Red Dead Redemption 2 - How to Get Perfect (3 Star) Pelt, Skin and Animal Parts

Red Dead Redemption 2 - How to Get Perfect (3 Star) Pelt, Skin and Animal Parts

Posted in rdr2

Crafting upgrades in Red Dead Redemption 2 requires ample supplies of Perfect animal parts such as pelt, hide and skin. In this guide you'll learn how to hunt for Perfect quality animal parts by adapting your shooting skills to earn 3 Star kills.

Hopefully by now you will have seen the huge collection of wild animals that roam the RDR2 landscape. Such animals include bears, sheep, pigs, moose, bison, elk and many others. No matter which animal you're hunting there are two factors that affect whether you're able to collect Perfect animal parts or not.

Two important factors

Animal quality

Every animal has a quality that is influenced by its physical condition. A fat bear will not yield perfect bear pelt, nor will a super skinny bear.

You can inspect a animals condition by focusing on it (hold L2/LT) while in close proximity, or by using the binoculars at range. Once the circular gauge is full, press the button again to reveal information.

The important piece of information is the star rating for the animal. 1 star is Poor, 2 star is Good and 3 stars is Pristine. If we want to collect Perfect animal parts we must hunt for Pristine animals.

Kill quality

The second factor that affects the quality of the animal parts you collect is kill quality. As the name suggests this is how you kill the animal, more specifically the body part you hit and the weapon you use. Certain weapons are better for smaller animals whilst others are better for the larger beasts.

In general, you want to inflict two types of damage:

  • Fatal damage - you hit vital organs (brain, heart) and animal dies instantly
  • Critical damage - you hit critical organs (lungs, stomach) and animal dies quickly

Tip: Using the Dead Eye skill is a great way to highlight the critical areas on any animal.

Weapon choice

The table below highlights the kind of weapons that you should use for perfect kills. In general, use the bow for smaller creatures and a rifle or sniper rifle for the largest beasts. It's best to avoid explosive rounds and the shotgun in almost all hunting cases.

When inspecting an animal the game will give you little hints in the bottom left hand corner, suggesting which weapon is best for clean kills.

Animal size Examples Best weapon
Small Snake, Rat, Crow Bow (Small game arrow)
Moderate Eagle, Iguana, Rabbit Varmint Rifle (.22)
Medium Fox, Pig, Beaver Bow (Arrow), Throwing Knife, Repeater, Rifle, Sniper Rifle
Large Panther, Wolf, Sheep Bow (Arrow, Poison Arrow), Poison Throwing Knife, Rifle, Sniper Rifle
Huge Bear, Bison, Elk Bow (Poison, Improved Arrow), Poison Throwing Knife, Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun (Slug)

Animal part quality - reference table

The following table helps you understand the combination of kill and animal quality and the resultant animal part quality. For example, a 3 star animal will yield poor animal parts if the kill quality is Poor.

Quality Matrix KILL QUALITY
2 STAR Poor Good Good
3 STAR Poor Good Perfect


By scouting for 3 star animals, using the right weapon, and using fatal or critical damage you will collect better loot; both in quantity and quality.