I will agree with the other posts. Get a 308 to learn with. Out to 500 yards it will teach you more than the rest and will work fine. Less expensive to shoot and less recoil than the big guns.
Learning to deal with the wind - especially within 500 yards is all about practice. Shoot while it is windy and in varying conditions and learn how what you are feeling and seeing translate downrange. You can use a windmeter but I find it to be not practical for my kind of hunting. Of course I keep my shots a little shorter than some.
I do not believe the SAUM lines are dying as Ric does. Remington rifles are still too good and as a factory chambering they are fairly prevalant. They are not the custom rifle
builders choice with the slight advantages offered by the WSM, but they are doing well for the overall shooting crowd. Time will tell though.
Some of the WSSM line I have my doubts about.