Though gardeners might have reason to drive deer away from their property, some homeowners like attracting these gentle creatures. In some cases, feeding a deer with a feeder might result in the deer leaving garden fruits and vegetables alone. Building a feeder is an easy project and helps you create a pleasant environment in your backyard where wildlife will come to visit.
Begin building a deer feeder by gathering the materials for the project. You will need a five gallon bucket, zip ties, PVC piping, and tools such as a saw, drill, permanent marker, measuring tape or ruler, and knife. Place the bucket on a flat surface and with the marker draw a line seven to eight inches from the bottom. This means your feeder will be seven to eight inches deep, preventing tiny woodland creatures from accessing the food, while providing a comfortable dining area for the deer.
Next, use your saw to cut at the line you have drawn. You should trim the feeder base and then drill five or six holes into the bottom of the bucket. This keeps moisture from building up when it rains. Moisture will cause the feed to rot and mold, making it unappealing and possibly dangerous for the deer.
The PVC piping will be used to dispense the feed into the bucket. After the holes are drilled, cut two slots in your PVC pipe with your saw, so there is a slot on each side of the pipe. The slots should be about three inches long and an inch wide. This allows for moderate dispensing, so there is enough food without creating an overflow.
Next, put the pipe slit side down in the feeder’s base. Make a mark whether the pipe sits and then use your knife to make a small slit in the base. You can then thread one of the zip ties through this hole to attach the pipe to the base. Pull the tie tight, so the pipe stays grounded in the feeder base.
Customizing Your Deer Feeder
Your feeder is essentially complete. You can decorate it if you want, but do not choose busy patterns or loud colors. You now need to find a tree where you can hang the finished feeder. Choose a tree that is in a clearing, at least a few feet from the busiest parts of your yard. If you have a dog that runs in a fenced-in area, put the feeder outside of this area because the dog will scare off the deer. You can secure the feeder to your chosen tree with a few of the zip ties used for the project. Make sure they are tight against the tree so the deer are not tempted to chew on them.
Once the feeder is attached, fill it with deer feed or corn. The feeder automatically fills as the deer eat, so they will be greeted by a supply of food, as long as you fill the tube on the regular basis. The more peaceful the area around the feeder, the more likely deer will be to visit. Do your best to never spook the deer when they are feeding, so they always feel comfortable entering the area.