I’ve planted a few clover food plots with soils in the 5.2-5.4 pH range. The clover grew and the deer used them. When I applied fertilizer, the plots grew and looked better (At least to me). I'm in the process of adding lime to them so I'm curious to see what affect the lime has. But it is my understanding adding lime so the soils reach the optimum pH can help the soils more readily break down and use the nutrients in the soil. Applying fertilizer adds more nutrients but soils with the proper pH can use close to 100 percent of the applied fertilizer where a soil in the 5.0 range may only be able to use 30 percent of the fertilizer.
A food plot with the proper pH and fertilizer grows better and is much more appealing to deer than one that is not.