Now the trick to hunting is calm and patience. You gotta think and move like an animal to catch an animal.

John Marston

John Marston and Son is the fifty-fourth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


John meets Jack reading an adventure book under a tree. After a brief (and eventually ironic summary of Jack's book,) John convinces Jack to take him out and teach him how to track, kill, and skin wild animals. In this case, elk.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

  • Follow Rufus.
  • Kill and skin an elk.
  • Follow Rufus again to find another elk.
  • Allow Jack to shoot and skin an elk.
  • Ride to Manzanita Post and sell the elk products.

Mission Details

Mount your horse and follow your dog, Rufus, into the Tall Trees area. The dog will eventually find you an elk. Shoot it, preferably in the head, and ride over to it. Skin it and get back on your horse. Now it's Jack's turn to kill an elk.

Watch him kill the elk, or help him, and then watch him skin it. After watching him do it, you're going to head over to Manzanita Post to sell the meat. Once you arrive in Manzanita, dismount your horse and head into the store to sell your meat and skin. Return to your horse and ride back home with Jack and Rufus.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: John Marston and Son/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults or kills Abigail, Jack, Rufus or Uncle.
  • Abandons Jack.
  • Kills his own or Jack's horse. Or: allows Jack's horse to die mysteriously, from animals, bad navigation or glitch (?).
  • Abandons his horse.
  • Loses sight of Rufus.
  • Intimidates or holds-up the shopkeeper at Manzanita Post.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 7:49
  • Shot Accuracy: 70%

New Game Elements Introduced


  • The book Jack is reading can be seen as a reference to Red Dead Revolver and foreshadowing to the Stranger side-mission "Remember My Family", as Jack says it's about "how this man, this brave man, hunts the man who killed his father".
  • Although it appears that Jack did not not finish skinning the downed elk, the corpse afterwards is the same as the elk John skins.


  • xbox360Icon xbox360 If you have a lot of skinned animal parts and you sell them all here, the "yellow dot" will stay on your mini map and you will have more parts in your inventory. Do this twice and it should be empty.[verified]
  • ps3Icon ps3 GOTY Version: The yellow dot at the shopkeeper will stay on your mini map forever. No matter what you do, there is no way you can fix this enormous bug. Things that do not work (hopefully someone will have an idea): having more than 2 elk meat in inventory before starting a mission and selling them one by one, having more than 2 elk before a mission and selling them all together, having nothing in your inventory and starting the mission, selling hunted elk meat through mission one by one or all together, hunting only 2 elks and selling them, shooting the first elk and letting Jack shoot the second one, abandoning the shopkeeper, thereby forcing you to restart from checkpiont, dying and reloading from a checkpoint, reloading the mission all together, reloading from any previous mission and playing them to reach this mission, killing another animal and then selling its skin and meat, before or after the dot selling elk. Even reinstalling the game does not help.[verification needed]
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 Fail the mission and try again. One can press (y) to skip this portion of the mission and continue with the game, but it won't give credit toward the completion of the game. When John goes back to the farm with Jack, the mission will be over. Simply go to stats and do the mission again to get credit for it.[verified]
  • ps3Icon ps3 FAIL the mission as John goes. Shoot Jack's horse, jump in the river, shoot a stranger, throw dynamite at the store, ect.  When John fails, choose the (x) option to RETRY FROM CHECKPOINT.  Once this is done four times, the option to SKIP becomes available.  SKIP through each portion of the mission.  Then press the START button and go to STATS and then MISSIONS.  Press (x) to get in and then select the JOHN MARSTON AND SON mission.  This allows one to redo the mission without the problem.  Don't worry, one's earnings will show as $0, but will be restored after the mission is complete.[verified]

Video Walkthroughs

Related Content


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
Marston Ranch Chapter
"The Outlaw's Return""Pestilence""Old Friends, New Problems"
"By Sweat and Toil""A Continual Feast"
"John Marston and Son""Wolves, Dogs and Sons""Spare the Love, Spoil the Child""The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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