I'm going to be deer hunting for the first time this year (only did small game - pheasant - with a borrowed shotgun).
I'm using the Mossberg 500 ($270 or so) with the slug barrel. Ran into a ammo sale at Dick's, so I stocked up on sabot rounds.
I also ran into a deal for the Leupold VX-I 2-7 33mm shotgun scope. Cabela's has it on sale for $190. I signed up for their credit card, used it for payment and got an additional $25 knocked off with free shipping. Sure, I'm cancelling the card as soon as I get the first bill, but I'll take a Leupold for that price. Good eye relief, over 90% light capture, lifetime warranty and quality built for $165? Sold.
Didn't mean for that to sound like a commercial for Cabela's, but that was a great price to tease out of a sale and an offer.
Heard very good things about the Nikon Prostaff Slug scope, but stuck with Leupold. Made it America and all that.
Now, I have to bargain hunt for quality clothing so I don't freeze my keister off.
My buddy's already told me I'll be looking for a crossbow before next season. I think he's right.
If you're on the fence about rifle or slug gun, I might be able to help.
I went for versitility. The Mossberg can swap barrels and even has a blck-powder barrel you can fit without taking it to a gunsmith.
If you want a good, effective rifle that is cost effective, I've heard good things about the Savage Axis. Accurate out of the box, but a HEAVY trigger. I haven't personally fired one, but that's the rap (and you're not supposed to tinker with it because it's not a simple set screw adjustment). Walmart has them for about $277. Marlin X7 also has a good rep for quality/price.