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Diagram of what can happen when you shoot without knowing what lies beyond the target

The third major cause of incidents involves the victim being out of sight of the shooter. Often these incidents happen because the shooter does not know how far a shotgun or rifle can shoot. Bullets and shot charges travel farther than most people think—some rifles can shoot a bullet five miles, and shotgun birdshot pellets can travel well over 200 yards! How can these types of incidents be prevented? Never shoot over a hill. If you do not have a safe backstop, do not take a shot. Never shoot into dense brush or any other area that it is difficult to see into. The only safe shot to take is one where you have fully identified your target and what lies beyond it. Remember: A bullet or shot charge can travel far beyond or through your target.