OK, so all of us are constantly evolving and learning from the experiences we have...hopefully.
As evolution is wont to do, all sorts of possible avenues are explored; some predictable and some highly illogical. What you've chosen to do, in just mowing what used to be a food plot, will not make sense to many folks trying to manage their land for better wildlife habitat. In a very literal sense, you are doing as little as possible to influence the outcome, so I suspect your expectations have been adjusted accordingly. Your observations are that deer will still spend time in this area, if you do nothing more than mow. How much time they spend there, and to what benefit, are entirely different questions and may not be important to everyone.
With just a little more thought, planning and effort, I believe you can do a lot better. In my personal opinion, you are selling yourself, and your wildlife, short. Whether it's old-field management or strip-discing (see above) there are ways to dial back on the various "inputs", while still providing more than a simple flush of new growth at a time that benefits you, as a sportsman. Plus, as we all know, ryegrass is the DEVIL!!
Mowing favors grass. Deer eat relatively little grass; even less when better quality browse is available. Agronomy is the science of soil management and crop production. I humbly submit that you cannot possibly be doing either, by simply mowing. I further submit that you can "study on this a mite" and come up with a solution that is more than mowing, but still suits your budget, equipment, and motivation level.
At the very least, and this is something I fully intend to pursue when my own circumstances permit:
1) Take a soil sample and have it analyzed. Thirty minutes in the spring and $20 from the wallet.
2) Amend as indicated, or as your budget allows. An hour of effort and maybe $200 from the wallet.
3) Strip disc at 2-4", gently till, or simply mow as you will anyway, but broadcast seed, first. An hour or two, plus gas.
4) Insist on something better than grass, ryegrass, or other low-quality forage. Rye, oats and clovers - maybe $50.
Or, stop mowing every year and pursue a coordinated old-field management program. It's even better for wildlife, in general, and requires more timely, well-conceived effort, but has less cost than even the simple process in the above numbered sequence.
Endeavor for more than the mower. If you and the wildlife will benefit from your management of habitat, this effort is too little, as is the reward. IMHO, YMMV, n' all that.