Of those 2 I'd take a 270..for the ammo availability when you are out afield and realize you forgot your cartridges..I used the old Remington 130gr Bronze Pts (a lot like todays Ballistic tips...very little damaged meat
But since I've gotten a 308 Marlin express that gives me all the range and power for anything in North America and I get to use it in my all time favorite rifle style ..a beautiful half mag style Marlin 336 lever-action in blued steel and fancy black walnut wood. Mine shoots under 1 MOA with the 160gr Lever-Evo ammo with its 2x-7x Leupold. This is now my go to for anything hog sized and up and it doesnt damage meat,.reaches targets farther than I would ever attempt to shoot and puts them down with single shot authority and so far has made 2 holes in everything...one in..one out,..the penetration impresses me every time ...plus you'll truly have a gun that as it ages takes on the look of something your kids will be proud to inherit
If I had to buy one gun, it would be an '06. It is much more versatile. Bullet weights range up to 220gr, making it a better choice if you should ever hunt something bigger than deer. That said, I do like a .270 for deer, as well as a half dozen other calibers.
The venerable 30-06 is the best deer cartridge bar none.
When the novelty of other deer cartridges wears off, with the 30-06 you still have an excellent selection of bullet weights and styles, universal availability of ammunition and excellent on game performance.
If you come up against a 200 pound 10 pointer in heavy cover, you will be glad you are loading 180 grain Remington PSP Core Lokt's. I have taken many a deer with this round and it drops them in their tracks, even with a quartering shot.
I think that West Virginia is a lot like Kentucky where I hunt in that 100 yards is a long shot. If I hunted out west I might consider a .270 or a 7mm Rem Mag but in our neck of the woods, the 30-06 is an excellent choice.
In real heavy cover, I found the old .35 Remington in a Marlin 336 to be a great choice. It is hard to beat a lever gun for a quick second shot.
I have blood trailed many deer others shot with .243's and similar calibers. The 30-06 puts them down even with a marginal hit.
A caliber like a .35 Remington of a shotgun slug makes a big hole and the blood really comes out.
When ammo goes on sale, the 30-06 is almost always included. The 25-06 IMO will be more expensive to buy in most cases than 30-06 or .270.
My understanding is that the 30-06 outsells all other cartridges. Must be a reason for this.
Of the two cartridges, my choice would be (and is) the .25-06. If meat destruction at shorter ranges like here in Pennsylvania is a concern, use the heavier bullet weights - 115 or 117 grains. Some of the 100-grain bullets have been known to expand too violently at close range.
To be proficient with a rifle in the field, you have to first become proficient with it from the bench. The .270 Winchester isn't a hard-kicking cartridge as higher-recoiling cartridges go but it will thump you pretty good compared to a .25-06. A rifle that isn't fun to shoot at paper won't endear itself to much of that kind of shooting, thus you won't shoot it as much and won't become as familiar with it as you would a milder-recoiling one. And anything you can say about the .270's recoil you can say double about a .30-06. For the above reason, I own several .25-06s but have sold all but one of my .270s and have never purchased a .30-06. We have one but it is a rifle my son won and has never shot.
Nothing comes without drawbacks, however. Ammo for a .25-06 may not be as easy to find at a rural hardware store as shells for a .270.
Having said all that about the .25-06, I will concur with Vern - the .280 Remington is a superb cartridge. I have a .280 Ackley Improved that McGowen Precision Barrels assembled for me on a Model 700BDL/DM action that puts three 140-grain Berger VLDs into .462" at 3,099fps. A .280 of any kind will recoil harder than a .25-06, however.
Hands down its gotta be the 25-06 as I've shot this caliber for years I can testify to the fact it has got to be the MOST versatile caliber out there right now. Example: if you handload
1) You can load a 120 grn nosler partition works great on Deer!
2) Load up a 85 grn nosler ballistic tip and shoot varmints all day with very light recoil.
If you can't load remington was making a "Extended Range" factory load with a 122 grn core-loc that worked good for me, put one on my wall with that.
Wincheste makes a 90 grn "positive expanding point" that will flat out destroy
anything from prairie dogs to coyotes!
I have a .25-06 that I've hardly shot, and have my son's .270 in the safe. Both are excellent deer/antelope rifles, and I would not hesitate to use either of them. The rifle I've killed all of my deer, elk, and antelope with over the last fifteen years is my Ruger #1 in .280. Almost all of them were killed with Nosler 140 gr partition bullets; almost all of them were killed with one shot, at ranges from 70 yards in the woods to 340 yards on the prairies. The .270 with 130/150 grain bullets is for all practical purposes the same as the .280 with 140 gr, and the same can be said for the .25-06 with 120 gr bullets. I don't consider any of the three to be hard kickers. I've shot a deer or two with a .30-06, and bought one for my nephew a few years ago. He shot one deer and one elk with it on hunts with me, and it did fine. It doesn't kick much harder than the .270/.25-06, but does not shoot quite as flat as either.
The world is full of fine deer cartridges. I don't think I've ever shot a .243, but have killed many deer and antelope with my 6 mm Remington, and one with my .257 Roberts, which are pretty much the same as the .243. Ammunition availability should not be much of a concern, especially if you handload. I've never used anywhere near a box of ammo on a hunt. Usually it is only a cartridge or two. The first concern should be good shot placement, followed closely by adequate bullet construction. The particular cartridge you use is really pretty minor.
The 308 Winchester or 7mm-08 will take any deer in WV. A short action and 22" barrel is all you need in the mountains of WV. The 308 is a more accurate round than the 30-06. Military snipers use the 308 routinely for 1000 yd kills. There is a reason for this fact. Keep the gun as lite as possible, you will come to apperciate it over time.