Hunting in Red Dead Redemption is something that isn’t quite as simple as seeing an animal and shooting it. If you want to get the most out of your hunting experience you’re going to want to get high quality pelts out of the activity. These pelts can be sold for more money, and can be used to craft outfit items for your character.
To get high quality pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2 you’re going to want to take a few things into consideration. First off, you’re going to want to do some scouting before the hunt. Using binoculars will allow you to scan for animals and determine what quality of pelt they have. To be able to see the animals star level you’re going to need to study them first. Then any time that you see one in the wild you can identify the quality.
The more stars an animal has, the better quality it is. That’s the first thing you’re going to want to take into consideration. Second is going to be your weapon choice. Your bow and arrow should be your go to weapon for hunting as it’s going to give you the cleanest kills. One arrow well placed arrow is totally capable of taking down a decent sized animal. While it likely won’t take down a Legendary animal, you can craft poison items that can help you with that.
It really depends on what you are hunting though. If you are hunting smaller animals, the Varmint ammunition for the Varmint Rifle will be really helpful in getting high quality pelts for those. Bigger animals like deer or wolves should be taken down with arrows, but you can feel free to get creative. The sandbox rules are such that you can do a lot of stuff in this game. You could even go as far as to use your lasso to rope a deer and then kill it with a melee weapon if you’re good enough.
The main thing to remember is that you want clean kills on three star animals to get the best pelts.