Topic: help with hunting and trapping  (Read 3216 times)


« on: November 26, 2021, 11:10:53 PM »
I need serious help with hunting and trapping.  I've read the trapping guide and various posts on these forums and reddit regarding active/persistence hunting, but I cannot keep myself from starving.  I've created about 5 characters and all except one has died to starvation.

I'm trying to build my character specifically for this: very easy custom with high endurance, speed, spear, tracking, trapping.

How many lever traps should I be placing and how close?  In one game, I probably placed about 50 of these on various water coasts and across land restricted on both sides by water.  I was usually placing them in a rough line 3-4 tiles apart.  I can't bait them though, because i did not get enough food to even feed myself.  On a good stretch, I would get one bird every 2 days, but eventually the traps seem to stop producing food.  Is there a good way to figure out where to place these?  The trapping guide seems to suggest that this should bring in lots of ducks, but I cannot find much success.

I tried active/persistence hunting, but I rarely even find big animals to try to track/hunt.  In my most recent game, I wandered around for 2 days and found nothing.  I try to get on top of high ground to look in all directions.  Occasionally I do see an animal on the zoomed out map, but entering the animal's tile does not trigger an encounter, and using tracking doesn't result in finding any tracks.  So I move around a bit but then the animal seems to just disappear.

My only two almost successes:

* I encountered an elk, but could not chase it/fatigue it to kill it.  I think I chased its tracks for a full day before my character just dropped to sleep.  I don't think I was carrying too much, but I could not even catch up with it to see it.  I was running/walking trying to keep myself from getting too fatigued.

* I encountered wolves.  I was so desperate to try and get something that I tried to get one.  I had javelins and threw and hit one and followed it until it fell down.  I was able to eventually bash its skull in (after like 10 attacks on the unconscious dog -- killing blow shots need some serious buffs in this game) I then got killed by the other wolves.

Any advice would be great, as I started playing again after like several years off, but I don't see myself sticking with the game much longer if I can never catch food.  My longest game was the wolf death game where I had traded boards for food, which seems to be my only real success acquiring food, but that's not really fun.


« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2021, 12:25:02 AM »
I am by no means and expert, so anything I say can probably be improved upon, but I have had my fair share of successes as a hunter in this game, so here is a summary of what I do for hunting:

- You need to think about you want to hunt and be equipped accordingly. It's nice to be an opportunist and hunt whatever you find on the spot, but some animals are near impossible to get with certain tactics. For example, most small animals are impossible to get with persistent hunting, so you need to keep traps with you. Berries bait for birds, raw meat for foxes and turnips for hares. Be sure to keep stuff with your for the ocassion you think you might find.

- When you spot an animal you think you could trap, set the trap with bait as close as possible and continue your way. More traps if you think there are multiple animals (happens a lot with birds). Some people opt for trap spamming but I honestly never see the benefit of that vs the effort it is to set up all the traps.

- If the animal is something you think you could persistent hunt, like a reindeer or an Elk, be sure to be as unencumbered as you possibly can. Use a combination of wilderness view and track following to find your prey and think outside the box when it comes about corraling it. If it escaped the moment you tried to bring it down it doesn't mean you failed, just track it down and try again. What I do is set up a camp as close to the prey as possible and dump all my unnecessaries and food there so I can focus on the hunt and go back to camp to sleep. If you are particularly commited and the prey is particularly elusive, this process can very well take days, so be sure to have food with you.

- Do not be afraid to travel long distances from your main camp in search of prey. And with this I mean literallly weeks away from what you consider your homelands. Hoping animals will happen to be near your bases is wishful thinking. Just bring an axe for the shelters and keep a look on the skies. With weatherlore you can check if it will rain, in which case you can pass the night with only a bunch of spruce branches(I forgot the name, the ones you make shelters with) beneath you.

- The world is quite empty but not as empty as it seems. Travel in local map as much as you can stomach it instead of in wilderness map. it can be very deceiving because animals often don't appear in the distance in wilderness map, you will even fail to see big animals like bears or elks so it's better to be on the lookout. Besides, that way you can find tracks as you travel or learn more things you didn't know about the world, like me who only realized you could actually find bird nests with eggs in them by playing more often in local map. It can get very boring though, it's often about dodging trees endlessly.

- Diversify your food sources. If you travel in local map, you will start noticing the patterns of the plants around you, what grows where and when and even find eggs sometimes. If you can get into routines, try to fish at least once or twice a day in case you fish something, and even better try to keep trap fences in chokepoints or nets fishing for you.

- Unless you are hunting in the winter, it's an inevitability that some of the stuff you get from the big animal will be wasted. If you are hurting for food consider only taking what you can eat before it can rot(it's often around 20 to 30 cuts) and refuse to skin. That way you can keep flexible and on the move right away. Trying to make fur can leave you having to make camp for a couple of days while it gets processed.

- Killing blows is not a matter of just bashing it's skull. It is an opportunity to make an unmissable blow to the target (unless you are really bad at handling the weapon in question) so considering blunt attacks until the prey is down and then for the killing blow do something like a stab to the skull or something similar so it dies quickly.

That's all I can think at the moment, not sure what else I could say about it.


« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2021, 11:12:53 AM »
There are several ways to go about it, and my strategy differs from the one used by Shrimp.

If you start in autumn you ought to be able to find berries with limited effort. Berries aren't particularly good for staving off starvation, as picking and eating berries constantly just slows down the rate at which you starve (although I've see the claim that you can actually hover on the starvation threshold indefinitely on berries alone).
However, berries are good bait for birds, i.e. in lever traps and snares. Note, though, that an autumn start means little time to prepare for winter (my characters start in "spring")...

Personally I tend to travel a for the first few hours to locate a decent spot for an early game camp (close to water, good terrain for hunting nearby), after which I set up lever traps around the camp, with the traps being placed in lines. I then expand this to similar trap line sites a few tiles away.
Once this has been set up, I check the traps once per day, processing the birds (and occasional hare) I might catch as I go. Note that you may want to skip skinning/tanning some of the time, as that's very time consuming (although it does train an important skill).
Once this baseline has been set up, I then try to roam around in search of "real" prey by zooming out, move one tile, zoom in, turn 180 degrees, zoom out, turn 180 degrees, move another tile....
This allows me to find tracks and an occasional bird that I can throw rocks at (they rarely hit, but sometimes you can down a bird and kill it).
When hunting elk/reindeer, open terrain is the best, so you can follow tracks and then see the animal at a large distance and move directly towards it, thus moving a shorter distance than the animal did. Once I scare it so it runs, I follow, try to track it, and when catching up I check its status. Once it shows signs of tiring, I then start to run towards it as soon as I catch up to get it to flee, at which time I immediately returns to walking speed. It's possible to gradually tire the animal so it builds up more and more fatigue for each encounter, until it gets completely out of breath, at which time you can walk up to it and bash it to death.
If you can get an animal to run back and forth along a bend in a river, you can tire it fairly quickly, and that works with animals such as hares as well.
Note that the above tactics are by no means guarantees of a kill: animals get away more often than not, although many attempts to get the same animal over days may eventually succeed.

When you manage to kill a large animals and it's too warm to dry the meat (one advantage with the "spring" start is that you can dry meat during the early phase, and thus build up a small backup stash of fairly non perishable food), I typically keep some of the meat raw (for later roasting) and roasts the rest. Once the hide has been processed, it's typically time to sleep, wake up, process the hide a second time, but then it's off to the nearest village to barter roasted meat for preserved food and/or useful items (keeping 20-30 cuts for near term consumption).

I don't fish much with my characters, but haven't used the new fishing system to any extent.

While it's somewhat annoying that you may have to bash an unconscious bird in the head a lot of times to kill it, note that each attack is a valuable skill training attempt, so I consistently use blunt attacks (even with spears) against all non dangerous targets.  Blunt attacks before the animal is unconscious cause the least damage to the skin, and once it's knocked out attacks should be aimed at the head (and they never miss), which doesn't degrade the skin.

If you see a wolf: back away and leave. If you see a bear: back away and leave. A pack of wolves is extremely dangerous, while a bear is "just" very dangerous. I never attack either animal if I have a choice.

Another early character trick: you can opportunistically steal the kill from a predator either by scaring away e.g. an owl from a bird it killed, or getting a few cuts from a kill they've left behind. It's not glorious, but it's some valuable cuts of meat.


« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2021, 12:06:52 PM »
This might just be me, as I've seen plenty of folks swear they never pay attention to the spirits, but keep sacrificing even as you get closer to starving. I always stay, from the very beginning and toying with death the whole time, very grateful to the spirits. Eventually you cant walk for tripping over the fattest capercaillies god ever injected with lard. This gives you the energy to hit the real meta, kill at least one Njerp, sell his gear for a pupper, and persistence hunting becomes laughably easy. If you dont want to try to save up for a dog/just do the start where you have a chance of having one, only hunt in open/pine mire, and NEVER RUN, as in shift+r fuck your stamina for 2kph. Animals always follow a relatively straight line, even if they diagonal around what that line is. Getting an idea for where a lone animal is heading gives you the opportunity to catch up by not zigzagging about as much as it had to, and you surprise it over and over at full stamina while it might only be "somewhat tired" looking after an hour.

The really important part of PERSISTENCE hunting that I still have trouble with is that you... have to be persistent. Is it early afternoon in summer and you're understandably mad it's been a minute or two real time since you found a track? Double back. You have time. Bipedalism is best pedalism, you'll catch that silly moosey boy long before you can't see him anymore.
Iiiiii juuuuust want to set the woooooooorld onnnn fiiiiiiiiireeeeeee.... Iiiiiiii don't want to start a flame in your heeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrt.
And with your admissiiiiion you feeeeel the same, I'llllll have reached the goaaaal I'm dreamiiiing offfff, believe meeeeee


« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2021, 01:53:44 PM »
I have had plenty of characters die but never from starvation, even doing the challenge, start in winter with nothing in your inventory. Sometimes my starvation gets up to about 40% but I usually freeze to death before dying of starvation.

In more normal starts I never use any of the easy setups, I would prefer not to have to add 5 skill points in custom so I use them in things I never use like weatherlore. I always accept whatever random character I get. First thing is to find a camp site, somewhere with a variety of plants and berries, near to water and with trees nearby. First thing after a shelter is make 5 snares which I scatter around the shelter, not to close but where I can see them just by turning around, I do not worry about the quality or initially about bait. I then settle down to making whatever tools and weapons I can and collecting berries , leaves and plants, if I can fish I try it once a day. Unless I am very lucky my initial food is gone on the third day. I keep going mainly on plants, eating ones I know are safe and one unknown one with each meal, this helps to train herbalism.

There seems to be a programme glitch you can exploit. if you have no fish or meat in your inventory or cellar in the first month or so then birds will tend to land on your snares and there is a 50% chance of catching a pike. Last week I was on my second day of no food when I tried fishing, while fishing 3 ducks land on snares and I caught a pike, while finishing the ducks of and resetting traps four more birds landed on the snares. Enough food for a week and during that week no more birds in traps or fish on hooks. Then two days after my food ran out I caught another pike a found two birds and a hare in the snares. This only seems to work with snares I have not seen this with other types of traps.

Incidentally I never sacrifice anything, I worked hard to get whatever it was and if the spirits are so powerful then they should be able to get whatever they want themselves.


« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2021, 11:18:28 AM »
Like LoLotov, and unlike Tinker, I try to sacrifice daily. This includes trying to adjust eating so just a little bit of a cut is left and sacrifice that bit, using bark to tan so (bird) fat can be used for sacrifices (or bait), sacrifice stale food, etc.

I initially engaged in Tinker's strategy of never ever running, but have modified it to run when catching up to prey that's at least a little tired to get them to bolt as quickly as possible and keep them on the fatigue losing track. As soon as they run it's back to walking, so it's 10 tile spurts very infrequently (I also run when robbers are detected so I can zoom out and escape, but that's a completely different situation).


« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2021, 08:37:16 PM »
Are you trying to survive solely on trapping and hunting? There are many goods your characters can trade for food: boards, birch bark rope, wooden cups and bowls, paddles. The "chores" starting quest should be used exclusively to trade for roasted food (or a small knife to make rope with).

I would place 4-6 lever traps on each single overmap tile and check them daily at most. Set them on top of bushes if they already spawned. Mountains and hills are also a good site to trap birds. But traps alone won't generate prey. You have to place them somewhere with animals or wait until they spawn there.

Trap fences are good for natural choke points, such as spruce forests or isthmuses.

Disappearing animals on the overmap are a common occurrence, those are the ones you set a baited trap for. Make a note of where you saw them, search the place for tracks (using the zoomed in map) and set the trap on top of them.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 08:42:40 PM by Pyry »


« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2021, 03:21:31 AM »
Wait, you can DIE of starvation?  :D

If you're having trouble hunting, make sure you have 0% encumbrance. (Not 1%, not 2%, 0%.) Bookmark the tile where you dropped your stuff and go back and get it after you do the run/rest technique and eventually kill the breathless animal with a nearby rock. (Try to leave your stuff in a clearing or make a mental note of the trees/terrain around it so that you can find it easily when you go back. Ravens might steal your food.)

I rarely see prey from mountains or hills. I wouldn't seek high ground. When you're trudging through the forest sometimes the view just opens up and that's your best best imo. Also when your view opens up in one direction it often opens up in a different direction as well, so change your direction when that happens to take a quick peek behind you before you resume travelling.

When you see a deer/elk/lynx, etc on the zoomed out map, try to calculate where it is. (Like, 5 up and 6 right from me, or 2 left, 3 down from that mountain or that small lake, or whatever.) Then go to that tile, bookmark it and zoom in. Look for tracks. Walk around a bit. Then visit all 8 tiles around that tile and walk around a bit in each one. 90% of the time you will find tracks. If you still haven't found it, visit the 16 tiles (did I do the math right?) around those 8 tiles. I would be surprised if more than 0.1% of the time you won't find tracks if you performed this correctly.


« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2021, 11:15:53 PM »

I'm trying to build my character specifically for this: very easy custom with high endurance, speed, spear, tracking, trapping.

Those are good stats, but you need to consider who easy it is to increase some of the skills. Anecdotally, I've found spear and bow to take forever to level, but trapping and whatnot to take less time, simply because you can actively make equipment. If you plan on active hunting without dogs you're going to be continuously tilted, most animals are simply too fast for humans.

The only way I could see active hunting without dogs to be viable is if you have high stealth and high bow/spear skill, so you can sneak a couple of extra tiles towards zoomed-in deer to shoot. Even then it's hit or miss literally, if you're lucky your shots will inflict heavy bleeding, death, or even crippling the animal, otherwise consider your hunting trip wasted as the deer run off into the forest. With a dog/dogs, as soon as you see your targeted animal, command your dogs to attack, that way as soon as you fire your shot and the turn passes your dogs are gonna be chasing. This doesn't mean you can pack heavy, low weight and consistent running is always best when hunting, because your dogs may run too far away and return back to you, letting the animal escape.


« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2021, 10:37:33 AM »
It's perfectly possible to hunt without dogs (I stopped using my dog for hunting after an aggressive reindeer kill my dog [my characters tend to have a single dog: obviously the dead dog can't be used for hunting anymore, but I don't risk the replacement either]). It's probably harder and probably require somewhat different tactics, but it's certainly not impossible.

When it comes to starting skills, placement of your points depends on your priorities. If you want an easy start you should place your points where they help you early on. If your focus is further ahead (probably after getting some confidence that you know enough to survive long enough for that to be important) you'd focus on skills that are hard to level up. I currently place all my points in weapon skills, although the ones of immediate importance typically are blunt weapons (throwing rocks), spear (making a crappy javelin can typically be done more or less immediately), and bow (it takes some time to get to where you can buy/make a bow and arrows).

Tracking is one of the skills that hits 100% in the first wave, but that doesn't really help you in your first week, and it's an important skill when it comes to hunting as you tend to have to perform some degree of tracking to find the prey even if you managed to wound it mortally (and hunting with dogs can't be done until you've survived long and successfully enough to be able to purchase dogs).


« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2021, 05:34:59 PM »
I'd recommend starting a hunting newbie character in the Kuikka territory (and Kuikka is a good culture pick overall). There tend to be a lot of game, as well as lots of hills and mountains to serve as vantage points. There are lots of tightly packed settlements with very high populations (meaning you can sell lot of roasted meat) that sell copious amounts of: archery equipment, preserved foodstuff and furs. Hunt an animal, skin and butcher it, cure the skin and cook the meat and sell it. Only downside is that there are no cabins or saunas to smoke in, but you can build a larder with trade. I recommend summer start due to long view ranges. Trade some of your starting equipment for your first bow and arrows if you did not start with one. Shortbow is cheap and functional.

What I do when I spot an animal on the world map is that I first take note exactly how many moves and to which direction I need to do in order to arrive at that exact spot. You can use the look command to calculate the exact amount. I then walk there. If this does not trigger an encounter with an animal, I mark that spot (where I sighted the animal) on my map. After this I walk through all the eight adjacent tiles on the world map. If this does still not trigger the encounter, I walk back to the tile where I initially spotted the animal in, zoom in, and then start walking in ever larger circles until I find the tracks.

If you are desperate for animal in terms of in-game time then Palu's suggestion can work. Go to tile, zoom in and look back and forth. If you see nothing, zoom out and move to next tile. Provided visibility allows it you can see majority of a tile that way.

Some tips on actual art of hunting:

1) Animals as a rule prefer to move diagonally. They might for example head towards general direction of west, but zig-zag diagonally when they do so. If you are not sure where animal went it probably moved somewhere diagonally. I'd say that learning to predict animal AI is the biggest difference between experienced and inexperienced hunter in URW, as it allows you to chase the animal more efficiently.
2) Animals often also tend to rebound backwards from where they came from, particularly herd animals. Meaning they go to some direction, then stop running and circle around and start returning towards the general direction where they came from. If you can reacquire an animal and scare it back to running when it's rebounding back you are hunting efficiently.
3) There's a zoom function. Perhaps obvious, but it might be missed at first. You normally want to be at the furthest or second furthest zoom when hunting.
4) Pick your time and place for hunting. It's visually annoying to hunt in rain. You don't want to hunt in spruce mires and conifer forests if you can help it.
5) Short range shot through many trees is not as good as long range shot with clear arc of fire. While you can chase animals down uninjured, it's much easier if it has a leg wound. Don't neglect broadhead arrows if you can find them, they cause copious bloodloss which can kill even Elks in one hit and makes the animal easier to follow even if it doesn't (it does damage the hide though).
6) You'll be surprised how much you can run with no or extremely little (0%-1%) encumbrance.

Also, when hunting wolf never process the carcass at the site of the kill as this often results some wolf biting your neck from behind, which is often insta kill without mail coif.

Unlike some other commenters, I run often, but I do so periodically in spurts to not tire out. As far as I see there is no real reason to not do this, excepting maybe if are heavily loaded and/or have terrible endurance. The extra speed from running more than makes up the slightly slower speed you have to deal with afterwards.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 07:02:28 PM by Matti-patti »


« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2021, 10:16:40 AM »
If you hunt naked (or nearly so) you can afford to run a lot more than if you try to protect yourself against counter attacks when hunting (getting gored or kicked by an elk while unprotected is NOT fun).
While you can mostly avoid triggering attacks from herbivores (and they rarely hit when the animal is exhausted), that isn't the case with animals such as boars, badgers, gluttons, etc.
Also, running into a pack of wolves or encountering a Njerp while near naked is risky business.


« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2021, 04:24:59 PM »
If you hunt naked (or nearly so) you can afford to run a lot more than if you try to protect yourself against counter attacks when hunting (getting gored or kicked by an elk while unprotected is NOT fun).
While you can mostly avoid triggering attacks from herbivores (and they rarely hit when the animal is exhausted), that isn't the case with animals such as boars, badgers, gluttons, etc.
Also, running into a pack of wolves or encountering a Njerp while near naked is risky business.

There is no reason to go naked as typically your character can support something in the region of 15-20 pounds of encumbrance free clothing. I would recommend having mail coif and bear fur hood on at all times, with enough clothing/leather/furs to cover rest of the body in at least single layer of protection.

The occasional herbivore kicks are easily avoided as you say, and the same can be said of lynxes and badgers. You normally come in close quarters with these animals only once they are already breathless. If you want to be safe, fire a single arrow at them from one tile away, that usually drops them unconscious if they are breathless. I almost never actively hunt gluttons since they are fast and have high endurance. Njerps are more rare these days. Wolfs can be dangerous, but just as long as you don't have a herbivore for pack animal you can usually disengage. The bear fur hood and mail coifs are there as assurance if one bites your back (which always attacks neck, even when suboptimal).


« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2021, 04:55:06 PM »
You'd need a rather large character to lug around all that armor plus a weapon without going above an encumbrance of 1.

Boars, badgers, etc. can aggro well before they're breathless, in particular if you hurt them in order to slow them down so you'd be able to track them.


« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2021, 05:10:08 PM »
Nettle cloak, linen undershirt, fur hood, fur mittens, fur footwear and mail coif is 13,7 pounds, needing 137 pound character to wear with encumbrance. That's quite light, though small northerners can be below that. This is in practice pretty typical outfit for me for my normal activities (well, ideally I'd like to throw linen tunic there as well).