JPaul17, remember you said there are a lot of possibilities. Stay in the present-right now you don't live out west, you don't have an elk tag burning a hole in your pocket. You're in school so you realize there is a learning curve to things, and you can't jump over some steps. If its me I'd buy a great scope, shoot the 270, and 308 until they teach you all they can. If neither shoots well enough for your current situation get rid of both of them, for something better than you've got. Only you know what time, and resources you've got to play this game. There is a lot to get good optics, rangefinder, etc. very few of us can go buy it all and cry once. Take an old cast off stock, as long as its got sling swivels it will work, fill the barrel channel with lead until its 32lbs. take a hike where you currently hunt and see if it fits into how you hunt, and anticipate hunting. Nothing wrong with setting up in a fixed position it can be very productive. like bigngreen I try to keep flexible. Idaho has a 16lb weight limit, bush planes limit your weight, and some guides aren't going to let you load it on their animals.