Thursday, August 17, 2023

Nature’s Buffet: Designing an Irresistible Deer Feeding Station


Nature’s Buffet Designing an Irresistible Deer Feeding Station

Designing a deer feeding station is a rewarding enterprise for nature enthusiasts. Whether you are an animal expert or simply want to view wildlife in your backyard, crafting a feeding station is a productive skill and hobby. It is a great way to monitor animals demonstrating instinctive behaviour within their natural habitat. 

But did you know there are important guidelines for creating a custom feeding site? Designing an effective feed station is so much more than tossing down a few acorns and hoping for the best. A look at the best practices for your wildlife project can help transform your feeding station into a veritable attraction for the deer in your area.

Select the Best Location

One of the first steps in designing a deer feeding station is selecting the right location. The best sites integrate seamlessly with the habitat of the local deer population. First, review local rules regarding communal feeding. Most regulations are available on municipal websites or from animal control facilities. These regulations will provide insight into zones legally permissible for setting up a feeding station in your area. Next, it is time to pick the most advantageous spot for your goals.

Choose an area that looks instinctively attractive to deer but is also easily accessible to you. For example, most experts place feeders in secluded spots under trees or brush that provide cover from predators. Access to water like a brook or stream is also a plus. And although you should steer clear of direct roads, trails, or housing, the deer feeder should still be close enough that a grazing deer can find it easily. Finally, avoid placing your stations near obstacles like barbed wire fences or buildings that can place undue stress or anxiety on the deer.

Choose the Right Feeder

After selecting a great location, it is time to choose the right feeder. The best feeders simplify access while protecting the foodstuffs from negative environmental factors. For example, popular feeders are usually waterproof for protection against rain, sleet, or snow. This prevents the feed from becoming soggy and inedible or from developing mould. 

Good feeders are also made of durable materials to withstand heavy wind and agitation from unwanted pests like racoons. You may also wish to consider feeders with dispensers designed to accommodate the anatomy of deer. These anatomical features include long snouts, prehensile tongues, and high-functioning herbivore teeth. 

Bring Out the Bait

Once you have selected the best feeder, it is time to bring on the bait. A deer must consume around 6%-8% of its body weight daily between spring and fall to remain healthy. For this reason, you can feel confident that a robust station will attract deer in search of something to eat. 

However, you should not merely rely on low-fibre carbohydrates or harmful lactic-rich foods. Because deer evolved to run from danger at a moment's notice, they concentrate on nutrient-dense plants that taste great and are easy to digest. This helps maximize their protein, fibre, healthy calories, and minerals intake with every bite.

According to scientists, the typical deer diet consists of browse, forbs, mast, crops, grass, and lichens or fungus. Browse refers to the leaves, buds, or twigs of woody plants like trees, shrubs, vines, and briars. Forbs are the stems, leaves, and buds of non-woody plants like herbs and weeds. In addition, forbs can also refer to commercial crops like soybeans, oats, or peas. 

Nearly 70% of a deer's natural diet can consist of a combination of woody browse and non-woody forbs. However, deer always look for delicious and nutrient-dense treats to supplement their food intake. This is where feeding stations can include mast and other treats to entice hungry deer.


Whether you are an experienced hunter or simply an avid nature watcher, setting up a feeding station is a delightful way to attract deer to your domain. By obtaining the right feeder equipment and following industry guidelines, you can customize your site to accommodate regional needs. Create your master plan for presenting the right feast that draws deer to the haven of your choice.

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