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RDR Bears

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The Bear is an animal found in Red Dead Redemption. They are arguably the toughest, meanest and most dangerous animals in the game, easily comparable to Cougars who have a speed advantage. They are large predatory animals found in Tall Trees.

Like all animals, they can be killed, skinned and traded for large amounts of money at General Stores throughout the game. A bear can be identified in-game by its loud growl, and by its panting, thumping sound when running. In singleplayer, 2 strikes from a bear can kill Marston, and one strike is enough in multiplayer. After killing a bear, chances are another one to six will show up responding to the gunshots or the dead bear's scent. This can be paradise for a hunter, but when trying to get out of a bad situation this can be extremely annoying and risky. Also, the player should be well equipped with ammo, if this were to happen. This can also lead to a deadly chain reaction where possibly 20+ bears will come to the area hunting you.

There are two types of Bears in the game: a lighter colored kind (Brown bear) and a darker grey kind (Grizzly bear). The darker bears will take a few more shots than the lighter kind, sometimes taking up to three buffalo rifle shots in the body before dying. When it is dead, it is recommended to wait until two or three more come and kill them off, because even though while the player skins they are impervious to attack, the bears will sometimes wait until you are immediately done to strike and Marston will still lose health. Note that there is also a Undead Bear version that can be found in Undead Nightmare.

You can kill a bear in one shot, right in the middle of its eyes, using these weapons:

  • Buffalo Rifle
  • Bolt-Action Rifle
  • Carcano Rifle
  • Shotgun (The Pump-action and Semi-auto are best, and even then it's best to wait for it to get close before you shoot. Multiple panic shots to ensure it's dead are perfectly understandable in the circumstances, and if you kill it with the first you still get the challenges).
  • Tomahawk
  • Throwing Knives
  • Explosive Rifle
  • Dynamite
  • Rolling Block Rifle
  • Springfield Rifle
  • The player runs slightly faster than the bear.
  • Bears may be big, but they make almost no sound (however, they do breathe very heavily). When alone, it is recommended to turn off your music, walk slowly, and listen carefully.
  • If the player climbs onto a rock or boulder, neither bears nor cougars can reach them. However, before climbing back down, ensure there are no predatory animals in the area, as they tend to travel in packs and make almost no noise.
  • It is impossible to block a bear attack with the knife block featureThere are a few ways to kill a bear with a knife:
    • You can use a rifle or repeater and shoot it around three times in its body, which should in turn make them weak enough to finish them off with the hunting knife. Another great way is to shoot it once in the head (not in the eyes) with the Henry Repeater, as this should weaken it enough to allow a one-hit kill with the knife.
    • Three shots to the bear's body with the Semi-auto Shotgun should make him die with one swing of the knife.
    • This is also a usefull tactic: Place bait at Aurora Basin, equip the knife, and stand on the edge of the bank. The bear will charge you knocking both of you into the water and he can't fight or get out, just walk up and knife him. In multiplayer, a very easy way to kill a bear with a knife to get "Spartan Survival" is get on your horse and run to the side and slash with your knife. This may takes a few slashes.
    • Shooting the bear seven times in the feet with the LeMat Revolver will weaken the bear just enough to be able to kill it using the knife.
    • If you want to perform a melee kill on a bear in "true John Marston-fashion", lock on to a charging bear with your combat knife (NOTE: in this instance, timing is everything). Be patient and hold your ground. Center your screen on the bear's head. Once the bear comes just close enough to almost touch you, swing your combat knife. If done correctly, you will kill it with one clean slash across the bear's face. If not, you will most likely die, so having previously saved your game in Manzanita Post is a good idea. One may practice the required timing in multiplayer, making it easier for your single-player challenge.
    • One famous bear spawn point in multiplayer is Bearclaw Camp. This location just happens to have a large road in the middle that often has one or more persons walking or on horse back. If a bear gets too close, it will charge them. However, the horseback rider will not fight back and will attempt to outrun the bear. This becomes an excellent chance to strike. At this instance, you may sneak up on the bear while it is charging the horse. If you can get at least three quick stabs, the bear will die before it has a chance to even turn around.
    • If you are struggling to melee kill a bear for the Master Hunter challenge, be aware that there are three separate missions in West Elizabeth (At Home with Dutch, For Purely Scientific Reasons, and Spare the Love, Spoil the Child) that involve facing off versus a bear. All of these missions "checkpoint" you immediately before the appearance of the bear.
    • Bears get confused and scared when you lasso them, making them flee instead of attacking, so shoot your bear a few times to weaken it, then lasso it. While holding the rope, get up behind the bear and stab it a few times. This will allow for a relatively safe bear hunting session, and is also an easy way to complete the Master Hunter Challenge that requires you to kill a bear with a knife.
    • One good way to kill a bear involves stocking up on medicine. Get 5 medicines and then save your game. After that, go to Tall Trees and look for a bear. When you see a bear, get off your horse and let the bear hit you one time. Immediately press select/back and use medicine. As soon as you are able, run towards the bear, get behind him and start slashing. It is very easy to keep running around and stay behind the bear and slash at this point. You should be able to kill it with no problems. You probably won't need more than two doses of medicine, as bears turn slowly and only attack face-on.
    • Another way is to equip a knife while riding a horse. Simply ride around and slash at the bears. With the horse, you gain a large speed advantage, so you can ride up to the bears, slash-attack and get to a safe distance where the bear cannot attack you. Simply repeat this process of hit-and-run until the bear dies. Althought, should one attack your horse, it will die in a single attack and you will be left vunerable and unable to move for a good 2 seconds, enough to be killed.
    • Another good way to kill a bear is to be on foot and start to chase it. While it is running around call your horse and try to get close to the bear, it will attack your horse instead of you. This is another easy way to complete the Master Hunter Challenge that requires you to kill a bear with a knife.
    • To use 2 techniques in one attack try to kill the bear in one slice in the head with the right timing and if the bear pounces on you use your medicine straight away and then turn around to slice again and that should scare the bear to make it easier to kill.
    • Be aware when you knife a bear one time , he will start to run away , this makes the Master Hunter Challenge very hard.
    • Another good way is shoot the bear 5-6 times with the winchester repeater in the body, but no more as 7 WILL kill it, then knife it when ever you can

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