Red Dead Redemption 2: How To Get Perfect Pelts | Hunting Guide

The art of hunting in Red Dead Redemption 2 is an imperfect science. If you’ve checked out the crafting menu at the Fence, the Trapper, or even at your Base Camp, you’ll quickly learn that Perfect Pelts are the only skins worth collecting. Everything you need to make requires a Perfect Pelt, and actually getting them is tricky — it isn’t just about finding the right animal, you also need to select the correct ammo type, and aim for the right spot. Certain weapons will ruin a Perfect Pelt, and it’s different depending on the class of critter you’re chasing.

Here, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about hunting Perfect Pelts. How to identify them, how to improve your chances, and how to prepare for a good hunt. Even if you’ve done everything right, it’s possible you still won’t get a Perfect Pelt when you skin an animal. That’s just how things go, but with these tips, your chances should be significantly improved. Especially if you purchase a powerful trinket from the Fence. Let’s start there.


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How To Get Perfect Pelts | Hunting Guide

Perfect Pelts are the hardest to get special resource in the game. When hunting, look at your target animal — eventually, you’ll be able to identify it. Once identified, stars will appear over it.

  • One Star: Poor Quality
  • Two Stars: Good Quality
  • Three Stars: Perfect Quality

You’re aiming for Perfect Quality — the other quality level pelts can be sold for cash, but they aren’t useful for crafting. To actually unlock cool crafting stuff at the Fence, Base Camp, or Trapper, you need only Perfect Pelts. The first step of any hunt is identifying your animal, and seeing if it’s worth hunting.

There is a way to get around this limitation — a special trinket that will increase the quality of pelts. Let’s get that first before continuing.


The Legendary Buck Antler Trinket – Increase Pelt Quality

The Buck Antler Trinket can be purchased from the Fence. Having it in your inventory causes all skinned animals to give you a Better Pelt — poor quality becomes good quality, and good quality becomes perfect quality. It doesn’t work every single time, but it will help improve your odds of success when hunting Perfect Pelts.

  • How To Get The Legendary Buck Antler Trinket:
    • To unlock the trinket, you need to sell a Legendary Buck Antler to any Trapper / Fence.
    • To find a Legendary Buck, go to the area west of Big Valley in West Elizabeth. A special buck symbol will appear on your map.

Purchase the trinket, and you’ll seriously improve your luck. There’s one more important aspect when it comes to hunting you absolutely need to know about.


How To Get Clean Kills 

Clean Kills are required to get Perfect Pelts. If you use a shotgun on a rabbit, you’ll ruin the pelt. Same for any other type of animal — using the wrong weapon, with the wrong ammo type, will destroy your chances of ever getting those Perfect Pelts.

Animals come in multiple different size categories. “Small” animals are rats, bats, and tiny birds, while “Moderate” animals are the size of rabbits or eagles. “Medium” includes pigs and mountain cats. “Large” includes wolves, panthers, and goats. “Massive” includes the biggest, like moose, bears, and bulls.

To get Clean Kills, you need to use the right ammo / weapon type for the size category. You can use rifles on large or massive game, but not small, moderate, or medium. For a Perfect Pelt, you also need to aim for the weak point — the head or neck. If you pump a pelt full of holes, you won’t get a perfect.

  • Weapon / Ammo Required For Clean Kills:
    • Small:
      • Bow: Small-Game Arrow
    • Moderate:
      • Varmint Rifle: Regular Ammo
    • Medium:
      • Repeater: Regular Ammo / Split-Point / Express / High-Velocity
      • Bow: Arrow / Poison Arrow
      • Sniper Rifle: Regular Ammo / Split-Point / Express / High-Velocity
    • Large:
      • Rifle: Regular Ammo / Split-Point / Express / High-Velocity
      • Bow: Arrow / Poison Arrow
      • Sniper Rifle: Regular Ammo / Split-Point / Express / High-Velocity
      • Shotgun: Slug Ammo
    • Massive:
      • Rifle: Regular Ammo / Split-Point / Express / High-Velocity
      • Bow: Arrow / Poison Arrow
      • Sniper Rifle: Regular Ammo / Split-Point / Express / High-Velocity
      • Shotgun: Slug Ammo

Anything bigger than a rabbit / badger / armadillo can be hunted with Poison Arrows or Regular Arrows. Anything “Moderate” needs a Varmint Rifle, and anything smaller than that needs Small-Game Arrows for your Bow.

Use the weapons listed above on the right category of critter, and you’ll always get a Perfect Pelt. Just don’t miss!


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