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All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? #8975677 12/20/23 02:13 PM
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Guys, I'm throwing around the idea of swapping my two penned feeder spots next year to either two enlarged penned areas, one enlarged penned and one unpenned or just go two completely unpenned areas. Considering these changes in hopes of drawing more overall activity into my place, primarily during prime hunting hours. Also, draw in more types of game, deer, hogs, turkey and varmints, with pens I have greatly eliminated sightings of all besides deer. When I initially bought the place in 2008, I ran feeders completely unpenned, but seemed to be feeding lots of hogs nocturnally, deer and quite a few turkey with occasional sightings of bobcats, yotes and fox, one red included, and one coati or large ring tail too. After a couple of seasons, I grew tired of feeding so many hogs, a few of which I shot that I went up with the current pens, which I know are not as large as need to be. So, at minimum, I probably need to double the size of each of those but am really leaning towards leaving one unpenned and enlarge penning the other. Bit of background on my property, it's about 70 acres, medium to heavier brush cover on 3 perimeter sides with lighter brush cover, mesquite flats in middle, deep 1/2 acre tank on west perimeter side fed by road spillway runoff. Surrounded on north side by 500-600 acre ranch, lightly hunted and 500-1000 acre ranch on south side, also lightly hunted. Ranches to east and west are 100+ acre ranches both lightly to moderately hunted. I would class my property as lightly to moderately hunted as well with a trailer on the NE end of property away from hunting locations in South Central mesquite flat pasture and North Central mesquite flat pasture.
Last detail and important one is that I am situated on a fairly busy farm market road frontage.
If you were me, what would you do with the feed locations???

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8975687 12/20/23 02:24 PM
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I would unpen them both and set feed times/amounts accordingly so that there isn't much left for the hogs to eat at night.


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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8975730 12/20/23 03:33 PM
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After I've killed my buck I move my feeder to the edge of my large pen. I kill pigs that get the corn that throws outside the pen, and the typical deer that hit the feeder still come into the pen.

My goal is to keep hogs from damaging my feeder, it's still in the pen so I'm good. During deer season I don't want hogs around at all.


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8975867 12/20/23 09:27 PM
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Moving your corn feeder closer to the edge of your pen will allow corn to be thrown outside of the pen for the hogs to eat. I would keep your feeders in the pen unless you want huge, deep holes under your feeders from the hogs.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8975878 12/20/23 09:35 PM
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Pens don’t bother deer or turkey IME unless they are very small and inhibit natural behavior and movement. We are in the process of enlarging most of our pens so that they are 4x4 hog panel squares. These include both protein and corn feeders. If there is only one feeder inside a 2x2 square has worked fine for us.

If your feeder throws corn outside the panels, hogs will come, and over time can very easily root under or bust through the panels so we have a few corn feeders that we leave unpenned to concentrate hog opportunities

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8975887 12/20/23 10:07 PM
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I've always had one separate feeder away from my deer feeder with the pen openings on the bottom just for pigs.


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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8975974 12/21/23 12:59 AM
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Enlarge the pens.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8976005 12/21/23 01:46 AM
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I would un pen one and use materials to enlarge the other pen. Separate them and the hogs won’t bother the deer much.


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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8976216 12/21/23 03:57 PM
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I always will pen feeders long term. I like the feedback about positioning the feeder on the edge of the pen if you want to kill hogs. If the end game is to kill big mature deer, pens are mandatory. Deer do not like pigs, period.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: 4Weight] #8976233 12/21/23 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 4Weight
I always will pen feeders long term. I like the feedback about positioning the feeder on the edge of the pen if you want to kill hogs. If the end game is to kill big mature deer, pens are mandatory. Deer do not like pigs, period.

Agree. I'll be pushing my feeder to the edge tomorrow. Been waiting for it get low enough so I can get it moved. It's a Ramball, heavy enough empty. It will still sling corn 35 ' outside the pen once I get it moved to the edge.


An unethical shot is one you take, that you know you shouldn't.
Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8978011 12/25/23 03:27 PM
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Several years ago, I began using a 12ft high tripod feeder and no feed pen. Even though we had hogs, I set feeding times at 0645 and 1600 daily. We still had hogs during the night but my spot never got overrun by hogs during the day.

Our lease was sold, so I went to a new lease, and IMMEDIATELY found that there WERE NO HOGS.....unbelievable! We did have cows, but they were never a real problem, so switched from the tripod and began using All Seasons stand/fill feeders. Sent this photo to All Seasons for their Gallery!
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Last edited by jdickey; 12/25/23 03:30 PM.

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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8978940 12/27/23 09:57 PM
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Do you feed all year? If so, feeding starting about two week before the rifle season, and then ending after the season, would save quite a bit. If you hog hunt through out the year, you could just run one feeder. In terms of the amount of deer you see, I don't think the pen or no pen makes much difference, unless you are over run with hogs, and they push the deer away from the feeder. Or you could leave on pen up, remove the other one, and see what happens.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8978955 12/27/23 10:44 PM
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if i owned the land or had long term lease, I would have pens with no less then 30 16’ panels


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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: BOBO the Clown] #8979026 12/28/23 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
if i owned the land or had long term lease, I would have pens with no less then 30 16’ panels

30, wow. That’s kind of a big deal……


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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8979046 12/28/23 02:09 AM
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I agree with BOBO...if you haven't hunted with large pens I suggest you talk to someone that has. I think most know how I feel about big pens. I have pics of 20 large bucks in one pen all at one time compared to two or three. There is a BIG difference. I don't care if I ever see another hog and you might see hogs around the outside the pen ..but not inside and the deer are quite aware the hogs can't get inside. I had a break in my fence one time and had only a few deer...as soon as I fixed the break I had 12 to 15 deer inside. Never under estimate a large pen(60X90feet). You can feed many deer with a large pen. My neighbors had many hogs to deal with ....I had none most of the time. You will see first hand the games bucks play while feeding inside a pen. I have put out 50 lb.s of corn and the next day it will all be gone.. I feed more corn and less protein. This is my favorite subject by the way....LOL

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8979054 12/28/23 02:18 AM
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By the way I feed yer around!

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8979268 12/28/23 07:36 PM
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I run two corn feeders on our 60 acre place. One is penned and one is not, I hunt deer at one of them and hogs at the other. The deer don't generally go to the unpenned one and the hogs don't come to the penned one, so it works out great.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: freerange] #8979308 12/28/23 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Originally Posted by BOBO the Clown
if i owned the land or had long term lease, I would have pens with no less then 30 16’ panels

30, wow. That’s kind of a big deal……


you can put a bow blind inside or edge of the pen(25yards +- Radius). More space more deer. Plus more relaxed IMO.

Also if you feed protein it allows for more ports spread out so more bucks with in bachelor group will feed


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Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8979333 12/28/23 10:35 PM
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Interesting question. I am going the other way. Our place in Navarro county has no pens. I am definitely going to pen the protein feeders, and trying to decide if I want to pen all, some, or none of the corn feeders too.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8979384 12/28/23 11:56 PM
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My blind was around 22 yards from the edge to my pen fence...and 40 yards to the middle of my pen ....and between two of my feeders. Most of my shots was 15 to 25 yards. I really hate those long shots...lol I do hunt with a cross bow but all of my deer except for 1 when I shot an eight point 40 yards off...the rest has been with my 30 06. That is usually a buck every 3-4 years apart. I enjoy getting the data for my counts as I use that for another part of my hunting hobby. You would be surprised what things you learn from being around deer that much.
"Uncle" you need to build one large pen just to see the difference..however, if you are feeding hogs all bets are off.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8984671 01/09/24 06:04 PM
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Go as Big as you can with pen. I have similar experience as described by BOBO with multiple large bucks inside pen, pop out just outside pen with cut down jump gates. Most shots 18-25 yards. I like being in close and just watching and learning deer socializing. These days, I mostly rather watch then shoot and then have the cleaning work. We have pigs pigs pigs and more pigs. deer are skittish around pigs but sometimes they feed side by side on non pen locations and yes deer will step around dead pigs to get to feed. We shoot the pigs on sight and still have deer within a few minutes come it cautiously to dead pig. Try not to shoot pigs under feeders to avoid dragging them off. IMO minimum 8 16' panels. I like 10-12 buy if had money would go 25-30 panels.

Re: All Penned, All Unpenned or a Mix of Both? [Re: DQ Kid] #8985236 01/10/24 05:14 PM
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Actually my one of my pens I built it 60X60 ft. then the next year I added another 30 by 60 ft.and put up three feeders. Worked great. However, 8, panels will work also but my feeders would throw corn outside that size bringing out the hogs.

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