Nathan: Everyone has their own opinion on what is the best caliber, I'm 71 and have taken countless deer, several bear, and other varmits with a Savage model 99F lever action in .308. I really like the caliber, many re-load possibilities. Like some other guys said, don't overlook a good used rifle in either .308 or 30-06, plenty of ammo available and it will take down anything you run into in the US. I agree with Wambli, the Weatherby Vanguard in .308 will be hard to beat as a fair priced hunting rifle. My neighbor bought one when they first came out and uses nothing else. Good luck.