Red Dead Redemption hunting missions guide

One of the easiest ways to make money in Red Dead Redemption is to hunt. The wilderness is just filled to the brim with cute little critters for you to gun down and skin for profit. That said, by completing certain tasks and performing particular feats of hunting prowess, you can advance yourself as a hunter and thereby increase your standing in the game. The quest to be a master hunter can be long, but it’s one that you needn’t do alone. Find yourself, stuck? Can’t find that damned cougar you need to knife? Just refer to our hunting guide for help.


Hunting Tips

Bring the Bait

Below you’ll find some of the best locations to find each individual animal in Red Dead Redemption. That said, these are just approximate locations and often to find your prey you’ll need to survey the surrounding area as well. While some exploration is impossible to avoid, one way to make your search easier to bring and employ bait. Each time you use a container of bait, an animal or group of animals near your location will come to investigate. There’s no guarantee you’ll attract the animal you need, but it’s still better than searching at random for hours on end.

Come Back Later

Sometimes all the waiting and searching in the world will yield you nothing. If you find yourself exploring the same areas over and over again and coming up empty handed, the best thing to do may just be to wait awhile and come back later. The passage of a few days can sometimes make a big difference.

Point in case, while writing this guide we got bogged down looking for boars. We searched the same placed over and over again to no avail. We took a break, returned to one of their stomping grounds a day or two later, and found three at once. Now, those three boars may have killed us, but that’s beside the point. Sometimes patience isn’t a virtue, waiting for something that isn’t there is the same thing as wasting your time.

Never Go Home Empty Handed

Hunting takes time, especially when you’re hunting for something in particular. As such, if you find yourself ready to give up on that one elusive animal, hunt a few of the not so elusive ones. If you’ve used bait and a pack of wolves shows up rather than the cougar you were hoping for, don’t just pass up on the wolves. That bait cost money and those wolf pelts are valuable! Generally speaking, unless they’re in sight of you, gunfire isn’t going to scare away the other animals in the area. If you see an opportunity, seize it!

Double Tap

Small animals don’t take much to kill. Shoot a raccoon and chances are it will die. Hit a bear with a pistol round on the other hand, and it will probably just keep coming. Even more common animals like deer can take more than a single shot to bring down. The point is, unless you score a headshot, shoot twice. This is especially true when using dead aim. What’s worse, wasting a bullet or having Gordo the boar knock you over like a duster wearing domino?


Introduction & Tips | Missions 1-4| Missions 5-8 | Missions 9-10 

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  • TOGXTOOROTTEN - November 14, 2013 2:47 a.m.

    Just started a new game and have already stumbled upon 4 Jackalopes! Weird, as my previous games it took forever to find just 1 of those antlered bunnies! 1 found @ bridge crossing between McFars ranch and Tall Trees, just after screen states Tall Trees even though haven't crossed river. Other 3 were where you first meet the Devil, just before going down the hill from Ranch towards Armadillo. (Across from tent camp quest re: Pleasant house). Found them so early in game, thrilled!
  • turtlecb - May 14, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    Jackalopes cannot be found in any specific location. There are always alone, and random. I recommend searching the road between Armadillo, MacFarlane's Ranch, and Thieve's Landing, because the grass is short, and it's easier to notice small critters. Jackalopes are smaller than regular rabbits, have tiny antlers, and are a sort of gold-ish yellow color. Whenever you see rabbits, check them all for being yellow-ish, antler-ed, and small, because that isn't a rabbit, it's a Jackalope. Try looking a picture of one up so you can get an idea of what you're looking for.
  • turtlecb - May 14, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    I have a bunch of pointers and locations for people having trouble finding certain animals. Use Dead Eye when you can, especially when dealing with an animal that is very elusive, like the fox, dangerous, like the bear, or both, like the cougar. Dead eye can be used with your knife, making those knife challenges easier. I've read that staying on your horse, when done correctly, can make knifing big things easier, with less probability that you will die horribly. Even easier, is to shoot an animal prior to knifing it, because the challenge only states that you must KILL the animal WITH the knife; it didn't say anything about safely WEAKENING it first from a distance. WOLVES: Fairly common, may be hard to find/deal with early in the game. General rule of thumb, the farther west in New Austin you go, the more likely it is that you'll find wolves. Try Silent Stead, and the hills north of MacFarlane's Ranch (described in more detail later). BOAR: Sometimes found in the swampland between Thieves' Landing and MacFarlane's Ranch. Also found in the hills north of MacFarlane's Ranch, east of the railroad tracks, east-south-east of the railroad tunnel (I will mention this spot again, because it's great for all things rare AND dangerous, except bears). Sometimes found in the north-east hills of Cholla Springs (for easy reference, these are the same hills you visit during the "American Appetites" task), just north of the entrance to Pike's Basin; search as close to the side of the cliff as possible. (this area is so close to Hennigan's Stead that you may technically be inside it when you search this area). COUGAR: Common in the entire area of Rio Bravo, especially around Fort Mercer and the areas north of it. Also found in Gaptooth Ridge, mostly in the extreme southern areas near Plainview and the Rio Grande (or whatever they call it in this game), and also in the area including and east-north-east of Silent Stead. Also found sometimes in the swamps near Thieve's Landing, and very often found in the hills north of MacFarlane's Ranch (The same exact ones mentioned in the BOARS section; you may be more likely to find them the farther north you go, although I noticed that all animal life seems to stop once you get into the snowy area). Also found in the field west and south-west of Twin Rocks, and often even farther west. Cougars will see you before you see them. Stay on your horse and trot at a moderate speed, and keep an eye out for cougars chasing behind you. Because they will. BIGHORN SHEEP: While this article lists them as existing in Mexico, they can be found in Cholla Springs, primarily in the field immediately west and south-west of Twin Rocks, and sometimes west beyond that field (same place as the cougars). They may also be found in the border between Rio Grande, Cholla Springs, and Gaptooth Ridge, more-so on the Gaptooth side. Search in the area listed for Mexico on advice on where to find them there. I can't say for sure, but I can say that they probably exist in Tall Trees as well, but of course, search there at your own risk (Bears). BEARS: Tall Trees. Just ride on your horse, with a big gun in your hand. You will find one, coincidentally at the same time you find out what crapping yourself on a horse feels like. Bears will never be found outside of Tall Trees.
  • jean-swanborn-madden-nfl - April 8, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    BTW does anyone knows where i can find the 'Jackalope' ? its for the outfit i really want but i damn hard can't find it
  • jean-swanborn-madden-nfl - April 8, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    READ FOR BOAR CHALLENGE I found a spot that is so full of boars that I maneged to kill 7 boars in 74 seconds, it is the small/foggy forrest path between MacFarlane's Ranch and Thieves Landing. I would really recomend this spot cause if u go to the Great Plains / Tall Trees, its true that you have to wait hours for 1 boar....
  • Rebelkid20 - November 2, 2010 12:58 p.m.

    umm i have a question for example, if i stabbed a wolf n die everytime i kill at least 1 every time will that let me pass as long as i have 5 wolf pelts n skins ?
  • Fizzledark - October 10, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    People of Red Dead Redemption!!! To all those who struggle with the "Kill by Knife" challenges, I have two useful hints. 1: Do it while on your horse. While being kind of uncomfortable and takes some time to get used to, it will save you from 1-2 Cougar hits and 1 Bear hit. Also gives you the ability to out-maneuver the bear. 2: You CAN use your gun. Just make sure the finisher is done with your knife. Example: I shot the bear 2-3 times with my shotgun, then finished him off with 2 knife slashes.
  • matt92 - October 2, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    were are boars? And if u want to find lots of deer and cougers put a marker right on the deer symbol at for mercer and there is lots of deers and cougers there i'd use a friggen shotgun with cougers and bear and wolves lol
  • Sinjea - September 10, 2010 7:39 a.m.

    For me the easiest way to find the cougars was to use the map that came in the box, there were lot's in the indicated areas. Killing them is a different matter, what I did was to dodge the first attack using L2 + the square button and then since they only attack by charging at you I just kept running towards them to cut them, no dead eye needed. :-)
  • halogamer117 - August 18, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    wtf im stuck on tht stupid one wen u haf to stab 2 cougars to death and i cant find them anywhere, i even checked those locations on gamesradar told me to go n i didnt find nuthin. wtf?!
  • joshin69 - July 27, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    when using dead eye with a knife remember to aim as dead eye will not work without aiming. Killing a bear with a knife? Shoot it in both front legs first with dead eye as if you go for a bear with just a knife after a few slashes it runs away and wont stop running until it meets up with another bear at which point it will turn and they both attack.
  • JEWBAG - July 20, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    It took me 3 days to complete the main missions then i started with the hunting ones ect, i found these pretty easy as i didnt have and walk throughs to help me, the legandary animals i was disapointed with, i killed them with one shot of the buffalo rifle, and the mission to kill a bear with a melee, i found by trial and error to shoot the bear and then finish it off with the knife.
  • cart00n - June 14, 2010 6:11 a.m.

    It's not a glitch that using the bigger guns makes the smaller animals explode into nothingness, you're just using too much gun! Every small game hunter knows not to use a hand-cannon to bring down a rabbit! You'll kill it, sure - but there sure as hell won't be enough of it around to be any good for eating or skinning. I LOVE this little detail about the game...
  • batman5273 - June 10, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    Great guide i will definately be using this. I only wish animals you already killed counted. when i dont need the animals i see them all over the place.
  • RCTrucker7 - May 30, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    For any of the hunting challenges that are harder to do, like having to kill the cougars with your knife, keep in mind that the only condition is that they be killed with knife, not that you can only use your knife. So what I did was use the Volcanic Pistol\Revolver to get one or two shots in, then switch to the knife for the killing blow.
  • ricono - May 30, 2010 1:48 a.m.

    i have a question does the throwing knife count as a knife kill for the cougars becausew if so that would make things so much easier
  • Spybreak8 - May 29, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    Dude I freakin' hate cougars. My horse got attacked and killed by a cougar. I was almost dead so I shot it (I need the 2 knife kill as well) and then after that I just kept getting ambushed by cougars. I didn't want to risk it due to having a ton of pelts so I shot each one. After the 4th one came out of the wild I got killed! Now I lost all that stuff so I start again this time using bait. I see the cougar coming after me from behind me and I swing around with my knife. Double tapped by the cougar! WTF!? ahghh
  • slappyshark - May 29, 2010 9:43 p.m.

    Buffalo is where the money is! Head up to the great plains bag as many buffalo as you can over the course of a few days, they are elusive so shoot as many as you can when you can. Then when you get a nice stock of buffalo hides horns and meat head on down to Armadillo and sell it for twice as much as offered in Blackwater, hides sell for $26 each!
  • gameaddict123 - May 29, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    now i cant find any bighorns in mexico wat do they look like and when do they come out
  • gameaddict123 - May 29, 2010 3:34 p.m.

    i can't find any raccoons at all ive found the others but not the raccoons