Hunting has a very prominent role in Red Dead Redemption. The player can hunt all featured animals (with the exception of the bats that fly over Tumbleweed every evening) for sport and money, but killing animals may also be necessary for survival, as many of the animals found in the world, such as bear, can easily end the player's life. Successful completion of Master Hunter: Rank 10 allows creation of Vittles after skinning an animal.
The hunting in the game can involve stalking, advancing upon the targeted animal, and finally making the kill. Animal bait can be bought from merchants at stores to attract various animal species. Skinning allows the player to make a profit from hunting. Skinning an animal allows the player to acquire material from the animal, which include furs, pelts, claws, fangs, feathers, meat, heart, tusks, antlers and horns.
These resources can then be sold to merchants for various prices in various places; this is considered by many to be one of the fastest sources of gaining money as it can allow the player to gather hundreds of dollars worth of resources within minutes, and does not require waiting for an event to be available, such as Bounty Hunting. When the player skins an animal, Marston can be seen crouching in front of the animal. He will then take out his knife, and begin to skin the animal, using up to three different cuts, depending on the size of the animal. Blood splats on the screen, confirming a successful skinning. It is also possible to achieve a slightly higher camera angle (although the animal will still be out of view) if the player crouches before initiating the skinning animation.
Animals are randomly generated in the wilderness and can sometimes assault the player, his allies and his horse, requiring intervention. Marston will sometimes encounter strangers screaming for help as they are pursued by some type of predatory animal. Eliminating the pursuing animals (and therefore saving the stranger) will grant Marston money and fame. Additionally, hunting at least one of every wild animal species in the game will earn the player the Unnatural Selection trophy/achievement.
After a kill, vultures may appear, opening up the sharpshooting challenge. Completing this and other challenges will earn the player fame, and can unlock outfits for Marston. The blood of any animal will act as bait for predators, so when an animal is killed, keep a lookout for wolves, cougars, bears or any other animal likely to scavenge. This also means that never-ending waves of animals may appear. If you kill a pack of wolves a new pack of wolves will appear shortly after, the same will keep happening, only with less time between each individual wave.
There are 36 different animals that can be encountered in Red Dead Redemption (Not including legendary animals) and any of the listed animals can be hunted. Different animals supply the player with different pelts, claws, meat and other resources with different values, which can be sold. Killing some animals may not please their owners or the townsfolk. Slaughter of an owned horse or a domesticated dog is a crime and, if witnessed, will result in a bounty. This is considered "Animal Slaughter." Being seen killing cattle will also place a bounty on the player, called "Livestock Slaughter."
These animals all interact throughout the wild in a carefully crafted ecosystem. For instance, the player could be traversing the plains and see a herd of buffalo grazing, or while traveling through a forest, one may encounter a cougar hunting an elk, or a grizzly bear defending its territory from a pack of wolves. Each animal behaves differently however they can generally be placed within one of two categories; passive and aggressive. Passive animals are harmless to the player, and will usually flee at any sign of danger or if the player gets too close and is detected by the animal. Tamed animals such as broken horses or farm cattle will not flee but will still move away slightly due to a sense of personal space. Aggressive animals will attack the player either as prey or because they feel threatened, they are usually predatory, exceptions include the boar and bull etc. Beware of these animals even when dead as it is rare to encounter an aggressive animal traveling alone, for example, wolves always travel in packs.
Animals of different species have different habitats, so time of day sometimes matters as much as location when trying to hunt down specific prey. Players having trouble spotting a particular critter in the day time may often find it to be worth their while to camp out and wait for nightfall.
A wise hunter knows which weapon to use for each type of animal. A small firearm may not make a sufficient impression on a large predator, while some heavy weapons turn humbler creatures into fine red mist (thus preventing the player from skinning them or obtaining body parts necessary for some quests).
Some animals only exist on one side of the US/Mexican border. This means Marston's kills can fetch a higher price on the other side.
The following animals appear in the various areas of Red Dead Redemption:
List of animals
Tools of the Trade
When hunting small game (birds and small mammals) it is advisable to use a smaller caliber gun. If too large a weapon caliber is used, the animal being hunted has a tendency to explode leaving no remains to be harvested (i.e. shooting a beaver with a shotgun will not produce any skinnable remains).
It is useful to use a horse when hunting large or more dangerous animals eg. Bear, Elk, Deer. Horses can allow you to chase the fast herbivores as well as giving the powerful predators a run for their money.
The Hunting Knife is always described as a lesser weapon, but can be very useful while hunting, as it provides a silent kill. This is good to use on horseback. It is also the tool used for skinning. Throwing Knives are useful too, as they provide a silent short distant kill and can kill with 1 or 2 throws.
Bait is a very useful tool, as it attracts a large group of animals in the vicinity. But be warned: a group of bears or other fairly dangerous animals may come after the player. Usually when using bait, you mainly get wolves or coyotes in the vincinity. So these animals usually scare away your desired animal of finding.
The binoculars can be used to see very far away. It is not only good for hunting, but also for scanning the horizon, seeing enemies, and finding herbs. This item is obtained in the West Elizabeth mission, At Home With Dutch.
To speed up the skinning process simply walk the player's horse over the corpse to be skinned. This will block the Cutscene and instantly show the results of the animal harvesting. It is also possible to achieve this by walking into the animal fast enough to move it and is up to 3 times faster than watching the cutscene. The same thing happens if the animal you are skinning is already moving, if the animal is stuck in an object (a glitch) or if it is sliding. Keep in mind, however, that the corpse of the animal will not change in appearance as it normally would once skinned. To avoid confusion, make sure that the animal the player is attempting to skin is marked with an "X" on your mini-map to determine whether or not the player has skinned it before. When faced with multiple targets, and the player wishes to make a quick getaway, this can literally be a life saver. Beware, though; when done too many times and/or too fast, it may sometimes cause a glitch in the game and all the functions that the skinning button are used for(such as mounting horses) will be disabled until the game is saved/restarted. This method is also very helpful when making lots of money by killing more and cutting back on the cutscene time or the Animal you may be looting.Video:Red Dead Redemption: Hunting & Skinning a Rabbit
Hunting Challenges, which can be done both as part of the single player experience and in multiplayer Free Roam sessions, will reward the player for hunting down and killing set amounts of the most dangerous animals. In single-player, Marston will hunt and skin many animals in his quest to be a Master Hunter.
- Another great trick, a lifesaver when hunting the legendary Jaguar and Bear, is to sit in a stagecoach. Sitting in the stagecoach (in the driver's seat, shotgun, or the passenger seat) in the middle of Tanner's Reach or Bearclaw Camp (or any of the other hunter locations) will cause the animals to come for the player, then circle the stagecoach helplessly, making easy targets. The only problem is getting the stagecoach there in the first place.
- By far the easiest way to take down Lobo, Brumas and Khan is with the Buffalo Rifle. However, taking down the Bear is easier with a weaker weapon, because even a headshot with the Buffalo Rifle will not always kill it. Most of the time when hunting Brumas he is helped by a friendly pack of wolves. Using the Bolt Action Rifle will prevent a severe case of deadness; however, regardless of weapon used, Dead Eye will make any hunt much simpler and quicker. Be sure to utilize it.
- Tip: Brumas can be taken out with a single shot if aimed right in the middle of his eyes. This works with Buffalo Rifle, Bolt Action Rifle, LeMat Revolver (two shots) and High Power Pistol (this does not work with Brumas). If the player has downloaded either the Legends and Killers or Undead Nightmare DLC packs, they may also kill the bear in "one shot" using one Tomahawk right in his forehead.
- Multiplayer hunting grounds are found at the locations of the legendary animals. Barranca for wolves, Tanner's Reach for cougars, Greenhollow for boars, and of course, Bearclaw Camp for bears. These are associated with Multiplayer "Master Hunter II" challenges 2-5 but can be accessed anytime, either alone or with a posse. Sadly no money or XP is associated with these, hunting grounds, outside of their use to complete "Master Hunter II" challenges.
- Main article: Hunting Grounds
Tips and Tricks
- The Rolling Block Rifle and Carcano Rifle are both exceptional scout weapons when hunting aggressive wild game, due to their ability to project a light on the rim of the scope that can point out the location of aggressive NPC's. By either periodically checking or holding the scope up while hunting or wandering through common spawn areas of aggressive animals the player can gain immediate notification if an aggressive animal spawns, since a light pointing to them will instantly show up on the scope once they do appear. This can be very useful when dealing with stealthy and highly lethal animals such as the Bear or Cougar, preventing random surprise attacks completely.
- When hunting dangerous animals, such as Bears, Cougars, etc. It is wise to use a broken wild horse, as you can whistle immediately for a new horse if yours dies.
- Hunting bears can be frustrating. The easiest way to avoid being killed is to hunt them while driving some sort of wagon or stagecoach. Not only do the bears not attack you, they actually run away. This makes for a very easy and safe kill. Then you can pull the wagon up next to the dead bear, skin it, and get back on the wagon where you are once again immune to attacks. Anything that is pulled by a horse works for this trick, including the small carts. The biggest challenge with using this method is trying to avoid obstacles when riding in Tall Trees.
- When hunting dangerous animals anywhere in RDR. If you are about to be killed, select your campsite item in you 'kit' list, then you should be siting in your campsite untouched and alive. You will not be able to set up camp if the ground is uneven, if there are too many trees nearby or if you are by the water.
- As an alternative to the above, always keep your weapon drawn when exploring locations where hostile animals spawn. If you're about to be attacked, go into Dead-Eye right before the animal makes contact. Doing so will bestow Marston and any mount he is riding with instant near-invulnerability until disabled, and will keep Marston from being knocked down by a Cougar or Bear strike, avoiding double taps in the process. (Struck once, struck again while on the ground.)
Bonus Downloadable Outfits
Expert Hunter Outfit: This was one of the contenders for the outfit pre-order bonus along with the Deadly Assassin Outfit and the Savvy Merchant Outfit. The voting ended February 15, 2010 and the Deadly Assassin outfit was named the winner. However, Rockstar revealed that this outfit and its required challenges would be released as DLC (Downloadable Content) for free in Summer 2010 for all platforms, being released along with the Savvy Merchant Outfit on October 12, 2010. This outfit, when worn, allows you to receive double the amount of skins & hides from hunting. That makes it very useful for quick hunting.
Achievements and Trophies
These are Trophies/Achievements that involve the hunting and/or skinning of animals:
Kill and skin 18 Grizzly Bears.
Kill 1 of every animal species in the game in any game mode.
Kill the last buffalo in the Great Plains in singleplayer.
Obtain Legendary rank in any Single Player Ambient Challenge.
Attain 100% in the Single Player Game Completion stat.
- Main article: Sale Rates