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  • Paul Schutte, SE Chapter President

Build a Simple Winter Feeder for Quail & Pheasants That WON’T Feed the Deer

Is anyone sick of winter, yet? Or, is it just me? Just a few days ago, I did a rather thorough review of my property and quickly realized how desperate the situation had become for our quail, pheasants and even songbirds. The snow is incredibly deep and even our south-facing slopes, which can usually warm and melt quickly, are no where near being able to provide a refuge for these birds. It is alarming! And the forecast for the next few days looks like even more snow coming!!

In an article we shared on February 27, we spoke about the importance of emergency feeding using cracked corn or even black oil sunflower seeds to ensure these birds can thrive. Well, that suggestion has some issue in parts of the state that have made deer feeding illegal because of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) proliferation. And, in these southeastern counties, there are several regions that have enacted a ban on such feeding. These are rough times and worthy of a creative solution – not just apathy. Shrugging one’s shoulders just won’t help.

Over the last few years, upon the influence of very smart people within our chapter, I have designed, built and tested a quail and pheasant feeder that keeps deer out. It is 100% effective! I’ve been

testing it since 2013. And it is working because I’ve placed game cameras near this feeder, catching great images of quail and pheasants using the feeder, but deer being thwarted.

You can see exactly what I’ve done by reviewing the link I provide below. Here’s what is needed:

  • Empty plastic container with a screw-on cap. I use the containers that dairy farmers get their udder cleaning chemicals in. Sure, these cannot be recycled. But, I have found a way to recycle them for my upland birds. Most dairy farmers would welcome you to take a few if you ask, and explain how you will use.

  • A pallet

  • 4 cinder blocks

  • 5-6 T-posts

  • Enough field fence (5-foot tall pig wire) to wrap completely around circumference

  • ¼” mesh fence (used in rabbit cages)

Take a look at this video and LIKE this post if you believe this to be a powerful idea to help our upland birds without causing an issue in deer feeding ban areas:

YOU CAN DO THIS in a few hours working in your garage. Get the kids involved! I highly recommend placing these within or immediately adjacent to a thick stand of conifers. These conifers should have plenty of low-hanging boughs for the birds to hide under should an aerial predator swing by the area. Using this design, you’ll be helping our pheasants and quail survive and you’ll NOT be feeding deer. I hope you’re able to help me save several of these wonderful birds! As we’ve said before, a little help goes a long way!!!

If you aren’t aware, the Southeast Minnesota chapter of Quail Forever will be having its annual fundraising banquet on Saturday, March 30, in Caledonia, MN. If you would like to learn more, click the link below to access details and our event registration form. I’d love to see you there!

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