pen always has the most deer next to the feeder. The smallest pen never has more than 3 deer in it (although some are always hanging around it), the 5-7 panels have 4-5 deer regularly in the pen and the pen with no fence consistently has 7 deer next to the feeder. They also bed down right next to the feeder. Are you seeing deer near the feeder that aren't committing and getting in?

Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: DQ Kid] #7693453 12/19/19 10:38 PM
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If your having to shoot through barbwire or hog panels, consider where and what angle you will be shooting from. The fence needs to be placed where your shot will clear what ever you put up.

Last edited by HornSlayer; 12/19/19 10:39 PM.

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Re: Is Bigger Always Better [Re: HornSlayer] #7693812 12/20/19 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by HornSlayer
If your having to shoot through barbwire or hog panels, consider where and what angle you will be shooting from. The fence needs to be placed where your shot will clear what ever you put up.

What I do, is put up hog panel and then cut the top two rows on the panel that is facing the stand. That does two things.
Allows me to shoot over the wire when shooting into the feeder. Makes a lower place where the fawns start to learn to
jump and I think it becomes a habit as the following years 75% of the deer walk to the lower panel and jump there. Of
course 25% just jump it where they walk up to it. I also spray pain orange the top row of the panel that I cut down so
that I can truly see my sights going over the fence. I have not had any problems with hogs trying to get in and I have
a lot of hog problems.


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