For someone new to the sport
You are going to be on a steep learning curve at the start. It is important like the posts above recommended that you start with reading about hunting and shooting. I would bet that you have already got a good start on that. The next step would be to get into a hunter safety class. Some of it will be as boring as watching paint dry, but you might learn something that saves your life or someone elses.
The next thing I would do is talk to your friends about what they use/learned to shoot on. Often times it was a lever action 30-30. Do those kill Deer, probibly more than any other action/caliber combination. Would I recommend one to a new shooter/hunter no. There are action choices that don't have the exposed hammer and a far more comfortable stock design. The whole idea of shooting/hunting is to have fun. You can't ethically hunt until you learn how to safely shoot. You owe it to the animal that you are about to kill, to kill it cleanly without risking hurting someone else in the woods with you.
The bolt action rifle is easier to help a new shooter/hunter master in my opinion. The bolt action has a simple operation, a simple safety, straight line stock design to help with recoil, it usually has a good trigger feel, and last is ideal for mounting a scope.
I have taken alot of new shooters to the range prior to them becoming hunters. They all had a lot of fun. I picked rifles that didn't beat the crap out of them, but were easy to shoot well. The positive feed back from actually hitting what you are shooting at without pain during the process is what you are looking for.
I always feel better when I see a new shooter come to the line at the range with a scoped bolt action rifle in a non magnum caliber. I always think that person is going to have some fun.... And that is what it is all about.