Red Dead Redemption 2 Hunting Guide: How to Hunt, Best Hunting Grounds, More Tips & Tricks

How to Go Hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2

Aside from just shooting up a bunch of people in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll also need to learn how to feed yourself. That’s where the hunting system comes in, and you can hunt animals for food to increase your health, stamina, and dead eye cores. Here’s what you need to know about how to go hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Getting Started With Hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2

Early on in the game, Charles will take you out on a quick mission to teach you the basics of hunting. You’ll be equipped with a bow, which is the only weapon you should be using when hunting animals if you don’t want to damage the pelts too badly that you come across at this point.

When you’re out in the wild, first you’ll need to actually track down some animals. You’ll usually find a bunch of deer and rabbit running about, and you can hunt them pretty easily. But in the event that you don’t see anything around, you can use eagle eye to sniff them out. Press the L3 and R3 buttons together to activate eagle eye, and if there are any animals nearby, you’ll see their tracks glowing on the ground. Look for a track you want to follow, then hit the R1/ RB button to highlight it.

When you’re in eagle eye mode, take a closer look at Arthur’s character model as well. You should see a couple of short wavy lines emanating from his body. This indicates the direction of the wind. Generally, you don’t want to be downwind of the animals, as they’ll catch your scent quickly and are more likely to run away when you approach. This shouldn’t have much of an effect on your hunting efforts in Red Dead Redemption 2, but it’s still a good thing to keep in mind.

Now that you have a track you can follow, just keep on it until you find the animal. With your bow equipped, hold the L2 / LT button to aim, then hold the R2 / RT button to draw back the string. Do note that drawing back the string will slowly decrease your stamina bar, so don’t hold it for too long or you’ll tire yourself out. Once you’ve got a good angle, release R2 / RT to fire the arrow. For mid-sized animals like deer and boars, you’ll most likely need two or three arrows to kill them. Smaller animals usually only require one arrow.

Once the animal is down, head over to it and hold the Triangle/ Y button to skin it. This will reward you with a pelt, along with some meat, and maybe even crafting ingredients if you’re lucky. Carry the pelts back to your horse, and you’ll be able to stow them and bring them back to camp.

What to Do With Pelts and Meat in Red Dead Redemption 2

Hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 is pretty important for both Arthur and the gang. With meat, you can set up camp in the wild and cook it for food to restore your cores. Pelts, on the other hand, can be used for crafting and upgrades.

Aside from just feeding Arthur with meat, you should also bring it back to Pearson at camp from time to time. The gang members need to eat as well, and they’ll get sulky if supplies are low or if they’re underfed. Just head over to Pearson (look for the butcher icon), and hold down the right button on the d-pad to donate items. We recommend donating any meat you have leftover, along with pelts. If you’ve already purchased the leather working tools for the camp, Pearson will hold on to your perfect pelts for future crafting. Lower quality pelts will be exchanged for camp funds.

Donating both pelts and meat to the camp will increase your honor, and the gang members will notice.

How to Get Perfect Pelts

In order to get perfect pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2 when hunting, you’ll need to match the weapon you’re using to the animal. For example, rabbits require being taken out with a clean shot with the Varmint Rifle in order to get three-start perfect pelts.

You’ll need to use your binoculars to specifically identify and hunt 3-star animals. You can analyze them by looking down your binoculars and pressing R1 / RB to get info. Once the animal has been added into your compendium, you can check its entry to find the best way to kill the animal to preserve its perfect pelt. This is the best way to ensure you’re getting perfect pelts every time while out hunting.


Best Hunting Grounds in Red Dead Redemption 2

As is the case with fishing in Red Dead Redemption 2, there aren’t really any definitively ‘best’ hunting grounds to find. Aside from the legendary animals, which are scattered across the map, you’ll be able to hunt down tons of animals in almost every area you explore.

To get you started, the surrounding wilderness near the camp are usually full of deer and elk you can hunt. Near the camp at Horseshoe Overlook, you’ll also find buffaloes, which can reward you with some pretty decent materials and lots of meat. Down in the southeast corner, you’ll find more boars and alligators, if you’re up for the challenge.

As you continue hunting animals in Red Dead Redemption 2, don’t forget to stock up on arrows as well. You’ll be able to get them back from animals you’ve killed, but if you’re ever running low, make sure to stock up so you don’t have to use your guns. When you have enough materials, you can also craft special arrows that will help with reducing pelt damage.

And that’s all you need to know about how to go hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2. Be sure to search for Twinfinite or check our Red Dead Redemption 2 guide wiki for more information on the game.

About the author

Zhiqing Wan

Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.