Do deer eat clover? Yes, they do, and clover can provide a highly nutritious food source for deer if managed properly. In this blog, I’ll share tips on how to ensure a long-lasting clover food plot for deer.
Clover is a preferred food source for deer. They are known to actively seek out clover in food plots and natural areas. Deer eat the leaves, stems, and flowers of clover plants. The high protein content of clover makes it highly nutritious for deer. However, if managed properly, clover can provide a consistent food source for deer throughout the year. Proper planting techniques and rotational grazing can ensure that clover has time to regrow and provide food for deer.
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Do Deer Eat Clover?
Yes, deer are known to love clover as a staple food source. Clover offers a lush green forage for deer throughout the year, making it a highly nutritious food option with high protein content. Consumption of clover by deer can depend on the local climate and the availability of alternative forage options. However, if managed properly, clover can provide a consistent food source for deer.
Benefits of Planting Clover Food Plots
Providing a Source of Food for Deer
One of the most significant benefits of planting clover food plots is the provision of an excellent source of food for deer. Clover is an easily digestible food source for deer and can help provide the nutrients they need to thrive throughout the year. By planting clover, you will be creating a rich food source, resulting in deer spending more time in your area.
Improving Soil Health
Clover is known to have a deep root system, capable of drawing soil nutrients from deeper layers. This natural process improves soil health, making it more fertile and nutritious for the growth of other plants. Clover also fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. Having clover in your food plot can help create a healthier soil structure, which will benefit the plants and animals in your area.
Low Maintenance Requirements
Once established, clover food plots require minimal maintenance. Clover is a hardy and robust plant that does not require extreme care. It is recommended to keep your clover plot mowed to a height of 4-6 inches during the growing season, ensuring the clover remains healthy. Additionally, a herbicide treatment may be required to eliminate any unwanted weed growth. Overall, clover food plots are an effortless way to provide a food source to deer with little maintenance required.
Choosing the Right Clover Variety
When selecting the right clover variety, it is essential to consider various factors like the climate, soil type and moisture, and the geographical region where you will be planting it. Some clover varieties, like ladino clover, are ideal for areas with high moisture content, while others like arrowleaf clover, are suitable for drier regions. It is recommended to choose a blend of clover seeds, which can perform well under different weather conditions.
Site Selection and Preparation
When selecting the site for your clover food plot, it is essential to consider the sunlight exposure, soil quality, and moisture levels. Clover performs well in both full sun and partial shade, making it suitable for most areas. The soil should be loamy and well-drained, as clover does not tolerate waterlogging. Ensure the selected site is free from weeds to promote clover growth. A soil test will enable you to know the pH balance of the soil as clover thrives in pH levels between 6 and 7.
Planting and Maintenance
Best Practices for Planting
It is best to plant clover in the early spring or late summer. Clover requires a soil temperature of at least 60°F to germinate adequately. It is recommended to prepare the soil by breaking it up with a tiller, raking, or through a no-till method.
Clover seed should be planted 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch deep in the soil and should be watered regularly until established. Be sure not to plant the seed too deep, which may cause the seed to fail to germinate.In summary, planting clover food plots can be an excellent way to attract deer to your area, provide a consistent food source, and improve soil health. When planting a clover food plot, ensure you choose the right clover variety, select the right site, plant at the right time, and carry out proper maintenance practices to promote growth.
How to Maintain
Maintaining a clover food plot for deer requires regular care and attention. The following tips will help you keep your plot productive for years to come.First, it’s important to start with healthy soil. Before planting your clover plot, test the soil to determine its pH level.
Avoid using too much nitrogen, as this can cause excessive foliage growth and reduce the amount of clover available for deer.Regular mowing is also important for maintaining a productive clover plot. Mowing the clover to a height of 4 to 6 inches will encourage new growth and help prevent weed growth. It’s recommended to mow the clover every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.
A pH level between 6 and 7 is ideal for clover. If the pH level is lower than this, you may need to add lime to the soil to raise it. You can also add fertilizer to the soil to provide nutrients for the clover.
Deer Hunting and Observation Strategies
Clover food plots are a great way to attract deer for hunting and observation. To maximize their effectiveness, it’s important to understand deer behavior and how they use the plots.Deer are most active during the early morning and late afternoon hours, so these are the best times to observe or hunt them.
Scent control is also important, as deer have a keen sense of smell. Try to position yourself downwind of the plot to reduce the chances of spooking deer.To increase the chances of success, consider planting multiple small plots throughout your property rather than one large plot.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
Despite your best efforts, it’s possible to encounter problems with your clover food plot. Here are some common issues and steps you can take to address them.If you notice that deer are not using the plot, it may be because the clover has grown too tall.
Be sure to use a product that is safe for clover and follow the instructions carefully.If the clover is not growing as well as expected, it may be because the soil pH level is too low. Test the soil to confirm the pH level and add lime if necessary.Finally, if the plot is not producing as much clover as desired, it may be because it is overgrazed.
This can make it difficult for deer to reach the lower leaves. Try mowing the plot to a height of 4 to 6 inches to encourage new growth and make the leaves more accessible.If weeds are taking over the plot, you may need to use an herbicide to control them.
So, do deer eat clover? Absolutely! And it’s no wonder why clover is such a beloved food source for these graceful creatures. Not only is clover packed with enough protein to keep them healthy all-year-round, but its delicious taste and easy accessibility make it an instant favorite.
But in order to ensure a long-lasting clover food plot for deer, proper management is key. By implementing rotational grazing and following the right planting techniques, you can create a thriving clover patch that will keep any deer herd happy for years to come. So, let’s get planting and watch as our clover food plot becomes a tasty oasis for hungry deer!
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