Several years ago I started using one of the elastic nylon cartridge carriers that slip over the buttstock. I started using it because I was hunting with a Ruger No. 1 single shot rifle (still do), but I liked it so much I put one on all my hunting rifles, even the bolt guns.
It's nice to have extra ammo (usually hold about 8-10 rounds) just in case. In some areas you could get lost or stranded and really need it for signaling, etc! As a side benefit, the nylon covers the part of the stock which contacts your cheek - a comforting feeling when it coooold outside.
As far as soft cases, I have one that I especially like. I think it's made by Allen but it has no tag on it so I'm not certain. It's padded extra thick, will float with the gun inside and has the normal carry handle and a sling strap. When stand hunting in rough terrain I pack the rifle in the case till I get in the stand. It makes me feel better knowing the gun is fairly well protected while I'm pulling it up to the stand with a chord.