Most forage crops do best when they receive full sunlight. This is especially true with the small grains like oats. In addition oats mature from the blade stage (looks like a blade of grass) to the stem stage (a rounded stem and grows rapidly). Deer don’t prefer oats or any of the small grains once they mature to the stem stage.
Clover does better when grown in partial shade than small grains. In addition, clover is remains more productive when being browsed heavily than small grains. Given the plot will be partially shaded and relatively small I recommend you do a soil test and tell the lab you wish to plant cover, add the appropriate nutrients, and plant clover.
Clover will normally offer quality forage for many more months throughout the year than small grains. If you establish the clover during the fall I do suggest using a cover crop of wheat or oats with the clover.
February 12, 2016