The .223 Rem will do the job from just about any rifle on that size target at that range. The ammo is cheap and readily available and you can play with it if you're a handloader. A lot of these varmint rounds are pretty exotic and hard to find...not to mention expensive.
I use the .223 for medium sized game (coyotes, coons and possums) at ranges out to 300 yds or more from a Ruger Mini-14 topped with a NcStar 3-9X scope. I really like the Wolf varmint rounds with the red plastic tip. They feed reliably and expand nicely without causing too much pelt damage. They are affordable and the quality control seems pretty consistent. That's always important with an autoloader. Good luck!
I agree with the above post. The 223 rem will be excellent for what you need to do and the ammo is everywhere. 22-250 may be another caliber that fits your situation for you to look at that is easy to find ammo for. It is more powerful and flatter shooting than the 223. Out of all these calibers, we are not talking about a whole hell of a lot of difference one way or the other.
When hunting whitetails there are many different languages being spoken afield that I key on when outdoors. All these little creatures living around whitetails have something to tell us if we are willing to listen.
My favorite tattletales of the outdoors are a handful of little birds that live in my state of Ohio. Maybe yours too. A tip for the upcoming season.
There are Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees, Killdeer, and Sparrows that all have language...