I started deer hunting with a Remington 742 autoloader in .30-06 and collected a few deer with it. My cousin, who is a die-hard Ruger fan, convinced me to switch to a Ruger M77 in .308. His words were something to the effect, "The difference in recoil between the '06 and the .308 is noticeable, but the deer will never know the difference."
Since then (1979) I have used my Ruger M77 in .308 exclusively and have never lost a deer. They usually drop on the spot, but when they don't, there's always a good trail to follow. I handload it with 150 gr bullets. For my mule deer hunt this fall, I'll be using Nosler Ballistic Tips and expect it to perform well out to 300 yards, which is what my buddy has told me will be the maximum to expect.
Thanks for the other posts. Good stuff there. Aren't you glad that we have so many choices?