I continue on my quest to find the best and least expensive way to make a hunting quail feeder to help me count the quail population so I can improve my quail hunting opportunities. My previous posts about my first prototype quail feeder showed me learning a simple system to store and deliver the feed but that model was not adequately protected from deer and coons. We’ve had some very good experiences using electrified zappers on the deer feeders to keep the deer and coons from raiding them. I’ve also noticed that once the deer, and especially the coons, raid a quail feeder, that they quail generally won’t return to that feeder. I learned of a new method from a hunting guide in New Mexico that uses a cheap five gallon bucket. I’m testing that approach but also electrifying it to see if that improves the performance of my hunting quail feeder!
Parts to Build a Hunting Quail Feeder
The material to build the hunting quail feeder are pretty simple.
– A cheap 5 gallon bucket
– A waterproof container for the battery and zapper
– A solar charger for the battery
– A 12V Battery
– A Zapper
– Electric fence wire
– Electric fence insulators.
All in, the total price was approximately $75 in parts – the majority of which was the battery, zapper and solar charger. Quail feed for my hunting quail feeders is approximately $15/bag so if this saves me 5 bags of feed over the course of a year, then I’m ahead – not to mention actually having a quail feeder that works to help me survey the population of bobwhite quail for hunting.
Mounting the Solar Battery Charger on the Quail Feeder Lid
The purpose of the solar charger is to continually recharge the 12V battery and keep the zapper working in the hunting quail feeder. I’ve mounted the solar charger on the lid of the bucket and run the wire, with a sealing O ring down through the top of the bucket lid. This should prevent most moisture but I will add a small amount of silicone caulk to each hole in the lid just to be sure. The lid will have a tendency to hold a small amount of rainwater and I don’t want it running into the bucket and ruining the feed in the hunting quail feeder.
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Detail of a Waterproof Lid Design
I selected a durable but inexpensive solar charger from Academy Sports. It came with a sealing O ring and bracket so it was easy to use and mount on my hunting quail feeder.
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Assembling the Battery Unit in the Hunting Quail Feeder
The waterproof container is mounted inside the hunting quail feeder and contains the 12V battery and the zapper. I’ve run the wire from the solar charger into the top of the water proof container. I could just place the battery and zapper directly inside the bucket but most quail feed has some moisture and I wanted to prevent any corrosion problems with the battery terminal connection on the hunting quail feeder.
Battery Case in the Quail Feeder
I’ve place the wired 12V battery and the zapper inside of the small water proof container and will place it inside the bucket of the hunting quail feeder. These holes in the waterproof container will also need some silicone caulk to prevent any moisture from leaking into the battery case.
Summary of Assembling a Hunting Quail Feeder
My previous attempts at building a quail feeder were successful to feed the quail but unsuccessful in keeping the varmints from raiding the hunting quail feeder. I’ve learned of a new approach that appears to be simpler and easier to manage. I’ve purchased and assembled the parts I need to build the hunting quail feeder for approximately $75. The quail feeder will contain a built in battery, zapper unit and be protected by it’s own electrified fence. This should provide adequate protection at a reasonable cost from the coons and deer raiding my hunting quail feeder.