The Tikka t3 is a great rifle ! I have a t3 lite in stainless.
The winchester model 70 feather weight and the classic sporter are very good rifles also. I own 1 Savage 2 Winchesters and 1 Tikka . For the $ the tikka is hard to beat, it's just as acccurate as my $1,400 Sako.
I've never had a Tikka but I held one once. Nice rifle but I doubt its any better than either of the other two. Each brand of rifle has it's cheering gallery and that's who usually shows up in these discussions. The bottom line with rifles is if it's across the counter factory rifle, your paying for what you like to look at if it's in the cartridge you want. Then if you love the Savage but have the hots for something that its not chambered in, you'll either re-barrel a Savage or buy another rifle.
All the claims for smooth actions usually go out the window when hunting. either it was a one shot kill or you don't remember cycling the action. So much for smooth. I find it funny the the people that usually rave about smooth are also the people who have never fired a second shot at an animal. That being the case, why does smooth count?
I think most of us are influenced more on what to buy by the price tag and the esthetic value of the rifle; not necessarily in that order.
A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting...