Like everyone else I used to go hunting with a bolt action hunting rifle, a Marlin 30 30. I had a scope on it, but I came to realize that the way that I am hunting is not really going to make that all that advantageous. Out in the Western states they have a lot of wide open spaces and some of the time they will shoot at elk from half a mile away. Around here you are going to be a lot closer. I got a good 12 gauge and put a slip on recoil pad on the stock. Of course it is going to kick very little when you load it up with bird shot, but you are going to really appreciate that recoil pad when you are using double ought buck shot and deer slugs. That is how I am loading it up, first one and then the other. Since I have a five round magazine I end up with three deer slugs and two shells loaded with buck shot.
The fact of the matter is that a pump shotgun is going to give you a greater chance of success than a bolt action rifle. Since my Marlin is a single shot weapon, you are really only going to get one shot. If you do not get a killing shot in, then you might end up on a blood trail for hours. Of course if you hit it in the right area, a 30 30 is going to be lethal, but it is not going to give you much margin of error. It is not like that with a deer slug. If you hit the deer it is going to go down, because it is a huge chunk of lead. Since you can pump another shell in the chamber you are going to be able to fire again quickly.