Question: “We’re getting on a new deer hunting lease and need to build some feeder pens. No feral hogs on this place, but we need to put some barb wire to keep the cows off of the protein feeders. What’s the smallest deer feeder pen size. that will work in this situation? I would think one could make smaller feeder pens with barb wire than hog panel pens because the deer won’t have to jump them. We just want to provide some feed for deer without letting the cows eat it all. We want the deer to feel comfortable too. As far as height, we are thinking just three wires and about 40 inches high.”
Deer Hunting Pros: There is only one rule you need to know when it comes to deer feeder pen size: BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER! It does not matter what type of fence you choose to go with, larger feeder pens are preferred by whitetail. This helps in many ways. The closer to the feeder the cattle are the more problems you will have when it does get really dry and they run out of things to eat on your lease. This sounds trivial until you find your feeder emptied out way too earlier. The extra cost of materials that will allow you to build a much bigger feeder pen will be less the cost of losing a feeder full of protein to hungry, disrespecting cows.
Larger feeder pens will also allow more deer to feed in the pen at the protein station calmly, and with less stress. Make sure that you take the time to put in good corners so you can keep the wire stretched tight. Take the saying, “Do it right the first time,” to heart. When I was younger (and apparently more optimistic) I rebuild a deer feeder pen two additional times before I finally did it the “right” way. No headaches after that, just hunting.
As far as the pen size, I would make it at least 40 feet per side and 4 feet tall with bottom wire around about 20 inches off the ground. To help deer from getting barbed, I would recommend that you install cable twist (barbless barbwire) for the bottom wire and possibly even the top wire. I have seen deer feeder pens made of 3 wires, but the cattle had plenty of grass to eat on the property. If your deer hunting property looks overgrazed, built your protein feeder pen big and build it strong.
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