I have a .270, 6.5x55 Swedish, .300 win mag and .50 muzzle loader. I've used all of them for deer and bear. Don't recommend the .300 win mag for deer as it's a bit much and more expensive. For what you want I would use my Swedish or .270 but based on ammo availability and price I would recommend the .270. As far as felt recoil with the larger calibers, I personally don't feel it when the adreline is going during the shot. I guess it all depends on how excited you get when you see your target.