Should I sight-in my deer rifle with 3 shots groups or 5 shots like they did in the old days?

Sight in with 2 or 3 shot groups. If you shoot 5, the barrel will heat up and the bullets’ point of impact might keep changing. You’ll fiddle with your scope settings too much and mess things up. BTW, zero your rifle and scope so that bullets group about 1½ inches high above a target’s bulls-eye. Now you have a rig with a 200-yard zero, so hold spot on a buck.

I’d like to shoot my rifle more, but I’m squeezed for time and there’s no range near my house. What can I do?

Set several archery deer targets or deer decoys out to 200 yards. Double-check your rifle to make doubly sure it is unloaded. Then dry-fire at the game targets. Practice from kneeling, sitting and other positions. Dry-fire practice hones your sight picture of game in your scope. Moreover, it is great practice for getting the feel of your trigger. Handle and point your rifle safely at all times, and again be doubly sure it is unloaded. Dry firing will not damage your gun.

Are uphill/downhill shooting angles really a big deal?

How many bucks have you shot at that were straight up or down a mountain? Not many if any, I bet. If the up or down angle is less than 45 degrees—it almost always is—hold dead on the heart and lungs and tag your trophy. Don’t outthink yourself and miss!

Should I compensate for wind drift when shooting at a deer?

Wind drift of a bullet can be a problem on the plains and in big fields. The wind might be still at your blind, but howling 200 yards away where a buck is feeding or nosing a doe. But in the heat of a shooting opportunity, who can remember some fancy wind-doping equation? Just remember this: If the wind appears to blowing only 10 mph or so over where a buck is, hold dead on. But if it gusting to 20 or 30 mph, hold a bit into a right or left crosswind, especially on shots farther than 150 yards.