10 Easiest Ways To Build Homemade Deer Feeder

Is it possible to come up with a simple, cheap homemade deer feeder that gives you an easy time viewing or hunting the deer?

Yes! This is 100% possible.

I’ll tell you a story…

Some seasons back, I was walking around the local hunting stores, and my eyes couldn’t stop exploring the various game feeders on display. They looked great, professionally designed, and ready for their intended job.

On this particular season, I was planning to set up a few deer feeders that would help me bait the does and bucks alike. Sadly, these feeders were selling at a bit high prices, and my budget couldn’t allow me to purchase one.

What about coming up with my homemade deer feeder?

An idea popped up in my mind. I decided that I would not do this alone (I had to seek the help of my buddy). We headed to the local hardware to figure out how we could this. Soon, we had set up an excellent feeder- worked like the automatic deer feeder- at incredibly low cost than you could imagine!

Since then, we have been designing deer feeders for our hunting activities.

You too can start making your deer feeders today. All you need is the necessary materials (readily available at your local hardware) and our TOP deer feeder plans that we have been using for seasons.

Allow me to hold your hand through these top plans that are real easy and cheap to implement…

The Ten Best and Easiest to Implement Plans for Effective Homemade Deer Feeders:

To make things easier for you to comprehend, we will divide our projects into three broad categories and provide you with instruction on how to build up to 3 feeders in each plan.

Let’s go:

i). PVC Deer Feeders

As the name suggests, these feeders are constructed from a 4, 6, 8, or 10-inch PVC. Note that you can also use other pipe type products- such as the Tressel type or the driveway whistle pipes.

There are several plans for this type of feeders, but most of them are designed in such a way that you attach them to trees, posts, and fences.

Here are the three best picks for PVC deer feeders that you can make from the comfort of your home:

1. Gravity Feed Deer Feeder

Well start with the easiest to make PVC deer feeder- we like to refer this as a gravity feeder since it employs gravity for feeding. It is also one of the cheapest pipe feeders to make (uses less than $20) and will take only 10 minutes of your time.

Materials needed:

  • 5 foot, 4’ diameter PVC or any other type of pipe
  • A grate
  • A plug
  • PVC wye

Procedure:

  1. The first step involves fixing the PVC wye to one end of your 5’ 4-inch diameter pipe
  2. Next, set the grate to the bottom of the wye- this helps to drain efficiently any rain water that might get into the feeder
  3. To keep water from entering the feeder from the top, you will also need to fix the plug at the feeder’s top (the plus is made in such a way that you can tighten it up to ensure that not even a drop of water find its way through)
  4. Now that your feeder is ready for use, take it to your ideal hunting or viewing location and strap it securely to a tree (ratchet straps or ropes can do)
  5. Fill the feeder with corn- start by filling the wye opening and then fill from the top of the feeder. This makes it a gravity feeder where the corn in the pipe will flow down by gravity when the deer feeds on the corn in the wye.

2. Feed on demand PVC Deer Feeder

This is probably the easiest version of PVC feeders to make. It requires neither cutting nor use of special tools.

Things you’ll need:

  • Four small eye bolts
  • A 10-inch x 10-inch piece of scrap lumber, plywood, etc.
  • Spray paint or camo
  • Purple primer
  • 2½-3- foot length of the 6-inch PVC pipe
  • 6-inch slip-over PVC cap
  • 6-inch PVC wye
  • Cement

Instructions:

  1. Start by priming the end of the PVC pipe as well as one side of the wye
  2. Piece the two together with the aid of cement
  3. Drill 2 holes on the pipe’s either side, halfway up, and insert 2 of the eye bolts (these helps secure your feed to a tree via rope or ratchet strap)
  4. Now add slip-over PVC cap and drill a hole right through the top for use with a third eye bolt (this acts as a handle for removing the lid, filling the feeder)
  5. Drill another hole- this time through the side of the PVC and the cap- for the last eyebolt (this serves to prevent offensive critters from pulling off the lid from your feeder)
  6. You don’t want your feeder to look like a toilet fixture when you take it to the woods right? Simply paint it with the camo and give it a few days to dry (deer will not come to it until the paint odor fades)
  7. Finally, fill your feeder (holds 30-40 pounds of corn) and set it to your desired location. Remember to set it on the top of the plywood or scrap lumber to keep off bugs. Also secure it to a tree, post or fence.

3. The Red Neck Deer Feeder

This is a deer feeder that we have created for uncountable times, and I guarantee you that it works if you follow our instructions below carefully.

This is the plan, materials needed:

  • 6-inch PVC pipe
  • Cap
  • Camo paint
  • 36-inch drywall
  • 3¼-inchc plywood
  • Drill
  • Furniture glue

Procedure:

  1. Being by cutting your PVC pipe to around 4 inches. You can choose a longer or shorter length depending on your needs. Also Scuff the surfaces of your pipe to ensure that your camo paint will hold on better
  2. Now glue a round block of wood (that fits the pipes diameter) at the center of your 3 ¼ inch block of plywood - acts as the base of the feeder
  3. Mount your PVC on the base- such that it covers the round block- and drill some holes through the pipe and the circular block to help screw in the pipe securely
  4. Next, you need to drill up to 3, 2-inch or slightly smaller holes at the base of the pipe- where the corn will be oozing out of your feeder
  5. Place the cap on the top part to prevent entry of rain water into your feeder
  6. Cut another circle- the diameter of the one you cut earlier- and stick it to your drywall
  7. Drill a hole through the center of the cap and pass your drywall (this acts as a gauge that drops down slowly as the deer feeds on the corn, alerting you when to refill your feeder). You can paint the drywall for easy viewing
  8. Finally, do some camo paint work on your new red neck deer feeder, allow it to dry and that’s all! Your feeder is ready for the task.

ii). Bucket and Barrel Deer Feeders

Another common style of homemade deer feeders involve the use of buckets or barrels- the five-gallon buckets, galvanized trash cans, and plastic barrels are usually used here.

One unique thing about the feeders we make using this style is that they hold more food for the deer, plus you can set them up in such a way that they make the deer nudge their bottom in an attempt to get the ‘meal.’

You can incorporate an automatic spinner and timer to these styles to make them automatic feeders.

Our top styles for this category include:

4. 5-Gallon Bucket Deer Feeder

Things you’ll need:

  • A study rope
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • A simple metal rod or-an old broom handle
  • Metallic tin

Instructions:

  1. Take the 5-gallon bucket and drill a hole at its bottom- the hole should be ¼”- ½” larger than the old broom handle
  2. Grab your broom handle and put two nails in the sides- opposite each other- about 6-inches from one end
  3. With the long end facing down, slide your broom handle into the bucket and let it pass through the hole you drilled earlier (the nails keeps the handle from falling)
  4. Tie one end of the study rope to your bucket handle and the other end to the brand of a tree- ensuring that the broom handle hangs around 4-5 feet above the ground
  5. Eventually, fill your bucket with corn and close it with the lid to prevent water from entering the feeder. Also, spread some corn beneath the feeder
  6. You can attach the metallic tin to the bottom of the handle or the simple metal rod - with time the deer will learn to nudge the hanging metallic tin and more corn will come out as a result

5. Barrel Deer Feeder

Yes! You can also construct a simple feeder using a 30- 55-gallon barrel, which you can easily acquire at no cost. The best thing about this type of feeder is that it can be filled with all kinds of grains, including the black oil sunflower, oats, corns, and even a mixture of grains. It usually serves as a ground feeder and works wonders not only for the deer but also for the turkeys, as well as other upland birds.

Let me show you how to come up with an excellent barrel deer feeder:

Things you will need:

  • A 55-gallon plastic barrel – should not contain pesticides and other toxic chemicals
  • A PVC feeder head/wye
  • A 2 x 4 lumber piece

Things to follow:

  1. First things first, thoroughly wash your barrel
  2. Proceed by cutting the lid of the barrel- this involves cutting one end of the barrel to create an opening through which you will pour grains into the feeder. Avoid cutting your barrel with a cutting torch as this may lead to the vapors in the barrel exploding. A saber saw is the best tool for this task
  3. On the other end of the barrel, cut out a ring through which you can fit a PVC feeder head
  4. Glue the PVC head and assemble it- this is the gate through which corn will be pouring out of the feeder
  5. It’s time to build the base of the barrel feeder with the aid of the lumbar piece
  6. When all is done, fill the feeder with corn, attach the lid (to keep off rain water), and add the straps support.

6. 55-Gallon Gravity Deer Feeder

Making a homemade gravity feeder for the deer is also easy and cheap.

All you need is the following things:

  • 55-gallon plastic barrel
  • 4’ PVC for tube feeders
  • Treated 2x4x8

The entire construction will cost you less than two hours. Here’s how to do it:

  1. After you have thoroughly washed your barrel, cut the upper end to remove the lid
  2. Cut a round hole that will fit the PVC wye- with the hl of jigsaw
  3. Install the PVC wye to the bottom hole, glue it, and assemble your PVC feeders (these will be pouring corn to the ground due to the gravity effect)
  4. Use the legs of the feeder using the treated 2x4x8’s
  5. Finish up by doing a camo paint all over the barrel (this is optional)

iii). Trough Type Deer Feeders

There are feeders made of tree stumps, wooden stands, and hay feeders- similar to those used to feed the cattle and other small animals like sheep. Deer feeders under this category can stand freely and can be manually added to.

For these types of feeders, we have up to 4 great plans that are cheap, simple, and fun to implement. Let’s discuss these plans below:

7. How to Build a Wooden Deer Feeder

NOTE: before we start this project, remember to take accurate measurements, employ professional tools for cutting and drilling, and add waterproof glue to all the joints- so that you can end up with a professional, rigid, long-lasting structure.

Materials you will need:

  • 4x4 lumber- 4 pieces
  • 2x6 lumber- 2 pieces
  • 2x4 lumber- 6 pieces
  • 2x4 lumber- 2 pieces (for the rafters)
  • 3/4” plywood- one piece
  • 2x2 lumbar- 2 pieces
  • 3/4” plywood- 1 piece

Tools:

  • Safety gloves
  • Jigsaw, miter saw
  • Tape measure, chalk line, carpentry pencil, spirit level
  • Drill machines, drill bits

Step-by-step Guide:

  1. The first step of this woodwork project involves designing a frame out of the 2x6 lumber. Also, drill pilot holes through the components’ sides and screw in the 2 ½” screws into the 22 ½” components. Confirm that all the corners are right-angled
  2. Next, attach the 4x4 legs to the frame- drill some pilot holes through your frame and fasten the 2 ½” screws into the four legs
  3. Dig around 20” deep holes and secure the feeders legs into the ground
  4. Now attach the 2x2 cleats to the frame’s interior- do this by drilling pilot holes through the clits and fastening them to the frame via screws
  5. At this point, you need to attach a piece of the 3/4” plywood to cleats- it’s also good to smoothen its edges and to ensure that no gaps are present between the components
  6. The process to design the vertical supports using the 2x4 lumber- cut the supports’ tops at 45 degrees on each side. Remember to center the support to the structure’s sides, while plumbing them with a spirit level. Drill pilot holes to lock the supports into place. Add gaps to the joints to seal all the gaps present
  7. Next, attach rafters to the vertical supports by drilling holes and using the 2 ½” screws
  8. Design the roofing sheets using the ¾” plywood. Attach these sheets to the rafters and remember to align all the edges carefully
  9. Ultimately, give your feeder a professional look by filling the holes and gaps using wood filler. Give it a few hours to dry up

8. Homemade Deer Feeder Trough

Wanna learn how to set up a deer trough using a 30-gallon plastic barrel? Good. Follow my simple guide below on how to go about it…

Things you will need:

  • 30-gallon plastic barrel
  • Drill
  • 2 ½” screws
  • Iron sheet
  • Lumbar pieces of different sizes (similar to the ones we used earlier)

Steps to Follow:

  1. ​Cut the barrel into two halves to make a trough (this is advantageous as you can use both through to make two feeders)
  2. Continue with your project by building a base/table for the feeder- do this by screwing the different pieces of lumbar together
  3. Next, sit one of the troughs on the base you have just made above- adjust it to ensure it sits correctly
  4. Drill holes through the trough and the frame of the table and insert the 2 ½” screws to help secure the trough
  5. Add vertical supports- using slightly longer lumbar pieces. These will contribute to support the iron sheet that will help in keeping off rain water from the feeder
  6. A camo finish on this feeder is also good for camouflage reasons
  7. Finally transport your new feeder to the preferred place, fill the trough with corn, and wait for the deer to show up.

9. V-style Deer Feeder

Things you will need:

  • Electric drill
  • 2, 10foot 4x4 lumber posts
  • No. 8x 1½-inch wood screws
  • 2, 8foot 2x4 wood boards
  • 2, 8foot 2x12 lumbar board
  • Wood rasp/file
  • 10-penny sinker nails
  • Grit sandpapers
  • Roofing nails
  • A sheet of tin roofing

Follow these steps to come up with a professional-looking V-style deer trough feeder:

  • Start by fabricating a trough-shaped feeder using the 8-foot 2x12 boards. Cut this board into 3-foot pieces for making the trough sides. Cut the other 2-foot piece in half to come up with 1foot end pieces. Secure the boards using the wood screws
  • Swing the bases of the 3-foot sideboards towards the base center to make a V-shape trough. Leave a 4-inch gap between the bottom of both sideboards such that a 3-foot 2x4 piece can be fitted. Secure the ends and the bottom using the No.8 Wood screws
  • Fasten your trough to the posts at around 32 inches above the ground using the 10-penny style nails. Also, ensure that the trough is level between the posts
  • Attach the 2x4 pieces together using the No.8 wood screws to make a rectangle for the feeder roof. Fasten the roof frame to the posts’ top such that it covers the trough completely. Use the roof nails to secure the tin roofing (you can use plywood or fiberglass sheets)

10. Deer Feeder for Enclosed Pen

If you want to design a deer feeder that you can use in an enclosed pen, this is the plan you need:

Things you’ll need:

  • Electric drill
  • The lumber board, posts of different sizes
  • No.8x 1½-inch wood screws
  • A round plastic piece (cut from barrel)

Follow the steps outlined below for a deer feeder for use in enclosed pens:

  • Design a base by attaching four posts to a lumbar board. Drill holes through the lumbar pieces and use the wood screws to attach them together. The board should be close to the ground
  • Transport the base to your pen- and place it on top of four stones- arranged such that they match its four corners
  • Add more pieces of lumber at the top where for the roofing. Place the roofing afterward
  • Now take the round plastic piece and fix it to the center of the board base using the screws- the purpose of this ring is to keep the corn in the feeder
  • The last step involves pouring the corns in the feeder and that’s it! The deer will finally come

Final Verdict

These are our top TEN deer feeder plans. All these projects that are incredibly easy to set up; do not require the use of expensive material, and above all, they consume less time. The plans can be divided across three broad categories namely bucket/barrel, PVC, and trough feeders. Each of the above plans works excellently when designed correctly.

Select one or several plans above and follow the outlined steps to develop them- you’ll have an easy time baiting that deer.

Good luck!

  • Updated December 24, 2016
  • Deer
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