Red Dead Redemption Bear Guide
The Grizzly Bear in Red Dead Redemption is one of the few animals in the game that can actually kill humans, and is definitely the deadliest out of all the other animals. They easily make the other predator animals in the game, like the cougars and wolves, look like harmless pussy cats. They are quick, aggressive, large, and it only takes a few clawed attacks to kill you. I've been playing the singler player version of the game for some time and have been hunting these beasts more than other animals for the sheer fun of it. So I thought I'd write a guide to assist others and share with you some of the things I've learned about them.
Where to Find Bears
Finding Grizzly Bears in Red Dead is not as difficult as with some other animals, but you won't be able to find them until later in the game, after most of the Mexico missions. Once you kill Bill Williamson in Mexico, the area at the north part of the map, West Elizabeth, will open up and be available to travel to. This is where the bears are located. Their general area is in the Tall Trees section. If you look on the map, take notice of where it says "Tall Trees" in big black letters. The most common area they are found is directly under those words on the map. They can be found throughout that entire forest, such as to the north of those words or east or west, but they are more common in that one centralized location. The best technique I've come across on how to find bears, is to try to find big clearings where there are not many trees, but where trees surround the clearing. They usually hang out around these clearings. So the best thing to do is to ride around until you find areas like these, and start checking each one on a horse until you come across them. Sometimes they will sneak up behind you as you're slowly riding around and you may not see them until they attack you and your horse. So you may want to slow down a bit when you come to areas like these, as you may have a hard time seeing them in the tree line if you're riding fast. It's best to be on a horse, so if they attack, you lose the horse first and have time to figure out what's going on before they kill you too. I've seen bears as far east as the edges of Tall Trees and the Great Plains, but this is a rarity.
Grizzly Bear Behavior
The bears in RDR are extremely aggressive if they notice you around their territory or if you kill one of their own. They usually take notice of you when you start shooting in their area, even at other animals, or if you whistle for your horse while you're anywhere near them. They generally travel in packs of two, though it's not uncommon to come across a lone one every once in awhile. Sometimes you will see them squatting by some bushes and doing a number 2 when they think nobody is looking. But once they spot you, or realize you are hunting them, they will usually charge full speed in your direction, and as soon as they reach you, they will attack with their claws. Sometimes they will only pounce on you once and then walk around in a circle around you before attacking again. But other times they can be relentless and will keep swinging their claws on you numerous times without giving you a chance to get up. After you kill one or two of them and skin them, others will usually show up, though not every time. So it's best to take a look around and scan the area with your rifle as soon as you finish skinning one, to make sure there are none sneaking up behind you or nearby. All the grizzly bears in the game are hostile, but some seem to be a little more hostile than others for some reason. Bears in RDR will not only attack you, but other humans, as well as other animals. I've seen many animals run from them, such as a pack of wolves and deer. Even horses can fall prey to them pretty easily if they aren't paying attention. Whenever you're in an area where there might be bears, try to keep your audio level up and your ears open. You can usually hear them approaching from behind you as their feet hit the ground. It's almost similar to how you can hear a horse's hooves tapping on the ground as it walks. Growling is also a common noise they make when they are close. If you hear any of these sounds, start running in whatever direction you can see in front of you, and try to look behind you as you are running to see if they are giving chase. The last thing you want to do is to let a grizzly bear sneak up on you, because it could be the last mistake you ever make.
How to Kill Bears
The trick to killing grizzly bears, is to try to aim for the face when you shoot them or throw a knife at them. Most of their body is protected and thick, and it can take many shots from a rifle or high powered pistol before they go down if you're aiming for their body or rear area. Even their neck area can be somewhat durable and protected. The head area is more of a weakness, but with a nice clean shot to the center of the face, even 1 shot can easily take them down. There's even a challenge mission that requires you to kill two grizzly bears with only one shot. If you want to kill the bears with one shot, the best way to do it is to be facing them when they are charging at you, and use your dead eye feature to aim for their face while in slow motion. Try to use the most powerful gun you have that has the best distance, such as the Bolt Action Rifle. Shotguns are good, but are usually not as good as a rifle when it comes to long distance. If the bear is charging at you and is within a considerably close distance, then the shotgun can definitely be handy. One set of weapons that I find extremely useful in killing them are the high powered pistols, like the Mauser Pistol and the Semi-automatic one. When you're at a close distance, especially right after a bear has attacked you and clawed you once, these weapons work best because they can fire multiple shots in such a fast amount of time. If the bear has gotten you to the ground, and given you some time to get back up, the best thing to do is take some medicine quickly while you're getting up, before he has time to claw you again. Then, after you do that, switch to one of these pistols and just aim at him and start firing as fast as you can. You don't necessarily need to aim for the face or worry about using dead eye when you're at a close distance with these weapons, because they fire lots of multiple shots and even if you don't get a shot to the face, the bear will probably die from 5 or 6 shots to the body anyways. Another method I use to kill them with these weapons, is I let them chase me, since it's pretty easy to outrun them for a little bit. As they are running behind me, I switch to the pistols and turn around quickly and start firing. This technique works every time if you execute it before they are right on top of you. Eventually, after you kill and skin 18 bears, you'll get an achievement award called Bearly Legal, which is worth 5 gamerscore points for Xbox 360, and a bronze trophy for Playstation 3.
How to Melee Bears
At first I thought it wasn't possible to try to kill grizzly bears with a knife in this game. They are so ferocious and their bodies are so strong in withstanding bullets, I never would have guessed that it was possible. I decided to give it a shot and it is in fact possible, and not very difficult. It just takes more time to kill them this way than with a gun or a throwing knife. You don't have to go for their face either, but it definitely helps. Try to attack the bears from behind when you're holding a knife, because it's harder to slice them before they slice you when you're face to face. Once you hurt them with the knife once, majority of the time, they will actually try to run away. As they are running away, keep running after them and trying to slice them from behind or the sides. It may take multiple slices before they actually die, but it's probably not as hard as you would think. You can even lasso them while they're running away, slice them, then repeat this step. Just be careful of other approaching bears in the area while you're doing this.
Prices in Shops
In Red Dead Redemption, prices of items vary in shops, not just because items are different, but because your honor and fame affect the prices you receive, as well as the area you sell the items in. Bears, like many other animals in RDR, have many parts to sell after you kill them, such as Grizzly Heart, Grizzly Skin, and Grizzly Claw. The prices of all of these items combined can be lower in Blackwater and nearby towns with shops, such as in the $20's or $30's range. But if you sell them in a place that's further away from the West Elizabeth region, such as in Mexico (where bears are not found), you can get as much as $168 for their various parts combined. This is why killing bears can be one of the best ways to make money in Red Dead Redemption. It can be a bit difficult to actively hunt them though, considering how violent they are towards people and other animals.
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