Those of you that live in the Willamette (Will-lam-met) Valley or the coast range know how thick the brush can be. Yet everytime I read about rifles for the area, if is consumed with cartridges. Same for the east side where you can see a long ways in places.
I think that the most overlooked factor in rifle selection for an area is in fact the rifle. Without a doubt a Model 94 will work pretty much everywhere and it's pretty well proven. But the choice of rifle can be better for different areas and then for each type of rifle, there's a whole bunch of cartridges to select from, except for the Model 94 which only comes in an adequate cartridge!
The choice of actions is real personnel. My cousin uses a Rem 760 because he also uses a pump shotgun. He says he'sreal familure with the action. A lot to be said for that.
But in heavy brush, handling qualities of the rifle become more important than cartridge selection. I've found my old Rem 600 with it's 20' barrel to be extreamly well handling in close quarters. It is a short action but I doubt that gives me any edge in hunting situtation's, only as a sales point!
The choice of sights is also critical. Open sighs ain't all that great for old eye's like mine. In fact they ain't all that great for young eyes either. The only advantage I find is that they handle being dropped better than a scope. In low light they can be hard to see and line up. Add dense cover and dark just gets darker.
The best option is a scope of low power. Low power works real well because 2 3/4x scopes seem to manfacture their own light and give a huge field of view. They also give enough magnification for shooting at game at greater distances than we ought to. Can be challenging to sight in tho but a larger bulls eye really helps. Lots of people use 3x9 or 2x7 power scopes and keep them on the lowest power for hunting. That sort of works as you get a much better field of view than at higher powers but they still don't collect the light all that well. More important, they get mounted on something like a Rem 600 and they change the handling qualties of the rifle. That's especially true if it's a scope that needs high rings. A 2 3/4 or a 1x4 power scope will sit in low rings real well and keep the whole thing balanced well.
Go over the east side, where I live now, and the picture changes. Over here a longer barrel will make better use of most cartridges. It will swing better with a bit more weight forward on running game (I don't do running game). With a bit more weight, it will sit in your hands better when shooting but, also is more in need of better rested shooting positions. It's not the type of rifle that lends itself well to snap shooting.
The compromise is the rifle with a 22" barrel in a cartridge that uses it well. Thats those on 308 size cases and 27 cal and up on 30-06 cases. I have tried barrel lenght's up to 26" and they all have a place but over 24" doesn't make all that well a handling or carring rifle.
Sights are also different out here and scopes are the king. But I see many people come out with far more scope than they need. 3x9's are ok but really are not necessary on a hunting rifle. I'm a fan od fixwd power and really love 4x but try and find them. The 2x7 is small enough to mount fairly low and keep the whole rifle well in balance. Balance is a important factor even in eastern Ore rifles.
Many, maybe most, come out here with magnum rifles with some preconcived notion thay they'll have some advantage at longer range's. Those magnums usually come in larger lesser handling rifles. They also come in heavier rifles that lend themselves better to sitting than carrying. Many, make that few, use these things enough to be good shots with them. Another rifle type I see at times is the "Sendero" type. I like them but not for carrying around. They are just to heavy and good field shooting requires some type of rest, most use a bi-pod. Just one more potato to hang on a rifle to add weight and throw the rifle out of balance. I even know of a couple guy's using that type rifle that carry sand bag's with them filled with either plastis pellets or kitty litter. It would seem that the rifle and a knife would be enough to carry!
After the rifle is chosen, the cartridge can be what you like. Anything on the 308, 8mm Mauser and 30-06 case if fine for east or west rifles. The hot short magnum's and regular magnum cases are better at hame on the east side.Add the 25-06 to the east side too. Of course all will work in any situtation, east or west, but then you could also get enought material home to build a house in a Corvette; a Kenworth would be a better choice!