Red Dead Redemption 2 Cougar Locations - Hunter Challenge

Cougars are one of the animals you can hunt in Red Dead Redemption 2. They’re predators that live in both hot and cold climates, but they’re pretty rare. Their pelt is required for some of the coats, but you’ll also need them for one step of the master hunter challenge. If you’re having trouble finding them – which you most probably are – our Red Dead Redemption 2 cougar locations guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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red dead redemption 2 cougar locations hunter challenge
Red Dead Redemption 2 Cougar Locations

Where to find cougars in RDR2?

Although they are rare, it’s mostly a question of when, not where. Cougars only go out at night. Do not go looking for them during the day. As for the places, depending on where you are, there are several hot spots you could try. The first is northwest of Annesburg, by the river. The second one is northwest of Strawberry, in the forest north of lake Owanjila. Finally, the biggest one is in New Austin, south of Benedict Point, southeast of Tumbleweed.

rdr2 where to find cougars
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There are several low population areas west of Blackwater, but you should avoid those if you can – they’re less likely to give results than the ones listed above. If you’re in New Austin, there are also two nice spots northeast of Tumbleweed, but they’re kinda redundant.

You should use the best predator bait you can aford, as well as something to mask your scent. If you want a perfect kill (and who doesn’t?), you should restrict yourself to using a rifle. That way you won’t ruin the pelt, however, the kill won’t count towards the challenge, as you specifically have to use a bow for it. You can also use the pelts for a fancy coat if you sell it to a trapper – unlike legendary pelts, regular ones won’t magically appear there if you forget about them, so try not to lose it.

If you end up getting stuck at another point, you might want to check out some of the other guides we have. We've written about mysteries like the missing person Gavin, the Rhodes Gunsmith prisoner, the locked door at Valentine doctor. We also have instructional guides that show how to rob stores without getting bounty or where to sell jewelry and gold bars. If it's collectibles or key items you're after, we've found all the Penny Dreadful comic books, Chick's treasure map location, or that famous pipe for Dutch. Finally, if you don't care to explore the map yourself, you could take a look at our Watson's Cabin and Catfish Jackson's Homestead locations guides. In the latest Red Dead Online Moonshiners Update you'll have a chance to find Navy Revolver and Best Shack Locations.



  1. A
    Amanda Richardson

    The master hunter challenge cant be completed with a rifle. It has to be done with a bow.

  2. K

    You can’t do the hunting mastery with the rifle, three challenge is to kill 5 with your bow.

  3. E

    I’ve had multiple encounters with cougar at random, NEVER AT NIGHT normally its a red dot and will cause your horse to buck you off if you get too close. I was just hunting the one north of Owanjila lake, on the road west of Beryl’s Dream under the G in Big valley
    Anyway it jumped at me, and this was at 6 pm in game time, others have been at noon, I haven’t seen a cougar at night yet. It seems possible, but not for me yet, I’ve spent days hunting these things down. BUT YOU CAN FIND THEM DURING THE DAY TOO. Hope this helped someone

  4. G
    George Kaplin

    I can confirm that you CAN kill a cougar with a bow and arrow and get a clean kill (perfect pelt). I did it just now. Saw it way off in the distance, snuck up with improved arrows, one in the heart cause it’s all I could see, then another in its head when it ran towards me. Walked up expecting a 2 star effort, but lo and behold got a perfect pelt. And it’s not because I have the buck talisman either (it has yet to spawn for me, the bastard)

  5. S
    Steve Didgeri

    If you hear a few wild boar running around like demented loonys there is a big cat around.

    Kill a boar and leave it.

    Wolves will come in.

    Cats seem to turn up soon after the wolves.

  6. J

    I’ve also found that if you do kill an animal and if it’s only 2 stars you just throw the whole animal on your horse, (without skinning it and keeping the animal whole), and when you give it to either the trapper or your camp it will register as a perfect carcass and they will count the pelt as perfect

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