Bullets fired from heavy rifles can travel up to five miles and be lethal within that distance. So you must make sure that behind your target is a safe background, in case the bullet misses the target or continues travelling after hitting it. There have been several accidents where people have been hit at a range of several miles, and also where bullets have penetrated shrubbery and hit someone on the other side. Ideally your quarry should have a bank or hill behind it.
Bullets can be deflected by pieces of grass or other vegetation. If you use telescopic sights make sure that there isn’t some obstacle near the end of your barrel that you cannot see through the telescope due to its proximity. If you hit a rock close to you, it could cause a very dangerous ricochet. In the same way you can be too close to your target to use the telescopic sight.
Before you shoot, estimate the range of your target. The new Optimic Range Finder measures distances from 15 metres to 600 metres with an accuracy of +/- 1 metre. Many people zero their rifles at 100 metres. So it is important to know the ballistic performance of the ammunition over different distances.
I shot a blade of grass today
I also shot some heather
The stags alas all ran away
And foul did turn the weather!
Poem by M.W.