I usually shoot a 3 shot group at 200 yds a couple of days before the season. It's usually still 1,000 degrees here to do too much shooting much earlier. Lol
Last year I killed 3 bucks(two 4.5 y/o and a 5.5 y/o) and they were all inside 100 yds.
They must be different where you've been compared to where I've been. In my experience, rattling is the snake's last resort. If you hear a snake rattle, you're already too close to it. Heck, I've had one strike and crawl off without rattling.
Mostly, I use my Streamlight headlamp because of the green light option. A set op batteries will last me a couple of seasons with a lot of use. However, I love my Zebralight for some serious bright lights when needed. I wish I had it when I was still duck hunting.