Hunting is integral to the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2. There are lots of things you can do once you have killed the animal. However, tracking them down is not that easy and using this Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting Guide will ensure that you at least know what you are doing.
Before we look at how to track down animals, let’s go ahead and take a look at all of the animals that you can find in RDR2. You will be hunting down in the wild these animals:
Usually, you can see animals such as rabbits and deer running around when you are in the wild.
If you do not see them, you can press the L3 and the R3 buttons at the same time to go into your “Eagle Eye” mode in which you can press your bumper buttons to start tracking animals. This will give you a trail to an animal nearby.
Once you exit your “Detective” mode, you will still be able to see the trail. Follow it to the animal and then you will have the chance to kill it which is a process that is quite simple. All you need to do is to use the weapon and shoot the animal.
You can get the meat and set up camp to cook food and restore your vitals. You can also take the pelt but the best course of action is to take the carcass back to camp on your horse and have the gang eat it.
This can be done by donating the hunted animals to the gang’s butcher, Pearson.
They will stay happy this way and donating will allow you to have pelts for future crafting. It will also increase your honor which will only be beneficial in the end.
Whole carcasses also sell for more than skinned animals. So it’s ideal to keep the pelt intact to the animal as you choose whether to donate it back at the camp or sell it for gear at the Hunter.
There are going to be Legendary Weapons in the game. They are unique beasts which are found in the game’s world, but they are very rare.
Once you have killed a Legendary Animal, you can salvage its parts and take them to a trapper who will make unique clothes from it. There are over 200 species of animals in the game so it will be difficult to find all of the Legendary Animals.
However, you should definitely try to kill these animals whenever you get the chance. Although you might be better off if you do not actively search for them and instead focus on other, more important objectives that will have a much higher yield.
Each animal in the game has a quality which is essentially an indicator of how healthy it is. Animals of better quality have better pelts than those of poorer quality.
There are a total of 3 different quality standards which can be viewed in the info window or in the inspect tab when you inspect an animal using the L2/LT button.
The 3 quality standards are poor, good and pristine. In a perfect world, you want to get the pristine quality as much as possible. However, that will not be possible in every situation so you might need to settle for less in certain situations.
You can also deal with different types of damage to animals, which are the following:
This damage is dealt to the vital organs. Doing fatal damage ensures that the target dies in a single bullet. It is very hard to hit these organs since their area is quite small.
Dead Eye ability can be used once it is at level 4 or higher in order to have the vital organs glow red when your crosshair is near them.
This damage is dealt when you hit critical organs like the lungs. It may not be fatal but it does a lot of damage.
Having the Dead Eye ability on Rank 5 can be a big help as it makes the critical organs glow red. Organs with critical damage usually bleed and cause the animal to slow and then collapse.
This is the standard variant of damage which has absolutely no bonuses and works similar to the damage mechanic found in most games.
For each animal size, there is a different weapon that would be perfect for killing them. We will be taking a look at each animal size, all of the animals which qualify in that size and the weapon(s) that would be perfect for killing them.
Note, even when you’re using the optimal weapons, always go for a head-shot to ensure a perfect pelt at the demise of the animal you’ve hunted.
Small Game Arrow (Bow)
|Poison Arrow (Bow)|
Big Horn Ram
|Poison Throwing Knife|
Poison Arrow (Bow)
|Poison Arrow (Bow)|
Improved Arrow (Bow)
Poison Throwing Knife
Although the aforementioned firearms are the way to go, sometimes you’ll have a hard time executing the shot.
In such cases, you may benefit from using a lasso in Dead Eye Mode and hog-tying an animal just like you would a human bounty. Although you’ll end up killing the animal by stabbing it in the heart, so the quality of the pelt may be compromised.
A horse can store up to three carcasses at a given time. One of a medium sized animal like a deer and two smaller carcasses to each side, like a snake, rabbit, etc.
However, you can increase this capacity by having three more horses accompany your primary horse so you can store up to 12 Animal Carcasses.
This makes the hunting trip much more efficient and productive. It should be noted though these carcasses won’t stay fresh for long as pelts eventually decay depending on the time they’re left out in the open or the weather conditions.
Therefore, hurry to your destination and turn them in for cash, food or crafting resources as soon as you can.
There are a total of 2 types of different hunting accessories. The first one is the cover scent. A cover scent can mask your smell which will make it difficult for animals to figure out where you are so that you can sneak up close to them.
The second kind of accessory is the bait which will attract wild animals based on the type of bait that you have. Simply drop it on the ground and then hide nearby, waiting for the animal to come. A fresh carcass can also be used for this purpose.
There’s also a bonus item that you can purchase from the Fence after the vendor is unlocked for you when you’ve completed the “Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego” mission with Hosea.
Before you can do that, however, you will need to hunt down a Legendary Buck west of Mount Shan in Strawberry.
Put down the animal and collect its antlers and bring it back to any Fence so to craft the Buck Antler Trinket. This unique item will automatically increase your chances to get higher-quality pelts and carcasses when hunting animals.
You'll want to make life in your camp as laid back as possible in Red Dead Redemption 2, to give all your companions a safe haven from the law. In this Red Dead Redemption 2 camp upgrades guide, we'll be walking you through a full list of all the upgrades available to you through the ledger, outlining how you can put your money to good use.
If you instead need anything else at all relating to Rockstar’s wild west prequel, you’ll want to head over to our Red Dead Redemption 2 guides hub. It’s on this main page that you can find a complete beginner’s guide to the game, as well as tips and tricks, and much more.
Firstly, you’ll need to know how to upgrade your camp in Red Dead Redemption 2. You can donate your own money to your camp through the ledger, marked by the dollar sign in a briefcase on the mini-map, and you can then use the ledger, which is right next to it, to make upgrades using the money you’ve accumulated.
The only specific RDR2 camp upgrade you can purchase for Dutch’s Tent in Red Dead Redemption 2 is called ‘First Thing’s First’, and costs $220. This is actually one of the better upgrades to purchase once you’ve saved up a bit of cash, as it boosts camp morale, causing members to work harder and donate more money.
Pearson takes on the role of the cook around camp, and there are a ton of RDR2 camp upgrades you can purchase for his chuckwagon. Just below, you can find a complete list of all of Pearson’s upgrades, but note that where we list requirements, this means items that you need to have previously donated to Pearson, so that he can make use of them in the future.
Strauss takes on the role of camp doctor. Just below, you can find all the RDR2 camp medical upgrades that you can purchase for Strauss to use, which will then be available for collection at the back of his medical wagon.
Just below are the RDR2 camp upgrades that you can find at the very back page of the ledger. These aren’t tied to any one person or area of the camp, but each one can provide a variety of different benefits for your companions.
This might be the end of our camp upgrades guide for Red Dead Redemption 2, but we’re far from done with Rockstar’s game here at USgamer. You can check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 legendary animals guide, or our Red Dead Redemption 2 cheat codes guide for more.
the leather working tools in Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as how to craft every The donation box allows you to donate money and valuables to the camp.
There are several different ways to help support your community and yourself in Red Dead Redemption 2. This includes robbing stores, completing odd jobs, or collecting bounties for the local sheriff. The most reliable ways to keep everyone happy, though, is to hunt in the wilderness. Animals ranging from the tiniest raccoons to the largest bears are available to hunt, but hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t about just killing the animal. You have to use the proper method for killing each target and properly use the corpse once you’re done. These are the Red Dead Redemption 2 hunting tips you need to know.
Check out our fast travel guide, beginner’s guide, cheat code guide, fishing guide, and horses guide for more help with Red Dead Redemption 2.
Before you kill an animal, you obviously need to find one to kill. If you don’t have a particular target in mind, the easiest way to do this is to simply venture away from town and start exploring the world in front of you, but if you need a specific animal, open up your map. Here, you’ll see icons representing different animals. If one pops up on the map, you’ll find it there more frequently.
Head to your desired location and begin searching. If the animal doesn’t appear right away, you have a few options. First, you can click on the analog sticks to activate Eagle Eye, which will show the paths of nearby animals.
You can also try crafting bait. This can be done by creating a camp and opening the crafting menu, though you have to have specific herbs and meats on hand in order for it to work. There are a few different types of bait, one for predators and one for herbivores, and you can unlock more potent versions of these.
Once animals are in sight, it’s time to study them. Look at one of the animals – you can use binoculars if they’re far away – and then look in the bottom-right corner of the screen to see their rating. One dot represents a poor-quality animal, while three represents a high-quality animal. Use this information to determine which one you kill.
Depending on the size of the animal you’re hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll have to use the appropriate weapon for your kill-shot. Failure to do this will result in a more difficult kill and a pelt too damaged to fetch much of a price from anyone, but it’s no sweat once you get the hang of it.
For smaller animals like foxes, you want to use a bow. One arrow should be enough to take down almost any of these animals, but make sure you get pretty close before firing your shot. Especially early on, your stamina will be very low, and this means your shot will start wobbling after just a few seconds. Even smaller animals like raccoons necessitate the use of a varmint rifle, instead. For the very smallest animals, you will want to use small game arrows, which can be crafted with standard arrows.
For larger animals like deer, you’ll want to make use of a rifle like the Springfield or the Rolling Block. These are capable of taking out most mammals with a single shot to the head, and you’ll still end up with a perfect pelt if you hit them in the head. Repeaters can be used instead, but they are less accurate at range, and you should only be taking one shot, anyway.
Even bigger animals dubbed “massive animals” can be taken down with carefully-placed shots from sniper rifles and even shotguns, if you’re using slug rounds.
The one exception to this rule is for “legendary” animals. They’re located across the map and will occasionally be the subject of a mission, and you don’t have to worry about damaging their skin. Blast away with your weapon of choice, including shotguns with normal ammunition. Standard bolt-action rifles will also work, but you have to hit a critical organ.
If you have any doubt about the weapon you should use for an animal, check your compendium. As long as you have studied the animal already, the suggested weapon for killing it will be listed.
Much like animals in real life, if a creature happens to see you running toward it at full speed in Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s going to bolt, and it’ll bring its friends with it. You need to get the jump on the animals you hunt by sneaking up on them, and there are a few things you can do to make this easier.
Firstly, as you’re entering a region that you believe to have animals in it, leave your horse several yards away. The horse’s footsteps can scare animals even more quickly than yours, but you want the horse to still be close enough to help with transporting the carcass away later.
Once you’re off the horse, click in the left analog stick to make Arthur crouch. This will force him to sneak and move more quietly, allowing you to get closer to your target before taking out your weapon.
After you’re in position, it’s time to take your shot. Pick the target you wish to kill – more on that below – and pull out your weapon. Aim for the head, and take your time lining up the perfect shot. If you’re having trouble getting the animal to put its head up, hit the square button on PS4 or X button on Xbox One to call out to them. This will give you a very limited window to take the shot before they lose interest.
Once the animal is dead, it’s time to make use of its carcass. There are a few different ways you can do this, depending on what you’re using it for. If you plan on donating the whole animal to your camp, you can, for most animals, simply stow it away on your horse and be on your way. Multiple animals can be stored on a horse, though only one “big” animal like a deer can fit on the back. Smaller animals like raccoons can be stored on the side at the same time.
If you’re making use of the skin or need the meat, you can skin the animal right away. Walk over to it and hit the triangle or Y button to skin it and take several pieces of raw meat. The skin must be stored on your horse, but you can then pick up the skinned carcass and place it on top of the skin to transport back to your camp.
Certain larger animals, such as alligators, cannot actually be transported from the point of death. If Arthur rolls an animal’s skin up and sticks it on his horse, rather than draping it over the top, it means the animal is too large to be stowed.
While taking your carcass to its final destination, know that it isn’t glued to your horse. If something happens that sends Arthur flying off the horse, everything on the horse will go with it and you’ll need to pick it up again. Make sure you do to avoid a wasted trip.
Additionally, don’t hesitate in getting your carcass to its destination. They spoil quite quickly, and if you fail to act in time, you’ll be left with a useless rotten corpse. This can occur regardless of whether or not it has been skinned yet.
There are a few different things you can do with the various components an animal provides, if you choose to skin it rather than donate the entire carcass to your camp.
The first thing you should do once you’ve skinned the animal is cook the meat. Make up a campfire like you would to craft bait, select the crafting option for the relevant meat, and cook up all the pieces you have in your inventory. Holding down the X or A button will make this process quicker, and you can then choose whether to eat the meat immediately or store it.
You have a few different options for what to do with the carcass aside from eating the meat. You can transport the skinned carcass and the meat back to Pearson at your camp and donate all or some of it. If you donate the skins here, they can then be used later for crafting different upgrades for your satchels or around the camp.
Pelts can also be sold to trappers scattered across the map. They’re visible with a large paw print symbol and will pay you for your pelts. This isn’t a great way to make money in many cases, as basic animals will only get you a few dollars.
If you find yourself in possession of an animal trophy, such as a paw, you can sell it to a fence. These vendors purchase illegally-obtained items, and if you don’t want to see the item, you can also turn it into a trinket at the fence as well.
Running out of storage space in your satchel? Read this Red Dead Redemption 2 guide on how to upgrade your satchel in camp and after chapter 6, available satchel upgrades, and more!
Table of Contents
You need to talk to Pearson in your camp to upgrade your satchel. He will provide you with a list of available upgrades, the cost, & conditions to improve on them.
Some satchel upgrades require fulfilling camp requests and upgrades - either donating money or materials or upgrading your wagons, etc.
Satchel upgrades increase the carrying capacity for certain items. Depending on the satchel you equip, the amount of items you can carry from that type will increase.
|Tonics Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Buck Pelt
1 x Perfect Elk Pelt
|Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger.|
|Ingredients Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Badger Pelt
1 x Perfect Squirrel Pelt
|Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger.|
|Kit Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Elk Pelt
1 x Perfect Panther Pelt
|Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger.|
|Provisions Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Bison Pelt
1 x Perfect Raccoon Pelt
| Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger. |
Upgrade the Provisions wagon twice at the ledger.
|Materials Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Boar Pelt
1 x Perfect Iguana Skin
| Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger. |
Craft 3 recipes at the scout fire.
|Valuables Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Beaver Pelt
1 x Perfect Rabbit Pelt
|Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger.|
|Legend of the East Satchel|| 1 x Perfect Deer Pelt |
1 x Perfect Cougar Pelt
1 x Perfect Wolf Pelt
| Purchase leatherworking tools in ledger. |
Craft all other satchels.
After Chapter 5, you will not have access to your camp anymore and therefore won't be able to upgrade your satchel in this method.
After Chapter 5, you won't be able to upgrade your satchel but you can purchase them from the fence in Rhodes or St. Denis.
The Legend of the East Satchel increases capacity to carry ALL ITEMS in the game. You need to craft all other satchels or purchase all other satchels to get access to this one.
The satchel is a bag your character carries around to keep your items. This includes provisions, tonics, ingredients, and more!
You automatically start Red Dead Redemption 2 with the satchel. You can upgrade it over the course of the game in camp or purchase better ones through a fence after Chapter 5.
(C)2018, Rockstar Games, Inc.
All trademarks, character and/or image used in this article are the copyrighted property of their respective owners.
▶Red Dead Redemption 2 Official Website
Also, it is worth mentioning that placing donations in the camp's chest also to donate pelts of hunted animals, because they are required for crafting projects.
While their use isn’t immediately obvious, collecting animal pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2 is well worth your time. Not only are the best pelts worth a pretty penny, but they also unlock unique equipment. Here’s what to do with pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2, including where to store them, where to sell them, and how to get perfect pelts.
To make the most out of the animals you track, you’re going to need a few things: binoculars, your horse, and the right type of weapon.
Trading fur and animal pelts was a cornerstone of the frontier economy all the way from the sixteenth century to the start of the twentieth. Dedicated hunters toiled and stored their skins for months to bring them to market, but luckily for us, it’s a bit quicker to do so in Red Dead Redemption 2.
With such fastidious attention to detail throughout the game, it’s no surprise that pelt trade also plays an important role in Arthur Morgan’s journey. Collecting and selling perfect pelts is not just a good source of income and how you access some of Arthur’s most stylish garments, but one of the most fun diversions in Red Dead Redemption 2 to boot.
First off, if you’re just trying your hand at pelt collecting – these are the basics.
You’ve hunted an animal, skinned it, and now the pelt is in your hands. What now?
First, you need to whistle or walk up to your horse, where you can “stow” the skin until you’ve decided what to do with it. This adds it to your horse cargo menu, so you can find it again either by walking up to your horse and pressing right on the d-pad, or by selecting the Horse Cargo section of a shop menu.
Once you’ve stored the pelts on the back of your horse, you can do a few things with them. Sell them at a general store in town, donate them to Mr. Pearson at camp, or most importantly, take your best pelts to the Trapper to craft new equipment. Once you’re at the Trapper, sell your skins to him, and they’ll appear in his inventory for crafting equipment.
We have a full guide on where to find the Trapper in Red Dead Redemption 2, so take a look at that if you’ve got some decent skins.
Lower quality pelts that you’ve stored on the back of your horse aren’t safe, however. If you die, it looks like they’re gone forever. Don’t worry too much about Legendary skins though – if you lose the Legendary Bear Skin, or any other Legendary pelt for that matter, it will be automatically sent to the Trapper so you can craft the unique outfit item that it’s linked to. If you can’t find the Legendary skin you’ve looted, try looking at the Trapper.
You can sell pelts to most general stores and some stores that sell hunting equipment in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s probably a better idea to save your best skins for crafting though, since you can make unique items you can’t get anywhere else. But if you’re looking for a few more dollars to contribute to the camp kitty, there are worse pursuits than trading in spare skins.
In the very early game, the best place to sell your pelts will be in Valentine, since you’ve got access to different kinds of shops there.
Getting a perfect pelt can be finicky to begin with, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hitting the bulls-eye every time.
To identify an animal which produces a perfect pelt, you need to use binoculars. You can find these in the “kit” tab of your satchel. With the binoculars equipped, hold the left trigger and use the left stick to zoom in.
You can also equip your binoculars from the right hand side of your item wheel.
Once you’ve got an animal in view, hold the right shoulder button (R1 on PS4) to study and identify the creature. This will tell you which weapon is best used for a clean kill.
Next to its name will be three stars. Animals with all three stars filled in can produce a perfect pelt. Two stars is a good pelt, while one star is poor.
But there’s still a catch. Being too rough with a skin will damage it and lower its quality, so you can’t use too high-powered of a weapon or certain types of ammo to bring down the beast. For example, blasting a raccoon with explosive ammo will damage the resulting skin, regardless of its original quality.
Secondly, you need to try and take down the animal in one hit to get a perfect pelt. Filling the poor creature full of holes will result in a poor quality skin. To do this, you need to score critical or fatal damage on the animal. This is achieved by aiming for the head, neck, or vital organs (heart, lungs).
Headshots will do most of the time – especially if you’re using Dead Eye. Level 4 Dead Eye is great for hunting, because it allows you to see the vital organs. It unlocks in chapter 5 and you can find out more here.
Now that you’ve found a three star animal, use the weapon it tells to you use when you study it to kill it, and you should receive a three-star pelt when you skin it.
Killing an animal with the weapon it says when you study it is not 100% required to get a perfect pelt, but does make sure. For example, a gray wolf’s entry says you can kill it with a bow and poison arrow for a clean kill. However, since it’s a “large” animal you can kill it with a rifle and still get a perfect pelt. We’ve listed the different weapons you can use below.
You can also view this information for each animal in the Compendium. To find the Compendium, enter the pause menu and select “Progress”. But the quickest way to see the information is by pressing the right shoulder button (R1 on PS4) while you’re looking at an animal through binoculars.
We’ve listed the different ammo types that you can use to cleanly kill different types of game below:
|Perfect Pelt type||Animal type||Weapon type||Ammo type|
|Small||Rats, Bats, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Bullfrogs, Toads, Snakes, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Robins, Woodpeckers, Other Small Birds||Bow & Arrow||Small game arrows|
|Moderate||Iguanas, Gila Monsters, Rabbits, Armadillos, Badgers, Muskrats, Opossums, Racoons, Skunks, Eagles, Cranes, Hawks, Owls, Other Big Birds||Varmint Rifle||0.22 ammo|
|Medium||Cayotes, Foxes, Pigs, Beavers||Bow & Arrow, Throwing Knives, Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Lasso||Normal Arrows, Poison Arrows, Throwing Knives, Poison Throwing Knives, any Rifle Ammo except Explosive, any Sniper Rifle Ammo except Explosive|
|Large||Turtles, Small Alligators, Boars, Bucks, Cougars, Panthers, Big Horn Rams, Wolves, Deer, Pronghorns, Goats, Sheep, Peccary||Bow & Arrow, Throwing Knives, Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Lasso||Normal Arrows, Poison Arrows, Throwing Knives, Poison Throwing Knives, any Rifle Ammo except Explosive, any Sniper Rifle Ammo except Explosive|
|Massive||Bears, Bison, Bulls, Elk, Moose, Ox, Cows, Large Alligators.||Bow & Arrow, Throwing Knives, Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Slug-firing Shotguns||Poison Arrows, Improved Arrows, Poison Throwing Knives, any Rifle Ammo except Explosive, any Sniper Rifle Ammo except Explosive, and Shotgun Slug rounds|
As we mentioned before, as well as using the right ammo and weapon type, you also need to make sure that you score a lethal hit on the animal. Having to shoot them multiple times will most likely result in reducing the quality of the pelt. Aiming for the head and neck is always a good way to go – in addition to using the correct ammo type – but these are our preferred weapons for taking out each class of animal.
These are the weapons that we’ve generally used while hunting, but always double-check with your binoculars and study the animal you’re hunting for the right gun to use with every animal.
|Animal category||Best weapon|
|Small||Bow & Arrow|
|Large||Rolling Block Rifle|
|Massive||Rare Rolling Block Rifle|
Small animals like rats, bats, squirrels, and snakes are all killed with a bow and arrow, using small game arrows, if you want perfect pelts.
Moderate animals like rabbits, iguanas, raccoons, and large birds like hawks, owls, and vultures are best killed with the varmint rifle with 0.22 ammo for pristine pelts.
For Medium animals like cayotes, foxes, and beavers, we like to use the common carbine repeater with regular ammo to get a clean kill and perfect pelt – just make sure you aim for the head (which is easier with Dead Eye).
Large animals are a little different. With predators like cougars, wolves, and the panther, it’s best to use something like the rolling block rifle to go for a headshot from a distance. However, with prey animals like deer, sheep, and pronghorns you can use the same rifle or chase them down with your horse and lasso them. You can then dismount and knife them for a clean kill.
Then for the biggest tier, Massive animals you have a couple of options. These include bears, bison, elk, moose, and even the largest alligators. Either go with the same rolling block rifle – or the rare variant if you have it – or if you’re adept at getting close to your target, try using shotgun slugs, or improved arrows. We have a guide on how to upgrade your bow and improved arrows here.
We’ve got plenty more guides to help you get the best out of Red Dead Redemption 2, including a full list of RDR2 cheats, beginners tips to get your started, and locations for all of the best weapons in the game.
For everything else, check out our complete Red Dead Redemption 2 guide.
This Red Dead Redemption 2 Crafting Upgrades Guide will tell you how speak with Pearson and the option to “Donate for Crafting” appears.
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