Grit Blogs > Tough Grit Hints From Hank Will

Prepare a Space for a Deer Feeder

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief


Tags: Tough Grit, Hank's Hints, deer feeder, cutting branches, Hank Will,

Editor in Chief Hank Will, in his International.In your newly cleared woodland, one of the things you can do is install a deer feeder. In addition to clearing the brush off of the ground, you may also wish to clear some of the canopy so that sunlight will fall upon the clearing where your food plot will be. One way to accomplish this is with the use of a pole saw.

When using a pole saw, head, eye, face, and ear protection are recommended. Again, when working in the woods, sturdy shoes, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and gloves are a good idea. If the pole saw is powered, adhere to all of the safety precautions you should take with a chainsaw. When you are considering cutting a branch with a pole saw, check and ensure that it cannot fall on you or anyone else. Understand that branches often rotate as they fall; try to predict how far it might be able to move, and plan to retreat when the cut is completed. Do not cut in windy or rainy conditions.

Again, common sense is crucial. Make sure that you are balanced and stable while using the saw; do not overreach or try to cut while on a ladder. If you cannot reach, get a longer saw or call a professional.

Begin your cut by cutting half of the branch diameter up from under the branch. Always finish the cut from above the branch, slightly further away from the trunk of the tree; if you cut through from below, the pressure of the falling branch will bind the saw. When pruning live trees, timing is important; it is ideal to prune live trees during the winter months, when sap flow is minimal, and insect activity is also minimal.

Double-check that you have completed all of the assembly instructions. Make sure that you place your deer feeder on level ground, or it might tip and spill the feed, injure you, incur damage, etc. Game cams can be installed nearby to allow you to monitor the local deer population and learn feeding habits.

Once the feeder is set up and level, you can insert the feed. One thing that it is important to note, is that deer, like cows, are ruminants, and need time to get used to any feed you give them. It is important to feed them the same thing consistently, or they are likely to get much less nutrition out of your deer feeder. If you want to feed them through the winter, it is a good idea to start feeding the deer several months before, so that their systems can digest the corn when they need it.

Watch the full episode! Hanks shares hints like these in each episode of Tough Grit. Visit Tough Grit online to view this episode and many more. The flight zone tips above appeared in Episode 19, “Over the River and Through the Woods.”


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .