Preparing for rifle season is a systematic process that involves a combination of training your equipment and skills. This means training your body to prepare for intensive hikes, putting together your pack, clothing and equipment and putting in the time to study maps and scout your hunting area.
When all of this preparation comes together and you have a clear shot, having your rifle and shooting skills completely dialed in is the only way to close the deal and harvest an animal.
Now is the time to get your rifle setup, pair the best scope for the hunt and sight everything with the correct ammo. The rifle itself is largely dependent on the type of hunt. A western elk or moose hunter is more likely to favor an XLR-20 in the 6.5mm Creedmoor with a high powered scope for longer distance shooting while a Texas whitetail hunter might stick to the AR15 with a short-range scope while using the model as a crossover on hogs.
After choosing your rifle and pairing the scope, hit the range a few times each week leading into the season. Range days are critical for building confidence in your ability to consistently hit targets. Use the same ammunition at the range as you plan to use in the field. Taking the exact setup you use in practice into a hunt greatly increases your chances of making a clean shot and harvest this season.