I think the key factor here is muzzle energy.
I would not venture to predict how much for each species, but I suspect that marksmanship can end up delivering bullets ontarget that lack sufficient energy to generate a clean kill.
That's why I shy away from LR hunting and honestly feel uncomfortable about hearing others advocating it. I figure the LR hunter starts out with two strikes against them; reduced hit probability and reduced effective terminal energy.
That's why I suggest developing stalking skills to the point where the shots are less 'iffy', and using enough gun. Doubly so with dangerous game, like bears, etc.
The animal deserves a clean kill, and the hunter doesn't need to be burdened with the consequences of a less than clean kill.
If the choice contains the potential for marginal performance, it's not my choice.
For large game in the lower 48, I consider the .30-'06 to be the minimum effective chambering, and the maximum necessary chambering, with bullet weight and distance being determined by which game is being pursued. The bigger and more dangerous the game, the heavier the bullet and shorter the distance. None of this should come as a surprise to the practical hunter.
NO, it's not about muzzle energy other than do you have enough? Arrows kill deer with 1/10th of the energy of a bullet from a rifle. Marksmanship always plays a key factor in a quick death to a hunted animal. If the muzzle energy is low, bullet performance is even more absolutely necessary.
I feel somewhat the same as you do about long range hunting. But that really boils down to the shooter. I know guys who shouldn't take shots past 50 yds. But they still hunt. So, guys who regularly shoot out past 600 yds. And, know their rifles. And regularly hit their targets I don't have a problem with. Guys from the cities, who don't know how to read a map, or how to gauge distance, should not be shooting past 100 yards.
are the ones worrying me.
As far as bullet/cartridge size, I've watched several hits with plenty more than enough energy go right through. It's how well the energy transfers to the game animals body. A BT or Acc bond would be excellent choices this time of year. Anyhow, there my rant for the hight.