Thanks to all of you for your quick replies.
I think the 30/06 it is. . . -Since this will be my first rifle I will need to spend some considerable time and ammo on the range.
I can always upgrade to a 300 mag. later once I learn to handle the 30/06 and become proficient enough to go for the longer distances.
I'll give the daisy red ryder a thought as well for the off season physical conditioning training.