Most of my hunting rifles weigh between 8 3/4 and 9 1/2 pounds field ready and loaded. My 375H&H weighs 10 and 7 oz. I do have a light AR in 6.8 SPC that weighs only 7 pounds and 7 oz with scope and fully loaded.
I also hunt with military rifles now and then, M-1, Smith M14 and FN FAL. The FAL is scoped and is heavy, but not too heavy to hunt with even in the mountains for mule deer and elk. My wife and I hunted 2 years ago with AK-47s for deer and antelope. We both have folding stocks on them and I have to say the compactness of the AKs was really nice when we were dragging the game back. Between us we killed 5 antelope and 4 deer with them.
So my FAL is heavy and my AR and AK are both light. I do not find I favor one rifle over the another for the reason of weight. I just hunt with what feels right to me on the day I go out.
Heck, a LOT of my hunting is done with a 62 caliber flintlock rifle. Quite successfully too I might add.
I have made many light weight rifles in my life. Many weighed only 6 pounds and change. All shot well (or I would not have let them out of the shop. Dissatisfied customers are BAD juju)
I love a light rifle, but I guess I have not loved them enough to make one for myself.
I don't notice the weight on my 375 at all, so I guess any rifle up to about 10 1/2 pounds if ok with me. I don't enjoy shooting light and very powerful rifles, and so if I were to make one for myself I am sure I would make nothing more powerful than a 30-06.
I made a super light 416 Taylor for a man about 10 years ago. The rifle weighed only 7 pound and 1 oz when it was done and had a 4 blade sight on it that I had to zero at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards THAT was not a fun part of the job. He was (and is) delighted with his rifle and has taken it all over hunting. He sends me pictures of his kills now and then, from Alaska, Australia and Africa as well as some elk in Montana. I am happy he's happy, but I can tell you a 7 pound 416 rifle is for hunting, not sport shooting! It does kick.
I can handle recoil pretty well, but I don’t choose to do it is there is not a reason to do it.