How to Keep Raccoons Out of Your Deer Feeder

There are many reasons why people have deer feeders on their properties. Some like to provide food to wildlife, knowing their natural habitat is shrinking due to urbanization. Others hunt and like to keep the animals around, eating a healthy diet that will lead to good hunting results and abundant populations.

Key Points:

  • Deer feeders are a great way to provide food to wildlife and encourage deer populations, but they can attract pests like raccoons.
  • It is possible to keep raccoons away with proper techniques such as greasing the poles, using cables instead of ropes to hang feeders, and making sure the slots on the feeder are out of reach.
  • There are various products available to trap, repel or get rid of raccoons, as well as different types of feeders depending on location and build.

Still, others use the corn to bait deer nearer for photos and to be nearer to these majestic creatures. Whatever motivates property owners to install these metal feeders on trees or sit them on feeder’s legs, one thing is for sure, deer feeders attract varmints. 

One pest that is sure to show up to climb your feeder’s legs is pesky raccoons. Whether you have a homemade gravity feeder, a feeder spinner, or a feeder on limbs, making it raccoon-proof, especially with a hungry raccoon population, can be difficult.  Read on to learn how to get rid of raccoons or completely raccoon-proof feeders in the article below. 

Can Raccoons be Kept Out of Deer Feeders?

It can be difficult to keep raccoons out of your deer feeders, but it is possible with the proper techniques. Some common methods include greasing the poles, using a cable and not ropes to hang feeders, and placing feed slots at a height raccoons cannot reach.

There are also plenty of products that can trap, repel, and eliminate the pests taking your deer corn. The method you use depends on the kind of build of broadcast feeder, gravity feeder, tripod feeder, or mobile deer feeder you will be setting up. 

Even though it is possible to keep raccoons out of deer feeders, it is not a simple task and will often require multiple methods and comprehensive strategies to keep your boss buck feeders free of pests all deer season long. Current feeders on the market can make it easier with a feeder battery and sensors, but ultimately you will need to come up with your own raccoon-repelling deer feeder accessories and feeder guards. 

Why are Raccoons Attracted to Deer Feeders? 

deer feeders usually have corn feed and other grains and types of feed to help deer get extra food in the winter and to plump up for hunting season.  Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, and any reliable food source is sure to attract annoying raccoons. If you use protein feed like peanut butter or any other type of feed piles, you will bring a family of raccoons to your feeders, where they will feast and spill your feed. 

If you are hunting deer and can legally trap, hunt, or remove varmints that find your common spinning feeders, then that may be your best bet. Otherwise, you will need to get a decent feeder guard and grease the legs of tripod feeders to have any hope of making your scatter feeder raccoon-proof.

The smell of food will always bring the surrounding raccoon population around, so deer feeds need to be protected to keep them full and clean for deer.

Types of Feeders

Even if you get rid of raccoons from some feeders, their love for anything tasty may draw them to other animal feeding features. It seems with every feeder, whether for birds, cats, or deer, you need to install new raccoon traps and other raccoon deterrents just so the other critters can eat. Some feeder designs and installation locations make them easier targets for feed theft.

Other feeders are harder to crack and may result in intrusive varmints finding a lower-hanging fruit in the neighbor’s yard. Check out which feeders work and which are not worth the post they stand on. 

Feeder ForBest Type of FeederWorst Type of Feeder
Squirrel FeederFreestanding as high as the lowest surrounding tree branches or hung on thin branches that won’t support raccoonsLow posts or attached to the trunk of tree feeders will easily be found by raccoons
Bird FeederHung from the edge of branches, free-standing with climb guards Feeders attached to fences or tree trunks are easily accessible to raccoons and other pests 
Pet FeederAutomatic feeders that drop food during the day or ones that can be sealed up overnight are best to keep out nocturnal predatorsSimple bowls or feeders that have no way to close or keep out raccoons and other varmints are the worst feeders for pets outdoors 
Deer FeederGravity feeders with the chute at the correct height for deer (around 42″) practically exclude all other pests naturallyHanging feeders or tripod feeders with road and easily gripped materials 

How to Raccoon-Proof our Deer Feeders

If you have deer feeders that have become the target of sneaky raccoons, there are a few things you can do to keep your deer food safe. If you don’t work quickly to exclude or remove raccoons, they can take and waste pounds of feed in hours.

Unless you like lugging hundreds of pounds of deer feed around all hunting season, you should use the tips below to get rid of raccoons. 

Trap the Raccoon 

A really effective method for stopping raccoons from getting your deer feed is to set a trap beside feeders. This can have the advantage of luring and trapping pests without you having to install bait every day. Pretty quickly, Raccoons will figure it out, and other pest-deterrent methods will be needed.

Exterminating the Raccoon

If the problem persists and you have no way to trap or prevent raccoons, you can look into ways to dispatch them. In these cases, it is best to hire a professional pest control service, as poisons used to kill raccoons could also harm pets and other wildlife. 

Hunting the Raccoon

Since deer feeders are often a type of food bait for hunting purposes, you can repurpose that hunting tool and declare coon hunting season. Obviously, hunters should always be aware of the laws and regulations in their areas before killing or trapping any animals. 

Natural Raccoon Repellent

This is tough as most predator urines designed to scare raccoons will also repel deer, but some scents may be enough to bother raccoons without affecting deer. This method could take some trial and error but could be worth it if you are able to figure it out. 

Install Raccoon Exclusion Parts to Deer Feeder

Guards, grease, and predator sounds are all methods that can exclude raccoons from eating at your deer feeder. Combining water and sounds with a wildlife camera can help you scare off raccoons while leaving deer free to eat at their leisure. Whatever techniques you come up with, you can bet it will help keep raccoons out of deer feeders.