When to Plant Clover For Deer – How and When Should You Plant Clovers for Hunting Deer?

When we started planting food plots, we picked a thing or two about what usually works with whitetails (or in standard terms, deers) and what doesn't! And, when it comes to planting food plots for hunting, you can't beat clover. Hence, it is important to know when and how you should plant clovers for hunting deer.

Are you a hunter looking to attract deer to your property? One way to do that is by planting clover. But When To Plant Clover for deer? Keep reading to find out!

Related: All That You Need To know, What Do Whitetail Deer Eat?

I am a huge fan of hunting as well, it has its own charm that nobody can match. However, it wasn’t until a lot of years in the field that I understood the ins and outs of hunting. I had to face a lot of failure when I first started hunting.

As per reports, most hunters do not catch a deer every year. So if your number is not very impressive, there is no need to feel bad since you are not alone in the race.

According to this report by the Ohio Wildlife Department, during the 2011-12 season, a total of 157,726 hunters were able to hunt successfully in a year in the state. And a total of 73% of this population consisted of hunters who could harvest just one deer during the season. The rest of the data is:

  • 2 deer: 19%
  • 3 deer: 5.4%
  • 4 deer: 1.8%
  • 5 deer: 0.57%
  • 6 or more deer: 0.29%

While the numbers reflect only a state, the overall condition is not very different. Around 10 million hunters try their luck in the US each year, killing a total of 6 million deers every year.

Hence, if you are not able to create records in deer hunting, there is no need to worry or feel dejected. A huge population is as good as you, if not worse. But how do you improve the numbers? One of the best ways, as mentioned earlier, is growing clovers as they help hunt deer.

The trick is simple, you make your property more attractive to deer so that you can harvest easily. And since deer seem to love clovers, there’s no reason why you should not try your luck with these.

In this article, we will share a real-time around-the-year experience on how and when to plant clover for deer hunting.

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What is a Plant Clover for deer ?

Clover is a plant that belongs to the pea family. It has multiple leaflets, which is where it gets its name from. The leaves are generally hairy and the flowers can be white, pink, or red. There are two types of clovers- white clover and red clover.

White clover is a perennial that can grow up to 12 inches. On the other hand, red clover is an annual that can reach a height of 24 inches.

Clovers are generally found in Europe, Asia, and North America. They are considered as weed in some places while they are planted deliberately in others.

The plant has a lot of benefits. It is known to fix nitrogen in the soil, which makes it a good option for crop rotation. It is also known to be beneficial for the environment as it helps in retaining moisture in the soil. Additionally, clovers are a good source of feed for livestock and honey bees.

Now that we know what clover is, let’s move on to when you should plant clover for deer hunting.

When to Plant Clover for deer ?

The best time to plant clovers would be either spring or fall. If you are looking to attract deer during fall, then you should plant the clovers in early fall. And if you want to attract them during the winter, then you should plant them in late fall.

If you are looking to attract deer during the spring, then you should plant the clovers in early spring. And if you want to attract them during the summer, then you should plant them in late spring.

The main reason for this is that deer are more active during these seasons and are on the lookout for food.

Additionally, planting clovers during these times will give them enough time to grow and establish themselves before the deer arrive.

when-to-grow-clover

Benefits of planting clover for deer

There are numerous benefits of planting clover for deer. Some of them are:

1.The biggest benefit is that it attracts deer. If you have a clover field, the chances of deer visiting your property increase manifold.

2.Clovers are known to be a good source of food for deer. They are known to provide essential nutrients that help in the growth and development of the animal.

3.Another benefit of planting clover is that it helps in improving the quality of the soil. Clover is known to fix nitrogen in the soil, which makes it more fertile. Additionally, it also helps in increasing the moisture content of the soil.

4.Clovers are also known to be beneficial for the environment. They help in reducing soil erosion and increasing moisture retention.

5.Lastly, clovers are also known to be a good source of food for honey bees.

These are some of the benefits of planting clover for deer. If you are planning to attract deer to your property, then you should consider planting clovers.

How to Plant Clover for deer ?

Now that we know when to plant clover for deer, let’s take a look at how you can do it.

The first step is to choose the right type of clover. As mentioned earlier, there are two types of clovers- white clover and red clover.

While white clover is a perennial, red clover is an annual. This means that white clover will keep coming back every year while red clover will die after one season.

If you are looking for a long-term solution, then white clover would be the best option. But if you are looking for a quick fix, then red clover would be a better choice.

Once you have decided on the type of clover, the next step is to choose the right location. The location should be such that it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Additionally, the soil should be well-drained and loose. If the soil is too compacted, then it will be difficult for the roots to penetrate and the clover will not be able to grow.

The best way to loosen up the soil is to till it. You can do this by hand or with a machine. If you are doing it by hand, then make sure that you turn over the top 6-8 inches of soil.

And if you are using a machine, then make sure that you go over the entire area at least 3-4 times.

Once the soil is loose, the next step is to add some organic matter to it. This will help improve the drainage and also provide nutrients to the plants.

You can add compost, manure, or leaves to the soil. And once you have added the organic matter, you should mix it in well.

The next step is to take your clover seed and spread it over the area. You can do this by hand or with a spreader.

If you are doing it by hand, then make sure that you evenly distribute the seed. And if you are using a spreader, then make sure that you set it to the correct setting.

Once the seed is spread, the next step is to cover it with a thin layer of soil. You can do this by raking the soil over the area.

And once you have covered the seed, the final step is to water it well. Make sure that you water it deeply so that the roots can reach down and get access to the moisture.

You should water the area every day for the first week. And after that, you can reduce the frequency to 3-4 times a week.

Once the plants have established themselves, you can stop watering them altogether.

Deer love clover and if you plant it, they will come! So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and plant some clover today!

Something You Should Know before Planting Clovers

If you are looking to plant clovers to attract deer, then you should be aware of something.

There is a chance that the deer will start eating the clover before it has a chance to grow.

This is something that you will have to deal with on a case-by-case basis.

If the deer are only eating a few plants, then you can try to fence off the area. This will prevent them from getting to the clover.

And if they are eating a lot of plants, then you may have to replant the area with clover more often.

But overall, planting clover is a great way to attract deer. So, don’t let the possibility of them eating the plants deter you from doing it.

Deer usually eat clover when it is in the early stages of growth. So, if you plant the clover at the right time, then you can reduce the chances of them eating it.

The best time to plant clover for deer is in the spring or fall. These are the times when the deer are most active and are on the lookout for food.

Additionally, planting clovers during these times will give them enough time to grow and establish themselves before the deer arrive.

before-planting-clovers

What to do if deer start eating your clover plants?

If you notice that deer are starting to eat your clover plants, then there are a few things you can do.

The first thing you can do is to try and scare them away. You can do this by making loud noises or by using scarecrows.

If that doesn’t work, then you can try and deter them with smells. You can do this by spraying the plants with predator urine or by using soap shavings.

And if all else fails, then you can always resort to physical barriers such as fences or netting.

Whatever method you choose, make sure that you implement it before the deer start eating the plants. Otherwise, it will be too late and the damage will be done.

Types of clover that deer like

There are a few different types of clover that deer like.

The most popular type is the White Dutch Clover. This type is high in protein and the deer love it!

Another type of clover that deer like is the Red Clover. This type is also high in protein, but it has a sweet taste that the deer love.

And lastly, the Deer Tongue Clover is a type of clover that the deer really love. It is low in protein, but has a high sugar content.

So, if you are looking to plant clover to attract deer, then you should consider these three types.

How Much Clover should be Planted?

The amount of clover you should plant will depend on the size of the area you are planting it in.

For small areas, you can plant 1-2 pounds of clover per acre. And for larger areas, you can plant 3-4 pounds of clover per acre.

But regardless of the size of the area, make sure that you plant enough clover so that the deer have plenty to eat.

Conclusion

Clover is a very versatile plant to grow. Their ability to produce during any season is what makes them an ideal plant for hunting (plus, whitetails love to eat it too). So, you don’t have to think twice before planting a clover plot for hunting deers. Just go with it and enjoy the view as well as your hunting escapades.

Deer love clover, but when is the best time to plant it so that you can benefit from their love? The answer depends on where you live.

If you’re in a northern state, late summer or early fall is the best time to plant clover for deer. In southern states, springtime is better.

No matter when you plant it, make sure the soil is well prepared and give your clover a good watering after planting. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy watching deer graze on your property while also providing them with an important food source.

FAQ

Q: What is the best type of clover for deer?

A. The best type of clover for deer is the White Dutch Clover. This type is high in protein and the deer love it!

Q: When is the best time to plant clover for deer?

A. The best time to plant clover for deer is in the spring or fall. These are the times when the deer are most active and are on the lookout for food.

Q: What are the different types of clover that deer like?

A. The most popular type is the White Dutch Clover. This type is high in protein and the deer love it! Another type of clover that deer like is the Red Clover. This type is also high in protein, but it has a sweet taste that the deer love. And lastly, the Deer Tongue Clover is a type of clover that the deer really love. It is low in protein, but has a high sugar content.

Q: How often should I water my clover?

A: You should water your clover once a week, or as needed. If the weather is hot and dry, then you may need to water it more often. But if the weather is cool and wet, then you can water it less often.

Q: How long does it take for clover to grow?

A: Clover usually takes 2-3 weeks to grow. But it can take longer if the weather is cool and wet.

Q: How long should I wait until I plant clover?

A: You can plant clover any time of the year. But the best times to plant it are in the spring or fall, when the deer are most active.

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