For brush hunting varmints or even whitetails, I would suggest you consider a Marlin 1894 in 357 mag, 41 mag, or 44 mag. These are lever action rifles and really point nicely. Everyone that has one loves them. Go scopeless for true brush hunting.
My other choice would be the Ruger Mini-14. They are fast pointing, fun to shoot, accurate enough, and are light enough for toting in brush. They have essentially minute-of-coffee-can accuracy normally.