When you are taking pics of deer or other wild life, have your camera on auto for a couple good shots so you still have a picture of it. The once you have a couple good shots, switch it to manual if you want to get more creative. Because animals most of the time wont give you much time so when you have it on auto you will get a quicker picture
This is really good advice! A lot of cameras will also carry the settings found in AUTO mode over to the manual modes. That way you are tweaking your settings from a working starting point. This is a big time saver!
If you are going to use manual modes and your camera has a histogram display option, use it! Learning how to read histograms and use them will really help you get better photos in manual modes.