It was my father's hunting friends that thought that deer equaled a 30 caliber, that the 243 and the 25-06 were Varmint rounds. And at 14 years old there there was no way I was going ot be shooting a kids, womans or varmint round.
The 7-08 had just come out and they wrote about the lighter bullets and the low recoil and thought kids. Dad wanted to get me one at first till I said I wanted an 06. The Gun Rags of the mid 80's were touting the 7-08 as what I said a kids and ladies round and showed it with many deer, proghorn and I think a couple black bears.
We went to the local gun shop and looked at an 06. Dad had me cycle the bolt with my head down looking through the sights and I hit my self in the nose with the bolt, drawing blood, so a short action it was, since dad had a 308, so did I.
Had Dad had a 7-08 (not available in his Sako Deluxe of 1967) then I would have one too.
And you state the 168 grain bullet from the 7-08 and it is probably a great bullet flys far and fast with little drift or drop.
And if you hunt in open spaces that matters.
If you hunt is dense woods the heavier bullet with the blunt end matters. If I could have gotten a 358 Win instead I would have. Not because it will plow through brush, it will not but it transfers more energy now to the animal and anchors them in a place where deer can get lost quickly and you second guess your self of a hit.
Now back to the 7-08 it is an updated short action version of the world class 7X57 that has killed everything all over the planet.
With that said I have been thinkng of a custom 7TCU in a CZ 527 rifle for deer and pigs.
Now the debate between 7mm (284) and 30 caliber (308) has been the Ford Vs Chevy argument of the gun world. Some people just like one over the other for no real reason. No matter what facts are put infront of them.
Whne I wrote earlier about a comprimise between the two rounds being the 308, I could have just as easily picked the 7X57. For a few other reasons all valid.