After some contemplation I was amazed when I started to consider what you need to think about before you take a shot. At first I assumed the "is it safe" angle would be top of the list but of course, before you even get there you have to decide if it is a deer and so on, it doesn't need to be safe if it is only an odd shaped branch. I'm going to try for a list but am sure I will miss out lots of stuff but all additions are welcome:
What species is it? What sex is it? Is in in season? Does it have a calf I need to worry about? Is it shootable? (i.e. on cull plan or not the best stag in the country etc.) Could I get into a position for a shot? Is a safe shot possible? Are there any additional safety problems? Are there any PR problems? (i.e. need to keep the landowner sweet or not offend walkers in forestry by shooting a calf in front of their kids.) Have I enough light to recover it? If it runs a bit do I stand a chance of finding it? Can I recover it from that location? Do I have some way of dealing with the carcass or is my butcher on holiday? Would I need help to recover it? Is my mate free? Can I get a clear shot at the vitals? Are there any twigs or bushes in the way? Will it see me if I step to my right to clear those branches? Can I wait for a broadside shot or does it look like it might run or wander off? Can I get a steady rest? How far away is it? What is my bullet drop at that range? What is the wind like? Can I hold steady at that range? Have I gone blind? Why do I always forget to open my front scope cover? etc.