An estimated 5.3 million whitetails inhabit 252 of the 254 counties in Lone Star State. Texas hunters shoot more than 800,000 deer (does and bucks combined) a year. While there are no stats to back me up, I feel confident saying at least 95% of those deer are shot from towers and box blinds positioned to watch corn feeders.
“This is Texas, feeders have long been part of our hunting heritage,” says my friend Wren Munsterman, who has managed and hunted ranches in all geographical regions of the state.
Wren says, “My main strategy regarding stands and feeder placement is twofold: first, to avoid shooting into a rising or setting sun during the hours of peak deer movement, and secondly, to provide good shots for all types of hunters. Most of our feeders are set up 75 to 125 yards from the stand.”
In the Hill Country and Edwards Plateau, where there are draws, hills and other wrinkles in the terrain, place box blinds at higher elevations than deer trails below. “You want good line of sight into dry bottoms and the sides of ridges,” says Wren. “We clear senderos where possible in dry bottoms and running up the sides of ridges or mesas, or cut openings for feeders in denser cedar brush where mature bucks hang out.”
Farther south in the flatter brush country, Wren and other Texans I’ve hunted with set tower blinds 8 to 12 feet high.
“At each stand we have at least 2 corn feeders and a couple of 300-gallon water tanks,” says Wren. If you want to hold numbers of deer on a ranch in hot and arid Texas, you’ve got to have water. If possible, place watering stations every 200 acres across a property.”
For best results, supplement stationary feeders with tailgate feeders. After dropping a shooter off in a stand, a truck driver rolls slowly away and drops lines of corn in open two-tracks out to 200 yards or so. The shooter can then watch for a good buck not only at the main feeder, but coming to spokes of corn lines off to each side of it.