OK, it's cold, I'm bored, can't hunt deer for another year. What the heck. Leaving caliber and ballistics off the table...thoroughly covered in another post...what is YOUR best deer hunting rifle and why? Looking for single best, you may select up to 2. Can be one you own, one you wish for, one that isn't made yet, one you would do a minor tweak on. If Santa was a custom riflesmith, what would he bring you within his reasonable budget? In my case, I'm near perfect. I have a Mauser 98 action in .280, RM thumbhole stock that fits me perfectly (it darn well should with the countless man hours shaping and sanding) 22" barrel to be fairly maneuverable in the woods but not short and whippy, and doesn't compromise much for longer shooting. 3x9 Burris FF2 fast focus. It's hefty so it fits my often unsupported and sometimes moving shots in broken woods with a clean hold, swing and follow through in these conditions. It would be perfect if the scope were a 2x7 with a heavy "German" reticle, it were about 8 oz lighter and the trigger pull was cleaner. Not lighter, just cleaner. Working on those minor flaws this winter.