The Long Dark - How to Hunt Bears

If you’re planning to put together a lengthy play through in the Survival mode of The Long Dark, you’re going to need to hunt for your meals. Sure, you can fish for some calories, or throw Stones at rabbits for a day’s meal, but eventually you’ll need to upgrade to bigger game. If you want to secure your food for a week, or even a month, you’ll need to start hunting deer, wolves and bears. The first two are easy, which is why we’re going to focus on how to hunt bears today.

How to Hunt Bears

The Long Dark Hunt Bears

The first step to learning to hunt bears in The Long Dark is to understand their behavior. Like most animals, they have several states, and recognizing these states is key to making sure you remain the hunter, and don’t become the hunted.

  • The default state for a bear in The Long Dark is the passive state. This bear is wandering around on their path, bothering nobody and being left alone. So long as you keep your distance and aren’t detected, you’re safe.
  • The next state that a bear can enter is the investigative state. This is typically when a bear knows you’re there (perhaps due to your scent), and it’s making its way towards you. The bear is still passive, but as it gets closer this will likely change.
  • The third state that a bear can be in is the warning state. This is the moment it stands up on its back legs. It will growl and stay on its back legs for a couple of seconds, and when it’s over the bear will enter its most dangerous state.
  • The most dangerous state that a bear can enter is the attack state. The attack state is where the bear is coming for you. Your options are to kill the bear, evade the bear, or get mauled and lose approximately 90 percent of your health.
  • The final state a bear can enter is the fleeing state. This happens because you’ve scared the bear, or you’ve wounded the bear and it doesn’t know your location. The fleeing state can last until the bear’s death, or it can last a short time until the it calms down.

Hunting Rifle or Survival Bow

The Long Dark Hunt Bears

Before you head out to hunt bears in The Long Dark, you must choose your weapon. Your options are the Hunting Rifle or Survival Bow. I would opt for the Survival Bow personally. It’s lighter, quieter, and you can retrieve the Simple Arrows that you fire. However, if the Hunting Rifle is all you have, that will work too. Just keep in mind that the Hunting Rifle is 4 kilograms, which significantly reduces the amount you can harvest from your prey.

The Day of the Hunt

The Long Dark Hunt Bears

My first piece of advice is to sleep close to where the hunt will take place. You want to leave yourself the entire day, just in case you wound the bear and it takes hours to die. This will also allow you to travel light. Inventory space is key to ensure you’ll be able to take your harvest home with you.

When you head out the morning of the hunt, make sure to bring four to six Stones with you. These will be used to draw the bear closer. It also wouldn’t hurt for you to have a scent, since you can lead the bear to your ideal kill zone. Just watch out for wolves that might smell you.

As you approach the bear’s area, look for a place that you can hide to make yourself inaccessible to the beast. This could include a car, fishing hut, hunter’s blind, building, toppled tree, or even a rock that your prey can’t climb on top of. You will shoot from this location, or just outside of it so you can retreat to it.

If the bear is too far away from where you want to take your shot, draw it closer by throwing stones between you and the animal. The bear will investigate the noise, but turn back once it finds nothing. Keep throwing stones to bring the bear within range of your weapon of choice.

When the bear is within range, aim for its neck or torso if you’re using a Survival Bow, and neck, torso or head with the Hunting Rifle. Do not shoot the bear in the legs or in the butt. Doing this will all but guarantee a long bleed out time, which is inconvenient.

Tracking Your Wounded Prey

The Long Dark Hunt Bears

Let’s be clear on one thing; if you see blood come from your prey after you hit it, it will die. If you do not see blood, the shot didn’t cause damage and the animal will survive. It’s as simple as that. And, if the animal is bleeding, do not fire a second shot. Contrary to popular belief this does not necessarily speed up the bleed out time. You’re just wasting resources.

Part of the process to hunting bears is to be patient. When the bear is wounded it will most likely flee, especially if it cannot reach your position. One of the quickest ways to end the hunt is to pass time with the bear in your sight. Often, the bear will drop as you pass one or two hours. Since the world around you slows down, there’s a good chance the animal will die close by.

Of course, the weather could turn while you’re passing time. This is another reason to have shelter close to where the hunt is taking place. When the bear falls, you want to be able to quickly quarter or harvest what you need, and then retreat to shelter to cook and have your meal.

Remember, hunting bears is easier than you think. Plan ahead and know your prey’s path. Come prepared and execute the plan. Have somewhere to retreat so you can be safe and resume the hunt the next day. If all goes well, though, you’ll be able to craft the Bearskin Bedroll and Bearskin Coat in no time at all.

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