Reply To: advice welcom
Well given your time frame, you have a lot of time to read up. I cant tell you how many times I had my mind made up and then spent a week reading just to change it. Ive had Daystate, FX, Cricket, and even a .22 Nitro Venom that ive taken more squirrels with than I can count. Each have their strong points and weak. You will get a ton of different answers and varying opinions here. There is a TON of knowledge and these guys are super about helping new guys out. Any time you get a question, search it using the search engine. If you cant find the answer ask and you shall receive, or be pointed in the right direction. I as a hunter (personally) would pick a .22 or .25. Well balanced is my choice. Light doesn’t necessarily mean its easy to shoulder and hold, I had a Wildcat .22 that was cool as hell and light. Im 6’3″ and 250″, it was a toy to me. I opted for the Cricket which had a bit better weight and balance to it for my frame. A bit heavier, but more stable for me. But each has his own feel. I love a medium length like carbines. If I get another it will most likely be a Vulcan rifle or Cricket carbine. Again personal preference. I pack an M-14 Elk hunting so weight doesn’t bother me. I will find someone close I can try theirs first, if allowed. I spent a lot of money blindly on the Wildcat to not like it, and got lucky in a trade.
I hunt in the desert with the .25 because it is more forgiving with the wind. It hits with authority and is a bit more forgiving with a bad placed shot. On the other hand the .22 makes me really take my time, concentrate, and hone my skill with the perfect placed shot. Im much less likely to take a questionable shot with the .22 than the .25. I have no experience with the .30 so someone else will have to chime in. I have taken two Coyotes with the .25 but they were perfect, close, head shots, that planked them out instantly. I wont do that again though. Thats why id like a .30.
Anyway, the research is half the fun. Just remember, when you have made up your mind, keep reading. I your lucky enough to have a club, get involved. Good folks and a good place to be able to handle what you might want to buy. Time is on your side!!
Luck to ya.