Clover is considered by many to be the most universal deer food and the reputation is not without merit. Clover is easy to establish in most regions of the country and most soil types. It is easy to maintain with two cuttings per summer and will fight through residue much better than alfalfa so you don’t necessarily have to bale it.
But clover has a downside. First it doesn’t last as many years as alfalfa. Three years is pretty typical for a clover plot before it is overtaken by grass. Second, clover isn’t as viable as alfalfa from a commercial standpoint because it yields less and isn’t as marketable. Also, clover flattens and loses its attractiveness for deer (not to mention its food value) after the weather turns cold. In fact, the first killing frost puts clover into a dormant stage when much of the nutritional value is gone. So clover is not a great late fall and winter planting in areas that typically experience hard frosts by the end of October. However, because it is simple for hobby farmers to establish and maintain clover remains a strong consideration.