Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting Tips and Strategy

Hunting is a major part of Red Dead Redemption 2. With over 500 animals in the world, there are plenty of things to hunt. Here are some tips to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your time hunting and finding the best kills.

If you’ve got a helpful tip of your own, be sure to let us know in the comments or sign in an add it to the page.

EditStudy Everything

Even when you’re not on the hunt, be sure to study every animal you come across, even the small ones. You can do so by focusing on the animal then holding R1/RB. This not only adds it to your progress tracker, but after studying certain animals enough, it allows you to identify their quality any time you study them.

You can see the animal rating at a glance by looking at the start rating next to an animal’s name even without bringing up its information.

? Poor
?? Good
??? Pristine

Generally, hunting “poor” ranked animals isn’t worth your time. Instead, prioritize hunting Good and Pristine animals.

Pristine animals seem to be a bit more finicky and aware of noise, so be careful approaching it. Don’t forget to use your binoculars while hunting too. If you want to check animal ranks from a distance, use your binoculars to look at an animal’s information and track it.

This is especially important in open fields and prairies where it’s easier for animals to spot Arthur.

EditPlay This Campaign Mission

If you’ve abandoned the story just after getting the freedom of exploration, make sure you take a moment to go on an early mission with Hosea called Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego.

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In this mission you’ll get a refresher on tracking animals, learn how to make bait, and learn about Legendary Animals. You also get your only chance to hunt down a Legendary Animal more easily, though it’s not guaranteed to be an easy hunt.

EditUse the Right Weapon

The weapon you use to kill an animal affects its quality. For instance, if you use a shotgun to kill a raccoon, that raccoon is going to be full of holes and nearly worthless to butchers.

Be sure to use your bow and arrow on small animals, and use Red Dead Redemption 2’s snappy targeting system to get clean headshots. For the biggest animals, like bears and elk, you can use rifles and other, non-explosive or non-flammable ammo.

Again, focus on getting headshots for the cleanest kills to yield better carcass quality. If you’re up for a bit of a ride after unlocking the Fence with Hosea, head northwest from the Valentine area to the town of Strawberry.

At the western foot of Mount Shan you’ll find the territory of a Legendary buck – hunt it down and bring its antler back to the fence and craft the Buck Antler trinket. This will improve the quality of all of the pelts you skin while hunting, making it way easier to craft upgrades and new items.

EditTo Skin or Not to Skin

Your horse can carry many pelts, but those pelts will go bad eventually. And if you get in an unfortunate horse riding accident, those pelts won’t stay on its rear.

If you don’t plan on doing anything with the animal pelts, go ahead and keep the animal’s pelt intact. Skinned carcasses sell for half the price of complete carcasses. Again, if you don’t plan on doing anything with the pelt, just let the animal keep its skin and sell it whole.

EditSell Your Carcasses Efficiently

Did you know your horse can carry up to three animals?

Well, it can! You can stow one medium sized animal — like a deer — on its back and two small animals on its side.

Make sure your horse is loaded up and pockets full (of snakes, bunnies, or other small animals) of animal carcasses to make the most out of your trips to the butcher or trapper.

Animals that are common in one region can also be sold for more in other, farther regions.

If you’re planning on traveling long distances, consider hunting a bit before leaving the region.

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