If you are tired of watching the big one getaway, this ultimate guide to hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 is your recipe for success. It only takes a few seconds to miss your shot, but with a few minutes of reading, you’ll be well on your way to freezing time like the best hunters as you line up your shot.
Hunting in Red Dead 2 Online takes timing, patience, and preparation, along with the knowledge of how to track down your prey. Just like every other part of Red Dead Redemption 2, hunting in the game is full of depth, and there’s no simple way to track down every beast.
We have all the tips that you will need to make sure that there won’t be a single creature left off your bestiary. From the importance of pelts to choosing the right weapon, continue to find out everything you’ll ever need to hunt game in Red Dead 2 online.
Why Hunt in Red Dead Redemption 2?
The first thing to understand is the importance of hunting at all in Red Dead Redemption 2. You can make enough money to progress just playing along with the game, but hunting brings plenty of benefits that will make your playthrough easier and further increase your immersion.
Anyone who has had the chance to play Red Dead Redemption knows it’s all about immersion, and hunting is one of the unique opportunities the game offers. On a basic level, hunting is excellent for increasing your money or having a constant meat supply to keep your camp running. Hunting is also a great way to rack up some comfortable experience in between missions.
Cooking meat for yourself to eat helps keep your health and stamina full. You can also collect the pelts to craft plenty of cool gear and furniture for your ever-growing collection. Beyond that, you have the legendary hunts, which add their challenges to the game, are necessary for a 100% completion, and are among the most memorable aspects of the game.
Many legendary hunts are based on actual rare animal breeds you can find in the real world. You don’t want to miss out on hunting as just learning the basics will add an exciting twist to your adventure as you find moments to pause and face a new challenge.
Importance of Pelt Quality
Before we get too far into hunting techniques, you must understand how the hunting system works in Red Dead Redemption 2. The most crucial aspect of any hunt will be the pelt quality of the catch. The meat you find is great for a few elements of the game, but the pelt quality will be the primary determining factor in how successful your hunt is.
Every creature you kill will drop a pelt, which receives a rating from one to three stars depending on its quality. Multiple factors go into determining the quality of a pelt. One common misconception is that your shot placement is the only thing that matters when seeking a three-star pelt.
In the next section, we will cover all of the reasons your pelt quality could suffer. A one-star pelt is practically useless, while a two-star pelt will be useful in some situations, but a three-star pal is definitely what you should be aiming for every time you can help it.
Maximizing Your Pelt Quality
There are four things to keep in mind when aiming for a three-star pelt. These factors are the specimen quality, the weapon you use along with the ammo you use, your shot placement, and whether your shot was fatal or not.
One of the best ways to make sure that you get a poor pelt is to fail to kill your prey in one shot. A wounded animal will start bleeding out, and its trail will change from red to yellow to blue before it passes away.
The result is a one-star pelt, so you should always aim for a one-shot kill as the more humane way to play is also the most profitable. As long as you track down a three-star specimen and shoot it with the right type of weapon for a kill shot, your pelt will always be a three-star.
Preparing for the Hunt
While there is usually no wrong time for some impromptu hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2, there are some basic things that you need to grab to make sure that you are prepared. Depending on how intentional your hunting is, some items are less necessary than others, but you will always want to keep your binoculars in mind when you go on a hunt.
Your binoculars are a great scouting tool and often essential to making sure a hunt is successful. You can also head to a trader to grab some bait or create your own. Bait and lures make hunting a lot easier as they will draw game to you even if the environment isn’t perfect for them. The next and probably most important thing which leads to our next topic is bringing the right weapon for the job.
The Right Weapon for the Right Prey
Having the right weapon is an essential part of making sure your catch is as pristine as you want. Within the game, you can find a helpful table that will breakdown which type of weapon you need to use to get the perfect pelt for every kind of creature in the game. Every gun in the game, for the most part, can be used for hunting though some are better than others.
For smaller animals like squirrels and bats, you will want to use a bow with little game arrows or a varmint rifle. Animals a bit bigger of moderate sizes like rabbits, badgers, and iguanas are also effectively taken down with a varmint rifle. Moving up to medium-sized creatures like coyotes and foxes, you can start using regular arrows, and throwing knives through a trusty repeater is most players’ favorite way to go.
Larger creatures like bucks, panthers, and goats will need a bit more power in a standard rifle using any type of ammo except explosive. Finally, the massive animals like the bears and bison you’ll face are best taken down with various sniper rifles or sometimes a shotgun.
Tricks of the Trade
Before we get into the actual hunting process, it is essential to go into a few tricks that will help you along the way to finding your next hunt. Many players like to spend a bit of time leveling up before they start hunting because Deadeye Level 3 helps spot the kills points on an animal’s body.
Deadeye is also an effective way of grabbing multiple pelts at one time and will usually be your best way of ensuring a kill. Before hunting, you should stop by a trader to pick up some scent hiding cream, as it will be handy when hunting. This cream will allow you to get closer to animals without spooking them, enabling you to set up a clean shot.
As for the Ability Cards you will want to use while hunting, you only need a couple. Damage cards aren’t handy because you will want to kill your hunt in a single shot. The first ability card you’ll want is Unblinking Eye for the extended Deadeye time. When coupled with Paint It in Black, you can hunt using bait more effectively. This card will allow you to paint more targets so you can clear out multiple kills on a single Deadeye.
Finally, bait is beneficial for hunting quickly and efficiently, which we will cover further in the next section.
Bait and Lures
When you try to do some speed hunting, there is nothing more essential in your arsenal than your weapon, of course, than having the right bait. There are multiple different types of bait in the game. However, the most useful one which you should try to keep on you as much as possible is the potent herbivore bait.
While the potent predator bait also has its uses, the full herbivore bait is much more useful for quick cash and a bit harder to craft. It isn’t easy because you need Vanilla Flowers, which can only be found in one area on the map.
You will want to look around at the trees in the bayou to the northwest of Saint-Denis, where you can also hunt for crocodiles. Violet Snowdrops are a bit more common, though, and you can find plenty to the east of Valentine on the cliffside.
The ordinary predator bait is just about as good as the potent and isn’t that hard to craft. Using tricks will help you draw in more high-quality specimens so you can use your Deadeye for hunting quickly.
Scouting the Hunt
All right now, you have the right bait to pull in any prey you were looking for, along with the proper weapons and techniques to take down the game quickly and efficiently. Now all you need is the appropriate procedure to hunt effectively.
As you approach the creatures you are trying to hunt; you will want to use your scent hiding cream and pull out your binoculars. Your binoculars are useful for judging the prey’s distance, and by zooming in and looking in the left corner, you will be given an info bit that will tell you which weapon is the best for ensuring you get a perfect pelt.
Every animal will have a rating of one to three stars, which you can see in the bottom right by the animal’s name. Once you have located a few three-star quality specimens, you are ready to start hunting.
The Art of the Hunt
If you have followed this guide to this point, you will find the actual act of hunting to be relatively easy. With a properly leveled Deadeye taking down multiple high-quality specimens at the same time is hardly an issue. You can always use a more manual approach by pulling out the bow and arrow and using your Deadeye to find the kill spot.
However, it is much more efficient to use a gun as a repeater to multiple knockout creatures with a single dead eye. When approaching a hunt, you will want to stay as quiet as possible and move slowly forward in a crouching stance.
Animals will spook pretty quickly and for various reasons, so using bait and scent hiding cream helps out a ton. Using these methods, you can even hunt in areas where passerby’s often making disturbances.
The Legendary Hunts
All of the tips above will help you conquer most regular hunts in the game and participate in any online hunting events. However, there are also special hunts in the game entitled legendary quests that play by different rules.
There are 16 of these in total, with each of them focusing on a different breed of animal. You will find minimal numbers of these creatures for the legendary hunt often. Only a single one exists. Pelt quality isn’t an issue for legendary hunts as they will always be recovered as three-star pelts.
With this in mind, you will want to bring the biggest guns you have for any legendary hunt. These creatures are often extremely sturdy and can take out the unprepared hunter in a single shot, making each encounter a unique experience. We will quickly go through each legendary hunt with its location and a few tips for taking it down without spoiling the fun.
Legendary Bharati Grizzly Bear
Location: Grizzlies East, Ambarino
This brute can be found during chapter 2 when you hunt with Hosea. However, you will likely only have a pistol and a bow at this point. Later, head north of O’creahs Run in Grizzly East, and you can take it down with multiple well-placed shots from a weapon like the Springfield.
Location: Big Valley, West Elizabeth
You will want a rolling block rifle packed with express ammo for this buck found near the wilting forests of Big Valley. Aim for the heart, and you can take it down with a single shot.
Legendary Big Horn Ram
Location: Cattail Pond, New Hanover
A bit to the northwest of Valentine, you can find this creature and quickly take it out with their rifle using a couple of well-aimed shots to the head or heart.
Legendary White Bison
Location: Lake Isabella, Ambarino
You can find this big boy in the frigid region to the North of Lake Isabella, make sure you dress warm, though and bring a high-powered rifle or else you might be the one taking a nap in the lake.
Location: Cotorra Springs, Ambarino
This agile creature is relatively easy to find, as you will likely spot it during the completion of Rains Fall’s story missions at the nearby Yapiti Indian camp. Aim for the heart with a weapon like the Springfield rifle to bring this wolf down.
Location: Roanoke Ridge, Ambarino
This colossal herbivore requires a powerful rifle like the Carcano to take it down as quickly as possible. With surprising quickness, try to aim your dead eye for the heart and neck.
Location: Butcher Creek, Lemoyne
You only need a solid shot from the varmint rifle to take down this albino beaver, which can be found to the West of the Van Horn Trading Post.
Location: Blue Water Marsh, Lemoyne
This guy will gore you on sight, so make sure you bring a strong weapon like a bow with poison arrows or the powerful Springfield rifle.
Location: Old Greenbank Mill, New Hanover
This creature is one of the more difficult ones found in the hills of the Scarlet Meadows. If you spook it, it’s as good as gone, so make sure you aim a clean shot from the Springfield rifle.
Location: Mattock Pond, Lemoyne
You can end this fantastic fox with the varmint rifle but make sure you get the jump on it because this fox will attempt to scurry into the bushes nearby if it’s able to dodge your first shot.
Location: Bacchus Station, Cumberland Forest
Bring a Springfield with the express or high-velocity ammo to take this elk down in three shots or less.
Location: Lakay, Bayou Nwa
You cannot find this creature until after you be in the chapter four-story mission country pursuits, and it is one of the toughest animals in the game so sniping it from a distance with the rolling block rifle is advised.
WARNING: the next four legendary animals are found in spoiler territories or are considered the hardest to see in the game. So please only continue if you don’t mind a few spoilers.
Location: Gaptooth Ridge, New Austin
This guy is tough to hit outside of deadeye mode, and if you miss, you can expect a quick trip to the reaper.
Location: Rio Del Lobo Rock, New Austin
Try to take this catch with a single clean shot from a bow, and make sure you bring scent remover.
Legendary Takana Bison
Location: Mantea Falls, New Austin
Four rounds of express ammo loaded into a Springfield is a great way to take this guy out.
Legendary Giaguaro Panther
Location: Bolber Blade, Lemoyne
Must be a rank nine on the Red Dead Redemption 2 Master Hunter Challenges to attempt this hunt. Bring a rifle and a shotgun.
We couldn’t give you too many tips on the most challenging hunts in the game so you can enjoy the pursuits to their fullest. It would help if you now had everything you need to rack up plenty of cash and complete all the master hunting achievements.