Recommendations by cabin owners and experts

Deer Feeders and Trail Cameras

Deer Feeders and Trail Cameras

Deer Feeders and Trail Cameras

One of the primary reasons to have a cabin is to be able to be close to nature, specifically viewing deer and other wildlife from your home. However, just putting out food haphazardly can be dangerous to you, and is often dangerous to the animals that you are feeding.  With a little knowledge and research, you can be the master of your property, and can make a harmonious and healthy feeding habitat for a wide variety of animals.

This article is not about feeding or baiting for hunting purposes, but does contain a lot of valuable information if that is something you are interested in.  For the most part, however, you wouldn’t want to bait around your cabin for the purposes of hunting anyway, but it is still important to know the science behind feeding certain animals.

To begin with, a few important things to consider:

  • Always check your state, county, and other local rules and regulations regarding feeding of wildlife.
  • If you hunt on your property, make sure you are specifically clear on the rules regarding baiting vs. feeding.
  • Don’t specifically feed bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, or any other animal that should not lose their inherent fear of humans. Just because you think that black bear family is fun to have around doesn’t mean that other humans nearby feel the same. A fed bear is a dead bear, and that should apply to all of these type animals.
  • Know that the food that you put out doesn’t target a specific animal. If you are feeding deer, for example, you are also feeding raccoons, skunks, squirrels, etc., etc.
  • If you want to have a total plan for attracting and feeding wildlife, understand that there are two other major elements that will bring them in and keep them around: water and shelter.
  • When you bring in certain animals close to your home, you also bring in unwanted guests, namely ticks, and you need to account for that.
  • Understand that feeding deer and other animals can be very dangerous to them unless you know when, how, and what to feed them.
  • If you put up bird feeders, know that most of the seed that you buy from not only attracts birds, but also bears and other unwanted visitors. If you think you have it positioned to where they can’t get them, you might want to reconsider.  Bears are incredibly resourceful and tenacious when getting to the food that they smell.

The Best Way to Feed: Plant to Attract

If you own a decent amount of property, and have the ability to create small food plots, this is an ideal way to ensure wildlife will be around for much of the year. There are many wonderful food plot blends, and just find the one that fits each foot plot in terms of your region, sun, and soil considerations. If you have the flexibility to pick and choose where these will be located, try to find areas of quality soil, sun, and located near existing trails that they use.

  • If you don’t hunt on your property, consider joining your state’s or a local organization that can provide food plot seed and considerable discounts. These exist everywhere, just ask around to find out ones near you.

Food plots are wonderful, but you can expand your feeding options by planting mast trees that will provide food year after year. Oak trees are excellent, but most grow very slowly… consider instead crabapple, apple, cherry, or similar trees that will do well in your region. Each year you can make it a tradition to visit local nurseries when they are at the end of their inventory, and get these trees on super sale. Stock up on chicken wire, large stakes, and treegators, so you can nurture and protect any smaller trees that could be eaten by deer the first year or two after you plant them.

The Dangers of Feeding Deer (to them)

To get right to the point, there are five major dangers of feeding deer using a deer feeder:

  1. Acidosis can be caused by feeding them high carb, low fiber supplemental feed when their bodies need protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
  2. Chronic Wasting Disease is spread primarily through nose to nose contact when you concentrate supplemental food sources.
  3. If you place the feeder too close to the cabin, or train them to get too comfortable with humans you are setting them up to be easy targets come hunting season.
  4. If you place the feeder in an area that is near heavy brush, you could be making them easy targets for predators.

How To Feed Deer Safely

  • Introduce new food slowly, to get their bodies use to it.
  • Buy the right feed mix, especially in winter. You will want to either research for your area and your time of year, or talk to a reliable source about the correct type of feed to use. The major issue is that you don’t just want to put out corn in the winter, and will need to make sure it is a mix containing protein, fiber, and other nutrients that they need then.
  • Use a good spreader that distributes the feed over a wide area, reducing nose to nose contact.
  • Don’t place the feeder too close to the cabin. Also, don’t try to slowly get the deer accustomed to you.  You give the deer their best chance of survival when they have a healthy fear of humans.
  • Don’t place the feeder right next to where they could be ambushed by a predator.
  • Try to have a natural food source, a food plot, or mast trees planted nearby to give them a variety of food sources.

The Dangers of Feeding Deer (to you)

  • Where there are deer, there are ticks, so don’t put a feeder where you are going to be spending a lot of time, or where your kids or pets will be often.
  • Consider spraying a pet friendly tick spray around the feeder twice a year.
  • Move the feeder often.
  • Buy some cedar mulch and create a barrier between the feeder and your cabin.

The Best Deer Feeders

Moultrie Tripod Feeders

  • Digital timer programs up to 6 feed times per day, 1 to 20 seconds each
  • Fill height of 5.5 feet for easy ground-level access
  • Black plastic Quick-Lock hopper, spin plate and funnel
  • Built-in varmint guard, feed-level estimator, battery indicator and external power port
  • One (1) 6-volt battery required

 


Wildgame Innovations 40 Gallon Digital Poly Barrel Feeder

  • 40 gallon digital poly barrel feeder
  • Built-in funnel reduces feed waste
  • Digital power control unit
  • 360 degree 35-foot dispersal range
  • 300# hopper capacity


Picking a Trail Camera

Beyond overall reliability and price, there are some other important considerations for selecting a trail camera to record wildlife:

  1. Trigger Time – once the camera detects something, how quickly does it take action.
  2. Recovery Time – after the camera takes a picture or video, how quickly is it ready to do it again.
  3. Detection Zone – how wide of an area does it look for wildlife
  4. Picture Quality
  5. Battery Life
  6. Features

For most entry-level trail cameras used just for taking pictures of wildlife on your property, there won’t be any major differences in trigger time or recovery time, but be aware of them. The Detection Zone is important for cameras set up to capture in a wide open area.  So, you might want to get one camera that has a wide detection zone for a large opening, but it is not a consideration for other cameras used on narrow trails.  Battery life is important, but is not something specifically mentioned in the product description, so worth reading user comments. Features is often where the price can get high.  Don’t get sucked in by a lot of fancy features for your first few cameras.  Those that can take clear pictures is a good start.  Later you can add the video and time-lapse features.

A few tips:

  • Don’t just place your trail cameras out there and let that be that. You will want to move them around a lot the first few months that you use them. As you move them around, you will find the best places, and will be richly rewarded.
  • Pack a bag of extra batteries and extra memory cards and take that out and change in the field.  This makes it much easier than taking them down and bringing them in and doing all fo the changes in your cabin.

LESHP Game and Trail Camera 12MP 1080P HD With Time Lapse 65ft 120¡ã Wide Angle Infrared Night Vision 42pcs IR LEDs Waterproof IP66 2.4″ LCD Screen Scouting Camera Deer Camera Digital Surveillance

【12 MP IMAGE & 1080P HD VIDEO RESOLUTION】 The reliability of high-performance 12-megapixel image resolution captures crisp, brightly colored photos each time motion is detected of wild game during the day (black and white at night), takes up to 9 photos per detection. The great video is at your fingertips, records 1080p HD video and sound (support 1-60s,3\5\10 minutes video length)
【NO Glow Infrared Technology】 Truly hidden with our no-glow and invisible black LED flash combined with a camouflage exterior. Capture high-res images at night with updated night vision technology.
【Long Trigger Distance & Super Fast Trigger Speed】 With an impressive 0.4 second trigger speed, Built-in 42pcs IR LED provides up to 66 ft of night-time vision , allowing you to capture shots from a far distance,you are guaranteed to never miss any of the action.
【More Excellent Features】 Super IP66 water-proof and dust-proof.design,2.4″ LCD screen, Up to 6 months long battery life with 8 AA batteries(not included), Passive infrared sensor,two PIR design for sensing angle, maximum 120 degree. Multi-shot, Interval, Timelapse, Timer, Password protection, Time stamp, Serial, Alarm at low battery power. Multiple usages e.g. home security, wildlife monitoring, surveillance and scouting game.
【User Friendly】In conjunction of wider view angle game camera, you can receive more surprise. Photo, Video, Photo + Video 3 modes with easy operation process. Detailed and useful user manual is included. LESHP service team provides professional after-sales help timely.


AUCEE Tracker Trail Camera, 16MP 1080P 120° PIR Sensor Wildlife Hunting Camera 65ft No Glow Infrared Scouting Camera with Night Vision 46pcs IR LEDs, IP56 Waterproof 0.2s Trigger Time Game Camera

  • Impressively Quick Trigger Time&Unique Side Prep Sensor Design. A faster trigger speed of 0.2-0.6 second ensure each detected action will be captured quickly and accurately, and effective triggering distance up to 20m. Side prep sensor design provides sensing angle and enhance camera’s response speed. You are guaranteed to never miss any of action.
  • Time Lapse Setting&Serial Number Setting. With these two settings, the camera automatically and constantly takes pictures/videos at specified interval, enables you to code the locations in the photos. This helps multi-camera user identified the location when reviewing the photos.
  • Cam+Video Mode. This hunting camera can take pictures and video at every trigger events in“Cam+Video”Mode. You can record all of your most memorable moments.
  • Infrared Night Vision LEDs for Flash Range as Far as 65 Feet&IP56 Water Resistance. This black flash trail camera equips with widest 65ft detection range in hunting camera industry, you won’t miss what is walking in front of your camera even in the night. IP56 spray water protect design, it is able to work in tough environments like tropical rain forest.
  • 18 Months Warranty&Excellent Customer Service. If there is any problems with the camera within 18 months, please feel free to contact us before your action, our customer service team will provide professional after-sale service to you. Be aware of Fake and Counterfeit products from NON-AUCEE Seller.


(2) Stealth Cam G42NG No-Glo Trail Game Cameras 10MP

  • 10.0 Megapixel (4 resolution settings) 10mp / 8mp / 4mp / 2mp
  • HD Video recording 5-180 seconds w/ audio & Time Lapse Function w/ PIR Override
  • 42 “BLACK” IR Emitters/100ft range with Reflex Trigger – .5 seconds & Burst Mode 1-9 images per triggering
  • New Intuitive backlit menu programming
  • Manual shot capability with Secure Lock password protection built-in SD Card slot up to 32GB



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