Deer are prey animals and, as such, possess a God-given sense that something is always out to get them. If they have experienced hunting at all, they are constantly on guard and alert to human danger.
In point of fact, hunting, though enjoyable for the hunter, is not a "game." It is a source of frustration, exertion, concentration, study, preparation, strategy, and possible success. It is, in essence, a struggle between an animal which wants to preserve itself and a human who wants to secure it.
The deer has a single, overriding purpose, to maintain life and safety. The hunter has at least one (maybe more) purpose(s). For some, meat is a real consideration. For others, it is secondary. "Trophies" are often spoken of, though very few hunters actually secure a real one. For a mature hunter, the experience of pitting himself against the prey is an extremely important consideration. Taking the animal of your choice (as opposed to "getting a deer") through a careful plan and execution of that plan is a source of real satisfaction. Any deer so taken is a trophy.
In the two areas of Texas where I now hunt, the likelihood of getting a genuine "book" deer seems not to exist right now. Consequently, I am looking at taking at least one spike and two does in the four deer whitetail season. I hope also to take an eight-pointer or better. In the mule deer season, I will at least start with a handgun hunt. It is one buck only and I will take a spike if offered. If not, I'll try to get a six pointer (Texas count) or better.
I anticipate hard work in the rugged desert and mountains of West Texas and a much easier time in the Hill Country of central Texas. The whitetails are in the midst of a severe drought and in very real danger of starvation. That's not why I'm going to hunt them, but it is a consideration.
A game? Not to me, it isn't.