Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really moving.
The other thing I try to avoid is trying to get so far back on a day hunt that I start bumping into all the horse guys. Hunting an area a couple years in a row really helps you figure out what the guys on horseback tend to do.
Over the counter units usually require patience and knowledge of escape cover. Use these guidelines to help keep you into the action.