Killing people in Grand Theft Auto 5 is easy compared to animals. Hunting takes a particular sets of skills to master, so if you want a challenge, head into the countryside and kill deer, mountain lions and boars. Just keep these tips in mind.
For more, read Prima’s free GTA 5 guide.
How Do I Unlock Hunting?
Once you gain control of Trevor, tackle some missions with him. A Stranger and Freaks "?" mission will pop up on your map after completing the "Nervous Ron" quest. This mission is located on the east side of Blaine County (at Sandy Shores, near Trevor's trailer). Here you'll meet Cletus, a hunting fanatic who's craving some target practice.
At this point, Cletus will have you snipe various objects, such as satellites, car tires and coyotes. When you successfully earn your medal, Cletus will be added to your contacts. He'll mention both of you should go hunting sometime, and contact you via text message when he's ready. From there, it's a waiting game. Complete additional missions with Trevor in the meantime.
When Cletus eventually texts you, he'll tell you to meet him at Bayview Lodge in Paleto Forest. This will be marked on your map with a "C." Complete this mission (known as "Fair Game") to unlock the Hunting activity. You'll learn the hunting basics here as well.
As of now, there's only one spot where you can access hunting. When it's unlocked, a coyote icon will be marked on your map at Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness, located on the west side of Blaine County. It's open between 5:00 and 19:00 (dawn 'til dusk).
Whistle at 'em
Cletus will give you an elk whistle that attracts animals (pretty much of all them except birds). When you blow it, red circles will show up on your mini-map. These are animal zones. Larger circles tend to be Elk or Coyotes, while smaller ones end up being Cougars or Boars.
Gone with the Wind
Animals have strong senses and can smell you a mile away. The only way around this is by moving downwind. In other words, follow the direction of the gust. The wind pointer (on the lower-right part of the screen) is an indication to where the breeze is flowing. Problem is, you can’t control Mother Nature. If the wind arrow is green, you're in the clear. If it's red, alter your position and move.
Snap 'em & Send 'em!
For every kill you get, the only way you'll officially earn points is by snapping a photo of the corpse (with your phone) and sending it to Cletus (you can send it to other people as well; their reactions are pretty hilarious). Every animal you put down will be marked on your mini-map with an X. Just make sure the carcass is positioned inside the central lenses when you shoot.
Technically, your only real threat when hunting is a Cougar (also known as a Mountain Lion). These wild cats will pop up quite frequently, and if they attack you, you instantly become their supper. Sometimes, you might not even see them coming and it'll be too late. To avoid these beasts, keep these tips in mind:
-Cougars will (most of the time) pop on your radar as a small red circle.
-Use auto-lock and equip a shotgun to take them down quickly when desperate.
-The Hunting activity is accessed from the RV; climb on top of it to avoid being eaten.
-These kitties don't like vehicles or ATVs; get on (or in) one when they approach you.
-An ATV is always available in the hunting area. Keep it close by.
-Cougars can pounce without warning while you're looking through the scope. Check your surroundings before going for a shot.
Hook up Your Arsenal
If you plan on being a good hunter, you need the proper arsenal. Go to an Ammu-Nation store and stock up on the following: a Shotgun, a Sniper Rifle (with an advanced scope and silencer), Grenades and lots of ammo. You should already have your Sniper Rifle upgraded from Cletus's mission (and with hunting, you have unlimited ammo with it). Hunting's all about being sneaky, so purchase additional silencers for other guns if you can; it'll make your life easier.
Note: Some of these weapons apply for the hunting challenges, so you might as well grab them.
Earn Big Points with Heart Shots
A heart shot will grant you a whopping 10 points, and you'll receive $100 each time you get one. It takes a little practice, but you can snipe an Elk's heart easily from the front or side. What you're aiming for is its central-front body, just below the neck. Check the pic below and aim inside the red circle.
Note: Performing your first heart shot will also unlock the Master Hunter Challenge.
What Not to Shoot (or Do)
Well heck, you can shoot whatever you want (it won't hurt), but you'll basically waste time if you're not picky. Aside from challenges that require unique kills, there are certain aspects you’d rather not fiddle with. Check them below:
-Unless it’s a challenge, don't bother with any Doe (the ones without antlers).
-Head and body shots decrease your reward; aim for the heart or lower neck instead.
-Don't run over any animals since it damages their body.
-Use your shotgun only in line of defense (unless noted otherwise), because it spreads more damage.
The idea of hunting is to be sneaky. Press the Left Stick to enter Stealth mode and walk silently. You obviously don't want to run around, make noise and blow the whistle in the open. This works great because you have the ability to creep up behind animals.
How to Get Around
As stated above, using stealth is important. However, an ATV will be presented to you for every hunting trial. You can drive ATVs pretty much anywhere (except in water, of course). Terrain here is steep, but you won't have to bother climbing with these set of wheels.
Iron Sight, Iron Radar
When you spot your prey within your sniper's scope, the animal will automatically be labeled as a red dot on your radar. Not only that, but your mini-map will also display the creature's field of vision, making it easier for you to move around them.
Lots of Carcasses, Lots of Money
The more dead animals you send in a single photo, the more points and dough you earn. When you shoot a deer, there's a good chance others will come and sniff the corpse. Let them have it and pile up a body count.
Below are all types of animals available in the hunting area, along with their worth and descriptions. Remember, points vary on where you shoot them, so you might gain more or less cash from these general stats.
Birds fly pretty high in the sky. You'll find Hawks as well as Ducks, Crows, etc. Get to high ground and wait for them to slowly glide. Try to snipe them when they fly over the highway, because they're hard to find when they drop. Cletus prefers them without wings, so aim for them.
Boars move slow and are easy to spot. They generally drop decent cash, but you're better off looking for deer.
-Recommended Weapon(s): Sniper Rifle
Coyotes usually travel in packs. These animals are the rarest of the bunch. They are quick, have excellent sight and "bark" when they're in range. Snipe them from a great distance, or chase them with an ATV.
Doe are female deer; as in they don't have antlers. They're still as smart as Elk (sensing smell), but you won't earn any points since Cletus prefers the male species. Don't bother with these pretty ones.
-Heart Shot: N/A
Elks are clever and have a superb sense of smell. Pay attention to the wind direction, which will be marked on the lower-left screen. If you don't, you'll scare them off. Always aim for the heart.
-Heart Shot: 10 points, $100
These cats can be troublesome. They're quick and will eat Trevor if they get too close. Get in a vehicle, use auto-lock and dismiss them quickly before you're eaten.
Hunting Challenges are challenges that win you extra points, hunting medals and additional loot if completed. To initiate any of these, spend some time hunting every type of animal – the better you do, the more challenges Cletus will throw at you. Once unlocked, complete each one to open the next rank. To view them, check the Briefing tab in the start menu. Before you start, prepare yourself with these tips:
-When you need to photograph multiple animals, you must have patience. The only way to move them is by nudging them with your feet. This can take quite a while.
-To hit multiple animals at once, snipe from a diagonal-position.
-To prevent from being detected, you can always hide behind the RV (where the Hunting activity is accessed).
-Animals spawn randomly, so don't always look in the same spot.
-You can throw grenades from an ATV, either behind or in front of you.
-For snapping photos of Cougars, try bringing a truck and stand on it for protection.
-If you're killed, the session will end. Any challenges you accomplished must be completed again.
-To get a no-scope kill with good accuracy, sneak up behind the animal.
Master Hunter Challenges
-Rank 1: Kill an Elk with a heart shot.
-Rank 2: Kill two Elk in a row without a call.
-Rank 3: Kill three Elk in a row undetected.
-Rank 4: Kill five Elk within four minutes.
-Rank 5: Kill two Elk with a single shot.
Weapon Master Challenges
-Rank 1: Kill a Coyote with a shotgun.
-Rank 2: Run a Boar over.
-Rank 3: Kill a Mountain Lion with a grenade.
-Rank 4: Kill an Elk without looking through the scope.
-Rank 5: Kill any Bird with the Sniper Rifle.
Nature Photographer Challenges
-Rank 1: Text Cletus a photo of a Doe.
-Rank 2: Text Cletus a photo of two dead Elk.
-Rank 3: Text Cletus a photo of a dead Coyote and a dead Boar.
-Rank 4: Text Cletus a photo of an Elk corpse and a charging Cougar.
-Rank 5: Text Cletus a photo of an Elk, a Boar, Cougar, and a Coyote corpse.