Red Dead Redemption 2: Perfect Hunting Guide

Red Dead Redemption 2: Perfect Hunting Guide

Last updated on November 11th, 2018

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 Western atmosphere action-adventure RPG title is highly anticipated by all. Players will take control of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and a member of the Van der Linde gang during 1899. While the “2” in the title makes it sound like it’s a sequel, it is actually a prequel to Red Dead Redemption.

Red Dead Redemption 2: Perfect Hunting Guide

Hunting in RDR2 will be a game of trial and error until players realize that by studying the animal and using their database in game, it will lead them to perfect their hunting. In this guide I will showcase and explain all the variables that will impact the quality of items that an animal will yield.

There are plenty of animals that players can hunt for their hides, meat and other materials to either craft items or to make a decent living. More examples are:

  • Cooking and eating meat while resting at a campfire. Gotta stay healthy while roaming the land.
  • Donating animal carcasses and parts to Pearson so he can feed the camp and allows players unlock upgrades.
  • Parts can be sold at the trapper, butchers and general stores.
  • Certain parts from can be crafted into trinkets and talismans.
  • Skinning animals will help unlock ranks in the Master Hunter’s challenges.

Factors that Affect Animal Parts

Animal Quality

Each animal has a “health” quality that affects it physical condition.

  • Poor quality animals will yield poor quality parts.
  • Good quality animals will yield mostly good quality parts.
  • Perfect quality animals has a chance to yield poor, good, or perfect parts.

Players can inspect their potential pray by using the binoculars or using a scoped rifle to zoom in on them then press R1/RB to study it. The quality will appear as stars.

★ = Poor

★★ = Good

★★★ = Perfect

Kill Quality

Now killing a perfect quality animal should automatically yield perfect parts right? NO. Add to the mix another 2 variables:

  • Body Parts Target
  • Weapon in use

Body Part Target

Hitting specific body part will allow the player to maximize their damage to inflict enough damage to one shot. There are 3 “zones” to deal damage.

  1. Basic Body Part
    • Tails, Legs, any part that doesn’t glow red when hovered over in Dead Eye mode.
  2. Critical Body Parts
    • Lungs and Stomach
      • While a shot here doesn’t flat out kill the target, it will highly weaken them as they bleed out and cry out in pain.
      • Complete Fleeting Joy story mission in Chapter 5 to gain access to this.
  3. Fatal Body Part
    • Brain and Heart
      • A shot here will kill any target in 1 shot. However, the target will be small so be sure you are accurate and your shot will reach it. Avoid aiming through bones and skulls by opting to approach it with a different angle
      • Complete Goodbye, Dear Friend in Chapter 6 to gain access to this.

Best Weapon

2 more variables will be involved in picking the best weapon. Firstly, the size of the animal you are hunting, then the size/type of the ammo that will be used.

Animal Sizes

All animals will fall under 1 of 5 categories: small, average, medium, large and enormous. These can include a range of birds, reptiles and mammals.

Small Animals include:

  • Birds
    • Blue Jay
    • Booby
    • Cardinal
    • Carolina Parakeet
    • Chicken
    • Crow
    • Duck
    • Gull
    • Loon
    • Oriole
    • Parrot
    • Pheasant
    • Pigeon
    • Quail
    • Raven
    • Robin
    • Rooster
    • Sparrow
    • Songbird
    • Waxwing
    • Woodpecker

  • Mammals
    • Bat
    • Chipmunk
    • Rat
    • Squirrel


  • Reptiles/Amphibians/Crustacean 
    • Bullfrog
    • Crab
    • Snake
    • Toad

Average Animals include:

  • Birds
      • Condor
      • Cormorant
      • Crane
      • Eagle
      • Egret
      • Goose
      • Hawk
      • Heron
      • Owl
      • Pelican
      • Spoonbill
      • Turkey
      • Vulture

    • Mammals
      • Armadillo
      • Badger
      • Muskrat
      • Possum
      • Rabbit
      • Raccoon
      • Skunk  


  • Reptiles
    • Gila Monster
    • Iguana

Medium Animals include:

  • Mammals
    • Beaver
    • Coyote
    • Fox
    • Pig

Large Animals include:

  • Mammals
    • Big Horn Ram
    • Boar
    • Buck
    • Cougar
    • Deer
    • Goat
    • Panther
    • Peccary
    • Pronghorn
    • Sheep
    • Wolf

  • Reptiles
    • Alligator (Small version)
    • Turtle

Enormous Animals include:

  • Mammals
    • Bear
    • Bison
    • Bull
    • Cow
    • Elk
    • Moose
    • Ox

  • Reptile
    • Alligator

Maximizing Animal & Kill Quality Using Best Weapon

All animals must be in Perfect quality (★★★).

The best way to hunt small animals is with:

  • Fatal shot
    • Bow
      • using Game Arrows

The best way to hunt average animals is with:

  • Fatal shot
    • Varmint Rifle

The best way to hunt medium animals is with:

  • Fatal and Critical shot
    • Bow
      • Using Arrows
      • Using Poison Arrows
    • Throwing Knife
    • Poison Throwing Knife
    • Repeater
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds
    • Rifle
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds
    • Sniper Rifle
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds

The best way to hunt large animals is with:

  • Fatal and Critical shot
    • Bow
      • Using Arrows
      • Using Poison Arrows
    • Poison Throwing Knife
    • Rifle
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds
    • Sniper Rifle
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds

The best way to hunt enormous animals are with:

  • Fatal and Critical shot
    • Bow
      • Using Improved Arrows
      • Using Poison Arrows
    • Poison Throwing Knifes
    • Rifle
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds
    • Sniper Rifle
      • Using Regular Rounds
      • Using Split Point Rounds
      • Using High Velocity Rounds
      • Using Express Rounds
    • Shotgun
      • Using Slug Rounds

If you want more Red Dead Redemption 2 guides be sure to check out Red Dead Redemption 2: Horse GuideRed Dead Redemption 2: Purchasing Weapons Guide and Red Dead Redemption 2: All Pamphlets Location Guide. You can also check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 wiki for all your outlaw needs.

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PrimeraEspada91, or simply Primera, is a Youtube Partner & Freelance writer specializing in video game guides.

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