To all you new guys, each one of us was in your shoes once too. Maybe it was a long time ago but nobody was born doing it so don't be embarrassed if you haven't shot anything but cans or paper targets, we all started somewhere pretty easy.
First thing is, don't over gun yourself with heavy loads or long distance, either one will ruin your confidence & take much longer to learn the basics.
Hitting is fun so use a load that is comfortable to shoot & do it at a distance that challenges you a bit but make sure you are getting 80-90% hits before moving out.
A good trigger is an absolute must, without it you will chase it & flinch most of the time if you are shooting offhand. Much better to have a good gunsmith do a good trigger job on your gun, you will love it.
Don't fall for the old "poor man's trigger job" hooey on a new model Ruger, get a real trigger job. Those 2 springs are on there for a reason & dropping one off is not going to give you a good trigger, lighter maybe but it will not fix a bad trigger, only a gunsmith can do that.
Bullet choice is always a toss up but shooting cast is cheaper, especially if you cast your own. Some of the best hunters in the world only use jacketed so you'll have to decide when the time comes. For deer about anything works with good bullet placement.
Front sight is key, for many narrowing the front helps a great deal, most factory fronts are .125" wide, maybe a friend has one that's been narrowed so you can compare.
Don't play when you practice, try to make every shot count, no messing around. Good trigger, see the front sight, break the shot & hit the target, 10,000 times & you're on your way to a good start.