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Old 11-03-2018, 08:14 AM   #1
R C
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Default Hammer feeding strategy for low deer population during deer season

I own 50 acres and have a low population of deer that frequent my property. I heard about the hammer feeding system this spring and ordered one for my boss buck. I then fed throughout the summer for several hours as most do with the thought of slowly decreasing feeding times as we got closer to the hunting season. I had a regular deer population of three young bucks and two does with their fawns visiting the feeder. In September, I began feeding from 7-7:30 both am and pm with the thought that I would ďtrainĒ the deer to visit the feeder when I was there. What appears to be happening is that either the deer are feeding on natural browse as we have had a lot of rain or they are hitting the neighbors feeders instead. I also planted several acres of wheat and oats so they are hopefully hitting those fields also.

A couple of days ago I began to wonder if I am using this system in the best manner considering my low population and set the timer to 7-4:30 to try to increase deer use. So I am essentially open during daylight hours. My question is should I back up the time to include an hour before and after first light say 6-6 am/pm so the feeder will be open when the bigger bucks are on their feet or just open it up to night feeding so I can get more deer to stay in the general area and hope to catch one hanging around during daylight hours which defeats the purpose of having the hammer in the first place. Please no bashing, I just want thoughts on how you would run the hammer system with a low deer population. I should probably mention that itís not all bad, I do have a nice buck that has occasionally been showing up but he usually visits between 2-5 am. What timer settings would you use to get him to show during daylight hours. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:22 AM   #2
ethic1
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In east Texas and we have free choice. I went from 800lbs every two weeks to I havenít put anything in in 2 months. Two many acorns and to much natural browse.


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Old 11-03-2018, 09:22 AM   #3
bgleaton
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Our consumption has gone way down and we are in the hill country. Deer are naturally browsers and I believe they would prefer to eat quality browse and forbs over sticking their noses in protein tubes, but that’s just my opinion. We are seeing a lot of young deer hitting the feeders during daylight and the bigger bucks are still at night time and we are very low pressure this year.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:34 AM   #4
meat>horns
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I wouldn’t feed at night that doesn’t help you for hunting, the theory is your only feeding nocturnal deer you’ll never see during the day time.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:33 PM   #5
686
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If youíve got good pasture conditions, and planted food plots, the protein consumption is going to go way down; which is great for your wallet and for the deer population, but youíre not going to see as many deer at the feeder.

When pasture conditions are good, Iíll watch deer walk right by the protein to feed on native browse, and when the food plots are doing well, they will preferentially feed in the plot vs the feeder.

Donít loose hope/get concerned. Protein feeding and food plotting are best viewed as long term multi-year projects. This was a low protein consumption year for us, since we had all the rain since Sept and things have stayed green since then.

I would advise you to keep on the daylight-only protein schedule. The deer will know itís there when they need it and you wonít be losing a bunch to coons.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:48 PM   #6
BolilloLoco
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I would be feeding 24/7/365 but that’s just how I do it
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:03 PM   #7
stxhunter
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I donít have a hammer but do use a timed protein feeder. Iíve got my feed time for 30 seconds at 7am. Deer are there around 7:05, usually staying till around 8:30-9, sometimes coming in at noon and every evening 30min - 1hr before sunset. If thereís anything left theyíll come in to finish up night. Looks like Iíve got about 8-10 deer coming in pretty regularly. Feeding 30 seconds gives each deer about 2.5lbs/day which is more than enough according to most studies.


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Old 11-04-2018, 04:38 AM   #8
R C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stxhunter View Post
I donít have a hammer but do use a timed protein feeder. Iíve got my feed time for 30 seconds at 7am. Deer are there around 7:05, usually staying till around 8:30-9, sometimes coming in at noon and every evening 30min - 1hr before sunset. If thereís anything left theyíll come in to finish up night. Looks like Iíve got about 8-10 deer coming in pretty regularly. Feeding 30 seconds gives each deer about 2.5lbs/day which is more than enough according to most studies.


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I would like to know more about your timer protein system, is it a spinner or gravity system? How are you getting out 25 lbs of feed in 30 seconds? It sounds like you only feed once a day, so if the deer want any they better show up sooner rather than later during daylight hours?
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:45 AM   #9
Big pig
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All seasons makes a great feeder.
We feed for the deer to be happy and healthy, not to watch them eat protein.
feed a hour before daylight and until dark with your hammer system . Like other said, you have to constantly monitor their usage.
Corn feeders are good for watching deer. I keep the house feeders going 365 for that reason. Without knowing your place, I would try other things to get some more resident deer. Water, mineral licks, fertilize native vegetation, undisturbed bedding areas (we call them (sanctuaries). I hinge cut some bedding areas this year predator control. If you have hogs, pen your feeding areas.
FYI normal farming / ranching activities don’t bother my deer. Foot traffic and hog hunting does.

FWIW. Good luck.

Last edited by Big pig; 11-04-2018 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:43 PM   #10
stxhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R C View Post
I would like to know more about your timer protein system, is it a spinner or gravity system? How are you getting out 25 lbs of feed in 30 seconds? It sounds like you only feed once a day, so if the deer want any they better show up sooner rather than later during daylight hours?
I'm using the all seasons pro evo electric model.

I previously was using another brand gravity feeder and never had any luck with it, normally being emptied by coons WAY before I could ever get back to it and the deer never really figured it out.

The electric model allowed me to condition the deer to learn to eat from a protein feeder. Fortunately on this model I've never seen a coon trying to empty it, but if they could they wouldn't be able to empty out the entire feeder.

I know that for every 10-12 seconds I feed about 8lbs of protein. I do only one feeding at 7am. For some reason if the deer don't eat for 1-2 days it's no big deal, the protein head holds somewhere between 50-75lbs of feed. If I had more deer I'd feed longer or add a second feeding. If I felt like the deer needed more than 2.5lbs each deer or for rut recovery, drought conditions etc, I can always dial up the feed rate. Even with all the rain we've had this year and excellent range conditions the deer still visit the feeder as part of their daily routine.

Now that the deer are conditioned to the feeder they usually show up right around 7am and stick around to 8:30 or so. Sometimes I'll see them again between 11:30-1 and then they'll come back around 6:30 and stay till sunset. The deer will come back periodically throughout the night and munch on anything leftover, but they usually don't stick around long telling me the feeder is most likely empty.

With other systems you're always guessing wether or not your feeder still has feed. With my system I know that every 30 days I go through about 750lbs of protein.

I know there's a huge debate on free choice vs timed. If your budget can afford it and you have the potential for GIANT deer Free choice is always the most effective. However, I don't think my methodology is all that flawed.

Science teaches us that humans (mammals) basically excrete everything their body can't utilize in a certain period of time, especially vitamins (excreted in urine) and even protein. Some of us eat more than others, they don't necessarily become better athletes or produce more muscle, they just get fat and lazy. If you think about yourself as a person with limited food, would you be healthier eating 3 all you can eat buffets and nothing for the rest of the month or would you rather have steak and potatoes every night for the entire month with nothing else. In my opinion a consistent supply of food is critical in not only attraction, but good overall health of your herd.

One other thing. I currently don't have a corn feeder out. This keeps hog numbers low and uninterested. The only time I throw corn is when I'm actually out at the ranch. Using this method I've seen way more deer over the past two years than I've ever seen on our ranch and I've been hunting there since I was a teenager in the 90s.
It used to be I was luck if I saw 1 deer the entire season, now i've seen as many as 10+ deer at the same time on one sit.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:45 PM   #11
stxhunter
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This is what comes out when I corn the roads now




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