Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animal locations, and how best to take them down

There's hunting. And then there's the Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animals. Elusive beasts that are at the top of their respective species - yes, even the top of the Red Dead Redemption 2 beaver tree - and these critters, when taken down will gift Arthur with meat, sustenance and a rather lovely pelt that can be crafted into a brand new hat.

These 16 magnificent beasts are spread across every corner of the Red Dead Redemption 2's equally magnificent map, and taking each one down involves a similar stalking process. First, you need to travel to the hunting site for each creature, then Arthur must stumble upon a small question mark on the radar that signals the first key track the animal has left. Using Morgan’s Eagle Eye ability, you can then follow each critter’s scent between clues, which normally take the form of hoof/paw prints, eaten carcasses, and fur they've left behind. Once you find and kill each beast, you can harvest their pelts and organs, then trade these fleshy trophies with the trapper in Saint Denis for rare outfits and weapon accessories, like fancy, furry holsters. That sounds wrong.

Here's how to find, and kill, all 16 of the Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animals:

Spoiler warning: Three of the animals below are located in an area of the Red Dead Redemption 2 map that is a huge spoiler in itself. We will warn you before revealing their location.

1. Legendary Bharati Grizzly Bear

Location: Grizzlies East, Ambarino

This utter unit is a damned sight more homicidal than your average bear. You first encounter it in Chapter Two, while hunting with Hosea during the “Exit Pursued By a Bruised Ego” mission. As you’ll probably only have a pistol and bow when starting said mission, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to kill the bear. Worry not. Just return to its hunting spot north of O’creah’s Run in Grizzlies East a few hours later when you’ve got the likes of the Springfield or Rolling Block Rifle in Arthur’s arsenal, and a few well placed shots of Express ammo to the heart will floor the brute. 

2. Legendary Buck

Location: Big Valley, West Elizabeth

The buck hangs out in the wilting forests of Big Valley, which you can find a short ride northwest from the town of Strawberry. A Rolling Block Rifle loaded with Express ammo should take this noble animal down with just a single shot to the heart. 

3. Bighorn Ram

Location: Cattail Pond, New Hanover

The sizable sheep graces to the east of Cattail Pond, located a short ride from Valentine. Like most of the other legendary critters on this list, a rifle will kill the ram with the least fuss possible. We put ours in the ground with a heart shot, then a second round to the head. 

4. Legendary White Bison

Location: Lake Isabella, Ambarino

This beefy customer resides in the chilly climes of Lake Isabella, to the north of Grizzlies West. Make sure you dress in warm clothes before travelling to the frigid region, or Arthur’s health will start to drain more rapidly. The bison’s clue trail usually spawns on the slopes near the frozen lake. A high-powered rifle is the only way to go with such a burly piece of prey. 

5. Legendary Wolf

Location: Cotorra Springs, Ambarino

You really can’t miss this wolf’s hunting spot. The graceful predator can be found among the geysers of Cotorra Springs, southwest of the Wapiti Indian camp. Thanks to the beast’s close proximity to the reservation, it’s likely you’ll stumble upon the springs while completing one of Rains Fall’s story missions. A single shot to the heart with the Springfield Rifle should put wolfie down in one. 

6. Legendary Moose

Location: Roanoke Ridge, Ambarino

Built more like a giraffe than a moose, this colossal heribove demands a powerful weapon. We suggest using the Carcano Rifle if you want to take the moose down in as few shots as possible. You’ll find the moose near a wooded lake near Roanoke Ridge. It’s surprisingly swift for such a massive critter, so make sure to use Dead Eye and aim for the heart and neck. 

7. Legendary Beaver

Location: Butcher Creek, Lemoyne

You can kill this upsettingly cute albino beaver with one good shot from the Varmint Rifle. Predictably, it can be found near a small dam on the riverbanks near Butcher Creek, which lies just west of the Van Horn Trading Post. Killing the adorable critter is bad enough, so at least be semi-humane and use the aforementioned bunny-butchering gun, or a bow. 

8. Legendary Boar

Location: Blue Water Marsh, Lemoyne

Pumbaa’s seriously cranky pal can be found in the marshlands north of Lagras, in the Lemoyne region of the map. The beast will happily gore you on sight, so make sure to take a weapon with a fair bit of fire power. A bow with poisoned arrows or the Springfield Rifle are both good candidates for the oinker-skewering job. 

9. Legendary Coyote

Location: Old Greenbank Mill, New Hanover

Aside from the panther – more on the infuriatingly reclusive big cat in a bit – there’s no legendary animal we had more trouble getting to spawn than this coyote. You can find this skittish predator in the hills of Scarlett Meadows. Should you spook it, the beast will show off its Roadrunner-shaming sprint, so make sure you put it down with a single clean shot using the Springfield Rifle. 

10. Legendary Fox

Location: Mattock Pond, Lemoyne 

Make this foxy customer less than fantastic by filling it full of lead from the Varmint Rifle. You can find the fox near Mattock Pond, which lies just north of the town of Rhodes. Try to get the jump on it, because if the sneaky customer eludes your first shot and scurries into the bushes, it can be really difficult to catch up with. 

11. Legendary Elk

Location: Bacchus Station, Cumberland Forest

The gorgeous grazer can be found just east out Bacchus Station, in the Cumberland Forest region. Once you track its first couple of clues, you’ll have no trouble spotting the herbivore thanks to its blisteringly white coat. A Springfield Rifle loaded with Express or High Velocity ammo should take the animal down in two or three shots provided you aim for its vitals. 

12. Legendary Bullgator

Location: Lakay, Bayou Nwa

The bullgator is an utter b**tard. More dinosaur than gator, this gargantuan swamp menace can be found in Bayou Nwa, west of Lakay and just a few minutes ride north from Saint Denis. To get the creature to show, you first must complete the Chapter 4 story mission “Country Pursuits”. The bullgator is the strongest animal in the game, so we advise sniping it from a distance using the Rolling Block Rifle. Just be warned the monster will charge you… and it’s terrifyingly quick. 

Warning, the last four Red Dead Redemption 2 Legendary Animals are either found in absolute spoiler territories, or are the most elusive beasts in the game. So only scroll on if you've revealed the entirety of the Red Dead Redemption 2 map, or don't mind the spoilers.

Ready? Okay, you have been warned.

13. Legendary Cougar

Location: Gaptooth Ridge, New Austin

This furry fiend can be found on the prowl near Gaptooth Ridge, a little west of Tumbleweed in New Austin. Once you make it spawn by tracking its various fur remains and paw marks, stay alert; the cougar is extremely difficult to hit outside of Dead Eye mode, and if you’re all out of slow-mo sauce, you can expect a swift mauling. While you should really use a rifle for a clean kill, we’d also take a semi-auto shotgun, just in case you find yourself within nibbling range of the big cat. 

14. Legendary Pronghorn

Location: Rio Del Lobo Rock, New Austin

You can find this antelope hybrid near Rio Del Lobo Rock in the Rio Bravo region. Annoyingly, our one was rather too fond of life, escaping from us several times. To give yourself the best chance of a clean kill, use a scent remover so it doesn't sniff Arthur out as the outlaw approaches. A clean and true strike with the bow should put the animal down with a single arrow. 

15. Legendary Takana Bison

Location: Mantea Falls, New Austin

This serious slab of beef grazes to the northwest of Manteca Falls in New Austin. We found our bison to be surprisingly docile, and it barely batted an eye in our Arthur’s presence… well, until we started shooting the poor beast in the face with our trusty Springfield Rifle. Four rounds of Express ammo should be enough to get the job done. 

16. Legendary Giaguaro Panther

Location: Bolber Blade, Lemoyne 

The most elusive legendary animal in the game, and the one you’re going to have to invest most time into before you can proudly take its pelt to the trapper in Saint Denis. This stealthy cat only spawns once you reach rank 9 of the Red Dead Redemption 2 Master Hunter Challenges, whereby you can find it prowling to the west of Shady Belle in Lemoyne, not too far from a certain New Orleans-inspired city. Take a rifle and shotgun just to be sure kitty doesn’t get murderously overfamiliar. Once the panther has been put down, treat yourself to a glass of XX whisky to celebrate the fact Morgan has successfully hunted RDR2’s 16 most incredible critters. 

For more Red Dead Redemption 2 tips, check out all the things we wish we knew before playing.