What To Plant For Deer In The Spring – 6 Best Food Plot In Spring

What to plant for deer in the spring

The weather always has an impact on animals. it creates a swing in their behavior and activity. As a result of this, their food habits also change. For this reason, you have to understand them in different seasons. As a hunter, you must plant food plots following the seasonal months and spring is important among all the other times of the year. It is the time when the deer seek essential nutrients for them. If you can provide that they’ll be attracted to your land.

What to Plant for Deer in The Spring? Well, to know this you must be aware that each plant has its own features including the levels of minerals, protein, fiber, etc. so for better understanding you should scan through some briefs to strengthen your fundamentals and achieve the desired result for a food plant in spring for the deer.

Key Takeaways

  • Usually, deer in spring are attracted to minerals and high-protein foods.
  • Apart from popular options there are other plants along with them that might attract deer more.
  • It’s better to follow the tips for planting in the spring for deer to make sure that deer eat them.

Best Plants for Deer in the Spring

In the spring, deer’s activity changes, which is why planting food plots in the spring is so essential to consider. In the early morning hours and late evening hours, deer walk around to discover food. They wait for this season throughout the year to eat more leaves, twigs, and other organic plants. For attracting and maintaining deer populations, there are some of the best plants to plant in the spring.

  • Clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Chicory

You should consider your specific goals and needs when selecting the plants for your deer food plot, as each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is possible to attract and sustain healthy deer populations in your area by doing some research and selecting the right plants for your situation


There is a good reason why clover is a popular choice for deer food plots. One of the main reasons is they are compatible with the majority of soil and they are easy to grow, even budget-friendly. There are various types of clovers: white clover, red clover, and Ladino clover which are all suitable for planting in the spring.

Choosing the right type of clover depends on your specific needs, so it’s important to do your research to find out their pros and cons. Water, protein, energy, and minerals are mostly needed for deer in the spring and one of the main advantages of planting clover for deer is that it is highly nutritious and provides a good source of protein and minerals. It grows throughout the year regardless of the season. The ease of planting and maintaining clover makes it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced food plotters.



Alfalfa is another popular choice for deer food plots after clover. With a high digestible protein, mineral, and vitamin content, alfalfa hay is highly delicious and nutritious.  Food plots made from alfalfa seeds are excellent.  In spite of the fact that alfalfa requires a little more maintenance than other food plots, it is an excellent draw for deer. Like clover, there are several different varieties of alfalfa to choose from, however, deer mostly prefer Alfa-Rack Plus. A major benefit of planting alfalfa for deer is its high protein content, which is important for antler growth and overall health.



Adding chicory to a spring food plot is a great way to attract deer. Deer will continue to prefer chicory food plots as long as there is enough moisture for them to persist. Chicory requires little maintenance. Chicory grows well in dry situations, so it is a great choice for deer feeding. Additionally, it contains minerals and vitamins, which can help keep deer healthy and strong. Deer can also find chicory to be a valuable source of food during the spring, summer, and fall thanks to its long growing season.


3 Additional Plants for Deer in the Spring

There are several other options that can be just as effective as clover, alfalfa, and chicory for your spring deer food plot plant. If you want to plant a food plot, here are three additional plants you might want to consider:

  • Soybeans
  • Peas
  • Corn

1. Soybeans

Soybeans are a great option to consider if you’re looking to attract and sustain a healthy deer population in your area. Soybeans contain a high protein around 40%, and 20% fat which is comparatively lower in carbohydrates than corn. These high-quality sources of energy are just what bucks need to help them recover after an intense breeding season and will help them survive the winter months. There are a variety of soil types and conditions in which soybeans can be planted for deer. High tolerance for drought also allows them to grow during dry spells. In order to avoid damage to your soybeans, you should keep in mind that soybeans are prone to browsing and overgrazing.


2. Peas

Deer herds require maximum nutrition during the critical growing season, which peas provide. It has a protein range from 20% to 25%. The pea plant grows in a wide range of soil types and is excellent for hot climates due to its drought and browse tolerance. Any time between mid-spring and mid-summer is a good time to plant Peas in spring. When soil temperatures reach 55-60 degrees in your region, you should plant 2-3 weeks after the last frost for maximum forage production.


3. Corn

Lastly, corn is a classic option for deer food plots, but it has a very low protein and mineral content which is not ideal for deer. So, it is better to keep corn as an optional food for the deer instead of the primary food. It can’t be a good substitute but if you mix it with other food then it could be a very good protein supplement.


12 Tips to Plant for The Deer in the Spring

If you want to attract and sustain a healthy deer population in your area, it’s important to take the time to properly prepare your food plot and care for your plants. Here are tips for successful planting for deer in the spring:

  1. It is better to select the location before you think about planning food for deer in spring. Always food plots in small secluded hideaways. It provides access to control the environment around the preferred area for hunters.
  2. The size is flexible. Your preferred area could be small or big; it doesn’t affect you much.
  3. Your food plot should attract deer, that’s why it is crucial to add the right plants. Red clover, chicory, etc are plants that typically attract deer.
  4. When you plant deer, ensure that the plants are tasty to them. Since it provides them with the required nutrients
  5. Ensure that the plant you set up has enough protein and other nutrients. A deer’s spring food plan should include high-protein crops like soybeans, turnips, corn, peas, alfalfa, and others that the animals enjoy feeding on.
  6. Easy-to-grow plants are essential. Try to plant with easy-growing seeds or other mixes.
  7. Preparation and planting for spring should begin several months in advance since you are looking forward to spring. If you time it correctly, they will be ready before the season begins.
  8. A specific pH value is required for each seed, but most plants prefer a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Soil pH should be measured with a soil test kit if you want to create a food plot for deer.
  9. Chicory is highly drought-tolerant, so it’s wise to use it if there are a lot of droughts.
  10. It’s important to choose plants that will grow in poorer quality or acidic soil
  11. Population also plays a role in food plot success. They will be attracted to your food plot if it is close to a big herd and there is low competition.
  12. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before planting any seed. It will inform you about the steps and cautions accurately.
  13. There is no need to spend a lot of money on food plot mixes; however, the larger the area you want to cover, the more seeds you’ll need, and the more important the price becomes. Just don’t buy the cheap ones. It’ll fail you to achieve the least result out of your effort.


What is the best spring food plot for antler growth?

Beans and clover are the two best food plots for promoting healthy antler growth.

What is deer’s favorite food?

Among the favorite food deer eat is corn. They are healthy and nutritional for them while also being safe to eat. They will also eat woody stems and leaves along with mast, grass, etc.

How do you attract deer for a specific season?

Food plots with a variety of crops including corn, peas, clover, and alfalfa will attract and keep deer. Make sure that the food is appropriate for their seasonal diet and they are used to eating them.

Final Thoughts

In the spring, hunting, and wildlife enthusiasts can find planting deer for food rewarding and fun. No matter what you plant, keep in mind that deer have their own taste preferences and will ultimately decide what they want to eat. It might be different how you approach them based on their tastes. You should focus on your production strategy and check whether you skipped any tips, instead of rushing or forcing them to eat. Be gentle to nature, you’ll be rewarded at the end of the day.

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