>The depth of field at f8 should have put much of the deer shot >in focus so that part is a little concerning,
Larry brings up a good point here and that is DOF.
DOF is dependent upon magnification factor and viewing distance. Most charts and calculators are based on an 8x10 print viewed at about 18 inches. Printing larger and view from the same distance and the relative sharpness changes.
We are now routinely viewing enlargements that were unimaginable when shooting film. If you’re evaluating your 16MP images for focus point using 100% view on screen, then only the actual focus plane will look relatively sharp for the DOF at that magnification and viewing distance will be quite narrow. If you actually made an 8x10 print, what seemed out of focus may now look fine.