I've taken a couple of dozen deer with my .243. While most folks wisely use bullets of around 100 grains, I've been shooting for enough decades with centerfires and have hunted enough to have the skill and be picky about my shots: I've used the Sierra 85-grain HPBT, now available from Federal.
The .243 is easily a 200-yard deer killer, and as skill comes along, 300 yards is no big deal.
My little Sako carbine is only seven pounds fully dressed and ready to hunt, so with the more common eight-pound rigs the recoil should be trivial. Mine is not at all bothersome for recoil.
Good used reloading gear is readily available, saving some 50% or even more over new-retail. It lasts forever, so the cost per shot is much less and allows for more practice.
But get off that benchrest and practice with field positions which one likely would use when hunting. Offhand shots, sitting and leaning against a rock or tree, or standing with a shoulder against something. Some folks use shooting sticks. And perceived recoil is less than at the bench.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!