Did you look at the 270 wsm ? It's around the most versatile cartridge you can find, and it has the same recoil as the 06. I use mine for everything I hunt, Deer, Elk, Bear, and pronghorn antelope. It rocks! very very flat with lots of knock down power past 300yds, and not alot of recoil.
My vote is for the 7mm.08. You are dead on correct that it can be loaded to be one helluva wicked round. Accurate as can be (mine is anyway) with pleanty of power and very limited recoil. So if its for your nephew (im assuming he isnt grown up) then the 7.mm08 would be a perfect calibre to get. Love mine!!
Winter is tough on whitetails, that is an accepted fact.
You can help the quality of your herd by providing winter plots - that are not necessarily designed as kill plots.
Having what I call green plots - that the deer can browse in when most of the other food is gone, can greatly benefit the deer herd when they need it most.
Come December - at least in our area of the south - most of the mast is gone, all of the crops were long harvested and this green browse can really make the difference for...