When sighting in a gun, it is imperative to remove as much human influence from the shot as possible, so use the best supports you can get your hands on. Sand bags or manufactured shooting rests are the best. When shooting, make as little contact with the rifle as little as possible. Also make sure that nothing touches the barrel (your sandbags should be placed under the fore-end and not the barrel itself).
Next, set up at a short distance. Even rifles that have been bore-scoped might not hit paper past 25 yards; that distance is not too close.
Many hunters make the mistake of moving back as soon as their shot is on the paper. Take advantage of the short distance to fine-tune your shot. You can make almost all your adjustments at short range.
Practice, on the other hand, is repeating proper technique over and over to make it natural. You often won’t have the luxury of a solid rest, so practice shooting freehand at any distances at which you expect you might shoot a deer.
Focus on making a gentle trigger pull while keeping the crosshairs on your target. Of course, you won’t be able to create tight groups like you can from a bench, but that’s okay. It’s better to practice under the worst possible conditions so you know your capabilities and limits.
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