I was always told that synthetic stocks help assorb recoil.
That being said I don't own a magnum rifle with a synthetic stock so I don't know first hand what the recoil is like with such a rifle, as a matter of fact I've never felt the need to own a magnum rifle.
I do have a Remington 280 with synthetic stock and I love it.
I have three rifles to choose from if I was going elk hunting, the 280 being one of them, the other two are a Remingtom 30-06 and a custom built 8MM.
Going by what Ackley thought was the minimum energy required to down an elk (1500 ft lbs) any of the above three would do the job out to 400 yards and do so with less recoil then the rompin, stompin, shoulder brusing magnums.
Good luck on the upcoming elk season.