When a deer is quartering away from you, aim for the heart/lung vitals behind the shoulder you can see, then slide the scope’s crosshair back, pin it on the ribs and press the trigger. The harder a buck is quartering away, the farther back you aim on the ribcage—6 inches to 8 inches to even a foot. The physics is for the bullet to punch through the deer’s ribs, angle forward through the lungs/heart and either lodge in the opposite side front shoulder or exit it. Think out a shot before it happens. Say you’re stalking on a ridge: What if a buck jumps out of that draw? Which way will he run? Is it 150 or 200 yards across [...]
Something that Texas custom gun maker Lex Webernick told me years ago stuck, and has served me well on deer hunts all over North America the last 30 years: Know your rifle and when the barrel gets dirty enough to start affecting accuracy. For example, you shoot a lot at the range and find that your rifle starts to open up a group after, say, 20 rounds. I’d clean that rifle barrel after every 15 rounds, or five 3-shot groups. But I personally never take a completely clean rifle on a hunt. I usually run 3 shots through a clean barrel to dirty it a bit, that seems to be the sweet spot accuracy-wise, and then go hunting.