The fit of the rifle has a lot to do with the felt recoil.
Unless you are hunting power lines the 30-30 is an excellent choice. I hunted south Louisana for a number of years and it served me well.
I also have had good results with a 243.
The 308 should not be dismissed because of one session. Try a different rifle before you totally reject this round.
If you check the rifle positng you will note that I suggested the Remington 600. It is a good rifle for heavy cover and will also serve you off a stand on a power line or wood line.
Have you access to a deer lease? That is something you need to check on.