Age, and the right tool for the time. I am going 270, but, a 243 will do well on most mule deer around here in Oregon. The 6.5 PRC is good to look at if you are going new setup.
You know what to do....you only live once, so, get a solid light weight, (i would stick with m700), 6 to 7mm rifle...
I've been loading 180 grain Woodleighs in my 270, and, it's like shooting a stubby pencil...lots of bearing surface and friction too.? I won't buy more after they are gone. I think I will try some Nosler 165s though. Especially if they have some blemished ones for cheap.
Remington 700, bull barrel, 26 inches. Used, $600 maybe more. 20 MOA base, $60. Rings and scope of choice. I chose Burris rings and an on sale athlon ares scope, China made but nice. $459...$850 now though. Rings $60? About $1200 i paid for a hunting machine.