I like a trough for pelleted protien feed and a spin type feeder close by for corn to keep them in the area better. (Because of course they do perfer the corn) If you use corn in a trough be prepared to buy alot of corn...... I'd rather have the corn in the spin type and set it to run once a day usually around 9 or 10 pm for about 5 to 10 seconds depends on how many deer, because i feel they will eat more of the protien feed from 1 to 6 am. If the spin feeder is putting out to much corn then they won't eat as much protien feed. Of course you can set the spin feeder any time you choose. For me late evening works better. GOOD LUCK !!!
I get asked the same question all the time. The best answer I can tell you is either a gravity type or a trough with a wide roof that does not allow rain to bliw into the feeder. I dont reccomend a spin cast type unless for a fish feeder. The spin cast seem too wastefull and if yoir feeds are being thrown on the ground they can be subject to weather, coons,hogs and everything else that walks or flys down to eat.I have seen deer react different in some areas of the country to different types of feeders. Are your deer currently eating from any certain fedder type ? But have had bedt success with gravity types that allow ventilation so feeds dont sweat and mold inside feeder and good trough types. Of first putting out a feeder I always wask them with scent killer detergent and air dry. and then wipe down the outside with material from your hunting area( fresh pine or soil from the area etc.. and if you can let it sit in direct sunlight if possible for a week or so and let processing material smell or migratory plastasizers evaporate . It sounds extreem but it works to help deer feel more comfortable..
I have been using the Moultrie Pro Hunter with plastic barrel....weatherproof and sealed very tight. Holds around 300 pounds I believe.
Only thing I was told on the metal vs. plastic drum was squirrel issues....if you are putting it somewhere squirrels cannot jump on the barrel and gnaw a hole then it works great. If the tree rats can get to it then get a metal barrel.
It depends on a few things for me. If hogs aren't an issue & for bow Hunting at close range a gravity feeder works great for me. If rifle hunting a spin cast set to go off mid day works too. Not sure of the best spin cast for the money, corn now days seems to have debris in it & cloggs up spin-caster alot of times, just use real clean corn.
I've had great performance out of feeders by Texas Hunter. I use their spin-cast fish feeder on my dock, and have a tripod spin-cast for dispensing corn and soybeans to my deer from January to August.
They are battery powered, recharged by a solar panel. I got three years' battery life out of my fish feeder battery. My deer feeder is beginning its third year, and the battery is still good. They both have many programming options, and are very well made.
They're not cheap, but they appear to be capable of many years of service.