Your views on baiting deer are really none of my business. If you don't like it, don't do it.
But baiting is legal where I hunt. We in the outdoor press can ignore it, as if it's something "only the rednecks do." Or we can sugar-coat it by calling it "supplemental feeding" rather than baiting.
I think it's best to recognize it for what it is. It's not a herd-management tool. It's a deer-killing tool.
Personally, I only hunt over bait on occasion. At certain times of year, there is no better way to draw deer -- big ones included -- into bow range. Although I've used half a dozen different styles of of timed feeders, in my experience nothing is more effective at drawing in deer fast than shelled corn poured straight onto the ground. The trouble is that in areas with high deer numbers, the corn is likely to be cleaned up in only a night or two. And if it’s not, it’s exposed to the elements. One good rain can leave that corn pile fermenting on the ground.
So, like many hunters, I make homemade deer feeders from PVC pipe. There are plenty of designs for these feed-on-demand feeders, but this one seems to work especially well, and it’s super easy to make. No cutting or special tools, other than maybe a drill, are required. With the cost of the PVC pipe, eye-bolts, primer, cement and spray paint combined, you’re only looking at spending about $50 per feeder. Here’s what you need:
2 ½ to 3-foot length of 6-inch PVC pipe 6-inch slip-over PVC cap 6-inch PVC wye Purple Primer Cement Spray paint for camo 4 small eye bolts 10-inch X 10-inch piece of plywood, scrap lumber, etc.
Assembly is easy. Simply prime the end of the PVC pipe and the inside of one arm of the Wye. Add cement and piece the two together. Drill two holes on either side of the pipe about halfway up, and insert two eye bolts. These are for securing your feeder to a tree via ratchet strap or rope. Add the slip-over cap, and drill a hole through the top for a third eyebolt, while simply serves as a handle for removing the lid and filling the feeder. Drill another through the side of the cap and PVC pipe for the fourth eyebolt. This bolt is to prevent raccoons and other offensive critters from pulling the lid off the feeder.
If you don't want your feeder looking like a toilet fixture in the woods, give it a camo paint job with the spray paint and allow a few days to dry (deer will avoid it until that paint odor fades). These feeders will hold 35 – 40 pounds of corn protected from the weather, and deer will have no problem feeding right out of the wye. Set the feeder on top of the scrap lumber or plywood, to keep bugs out, and secure it to a tree. That's all there is to it. Check out the video above for more detail.
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Whitetails make the hunting world go round. Josh Honeycutt, deer hunting editor and "Brow Tines and Backstrap" blogger, knows a fair bit about killing mature deer. He was raised up hunting the river bottoms of Kentucky. And he still hunts there—among other places—to this day.
Follow along as he shares his adventures, experiences and knowledge of the white-tailed deer.