Details aside as far as what gear you're using, I'd add this.....
Whatever range you find that you are consistent with at whatever yardage, you may want to REDUCE that range by 1/3 or more for when you are in a hunting situation. There's no such thing as a "group" when you shoot at a deer. There's no warm up either.
In fact, if you could (and I know this isn't practical or feasible, but humor me anyway), the best way to determine what your HUNTING group/range is would be to sit in a confined area for several hours at least, preferably in the cold, with little or no movement. Now hyperventilate yourself while moving as little as possible so that your heart is beating like a triphammer, and shoot ONE arrow. Do this 6 days in a row, and then see what your group is.
For most of us, it's much easier and less time consuming to just reduce our maximum effective range when in the field.
If you're new to bowhunting, you also need to consider that shooting at a deer in the woods is WAAAAAAAAY different than shooting at a 3-D target. Consider the exercise that I outlined above, and now combine that with the fact that the deer you are attempting to shoot is standing in shadows/cover, and you MUST know what angle it's standing at so that you know where to aim on it's body so that your arrow will pierce the vitals. Deer in the woods RARELY, if ever, give you the broadside shot like you see at a 3-D shoot, and without the other shooter's hit marks for you to aim at in their scoring rings either. All this has to be figured in literally seconds while you are under the physical stress I described earlier.
How many times have you heard or read about some bowhunter who's lamenting about a deer that he hit ("I KNOW that arrow went right in the spot behind the shoulder! I saw the fletching!"), but couldn't find. I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the time he shot at this deer like he would have if it were broadside to him, and although the arrow DID enter where he said it did, it also missed much of the vitals. I've killed deer that were quartering away from me at enough angle that I actually aimed for the area BEHIND the last rib so that the arrow would be dead center on the vitals. On a broadside deer this would be a sure gut-shot. This is why with a bow, you HAVE TO KNOW exactly how the animal's standing in realtion to you.
IMO, I don't believe that attempting a shot on a deer in the woods with a bow at ranges past 40 yards is ethical, and I don't care how good you are on a target range. I know shots are made successfully at distances past this, but I'd also bet that there are PLENTY of others that are not. Penetration points are vital with a bow, and if you are off just a little it can spell the difference between a kill and an unrecovered deer. It's hard enough to determine this at close range under the stress of the shot. There's also the fact that as an animal gets farther away from you, the chance that it will move enough to ruin the shot also increases significantly. If there's ANY sound that comes from your bow, increased distance only gives the deer that much more time to flinch or move. Bows are fast today, but they've still got around 900+ FPS to go before they're supersonic.
Many things can go wrong when you shoot at a deer with a bow. Increasing distance only compounds these odds in favor of Murphy.
Do the right thing and play it safe.....reduce your range.
Offer No Apologies.....
NRA Endowment Life Member