The Long Dark is full of dangers that can cut your time in the game short. Though wolves are among the most aggressive animals in the game, bears are the most dangerous simply because of how difficult they can be to kill. Once one gets you in its sights, it can be tough to shake, but taking one down offers plenty of materials and meat as its reward. Here is everything you need to know before you hunt bears in The Long Dark.
Bears in The Long Dark – where to find them and how to hunt them
Though they aren’t generally as aggressive as wolves, bears are significantly more dangerous just because of their size and how difficult they are to kill. They are fiercely territorial creatures that will track players when they catch wind of them in their area and are surprisingly persistent in their pursuit. It is worthwhile to scout the area around you heavily for landmarks to help you find where you’re going.
However, there are benefits to hunting bears in The Long Dark. They offer several valuable drops, such as calorie-dense bear meat and black bear hide, which can be used to craft an improved bedroll or a Bearskin Coat.
Bears can often be found roaming the wilderness, but they always have a bear den that they return to when they need to rest. These are caves or rocky outcroppings that have bones in them. Not all potential caves are inhabited in each playthrough; there is a random chance that certain ones in each map will be the home to a bear. If you happen upon an empty cave, check it for bones. Bones on the ground are a sign that a bear makes its home there and will return shortly.
Each map has a certain number of bears that can spawn in it, which may be at one of several locations.
Mystery Lake (1 to 2 bears spawned)
- Near the Unnamed Pond
- Near Lone Lake Cabin
- Near Trapper’s Homestead
Coastal Highway (2 to 3 bears spawned)
- In a cave slightly east of Misanthrope’s Homestead
- North of the Coastal Townsite
- Downstream from Bear Creek Campground
Pleasant Valley (5 to 7 bears spawned)
- North of the Long Curve
- To the east of a cave that leads to the Winding River
- Beneath the rope leading up to the Signal Hill
- North of the Crash Site in Pleasant Valley
- Near the bridge southeast of Point of Disagreement
- At the Lonely Homestead
- Along the path up to the Cinder Hills Coal Mine
Desolation Point (1 bear spawned)
- Next to the Broken Bridge
Timberwolf Mountain (3 bears spawned)
- Between Deer Clearing and the Waterfall Cave
- East of Crystal Lake, near Echo Ravine
- Near the river west of Andre’s Peak
Forlorn Muskeg (2 bears spawned)
- Near Poacher’s Camp
- Northwest of the Old Spence Family Homestead
Broken Railroad (1 bear spawned)
- At the base of the cliff below the Hunting Lodge
Mountain Town (1 bear spawned)
- Near Spruce Falls Bridge
Bleak Inlet (1 bear spawned)
- Just east of Cannery Worker Residence
Hushed River Valley (2 bears spawned)
- North of the Hushed River and Offset Falls
- East of the Stairsteps Lake
Ash Canyon (1 bear spawned)
- In a cave near Miner’s Folly
Blackrock Region (3 bears spawned)
- In a clearing between Bear Bend and Forager’s Remnant
- In Cliff Cave
- In the courtyard of Blackrock Prison
How to hunt bears in The Long Dark
There are several strategies for how to hunt bears in The Long Dark. The safest way is to find a place where a bear can’t reach you and shoot it with a ranged weapon of your choice. Any hit with a ranged weapon will cause blood loss and will ultimately be lethal to the bear, though it can take several hours for the bear to die from its wounds, depending on where it is hit and what weapon is used.
A critical hit to the head or neck can be enough to kill a bear instantly, but these rely on random chance. The best bet is to wait near the bear’s den and shoot it while it isn’t aware of the player’s presence. This will cause it to flee back to its den and, eventually, bleed to death. Once it is wounded, follow the bear from a safe distance until it dies. This can take several hours, so be sure to pack food and supplies for the wait.