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  • Writer's pictureRidge Hunter Staff

Clover is King for Whitetail Food Plots

When it comes to planting food plots for whitetails, clover is hard to beat. A good stand of clover provides up to 4 tons of highly nutritious forage per acre that will last late into the season.

As if that wasn't enough reason for hunters to love clover, it's also very easy to plant. It's a very hardy plant that will grow in almost any environment. The seeds are very small and only require 1/4 inch of soil coverage at most. Any more than that and the seed will die. The best policy for planting clover is to broadcast it and walk away. A good rain will do the rest of the work for you.

Clover's biggest weakness is hot, dry weather. However, chicory thrives in dry environments, making it the perfect partner to clover seed. Deer love chicory as much as they do the clover too.

Once you get good soil to seed contact with your clover and it's established, it will start to green up in the spring and last well into the winter. The deer will eat it through the whole season too, even digging through the snow to get to it in the late season.

On average, deer eat roughly 6 pounds of forage per day. That comes out to about one ton per year. Additionally, they need about 16% protein in their diet. Most of what they eat though only contains about 6% to 8%, making a few pounds of clover at 25% protein a very attractive addition to their diet.

Buying clover can be the toughest part of the whole process. While saving a few bucks and buying the seed in bulk from the local ag store may seem like a good idea, it isn't. That seed, more often than not, is designed for bailing for livestock feed. It's longer stemmed and not nearly as attractive to deer.

Instead, we recommend buying clover blends that are made specifically for whitetails. Clearly we'd suggest you try our Ridge Hunter Food Plot Mix, which is a clover and chicory blend with a higher percentage of chicory than most other brands, but any name brand whitetail clover seed is a safe bet.


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