I would venture a guess that most of us have not thought about our deer rifles since they were put away last fall.
You did a thorough cleaning before putting Ole' Betsy away didn't you? No I don't mean wiping off the exterior and giving it a light coating of oil. When I say cleaning, I mean a complete spit shine of the rifles bore.
Carbon and copper buildup is the leading cause of inaccuracy. It is imperative that all of this be removed. Using the right equipment for cleaning is important. Use a coated cleaning rod and a properly sized wire brush. Over or undersized brushes simply won't get the job done. There are several solvents available and I have used many different brands with good results. The main ingredient to a good cleaning job is elbow grease and patience.
After the scrubbing is done, swab out the barrel several times with a properly sized cleaning patch. I keep working until my patches are coming out clean. Look for blue coloration on the patches. If there is blue on the patch there is still copper in the barrel. Once the barrel is clean you can apply a light coating of oil. Omit the oil if you are planning on shooting the rifle in the near future. If you don't have the tools or the confidence to do a complete cleaning of your rifle, take your rifle to a gunsmith for a professional cleaning. The small cost will be worth it.
Now that the rifle is truly clean, the next thing you should do is to have the trigger pull checked. Most rifles are set too heavy from the factory and a heavy trigger reduces accuracy. Most hunters would be comfortable with a trigger pull between 2.5-3lbs. Some triggers cannot be adjusted and may need to be replaced with an aftermarket trigger. For trigger pull adjustments I strongly suggest that you let a gunsmith do the job for you.
Once your gun is clean and the trigger is set right it's time to think about bedding the action and floating the barrel. Not all guns need the barrel floated but most rifles will benefit from having the action bedded. A gunsmith is the logical choice for these procedures.
Lastly, you should check your scope base and rings. All screws need to be tight and the scope aligned properly with the rifle barrel.
A properly tuned rifle is within reach of every hunter. It doesn't take a lot of time or money and you owe it to your quarry to have your rifle shooting the best is can. The only problem with a clean and tuned rifle is that you can no longer blame your rifle for that missed shot.