The History of Wilderness Calls

Home of the Double D Gravity Deer Feeder

By: Gail Veley
Originally appeared in the September 2019 Issue of the Upper Midwest Cervid Newsletter

Florida native and deer enthusiast Sam Knight kept getting calls from salesmen, close to a decade ago, promoting their deer feeders. Trouble was he wasn’t interested. He already had his own self-invented deer feeder. Today, hundreds of deer enthusiasts, deer farmers, hunters. ranchers, land managers and outfitters have one, too. Since 2011 Wilderness Calls, founded by Sam, has offered the most innovative and fool-proof wildlife feeders available anywhere. When it comes to deer feeders, bears can't destroy them. Raccoons can‘t raid them. They hold substantial amounts of feed, and nothing goes to waste. 

“I made them at first to help deer on my own property," Sam, 62, said. “I then realized how much they would help everyone else. I really care about my feeder because I want them to work. I’m in competition with myself and no one else." In the beginning, Sam created feeders capable of holding 150 to 500 pounds of feed for both deer lovers or for those who wanted to "bait” deer. He experienced a few growing pains in creating his galvanized American-made steel feeders that last between 25 and 30 years. Later, he would realize the need to create larger feeders for deer farmers who needed them to help feed and manage their herds. He also created a lasting impression with the name for his most popular deer feeder: The Double D (Deer Diner) Gravity Deer Feeder. His feeders have been a popular feature at NADeFA for the last five years.

“When I realized the large demand in the deer farming industry for wider feeders like the Double D, I created it," Sam said. Available feeders from Wilderness Calls also include a smaller combination feeder for both mature and younger deer, as well as larger, expanded feeders that allow up to eight does or three to four bucks to feed at once. Depending on which size you need, feeders can hold from 150 pounds of feed up to a ton of feed. Perhaps just as important as the feeder size, the grain or pellets placed inside each feeder cannot get wet because of the thoughtfully created roof and sides. “My customers have already seen the efficiency of the Double D deer feeder," Sam said. “It caters specifically to deer farmers and they love it." 

Because of the no-waste mechanism built into every feeder, it prevents wild hogs from eating spilled grain, or attracting them in the first place. In addition, Sam has also invented feeders specifically designed for squirrels, bull elk as well as fawns. Although raccoons can raid a fawn feeder, it is just as durable and long-lasting as larger feeders. Since Sam placed these feeders on his open-land properties in Florida and Georgia, wild deer have begun to stick around and perhaps become permanent residents there. He’s even witnessed fawns get their first taste of “real food.”

Sam, a former Florida highway patrol officer, truly appreciates knowing his feeder works effectively, and he appreciates his loyal customers as well. In an effort to be accessible to them, Sam tries to answer his phone each and every time it rings. He and his associate "Ms. Marlene'' travel to numerous annual trade shows and deer breeder conventions to promote Wilderness Calls where Sam takes the necessary time to carefully assemble one of his feeders. Both are members of several associations such as the Texas Deer Association, the Deer Breeders Cooperative and NADeFA. When you meet Sam, his heart and soul show through as someone who knows they are making a difference in the deer industry. He even sends Christmas cards each year to all of his customers, many of whom bring repeat business. 

“I’ve met so many great people,” Sam said. “I’m happy every day I've done what I did. We are enjoying what we are doing. So many guys see me at (the deer shows) and thank me. Some of my customers see me somewhere and say, “hey that feeder is the best damn thing I ever bought.” Sam hopes anyone who hasn't bought a feeder yet will feel the same way they do soon.
Sam Knight 407-620-8855