Re: First time to the board
with shooting up to 300 and maybe a tad over, other than the moose, anything under the big 300's is more than fine. i think a 243 is a perfect starting centerfire, have a 270 myself and say its one of the best all around cases for the availability and money, with the 308 being right there with it. also, the 7mm has a very nice selection of heads to choose from. when it comes to dirtpigs/coyote/deer, its more a personal choice than anything, as all calibers from 6mm to the 30-06 will do everything requested with accurate shot placement.
as for optics- as stated before- thats a touchy subject around here. i'm just like sod though- remington & leupold.
If it were easy, I wouldn't be doing it.