Inexpensive Way To Feed Deer

Our experts provide inexpensive ways to feed deer in winter and year-round, despite the potential expense.

The deer population can be impacted by a variety of factors, including habitat destruction, disease, weather, and predators. One major cause of declining deer populations is food loss. To address this, it’s common to introduce various crops – such as corn, soybeans, apples, and cherries – in large enough areas to attract deer and provide sufficient food for them to flourish.

Feeding Deer the Proper Food on a Budget

Feeding deer doesn’t have to break the budget. There are ways to avoid the money pit. There are ways to add natural nutrition to their diets instead of empty caloric mass-produced marketed options. Let’s explore some of those choices.

Clover and Alfalfa

Planting clover and alfalfa seeds on the land can be very beneficial. This is a cheap way to ensure they always have something to eat.

If you’re planning to plant clover and alfalfa, it’s a good idea to purchase seeds in bulk from seed distributors. These seeds come in various sizes, are affordable, and produce a lot of yield. You don’t need any high-tech or advanced machinery to plant these food plots. Simply locate the areas where you’ve seen deer activity or where you want to attract them, and scatter the seeds by hand. This method is usually considered legal and not considered baiting in most states.

Fallen Fruit and Nuts

Deer eating apples on the ground

Moving fallen fruit can be a cost-effective way to provide deer with food, and it may even be free depending on what’s available nearby. With some commitment, groundwork, and planning, you can easily do this. Look for fruit trees near your hunting areas or other accessible locations.

Going to your local market to stock up on fruit during hunting season is not a financially realistic option. However, many apple orchards will sell fallen apples for a drastically reduced price.

Everyone can benefit from collaborating with fellow hunters in the community. Fellow hunters may find it beneficial and inexpensive to join an exchange system. Rotten fruit is not a deer’s first choice, so you may want to consider options that can be frozen or kept after the fruit is gone.

Acorns and nuts are popular because of the abundance of trees that produce them and great for deer because they don’t rot at the same rate as fruit.

Homemade Deer Feed

Homemade deer feed is not only more cost-effective than store-bought deer food, but it is also much more nutritious. Using ingredients like apples, molasses, corn, nuts, acorns, oats, salt, and other nutrients can be cheap and better for herd health.

There are many different recipes available online. All that is needed is a little research. Use recipes that include cheap, readily obtainable, and sustainable ingredients in your area, such as fruit, plants, and tree nuts. Many recipes call for natural salt, which deer need and love.

Here are some ingredients that you can use to make homemade deer feed.

Peanut Butter

It is no secret that Peanut butter is a favorite food of many different species of animals, including deer.

Using peanut butter, either alone or mixed with seeds and fruit, is a viable way to draw deer into an area for either hunting or observation. This method is more cost-effective than using commercial deer attractants and mineral blocks.

The easiest way to feed peanut butter is to screw the cap of the peanut butter container to a tree and cut the bottom of the container off.

Here is a video showing the easy method.

Quaker Oats

It’s worth noting that deer can derive immense benefits from consuming oats. Oats contain a healthy balance of fiber and carbohydrates that don’t cause any digestive issues for these magnificent creatures. You can either incorporate oats into your homemade recipes or serve them separately.

You can order bulk oats online with ease, making it more convenient for you to ensure your deer gets the best nourishment possible.


Deer Eating Corn In Winter

Corn is a cheap source of food for deer. Many hunters rely on corn for supplemental feeding because deer love corn. Corn does not contain enough protein, which is crucial for nursing fawns and growing healthy antlers, so many people add deer mineral attractants to corn to increase its nutritional value.

Knowing When to Feed Deer – Inexpensive Way To Feed Deer In Winter

Feeding deer throughout the year is crucial for those who want to maintain a healthy herd. Several feeding plans exist, but providing a steady food supply year-round will keep deer in your area consistently.

The late spring and summer seasons are the most critical time for proper whitetail nutrition. Bucks are in the antler growth season, recuperating from giving birth and nursing newly born fawns.

Feeding deer during the fall and winter seasons is essential to increase their fat reserves. This helps to sustain them during the rut and colder weather. Fall feeding that is done consistently can produce great results for the freezer.

Ensuring you’re not feeding too much is the key to a good feeding plan. Overfeeding can result in deer that don’t eat well, and you may even have to deal with a sick herd.

Feeding Deer in the Proper Location

Deer Feeder

It’s vital to choose the best location for feeding. It would be best to locate a place where you already have a tree stand or plan on using a climbing tree stand. A place with tree cover and natural feeding offerings would be ideal. Consider scouting the area with trail cameras to detect what activity is already happening.

If possible, find a place on a major trail or just off the edge of the field. Inside the tree line next to the trail is ideal. The cover of the tree line will make them feel safer to frequent the area more often. Keeping placement consistent is beneficial from year to year. The deer will continue to frequent it because this puts them at ease.

If you are using a deer feeder, put it out long before the season so that the deer become accustomed to it.

Tips – Cheap Deer Feed

  • It’s a good idea to leave the area undisturbed for at least 2-3 weeks to prevent deer from vacating it.
  • Freshen the feed site monthly if possible and refresh the salt every few months.
  • Deer, like humans, can benefit from eating carrots as well. One of the benefits of eating carrots is that they are rich in vitamin A and minerals that are needed and vital for a healthy body.
  • Deer may be afraid of sudden changes in their environment, as they are naturally shy. If you leave a small amount of food out and gradually increase it over time, the deer will be more likely to accept it.


  • Ensuring that feeding wildlife is legal in your area or the area you will be preparing is crucial. Some states allow providing feed only at certain times of the year, while others prohibit it. You can find your local laws by checking your local Fish and Wildlife Agency. Laws in some states also dictate or limit how much you are permitted to feed a deer.
  • Feeding your game may bring in other predators and endanger the herd, such as wolves, coyotes, and bears. Be careful to know what species of animals are frequently inhabiting the feeding area.
  • Do not feed deer kitchen scraps, as most of these offerings cannot be digested and could cause certain illnesses.
  • Feeding deer is not recommended in areas with a known outbreak of CWD.

Is It Ethical to Hunt Deer and Say a Prayer for Them?

Is it ethical to hunt deer and say a prayer for them? Deer hunters prayer: a prayer. This is a complex ethical question that sparks debates among different perspectives. Some argue that hunting is a natural way to control population and provide sustenance, while others believe it is cruel and unnecessary. The act of saying a prayer for the animal can be seen as a way to show respect and gratitude for the life taken. Ultimately, personal beliefs and cultural values play a significant role in shaping one’s opinion on this matter.

What is the best homemade winter deer feed?

One of the best homemade winter deer feeds is a mixture of corn, oats, and molasses. Mix 4 parts of corn, 4 parts of oats, and 1 part of molasses together. Place the feed in a suitable feeding area where deer frequent. Ensure that the feed is protected from moisture to prevent spoilage.

What to feed deer in winter?

During winter, you can feed deer with hay, corn, and grains. It’s important to provide high-energy foods to help them survive the cold weather. Make sure to place the food in a safe and accessible location away from roads or other potential dangers.

Can deer eat quaker oats?

Deer can eat Quaker oats.

What do deer eat in the winter?

Deer primarily eat woody browse, such as twigs and buds, during the winter months.

Can you continue feeding deer corn year round?

No, it is not recommended to feed deer corn year round.

Wrapping Up… Cheapest Way To Feed Deer

Attracting and feeding deer can be a cost-effective process by utilizing a range of available food options such as ground cover plants, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It is crucial to ensure that the supplements meet the nutrient requirements of the herd using locally sourced and natural substances. Consistent feeding throughout the year can significantly enhance the hunting experience. Collaborating with other hunters can benefit the community as a whole. We wish you success in your hunting endeavors with steady aim.