I don't see how anyone could skimp on optics when it comes to coues deer. I'm not saying one has to use NF, but small, fixed power scope I don't think would cut it, especially out to 800 yards.
This discussion should not focus around necessarily coues deer, but most importantly long range rifles that can actually be "packed". One thing is for sure, in Arizona the luxury of simply driving, sitting, glassing, shooting, and then driving to retrieve game is not an option. Since most western states are the same, possibly a bad assumption on my part, I feel that this discussion is worth having.
Have you seen in your experience that a light weight rig, with a decent shooter, cannot shot accurately? I think as long range shooters we should all pride ourselves on "ethical, one shot, one kill" shooting. I would think that tactical shooters or military snipers would need heavy rigs with heavy barrels not only for the ability to make long strings of accurate shots, but for added stability.
I've personally never spent much time behind anything bigger than a 300WM. My GAP built 300WM rig has Remington fluted Varmint Contour barrel with an APA Fat Bastard Brake. The rig has Seekins Precision
Rings/20 MOA Bases and a standard fill McMillan HTG stock, NF NXS 5.5-22x56 and PTG Aluminum Bottom Metal. She weighs in right at 12.5lb s with bipod. After this hunt, and I feel like I was/am in decent shape, that rifle is simply too much to be packing around the desert. As DesertBull mentioned, in Arizona, you would be crazy to leave camp without at least 3 liters of water. Another thing I think all western hunters deal with is freezing mornings and then warm days......you can't much glass when your shivering to death at first light because you didn't want to take warmer clothes, but obviously as the day goes on you can't just dump your clothes in some tree and leave them either......