Originally Posted by axxe55
you should look into the Marlin X7 series, the Savage Axis series and the Mossberg ATR100 series. IMO, i wouldnt even give consideration to the M770 with too many others beng price at or close to the M770 that are vastly superior in construction and accuracy.
and without know the layout of the area, it would be difficult to suggest a particular caliber, except for the 30-06!
+1 skip the 770, I recommend the Savage I have owned several of them and have had exceptional service from all of them.
If you think the 7mm-08 is too small you need a 30 caliber and since you won't consider the 308 that leaves you exactly one choice as far as common chamberings go, the highly versatile 30-06.
Me personally I highly recommend the 260 Rem, 7mm-08 and their Mauser ballistic twins (7x57 and 6.5x55) to new hunters and those who are new to high powered rifles, recoil is light enough that nearly anyone can shoot them well. I own some larger magnum calibers, but still mostly hunt with my 6.5x55 it is all you will ever need for deer inside 500yd. I have a 30-06 but never deer hunt with it anymore, makes a mess of these smallish southern whitetail, took a 9 1/2" chunk out of the far side of the last one, there is no need for that.