There is no doubt that clover for deer food plots is an excellent plant for whitetail management and deer hunting. Clovers provides really high quality supplemental forages for growing and maintaining deer throughout most of the year. Deer simply love clover. However, the problem for most managers and hunters is not deciding to plant clover, but deciding which variety of clover to establish on their property!
In the Southeastern US, including Eastern Texas, alyce clover is an excellent choice for properties interested in whitetail deer management, where spring and summer foods are important for antler growth and lactating does. Alyce clover is a warm season legume that is used by whitetail in the summer through the early fall. This clover is a good deer food plot choice because it holds up well to deer grazing pressure, unlike many other warm season deer forages.
But not only does alyce clover grow well, it gives deer the nutrition they need. Again, alyce clover provides supplemental nutrients to benefit fawn production and doe lactation. From a deer population and management perspective, this is about as important as it gets. Without new animals being added to the herd each year there is no justification to harvest animals in the fall. Good food plots can ensure healthy, productive deer. Reproduction is a necessary part of a sustainable deer management program.
Alyce clover also supports and promotes antler development in whitetail bucks, supplying nutrient-rich forage and that adds inches of antler material. Alyce clover can be drilled at 16 pounds per acre or broadcast at the rate of 15 to 20 pounds per acre between May 1 and June 15. Fertilize the deer food plot at the rate of 200 pounds per acre with 0-14-14 after plants are established. For the best alyce clover food plots, soil pH should range from neutral to slightly acidic (6.5 – 7.0).