Re: NooB Advice - gonna stretch it out.
Make sure you have a clean crisp trigger. Breaking a trigger clean is as important as an accurate rifle.
When you impose a 500 yard limit on yourself, it greatly simplifies things. A 30-06 will cleanly take an elk to 500 yards and even more. The biggest key to that success is shot placement but a close second place is bullet selection.
I think you should be looking at a higher BC 190 or 200 grain pill. Maybe 210. The 190 VLD is a great smaller case 30 cal bullet. When the 190 ALR ever shows up I think it will be the ultimate 308 and 3006 bullet.
Don't forget lots of trigger time.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.