The 7mm, or .284 diameter bullet, is, in my estimation, the best caliber for deer of all sizes, under all conditions—which is why it deserves the top spot on this list. It has innate ballistic properties, and its short-action case, which is a necked-down .308 Win., fires its 140-grain pill at 2,770 fps, resulting in 2,386 ft.-lb. of energy. That is plenty of speed and energy for deer as far as the eye can see. It's also a comparatively light-kicking round. It yields only about 17 lb. of recoil in my featherweight, 6-pound Remington Model 7; I could shoot it with one hand from a treestand if I had to. I prefer the 7mm-08 over the 7x57mm Mauser for its extra 150 fps, and perhaps because of its American origins. All told, the 7mm-08 Remington strikes the perfect balance between deer-dropping power and easy of carry and shooting, making it my all-time favorite cartridge for the deer woods, no matter the condition.