Even with the heat the last couple of days, I found time to build a trough type feeder. Feeders without timers are also known as free choice feeders. Most of the time they are not hunted over because you never know when they will be there. They can come and go as they please to feed. Without a set schedule that you have with timed feeders, hunting a free choice feeder can be real challenge.
With the drought that Oklahoma is in, native browse and food plots are toast. We still need to keep our deer healthy. The does that are nursing fawns right now are in great need of protein and minerals. Without them they can not produce enough milk. That influences slow growth. Which leads to smaller fawns which leads to a later date of their first estrous cycle. The point is this. A severe drought summer will lead to downsides in the life of a deer even a couple years down the road. A supplemental feed and mineral program is a necessity for the person who is serious about the health of the deer. We are not all just about the killing. We need to protect and nurture our wildlife as if they were family. When we do that it ensures that there will be a healthy abundance of critters for other generations to enjoy.
Now on to my feeder. I have around fifteen dollars in it. I paid ten for the 35 gallon barrel and five for a small box of roofing nails. The lumber is some that I just had lying around. The trough is 18 inches off the ground. The roof is 36 inches from the top of the trough. I took the barrel and split it in half using a Skilsaw. Then I cut slits in the bottom of the barrels to let moisture and a little air through. I built a box around the two halves. Then just add legs and the feed of your choice. I didn’t paint this one but you can if you want. It will probably take a couple of weeks for the deer to get brave enough to stick their head in it. The two halves will hold 175 pounds of feed. Also during the shed season you can turn it into a shed trap. I will cover that in a few months. If you are in a severe drought in your area I would highly recommend supplementing your deer if you aren’t already.
’til next time, Scott