Topic: How to hunt seals?  (Read 8071 times)


spamgoose

« on: August 05, 2017, 06:22:42 AM »
I've seen this addressed to a certain degree in other forums but figured I should bring it here. Are there any successful seal hunters out there? What are your tactics?

I've tried trapping (pits, heavy deadfall, bear traps, as per other forum suggestions), but haven't had any luck. Mostly I just catch them basking next to the traps. Also, I don't *really* like the idea of trapping seals, as it doesn't feel quite right... especially digging a hole on a rocky island.

In the summer, I feel I could probably bag one if paying attention as they tend to stay in one area. I've definitely had more than one seal reappear with my javelins stuck in it.

I read, somewhere, that in the winter they like to hang out on the edge of ice. So I've spent the last month in the north sailing around with a punt full of javelins hoping to spot one along the edge of the frozen ice, but no luck yet. I figured they would be easier to spot on ice then on the shore in the summer, and I might have a chance for a good toss of the javelin.

So yes. Any expert seal hunters out there willing to share some trade secrets?

PALU

« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 09:34:49 AM »
Expert? Definitely not... Anyway:
- I've used bear traps with some success. Observe where they tend to be and place a trap there. It's especially good if there's only a narrow access to the sea so they don't have too many tiles to chose from when passing.
- Javelin/Arrow hunting: Very difficult, as they dive when scared and can take a lot of damage before they die. I've had at least one case where I've finally hurt one through repeated attacks to probably kill it on the next hit, only to find it had healed up a bit the next time I found it.
- Zoom exploiting: If you zoom out close to the water you'll appear there when zooming in on that tile later. This can be used both to "sneak" up on seals so you're close enough to have some chance to hit them when launching your (prepared) attack. Even more exploity is to have the zoom in location in a place that frequently lies in between the sea and where they sun bath (or whatever they do) on land.

The trap method is the only one I'd say is worthwhile, though.

koteko

« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 10:46:15 AM »
I concur with PALU, with one addition: even if you don't see them, stop every time you hear a "splash" while rowing on the coastline. Then look out for seal footprints (they are a bit hard to spot at first). They should cover a relatively wide area. Place pit traps in there (not spiked) and move on along the coastline. After a while, when you have 10-15 pit traps along a wide berth of coast, come back to check them.

You may also make a shelter and fish at a certain distance from the trap. Not too close, but within sight.

Using this method I was able to hunt quite a few seals, but it's a slow process for sure. My seal-tribe character survives mostly on fish and bear pipes between each caught seal.

Mati256

« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 01:08:35 PM »
Just adding to what has been said. Bear traps on top of tracks is what worked best for me. At first I tried bow / javelins, but it was extremely difficult and time consuming. It would be amazing if the Ango had some special ability to stop seals on their tracks as it's supposedly designed to hunt such animals.

spamgoose

« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 10:19:13 PM »
Update:

Thanks everyone for your ideas.

I've had success now using the bear trap method. It actually seems to me that there are two different land-seal paradigms at play.

Case 1:
Single seal on a shore.
Seal will hang out in an area (say around a small island), but will move down shore if harassed. These are the seals you keep seeing on the zoomed-out map, but tend to be hard to pin down.

Case 2:
Several seals in one area.
These seals are very stubborn and predictable and will keep returning the same few spots (usually within one zoomed-in area, but maybe crossing a border). If you see one and it disappears, you can move a little away and wait and the seals will keep coming back, even if they've gone under water.

All of my luck has been with case 2 where I managed to take down 4 seals in one area, and 3 seals in another over a few days. The best place I found for the bear traps were skerries, and it was pretty easy to see the seals habits over where they would go. the trick was to stay in the area and just kill time (someone above suggested fishing). I actually just sat on my raft a little ways from the skerries, and when the seal appeared I would slowly approach to herd them towards the traps. I find if you go slow and wait every now and then they won't bolt under water but just keep moving away. At least for awhile.

I also think that case 2 opens up an opportunity for ambush hunting. My current character isn't the stealthiest but I found I could hide by a tree or rock near where the seals liked to go, and they would get within 3 or 4 squares. With a proper stealthy, good hunting character, I actually think ambush hunting would work in this case. Also, the seals gave me almost infinite opportunities, as they'd try to come back again with a half hour or hour. My favourite was hiding, lying down, on the skerry... seal was within 1 square of beaching before spotting me.

Next character I will try this more completely and report back.




koteko

« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 10:57:51 AM »
I've sadly never found a group of seals :( only single ones. If I found a group I'd set up a proper camp with a cellar and hunt them to extinction over several weeks/months :D

Where are you hunting? I only ever found them in the north/north-west coast.

PALU

« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 12:32:07 PM »
Seals are present all along the coast. I've found them in Islander territory, for instance (which is where I've caught all of my seals [with isn't a large count...]), and I think I saw one in Njerp territory as well.

spamgoose

« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 02:49:35 AM »
These particular successes have been on the SW coast between Driik and Islanders.

I spent the precious winter on the NW coast and never saw a seal once (thinking they'd be hanging out on the far ice edge).

I moved down south before the winter ended, and when searching for a treasure I found an island with an unfrozen access point. Hilariously, the ice next to the open water was filled with dozens of holes, all next to each other, as seals kept falling through. When I returned to the island after melt, the same group of seals were there trying to use the skerry near by. After bringing about their extinction, I found another island closer to my cabin with a similar group.

I initially assumed that seals would have a different spawning dynamic in winter (moved from their favourite islands/shores to the ice edge), but it seems they may just migrate slightly to openings.

I also think (perhaps superstitiously), that you never see seals on the zoomed-out map until you've seen them zoomed-in. It seems seals I am aware of appear all the time, but I only discover new seals when zoomed in and paddling around.

Edit: For future readers. It was just superstition -- see below replies
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 08:10:05 AM by spamgoose »

PALU

« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 09:46:04 AM »
Nope. I've discovered seals on the zoomed out map while on transit (so I haven't ever been on the zoomed in map anywhere nearby).

spamgoose

« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 06:45:10 AM »
Hah well that will teach me for faith-based gaming.

Perhaps it becomes more likely to see them after spooking them on the shore, forcing them out into open water more. Not sure.

Saiko Kila

« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 10:42:31 AM »
I also saw seals from zoom out maps. May be related to stats of character, how good a hunter he is (sight, for example).

Anyway, most of my seals were found in the north-west, by Seal Tribe, but I also had them completely to the center-north (single animals).  Maybe it depends on map. The map resembles Finland to a degree, but there are sometimes significant differences, like a big mountainous area, covering most of northern tribe grounds, where in previous map the wet plains were there instead. If seals are based on "biome",  this may be the reason some people find them plentiful in places where other people don't see them at all.

I fight by throwing spears and shooting arrows, from the punt, rarely on land. It needs patience, and is not often successful, though I did have more than one seal hunted at the same time.

spamgoose

« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 08:01:30 AM »
Another Update:

I created a few stealthy, good sight characters, and was hoping to see how they fared against seal, but I've never really got the hang of stealthy hunting in general, so I ended up in my "well I'm starving, better kill village livestock" cycle. Died being kicked by a sheep one game... but that's another story.

My new current character is an attempt to get good at agriculture but he is fairly quick, has decent eyesight, and is moderately stealthy. I'm on the south coast near the Reemi, and have been seeing a fair number of seals. I've managed to kill 2 without projectiles or traps.

The first one was lucky, saw a seal on the zoomed out map, zoomed in on the near shore, and was placed within 2 spaces of the seals. I ran to close the gap and killed it on the spot.

The second one I saw while walking along the shore. I was about 12 or so spaces away when I saw it, went into stealth mode and got within 6, then ran before it could get to the water. If I was smart I would have taken one more step to get between it and the sea, but rather stood there and hit it with my sickle 6 times. It was prone, but managed to roll itself into the sea. I must have caused some bleeding wounds because I found it 3 days layer floating dead in the area, after running into it several times between.

So, in conclusion, I think there is actually a fairly reasonable way to hunt seals without traps if your character has the right skills, and you aren't desperate enough that you can wait for the odd seal encounter.

irontide

« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 01:40:40 AM »
As you can see from the amount I've posted on the old forum about this, I've made it a bit of a personal mission to perfect seal hunting as it exists in the game at the moment.

The advice here is good (I concur for instance that it is possible to hunt seals without traps with some regularity, though perhaps more effort than it's worth), but one thing to note is that the best trap for catching seals isn't pit traps (spiked or unspiked) but heavy deadfall bear traps. They easier to construct, can be moved, and are more than sufficient. It's also worth saying that seal don't respond to bait at all.

I can confirm what others have said that you can see seals on the zoomed-out map before seeing them on the zoomed-in map. This is very common if you spend a lot of time in the archipelago around Islander and Driik territory.

spamgoose

« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 05:55:58 AM »
Yea I've seen them on the zoomed-out map first now that my character isn't half blind, and I'm paying attention. I still feel like there is something funny about vision at work though. The most common situation for me spotting them is when I've zoomed into an ocean square, then quickly zoomed out again. Usually, I'll notice them in other ocean squares in the area.

I've definitely found they like to keep spawning in similar areas though. In my current game, I'm hanging out in the south, and from just 3 areas (a couple squares of coastline) I've already bagged, I think, 10 seals so far. It's a spring start, and I'm in midsummer now.

I concur about the heavy deadfall bear trap as well. Whenever I spot seals now, I move a little bit away to let them live "naturally" and I watch which parts of the skerries they like to sit on. Then I come back, set a trap, and in a day or two I've usually got them. Next time I see a seal I move the trap and repeat.

Since you've put so much time into this, maybe you should write up a quick guide in the guides section? Seal hunting is ridiculously satisfying, and, it turns out, a great way not to starve on my turnip plantation.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 06:03:10 AM by spamgoose »

Shadowdweller

« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2017, 09:31:51 AM »
It's not really that hard to hunt seals as long as 1) you use traps, or 2) you've got a good long-range weapon skill.  Despite the fact that they're slow and tire quickly, I've never been able to get close enough to hunt them with melee weapons barring the extremely rare fluke zone-in.  Something to keep in mind:  They can only stay underwater for about 20 minutes, but might pop back up anywhere in the zone.  So if you're trying to hunt them with weapons you attack, wait for it to resurface, attack, wait, etc.  It is barely feasible to hunt them with javelins - at the extreme end of your throwing range with high skill; but this will significantly damage the hide.  Bows / Crossbows work much better, but you'll want high accuracy versions like short/longbows.  (Crossbows are all highly accurate).  It will often still take a few shots and you're likely to lose a couple arrows in the process.

EDIT:  Forgot to add, it's important to wait until they're beached to attack.  I believe they can bleed out underwater, in which case you'll never find the corpse.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 11:08:15 PM by Shadowdweller »

 

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