Which is better a compound bow or a normal bow?

You have asked a partial question:

Which is better FOR ME, a compound bow, or a recurve bow.

Which is better for hitting a whitetail deer, in moderate brush, from a tree stand, at distances exceeding 20 yards?

There is no answer to the question as you posed it. I would suggest finding a local archery shop, and posing the question to the experts.

The short answer to your partial question...

Whichever bow is right for you.