Did you know you can build your own deer feeder out of a five gallon bucket? This is a great option for anyone interested in hunting in the outdoors. There are multiple designs out there, widely different from each other, depending on the spare parts people happen to have available to them. If you don’t want to do all the hard work yourself, you can also buy very good ready-made deer feeders. Otherwise, read along for a great DIY five gallon bucket deer feeder!
How to make your own five gallon bucket deer feeder
Here is a design for a great deer feeder that’s easy to make and won’t require very complicated material. To give you an idea of the final result you can expect, it should look a little like this:
- Clean five-gallon bucket with lid
- A drill (optional)
- A Utility knife
- One 3-foot dowel rod
- A Screwdriver
- A binder twine/rope
- Some deer feed
Step one: Gather your materials. Take your bucket and create a hole in the bottom of the bucket. You can use a drill to make a hole in the bottom of your bucket, or alternatively, you can simply use a utility knife. It’s important to get the hole right. The hole should be big enough to let small bits of deer feed through, with the dowel rod stuck in it. Try to err on the side of a smaller hole, as you can always make the hole larger later on, but making it smaller takes more effort.
Note: If you do end up making the hole too large, you can use black duct tape to make the hole smaller again.
Step two: Take your dowel rod. Take a screw, insert it through the rod at about four inches from an end of the rod, using your screwdriver. The screw should stick out on both sides of the rod, acting as a stopper when you insert the rod into the bucket’s hole.
Step three: Take your dowel rod and stick it through the bottom of the bucket, where it will balance on the screw. This screw will serve to keep the rod from falling out of the bucket. The rod will swing back and forth. When a deer touches the rod, feed will fall from the bucket onto the ground below, where the deer will eat.
Step three: Now you have to prepare the bucket to hang from a tree. There are different ways, but it’s easiest to simply take a rope that you tie to the bucket’s handle and tie it up to the branches of a tree. You can also choose to remove the handle and drill two holes where the handle used to be, then use those holes to tie the bucket to a tree. Obviously, the bucket will have to hang a few feet off the ground, at a height where the deer can push the dowel rod with its mouth.
Step four: Fill the bucket with approved deer feed, like corn for example. Make sure to fit the lid in place on the top of your bucket, so that the deer feed is not exposed to the rain, or stolen by hungry birds and other critters.
Warning: Make sure to check whether local laws and regulations allow you to put up a deer feeder! A deer feeder can be illegal in some places for good reasons: When local deer suffer disease, a deer feeder can bring the deer in contact and spread the disease.
Other Five Gallon Bucket Deer Feeders
Here you can see a few designs that other people made:
Make sure to let us know which design you like best, or if you know any other designs we should have mentioned!
Options for deer feeders without trees
You might wish to place your deer feeder in a more open space, without many trees in the surroundings. If this is the case, you could simply buy a standing deer feeder, rather than building one yourself from a five gallon bucket.
Other articles to read before you go out hunting
We wrote a hunter bucket’s article, that’s filled with useful information on supplies to take with you when you go out hunting. Be sure to check this out, as there may be some useful supplies on there you hadn’t though of yourself!