GTA 5 Big Game Hunting Guide and Tips

GTA 5 Big Game Hunting Guide and Tips

Feel like taking a break from the usual day-to-day madness and mayhem? Grab some guns and head up into the hills for some GTA 5 hunting. But make sure you read this first!

Robbing banks, racing cars and generally causing mayhem getting a bit too much for you? Need a break from your daily grind in GTA 5? How about taking a trip out into the wilds of San Andreas for a bit of hunting? Yep, GTA 5 lets you do this, and it’s not just a shabby afterthought. There’s a whole mini-game out there for those wanting to engage in a bit of GTA 5 big-game hunting.

For more on GTA Online, head on over to our GTA 5 and GTA Online Guides Hub. Over there you’ll find info on GTA Online Heists and GTA Online Gunrunning.

GTA 5 Hunting Guide

However, before you throw all your favorite rifles into the back of a freshly-stolen SUV and head for the hills, make sure you’ve reached the point where you control Trevor – GTA 5's best shooter and natural fit for wildlife depopulation activities – and have completed the “Nervous Ron” quest. When you finish that, “A Stranger and Freaks” mission will pop up on your map on the east side of Blaine County (at Sandy Shores, near Trevor's trailer). There, you’ll find Cletus, a hunting fanatic who just loves shootin’ some o’ them varmints.

Impress him by showcasing your shooting skills, and he’ll be added to your contacts, and will text you when he’s ready to head out into the wilds. At this point, just keep on playing the game, and eventually Cletus will send you a text asking you to meet him at Bayview Lodge in Paleto Forest. Head over there (it’ll be marked as a “C” on the map), complete the "Fair Game" mission, and hunting will be unlocked.

When Trevor needs a break from his amateur dentistry business, taking him on a hunting trip will cheer him up no end. Well, as much as an utterly mental psycho can be cheered up.

GTA 5 Hunting Basics

Hunting isn’t a 24-7 activity – it’s only (legally) allowed in the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness between the hours of 5:00 and 19:00. When you’re ready, head to the coyote icon to kick off the first of a whole series of hunting activities.

Whistle while you work

Cletus gives you an elk whistle that you can blow to attract all sorts of animals, which will appear on your mini-map. Larger circles are elk and coyotes, while smaller ones are usually cougars and boars.

Smell ya later

Make sure stinky Trevor is downwind of any animal by following the wind pointer and shooting upwind. A red arrow means you’re not in the right place, whereas a green arrow means you’re doing it right.

Shooting bullets and pictures

Shoot an animal, and then shoot a pic of the corpse with your phone and send it to Cletus (or someone else for comedy value). Make sure the whole animal is in the screen, and you should be good to go.

Cougars want you for lunch

You might be able to avoid the entire Los Santos Police Department and survive the craziest firefights, but you ain’t no match for Mother Nature. At least, Mother Nature in the form of a big cat with nasty claws. Watch out for these deadly predators by keeping an eye on your mini-map. They’ll appear as small red circles. Shotguns are usually the best way to deal with them, or you can always jump onto a vehicle, or indeed into it. Being sneaky bastards, cougars like to wait until you’re looking down your scope before jumping on your back and turning you into bacon – so pay attention before you start aiming, and don’t just sit there admiring the view.

Hunting gear

No self-respecting hunter will step out into the wilds without the right arsenal, so make sure you’ve got a shotgun, sniper rifle with scope and silencer, grenades (those cougars are trouble!) and, of course, all the ammo you can carry.

Heart shots are money shots. Practice them!

Shot through the heart

Heart shots yield 10 points and $100 a pop. Elks can be nailed fairly easily from the front or side – just aim centrally below the neck. You’ll need to pull off at least one heart shot to unlock the Master Hunter Challenge.

Shooting tips

  • Doe (a deer, a female deer) – aren’t worth your time. They’re the ones without antlers.
  • Try to get clean kills to maximize your reward. Bullet-ridden heads and bodies are not worth as much.
  • Save shotguns for cougars – they’re too messy for general hunting.

Quietly does it

Running around the wilderness like an elephant will ensure every animal knows you’re coming, and they’ll vamoose, all pronto-like. So use stealth mode to sneak up on your targets.

ATV is your friend

You probably don’t want to be racing around the wilderness in your favorite sports car. There are plenty of ATVs in the area that you can "borrow", so make use of one of those.

Lots of carcasses, Lots of money

The more dead animals you send in a single photo, the bigger the reward. An animal corpse can attract other animals, so experiment with this. Shoot a critter, and sit tight. You can amass quite the pile of bodies if you’re patient.

Animal spotting

There are plenty of different critters to hunt. Here’s the low-down.

It's fun shooting birds, but keep an eye on where they fall. Finding their corpses can be a real pain in the butt.


These can be tricky to shoot, and even trickier to find, since they can land some distance away from you. What we really need is a retriever dog in the next expansion pack.

  • Points: 5
  • Cash: $10
Boars are perhaps the game's easiest critter to track and kill.


Easy meat. Not quite as profitable as deer hunting, but you can usually kill them more quickly, so experiment and see which animal proves to be your cash… um… cow.

  • Points: 3
  • Cash: $50
These guys can see you coming a mile off, so slap on a scope and shoot from distance.


These usually travel in packs, and the most effective way to deal with them is shooting them from a distance, since they can see you coming pretty easily.

  • Points: 2
  • Cash: $10


Worth money, but not worth points. Look for deer with antlers, that do yield both.

  • Points: 0
  • Cash: $25/$50
Antlers = mo' money. No antlers = less money.


Pay attention to the wind direction, as these guys had radar-like noses and will smell you downwind from like a mile away. Heart shots = profit!

  • Points: 5
  • Cash: $50
  • Heart Shot: 10 points, $100
You might be hunting these guys... but don't forget that they're also hunting you.


These were talked about above. They’re not worthless for sure, but they’re a lot of trouble, so try to stay out of their way.

  • Points: 5
  • Cash: $6/$25
There's plenty of open space to hunt in. Start anywhere around here and head east.

Hunting Challenges

Extra points can be earned by completing Hunting Challenges, which you can unlock by spending time hunting every type of animal. The better you do, the more challenges Cletus throws at you. Once unlocked, complete each one to open the next rank. They can be viewed on the briefing tab in the start menu.

A few helpful pointers:

  • You can nudge animals with your feet to put them together for a photo. But damn is it slow and painful. Camp a body and try to get multiple animals together by waiting for the corpse to attract other critters.
  • You can use your RV for cover.
  • Animals spawn randomly, so don’t expect to find the same animals in the same place.
  • Standing on a vehicle to take pictures of Cougars is a good safety precaution.
  • Don’t die, or you’ll lose all progress on your current session.
  • A no-scope kill is tricky, but if you’re stealthy and downwind, you can usually get close enough for a clean shot.

Master Hunter Challenges

  • Rank 1: Kill an elk with a heart shot
  • Rank 2: Kill two elk in a row without a call
  • Rank 3: Kill three elk in a row undetected
  • Rank 4: Kill five elk within four minutes
  • Rank 5: Kill two elk with a single shot

Weapon Master Challenges

  • Rank 1: Kill a coyote with a shotgun
  • Rank 2: Run a boar over
  • Rank 3: Kill a cougar with a grenade
  • Rank 4: Kill an elk without looking through the scope
  • Rank 5: Kill any bird with the sniper rifle

Nature Photographer Challenges

  • Rank 1: Text Cletus a photo of a doe
  • Rank 2: Text Cletus a photo of two dead elk
  • Rank 3: Text Cletus a photo of a dead coyote and a dead boar
  • Rank 4: Text Cletus a photo of an elk corpse and a charging cougar
  • Rank 5: Text Cletus a photo of an elk, a boar, cougar, and a coyote corpse
This article was compiled with help from Prima Games

Earning money in GTA Online has always been important, but never more so than after the Executives and Other Criminals update. Players now have the option to buy million dollar homes in Vinewood Hills, or even a yacht that can run them up to $9.5 million. It won’t be an easy road, but this GTA Online guide to earning money will help you to make loads of cash as quickly as possible. You could also look at our GTA 5 cheats for help with the offline game.

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