I'm not a hunter, but I know the deer grow awfully big up here, and .223 is marginal for deer anyway.
Look for a nice *used* .243 (use heavy bullets) or .308 bolt action, or .30-30 or .32 Special lever action. And there's nothing wrong with the old .30-06 if you find a good deal on one.
.357 or .41 or .44 Magnum from a rifle or carbine would also work -- and they are fun to shoot -- but long guns in those calibers tend to be expensive and hard to find.
Why not go gun shopping with FIL and let him help you pick something out?
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"