my thought wasn't that the caliber I had picked was too much or too little, but was thinking that maybe a long/heavy rifle was misapplied. I have a 30-30 in my safe for use, but always grab the 25-06 or 264 Win Mag because that's what I've always done.
The misapplication was the bullet chosen specifically for long distance shooting, the heavy 0.82" in diameter 26" long barrel, and the high magnification scope with EBX reticle for help on long shots.
In the stand the scope rarely leaves 3-5x and the gun is rested more than it is held; but with all this time to think I wondered if somehow I had misapplied it and maybe needed to grab one of the lever guns.
Thanks for your input, obviously I have way too much time to think even when I'm out of a stand. I'm sure other hunters can relate to how your mind can wander when you're trying to discern whether that footstep was a stinking fox squirrel or the largest darn deer you've ever seen.
Learning every day.