I've had a bunch of threads on here on just this topic. Here's one:viewtopic.php?f=14&t=421
I have a bunch more in here. Dig around here and on my weblog: Genesis9:2-4 Ministries
As to your particular problem, let me first tell you that just about any centerfire rifle, any shotgun, just about anything you come up with kill a deer. They are not all that hard to kill. The first questions are:
1) What is legal? Where I am, KY, allows any centerfire rifle of 22 caliber or greater. You will need to check what's legal in MI. Get hold of the rules and read them thoroughly.
2) Where you will be hunting? Most deer are taken inside 80 yards. There are a host of rifle chamberings that can put down a whitetail at that distance. However, if you will be hunting fields, you may need to reach out a bit. Don't think you are going to be shooting much past 200 yards in any event. Figure that whatever you choose, it will probably be sighted in so that it shoots a tad high at 100 yards and will start to fall off somewhere between 150 and 200 yards.
3) How will you be hunting? Stands? Still Hunt? Stalk? That is going to determine a lot regarding sights, barrel length, action, etc.
4) What action do you prefer? Bolt action is kind of the default norm these days. Lever is good. I like pump. I warn folks against single-shots, especially as beginners. Semi-autos are just fine. They all have there pros and cons.
5) What fits? You want a rifle that fits you well. A stock that is too long will cause you trouble. Remember that you will be shooting with multiple layers of clothing on. That figures in too.
6) How much recoil can you stand? I could tell you a Rem 700 BDL in 30-06 is THE deer rifle for you, but if you develop a flinch shooting it, my advice will be worthless. What feels good to you?
7) What is your dream? As the resident shaman, I see this as the most important question. Concentrate fully on what you really are expecting out of this hunt. Visualize the hunt as you see it in your head. This will determine a lot more than you think.
If you are expecting to go hunting with this rifle next year, you have plenty of time to make your choices. Find out what's available close at hand to borrow for a day and try out. Start browsing the stores and shoulder a bunch of rifles. Put out feelers to your relatives. A used rifle is often a good bet for a first deer rifle. There is no sense spending gobs on a deer gun until you know exactly what you want. I have gobs of deer guns and I still can't find one that fits every situation and mood. Figure that you should be able to find something to suit your needs well within your budget.