Once your weapon fires, there is no undoing the action if you made a mistake. This fact of gun handling makes it essential to know what is front of your target and behind it. Never shoot at anything unless you know what and where your shot is going to strike, and be aware of the surroundings as well in case you miss. This entails making sure that your bullets will not harm anyone or anything beyond or around your targets.
For hunters, never fire at a movement or noise without knowing with absolute certainty what you are firing at. Ignoring this advice potentially puts others in grave danger. There is no such thing as a target so essential that you can’t take the extra precious seconds to determine your surrounding and what you might be shooting at. Always take this time to assess what your target is and where your bullet will ultimately stop.
Even the weakest weapons and bullets can travel over a mile, whereas high velocity bullets can travel for several miles. Shotguns, for their part, can travel well over four football fields if you are firing pellets, and shotgun slugs can travel around half a mile. These are just a few noteworthy examples, but you will want to know how far your bullets could travel if you miss your target or the bullets ricochet in a different direction. Really, this boils down to basic situational awareness, so if there is any doubt that firing your weapon could jeopardize the safety of others, do not fire your weapon.