In Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2), you can go hunting for Perfect Pelts from Animals. There’s actually a lot to know about Perfect Pelts that the game does not tell you about. In this guide we’ll go through all prerequisites and steps.
To Get Perfect Pelts:
- Look at animal with Binoculars and study it to see how many out of 3 stars it has (3 stars = perfect pelt)
- Use the correct weapon (can be seen in compendium after studying the animal)
- Hit the animal in the weak spot for a clean 1-hit kill
- Skin the animal for its perfect pelt
Seeing Animal Pelt Quality
This is the randomness part.
Each animal is randomly assigned a quality from 1-3 stars. Only animals that spawn in 3-star quality will drop a perfect pelt. If it’s a 2-star or 1-star version of the same animal, don’t bother, it can never drop a perfect pelt.
It is complete luck what quality an animal is. When looking at it through the binoculars, you must study it (R1 / RB) and will see the number of stars in the bottom right corner.
It’s best to use bait to attract animals so that they are sitting still and you can analyze them and get in position for a clear shot.
Using the Correct Weapon
This is the knowledge part.
To see the correct weapon, study the animal first and then check out this info in the compendium. There are animals of different sizes. Each size range has a different type of weapon that will kill it in one hit without destroying the skin. For example, you don’t want to use a huge sniper rifle round on a tiny squirrel as it will completely destroy the tiny creature and leave a huge hole in the pelt.
First, an overview of what animal types fall under what size range. Next, what weapon is suited for what animal size. Use these two to determine what size you’re hunting and then refer to the correct weapon.
- Tiny: Bat, Squirrel, Rat, Chipmunk, Bullfrog, Toad, Snake, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Waxwing, Crow, Oriole, Pigeon, Robin, Songbird, Sparrow, Woodpecker, Carolina Parakeet, Chicken, Duck, Loon, Parrot, Pheasant, Quail, Raven, Booby, Rooster, Gull
- Small: Eagle, Crane, Cormorant, Egret, Hawk, Heron, Owl, Pelican, Spoonbill, Turkey, Vulture, Condor, Goose, Iguana, Gila Monster, Rabbit, Armadillo, Badger, Muskrat, Possum, Raccoon, Skunk, Beaver
- Medium: Coyote, Fox, Pig
- Big: Boar, Buck, Cougar, Panther, Big Horn Ram, Wolf, Deer, Pronghorn, Goat, Sheep, Peccary, Alligator (Small), Turtle
- Gigantic: Bear, Bison, Bull, Elk, Moose, Ox, Cow, Alligator (Adult)
Correct Weapon for each Size
- Tiny: Bow with Small Game Arrows (Varmint Rifle can also work but can damage pelt sometimes)
- Small: Varmint Rifle
- Medium: Standard Arrows / Repeater with Regular Ammo (e.g. Carbine Repeater, Lancaster Repeater)
- Big: Poison Arrows / Rifle with Regular Ammo (e.g. Springfield Rifle)
- Gigantic: Sniper Rifle with Regular Ammo (e.g. Rolling Block Rifle)
Hit the Animal in its weak spot
This is the skill part.
For this you should play at least until Chapter 5 Story Mission “Fleeting Joy”. There you unlock a Deadeye upgrade which shows the kill point on animals (and enemies). The weak points will be marked red when in deadeye mode. Only when you shoot the point highlighted in red during deadeye, it will count as a “clean kill” and the pelt will remain in perfect condition. For some animals it’s their head, for others it can be the heart. This varies so you can’t just shoot where you want, you actually have to use deadeye to see the exact spot. If you need more than 1 shot to kill the animal, don’t even bother wasting another bullet, as the perfect pelt will be destroyed. It’s 1 hit = 1 kill or else it’s no longer a 3 star pelt.
Skin the Animal
This is the reward part.
If all went smoothly, you got a 3-star animal to spawn, picked the right weapon, and shot it in its weakpoint for a 1-hit kill, you can now walk up to the dead animal and aim at it to see how many stars are left. If it still has 3 stars you got your perfect pelt. Just skin the animal and you’re done. In case of Hunting Requests you’ll want to pick up the carcass and not skin the animal.
That’s all there is to know about getting Perfect Pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2.
For more RDR2 Guides, check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 Wiki & Strategy Guide.