Feeding wild deer has become a very common sport and my business has actually provided tens of thousands of such feeders over the years. Receiving inquiries from woodworkers and others who want to create their own feeders is not unusual for us. You may want to check out Deer Farming And Its Place In The American Culture – Knnit for more. Like other businesses, we are willing to support someone who wishes to create their own home-made feeder, and we also get feedback from the same people with suggestions for changes, or more than possibly fresh ideas for goods.
To create your own 36 “trough type deer feeder in the Hurley-Byrd pattern, you will need to gather some supplies. Of course, you’ll need timber and all Hurley-Byrd Deer feeders are built of western red cedar. You’re welcome to use wood, but just want it to last for a couple years. Buy one 1×8 piece of timber that is eight foot long and a 2×4 with a total length of three foot. We use brass screws in our feeders but for a short-term feeder a strong wood screw would be perfect. Buy four 1⁄4 “x 20 x 3” carriage bolts that fit wing nuts and washers, too. They are used to install the legs into the trough.
Once the lumber is home, it is time the vee-shaped trough was created. Split the 1×8 into 2-36″ pieces. Keep one section to its maximum 71⁄4″ width and break the other to 6 1⁄2.’ Take the remaining two feet of the 1×8 and cut it to a width of 3 3⁄4″ This piece of timber with a miter-saw will be sliced into two triangles. Because these four lumber parts are connected to each other at their ends, the holes of the screw must first be filled otherwise the lumber will quickly be broken. Dig 2 holes at each end 3/8 “from the top and 1 1 1/2” from the sides on the 1×7 1/4″x 36. Dig six evenly spaced 3/8 “holes from the bottom over one long wall. Drill two holes on each end 3/8 “from the top and 1 1 1⁄2” from the sides on the 1×6 1⁄2″x 36. Take the two triangles and drill two 5/8 “diameter holes perpendicular to the short point which are 1” and 2 1⁄4 “from the broad flat face.
Now that the timber has its screw holes in order, assembly time is finished. Position the 1×6 1⁄2 “board on a flat bench such that one side is next to the top of the bench. Position the 1×6 1⁄4” on the side adjacent to the 1×6 1⁄4 such that the holes are nearest to the bench and matched with the 1×6 1/4 bottom. Connect the larger piece of lumber to the smaller one utilizing the wooden screws to insure that every board ends match with each other. Flip the trough over until all the screws are in alignment, then position it to one of the triangles such that the triangle sits flat with the end of the trough. Using the holes you previously drilled in the long-length pine, it is a safe idea to predrill the screw holes for the triangle. That will keep the triangles from prematurely separating or fracturing. Add the Trough to each triangle. Drill four 5/8 “drain holes in the vee bottom of the trough. The trough is now full and can be sanded as needed or leave rough but we recommend a little sanding to avoid the sharp edges. Then it’s time for the legs. Take up the 2×4 and cut it to 36″ in length and break it into two different parts. Using the triangles as your guide, drill two 5/8″ holes in one end of the leg on its center line. Each hole will be 1″ and 2 ¼” from the top of the leg respectively. Once you have done this, you can apply an exterior grade finish to the whole feeder or leave the lumber raw. We use a high grade penetrating oil finish to enhance the feeder’s beauty and add longevity to the feeder. If you apply a finish, allow it to dry appropriately and you are now ready to set out the new feeder.