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Too many feeders? #8319127 07/12/21 10:29 PM
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My place is 330 acres. I currently have five blinds and feeders. The terrain is rugged and none of them can see each other. There is never more than two people hunting at a time, usually myself and my son.

We have cell game cams on all of them and it sure is frustrating seeing things show up at the blinds you are not at.

I guess statistically speaking if animals are going to go to a feeder there is a 40% chance it will be one of the feeders we are at and a 60% chance it will be one we are not at. If hunting by myself there is a 80% chance they will go to a feeder I am not at.

I set up the feeders to attempt to draw and hold as much game as I can to the property and to be able to hunt different wind directions effectively. I am second guessing myself and wondering if maybe I should have fewer feeders. Our last two trips (hogs) we saw nothing at the feeders we were at but they hit the others.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319133 07/12/21 10:42 PM
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Too many feeders IMO.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319136 07/12/21 10:50 PM
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They will hit the feeders on a small place you are not at.

People sometimes put to much stock in feeders. Turn road on sendero yellow with corn will sometimes get a show of hands. Others will get you a show of hands at night LOL. But if you have trail cameras at least you will have pics of deer and pigs you can post!!


Thanks, Billy
Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319169 07/12/21 11:08 PM
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I run into the same situation on my last place...it was 234 acres with 3 blinds with a feeder pen at each blind. I had one buck I was hunting that was working 2 of the blinds but not the 3rd blind where I saw the most deer and hunted it the most. After that season I cut back from 3 blind locations to 2 with each blind having 2 feeder pens. The location I took out was the highest number of deer per sit of the 3 blinds but the other 2 blinds had every buck that I would see on the place using them. But the blind/pen I took away was not used by 100% of the bucks for some reason, more deer total but not 100% of the bucks. When I went to 2 feeders per blind and only 2 blind locations my buck sightings and over all deer sightings went way up. If you have a lot of deer then more blinds are better, especially if you have a lot mature bucks. I like 2 feeders per blind also for sunrise/sunset and changing winds. I also used a road feeder so I was drawing deer from the other blind location and the neighbors to those 2 locations. With 2 feeders per blind it would allow a dominant buck at each feeder and then the road corn would space the other bucks out.


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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319206 07/12/21 11:30 PM
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I've hunted deer since the mid 70's on both public and private land, with and without feeders, and on both small and large tracts. Here's a few things I've learned along the way shared only for what it's worth.

With or without feeders, deer will learn the sounds and smells of your approach and pattern your movements if they become too repetitive and expected. If you want to see more game, walk to your stand and choose routes that are quiet and minimize your appearance. Leave anything with a engine parked at the gate or camp until there is meat on the ground. The sound of a box stand door being shut is enough to let a wary buck or doe know a human has slipped into the area. Just image your reaction to an out-of-place sound in your own home and you'll get the idea. I've sat on cold mornings and heard the sounds of hunters talking at distances that would amaze most non-hunters. As the old saying goes, deer don't get old being stupid.

I also agree with the earlier comment that feeders are over rated when it comes to effectiveness. Still, it's only human nature for people to believe that more feeders equals more deer, or that they're a must to keep up with the neighbors. My biggest Texas buck was taken on public land where feeders and baiting were illegal. If you're going to use them, pick locations that are remote and can be reached quietly on foot. And when you hunt one, consider it dead afterwards for at least three days as studies have shown deer will smell that you've been there no matter how much you spend on anything that's supposed to kill your scent.

Finally, the best spot for a stand is often 100 yards or so along a trail that leads to a feeder. That's because more mature bucks will often scent check feeders for does and for safety from a distance and never get near the feeder. They may also stage and wait at safe distances from a feeder before dark. Use your trail cameras to discover what deer are using these routes and then pick a stand site accordingly, keeping in mind the best time to hunt any stand is the first time you crawl into it. That's why I prefer ground blinds and portable ladder stands in order to keep them guessing rather than staying in one spot. Simply put, stay stealthy and stay mobile.

I took the buck below on a small, 100-acre, private tract in Mississippi in a ladder stand that I had put up no more than hour earlier. It was very late in the season and the deer had never been seen by relatives who had been hunting the tract. I took him about 200 yards from a half-acre food plot that was the only man-made food source on the property.

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Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/12/21 11:51 PM.

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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319216 07/12/21 11:36 PM
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I have 172 acres and have (6) corn feeders (2) 1250# protein feeders and (2) 2.5 acre food plots. Do I have too many feeders, probably, but I don't care, I want as many deer on my property as possible. (4) of the corn feeders are hog paneled and the other 2 are fair game for deer/hogs. I spend a crap load on feed, fertilizer and seed too!

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319271 07/13/21 12:51 AM
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We have about 10 feeders and 7 stands on 300 acres. Last year I concentrated on only 3 feeders that were easy to access from camp. Saw more deer than ever and my Brother and I both shot mature 10 pt bucks out of the same stand behind the house.

Last edited by Erathkid; 07/13/21 12:51 AM.

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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319276 07/13/21 12:59 AM
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What you can do with that many feeders is set them to feed when you see the most deer at each location...some in the evenings only or mornings only. Those you see the same amount of deer you can set to go off multiple times per day evening or mornings. Also take into consideration time of the year and then accessing them....if the feeder is better early season or rut or you run to many deer off trying to hunt it in the morning.


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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319277 07/13/21 01:01 AM
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I have 6 on my 133 acres. Some for gun and some for bow. Last year a kid that hunts my place and I both tagged out with big bucks on opening weekend. I don’t shoot does or allow the shooting of them so that left me pig hunting into the summer. The corn I bought for hunting season lasted until it was too hot to even pig hunt.

I drag the pigs off into a clearing for the buzzards.


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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Dave Davidson] #8319316 07/13/21 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
I have 6 on my 133 acres. Some for gun and some for bow. Last year a kid that hunts my place and I both tagged out with big bucks on opening weekend. I don’t shoot does or allow the shooting of them so that left me pig hunting into the summer. The corn I bought for hunting season lasted until it was too hot to even pig hunt.

I drag the pigs off into a clearing for the buzzards.

What is your reason for not shooting does?

Just curious,
LeonCarr


"Whitetail Deer are extinct because of rifles with telescopes mounted on them." - My 11th Grade English Teacher
Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319323 07/13/21 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
My place is 330 acres. I currently have five blinds and feeders.


It would appear you enough land to justify adding 10 more feeders.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/13/21 02:18 AM.

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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319427 07/13/21 07:51 AM
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Thanks guys. Lots of differing viewpoints and things to consider. As to the smells and activity scaring them off I am not convinced. The biggest deer I have seen on my property [Linked Image] showed up at a feeder a couple hours after I was there filling it with a skid steer. We actually have more whitetails and don’t see a whole lot of mulies.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319440 07/13/21 11:10 AM
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I hunt about a 600 acre pasture with two blinds and four feeders. I primarily hunt what I refer to as my primary.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8319518 07/13/21 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
[Linked Image]


OMG....He has to weigh close to 300 on the hoof.


High fence, low fence, no fence, it really doesn't matter as long as you're hunting!
Re: Too many feeders? [Re: LeonCarr] #8319860 07/13/21 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LeonCarr
Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
I have 6 on my 133 acres. Some for gun and some for bow. Last year a kid that hunts my place and I both tagged out with big bucks on opening weekend. I don’t shoot does or allow the shooting of them so that left me pig hunting into the summer. The corn I bought for hunting season lasted until it was too hot to even pig hunt.

I drag the pigs off into a clearing for the buzzards.

What is your reason for not shooting does?

Just curious,
LeonCarr

Probably the same reason we don't. Our place was shot out 22 years ago. Been steadily climbing since. We don't have an overpopulation issue like some areas of the state. Our habitat is excellent, deer are fat. It's all good.


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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8320426 07/14/21 02:23 AM
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We have 7 feeders over 1000 acres. We play the wind. Any one of the 7 can produce.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8320669 07/14/21 01:12 PM
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I have 2 feeders on 37 acres. They are each on an old pipeline hundred yards each direction from my blind. I hardly ever see anything. lots of hunting pressure around me in Harrison County. Only feed corn year round.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8320735 07/14/21 02:03 PM
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I have feeders on my place that some may consider too close together, but we are in heavy brush ad trees, so the multiple feeders and blinds give me options on wind, times of day, etc- i don’t think there can be a hard rule.


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Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8320904 07/14/21 05:25 PM
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On my 320 acre personal property, we have 5 stand locations with feeders and protein feeders. It's setup so if/when I lose my lease, my wife and daughters can hunt separately. I'm drawing as many deer as possible onto my property, the land itself is setup to support that many as well. But I am surrounded on 3 sides by a 40,000 acre ranch. On my 2000 acre lease we have 8 stand and feeder setups, all brush and more than adequate distance between setups.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Sewer rat] #8325828 07/20/21 02:59 AM
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There are a certain number of deer, that live on, or pass thru, a property. I don't see the number of feeders making much of a difference. Some say "Put out the feed, and the deer will come." Try that in an area with few deer. One of the leases I am on is in East TX. We usually have a great acorn crop. Every hog we shot, came to a feeder. Not so with the deer. Most of the deer I have been taken were in areas deer use, and I hunt. Nothing wrong with feeders. However, IMO, at some point they become excessive.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Erathkid] #8325942 07/20/21 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Erathkid
Originally Posted by LeonCarr
Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
I have 6 on my 133 acres. Some for gun and some for bow. Last year a kid that hunts my place and I both tagged out with big bucks on opening weekend. I don’t shoot does or allow the shooting of them so that left me pig hunting into the summer. The corn I bought for hunting season lasted until it was too hot to even pig hunt.

I drag the pigs off into a clearing for the buzzards.

What is your reason for not shooting does?

Just curious,
LeonCarr

Probably the same reason we don't. Our place was shot out 22 years ago. Been steadily climbing since. We don't have an overpopulation issue like some areas of the state. Our habitat is excellent, deer are fat. It's all good.


Several members here have hunted with me and all will tell you the same thing. I've probably got the highest concentration of deer than any of the neighboring ranches, both bucks and does. I say it's due to this.
#1 I feed like crazy.
#2 I don't shoot Does., Does attract bucks., Does have baby bucks. Now I have let some folks take a doe from time to time but it's not often, my neighbors seem to take plenty so not much need for me to.


Yes! A Weatherby does kill them deader.
Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Brother Phil] #8325945 07/20/21 11:16 AM
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Quote
There are a certain number of deer, that live on, or pass thru, a property.


But that number changes from year to year, especially if you have water and give them all they can eat. The population will adjust to the food and water sources available.


Yes! A Weatherby does kill them deader.
Re: Too many feeders? [Re: HWY_MAN] #8326225 07/20/21 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by HWY_MAN
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There are a certain number of deer, that live on, or pass thru, a property.


But that number changes from year to year, especially if you have water and give them all they can eat. The population will adjust to the food and water sources available.


Based on my discussions with them, I suspect most wildlife biologists would disagree. Every biologist that I've communicated with directly made it clear that deer numbers are based the levels of natural browse that is available to them over a wider area than most hunters realize. Feeders and foot plots should only be seen as "supplemental" food sources that work well in concentrating deer that live nearby, which falls in line with my own experience. My experience with game cameras and feeders has shown me that while deer will frequent a feeder, it's often the same small groups that use them routinely. Simply put, if you're seeing a lot of different bucks at a feeder, you can attribute it to a lot of natural browse in the general area.

The true impact that feeders have on deer is seen every year once the acorns start dropping.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 07/20/21 03:51 PM.

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To Texas Dan. Great post. I have read some very detailed articles on white tail deer management. There are many good ones available online. Some are specific to Texas. None of the articles I read, suggest deer feeders, or supplemental feeding, as a deer management tool. Most said that if anything, they can upset the natural balance of food, and do more harm, than good. As far as attracting deer for hunting, they have a place. There are exceptions where they make a difference, think of a high fenced ranch, with a unlimited budget. They can, and do, grow (and breed) their own trophy deer. The rich then pay to "hunt" them. I do use deer feeders, and will continue to do so. I start feeding in the Fall, and don't feed all year.

Re: Too many feeders? [Re: Texas Dan] #8326423 07/20/21 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Dan
Originally Posted by HWY_MAN
Quote
There are a certain number of deer, that live on, or pass thru, a property.


But that number changes from year to year, especially if you have water and give them all they can eat. The population will adjust to the food and water sources available.


Based on my discussions with them, I suspect most wildlife biologists would disagree. Every biologist that I've communicated with directly made it clear that deer numbers are based the levels of natural browse that is available to them over a wider area than most hunters realize. Feeders and foot plots should only be seen as "supplemental" food sources that work well in concentrating deer that live nearby, which falls in line with my own experience. My experience with game cameras and feeders has shown me that while deer will frequent a feeder, it's often the same small groups that use them routinely. Simply put, if you're seeing a lot of different bucks at a feeder, you can attribute it to a lot of natural browse in the general area.

The true impact that feeders have on deer is seen every year once the acorns start dropping.

No, it means that you have a very high deer density with a great buck to doe ratio. If you are seeing a lot of deer at feeder on your land it due to that feeder concentrating them. The size of a place dictates how many deer live on it and then how far you can draw them from your neighbors. Late season on my old place it was unreal how many deer I would see on 234 acres. I fed protein/corn and planted food plots year round and the deer knew it was not pressured...safe bedding areas with lots of feed and water. One morning I had 44 deer at the 2 feeders and on the oats. That evening(hunts usually were slower due to the time it took the deer moving from the neighbors) I saw 42. In a 3 day period, I either saw in person or on trail cams 38 different bucks. That year I had 47 different bucks on cameras or seen in person. I was seeing more bucks than does for several years in a row and I was the only one shooting does in the area. Less does can raise as many fawns as an overpopulation of does can raise under average conditions. I never really had a hog issue since I will never have a feeder without a pen around it. Plus I trapped and shot everyone that I could. The neighbors all had feeders without pens. Another reason I was able to hold so many deer on a little place.


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