Don’t get so wrapped up in shooting and practicing with your bow this spring and summer that you put off sighting-in and shooting your rifle and muzzleloader. A few random thoughts on that:

I think the old-school way is still the best way. Sight your .270, 6.5, .30-06 or whatever to print the target’s bulls-eye two inches high at 100 yards, which will put you dead-on or thereabouts out to 200 to 250 yards, depending on caliber and load. You’ll shoot 95% of your bucks inside that range anyhow.

Sight-in your rifle/scope/load for the tightest 3-shot groups you can get, but if you get 2-inch groups, that is fine for deer hunting. Most modern rifles and factory loads will ground shots well inside 2 inches.

I zero a .50-caliber muzzleloader the same way. You hear a lot of talk about long-range shooting with fancy new black-powder firearms and loads, but I hold my shots at bucks within 125 yards, and inside 100 is best. Again, most of the whitetails you shoot will be that close.

Don’t just sight-in your firearm and put it up. Find the time to practice at least 5 more times before gun season opens this November or December.

If I inadvertently drop or bang my gun, I check it right away and readjust zero if necessary. Usually it’s fine and holds zero, bit I always check.

When deer season finally comes, it never hurts to go to a range and fire a practice shot or two every few weeks throughout the season. Sometimes a gremlin sneaks in and causes your gun/scope combo to shoot a few inches off. It’s generally not enough to cause you to miss your dream buck, but why take that chance.