This is a comprehensive guide to hunting on the river. The animals you can hunt for food are rabbits, boars, wolves, and bears. Each requires a separate strategy, and you should keep saplings and braided cords on hand to adapt to your particular situation. You can always craft traps on the fly.
As mentioned in the last section, you can place items on Aesop for your next game (either Campaign or Endless). Cold will be your biggest enemy, and to combat cold you need to kill big game. Therefore, when you know you'll be playing another game, focus on bear or wolf clothing.
Now for the actual hunting.
Rabbits are a primary focus due to pouches and leather kits. Snares will kill one rabbit, while box traps will capture one but can be retrieved to capture a second rabbit. Box traps use one less braided cord than two snares. Also, traps don't kill the rabbits, allowing you to hold live rabbits if you don't have the ability to readily cook the meat. That's your call.
Rabbits don't come out at night. It is also important to set your traps over the right rabbit holes. Watch the rabbits and the holes they disappear into. A given rabbit will ALWAYS use the same hole. Therefore, only place traps over holes where you see rabbits hide; otherwise, you waste your traps.
As discussed in multiple places, you need more rabbits than anything else. You need 8 rabbits for a full inventory, and 7 rabbits for a full wolf OR bear set (14 for both). You need both a wolf set and a bear set for different achievements.
Of note: if you are hunting rabbits while boars, wolves, or bears are around, they can ruin your traps. Any of these will destroy a snare or box trap by running through them.
Anything larger than a rabbit requires a spear trap. Remember that your torch will keep you safe as long as it isn't raining. If it starts raining, hold and run back to the dock.
There is a trick to killing the dangerous animals. Near the dock transition point, there is an invisible safe zone at the end of the wooden path. You can set up a spear trap just past the end, then turn around. Quite often you can set a trap, turn your back, and the animal will walk into the trap and kill itself. You can keep doing this.
Killing one boar requires one spear trap. Boars have a tendency to wind up before they charge, so you can both easily avoid an attack and get the boar to charge where you want. Boars tend to be territorial, and if you move out of their area, they will leave you alone.
There is an achievement involving snakes that is easiest done with a boar. Lure a boar so that you are between it and a snake (don't get too close!), then let the boar start to charge at you. Quickly move out of the way. If the boar gets close to the snake, the snake will attack the boar, and you'll get a shiny prize.
Killing one wolf also requires one spear trap. They tend to just walk right into it, so they're easy to kill if you can deploy a spear trap. You can pick up an unused trap once without destroying it, then deploy it in a better location.
Your first wolf kill will net you:
Poisoning wolves can also be useful. If you have meat (raw or cooked), combine it with Devil's Trumpet to poison it. Throw it at a wolf, and the wolf will eat it, get sick, and immediately die. The advantage is that you will get another meat from the dead wolf, plus the wolf hide. Sometimes, you can even retrieve the tainted meat and kill another wolf (getting 2 meat for the price of one). This does not use up your traps, Saplings, or Cords.
Killing 20 wolves with tainted meat will get you another achievement:
Poison 20 wolves with tainted meat
Killing a bear requires a minimum of 4 spear traps, which require a total of 12 saplings and 12 braided cords. You should set these up in a line, but spread them away from each other so they aren't too close. If the bear avoids a trap, they may destroy the trap without being injured, so you may want to make sure you have an extra spear trap in reserve. When I hunt bears, I set up 5 traps, then reclaim a trap that isn't used. You can also craft a trap while setting up, and use the torch to keep the bear from mauling you while you making traps.
If you start losing the fight with the bear, you can always quit the game to give it another shot.
Killing your first bear will grant you the following achievement:
Note that there is one achievement tied to every animal with a bow and arrow. I do not recommend using this on a regular basis due to the materials needed and the time taken to set up a shot. The six animals you need to kill with an arrow are:
- Snake - 1 hit
- Rabbit - 1 hit
- Crow - 1 hit
- Boar - 2 hits
- Wolf - 3 hits
- Bear - 4 hits
You can wound a bear with a couple of traps to help you, but the smartest move is to have plenty of arrows and retreat to the safe zone and shoot from there. Once you've killed all 6 (I found aiming at crows was the hardest), you will earn the following:
Kill every animal type with arrows
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