Trading fur and animal pelts was a cornerstone of the frontier economy all the way from the sixteenth century to the start of the twentieth. Dedicated hunters toiled and stored their skins for months to bring them to market, but luckily for us, it’s a bit quicker to do so in Red Dead Redemption 2.
With such fastidious attention to detail, it’s no surprise that this trade also plays an important role in Arthur Morgan’s journey throughout Red Dead Redemption 2 as well. Here’s what to do with pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2, including where to store them, where to sell them, and how to get perfect pelts.
What to do with pelts and where to store animal pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2
You’ve hunted an animal, skinned it, and now the pelt is in your hands. What now?
First, you need to whistle or walk up to your horse, where you can “stow” the skin until you’ve decided what to do with it. This adds it to your horse cargo menu, so you can find it again either by walking up to your horse and pressing right on the d-pad, or by selecting the Horse Cargo section of a shop menu.
Once you’ve stored the pelts on the back of your horse, you can do a few things with them. Sell them at a general store in town, donate them to Mr. Pearson at camp, or most importantly, take your best pelts to the Trapper to craft new equipment. Once you’re at the Trapper, sell your skins to him, and they’ll appear in his inventory for crafting equipment.
We have a full guide on where to find the Trapper in Red Dead Redemption 2, so take a look at that if you’ve got some decent skins.
Lower quality pelts that you’ve stored on the back of your horse aren’t safe, however. If you die, it looks like they’re gone forever. Don’t worry too much about Legendary skins though – if you lose the Legendary Bear Skin, or any other Legendary pelt for that matter, it will be automatically sent to the Trapper so you can craft the unique outfit item that it’s linked to. If you can’t find the Legendary skin you’ve looted, try looking at the Trapper.
Where to sell pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2
You can sell pelts to most general stores and some stores that sell hunting equipment in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s probably a better idea to save your best skins for crafting though, since you can make unique items you can’t get anywhere else. But if you’re looking for a few more dollars to contribute to the camp kitty, there are worse pursuits than trading in spare skins.
In the very early game, the best place to sell your pelts will be in Valentine, since you’ve got access to different kinds of shops there.
How to get perfect pelts in Red Dead Redemption 2
Getting a perfect pelt can be finicky, to begin with, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hitting the bulls-eye every time.
To identify which animal’s going to produce a perfect pelt, you’re going to need to use binoculars. You can find these in the “kit” tab of your satchel. With the binoculars equipped, hold the left trigger and use the left stick to zoom in.
You can also equip your binoculars from the right hand side of your item wheel.
Once you’ve got an animal in view, hold the right shoulder button (R1 on PS4) to study and identify the creature.
Next to its name will be three stars. Animals with all three stars filled in can produce a perfect pelt.
But there’s still a catch. Being too rough with a skin will damage it and lower its quality, so you can’t use too high-powered of a weapon to bring down the beast. Now that you’ve found a three star animal, use the weapon it tells to you use in the Compendium to kill it, and you should receive a three star pelt when you skin it.
To view the Compendium, enter the pause menu and select “Progress”. The information can also be displayed by pressing the right shoulder button (R1 on PS4) while you’re looking at an animal through binoculars.
We’ve listed the different ammo types that you can use to cleanly kill different types of game below:
Red Dead Redemption 2 – weapons and ammo for perfect pelts
As well as using the right ammo and weapon type, you also need to make sure that you score a lethal hit on the animal. Having to shoot them multiple times will most likely result in reducing the quality of the pelt. Aiming for the head and neck is always a good way to go – in addition to using the correct ammo type.
How to get Perfect Rabbit Pelts and Perfect Bison Pelts
Small animals – These are killed with a bow, using small game arrows, if you want perfect pelts.
Small animals include rats, bats, squirrels, chipmunks, bullfrogs, toads, snakes, blue jays, cardinals, robins, woodpeckers, and other small species of bird.
Moderate animals – these must be killed with the varmint rifle with 0.22 ammo for pristine pelts.
Moderate animals include iguanas, gila monsters, rabbits, armadillos, badgers, muskrats, possums, racoons, skunks, eagles, cranes, hawks, owls, and other large species of birds.
Medium animals – Kill these with the following ammo types: normal arrows, poison arrows, throwing knives, poison throwing knives, any rifle ammo except explosive, and any sniper ammo except explosive.
Medium animals include coyotes, foxes, pigs, and beavers.
Large animals – get pristine pelts by using the following ammo types: normal arrows, poison arrows, poison throwing knives, any rifle ammo except explosive, any sniper ammo except explosive.
Large animals include turtles, small alligators, boars, bucks, cougars, panthers, big horn rams, wolves, deer, pronghorns, goats, sheep, and peccary.
Massive animals – Use these ammo types: poison arrows, improved arrows, poison throwing knives, any rifle ammo except explosive, any sniper ammo except explosive, and shotgun slugs.
Massive animals include bears, bison, bulls, elk, moose, ox, cows, and big alligators.
We’ve got plenty more guides to help you get the best out of Red Dead Redemption 2, including a full list of RDR2 cheats, beginners tips to get your started, and locations for all of the best weapons in the game.
If you’d prefer to give animals a lovely brush instead of shoot them with pointy sticks, take a look at how to brush your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2. For everything else, check out our complete Red Dead Redemption 2 guide.