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I have done some hunting, but I have a quest to procure three rabbit pelts.

I am struggling to achieve this because I find hitting rabbits with the bow so hard, and the animals run away too quickly and from a large distance away.

What techniques can I use to make hunting smaller animals, like rabbits, foxes, chickens and squirrels, easier?

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    Possible duplicate of How can I get a perfect pelt when hunting? – Wrigglenite Nov 2 '18 at 10:04
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    Tried to clarify that my question is about the size of animal and not about the quality of the pelt. Although getting a perfect pelt from a small animal is harder. – David Yell Nov 2 '18 at 10:59
  • Are you sure you were hunting perfect creatures? I was having the same frustration until I realised that. – HorusKol Nov 2 '18 at 20:42
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If you have the default aim helper enabled, it's pretty easy to target the small animals, though the really tiny ones can be tricky.

For rabbits, just shoot them with a varmint Rifle. It only takes one shot and doesn't harm the quality. I simply shot at every rabbit I saw from my horse to fulfill the Horseman and the Master Hunter challenges about rabbits. If you have the Horseman challenge about killing 5 rabbits from your horse already, you can check the quality before shooting, simply targeting the rabbit with your Varmint Rifle will show if it's a three star or lower pelt.

I had issues with squirrels, the Varmint rifle seems to degrade pelt quality. Using small game arrows works, I'm not entirely sure if you have to hit them in the head or not.

I haven't used it myself for this purpose, but you can of course also use Dead Eye to help with killing animals.

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    Worth noting that if you 'Study' an animal it will add a page to the compendium which tells you the weapons to use to get perfect pelts. I have since bought a Varmit Rifle :) – David Yell Nov 5 '18 at 9:36
  • @DavidYell I ignore that to some extent, as other weapons work as well. I prefer the bow for anything but the largest animals like bears, and it still works even if it says you should use something else. Sometimes you need improved arrows though. – Mad Scientist Nov 6 '18 at 6:44
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Do four things: a) Play the main quest until you unlock the ability to manually use Dead Eye. Until this, every time your aim goes over an enemy, it will "paint" it with dead-eye shots. This ruins pelts b) Read the Compendium for the animal you're hunting - it will tell you what type of weapon(s) can be used c) When in Dead Eye, aim only for red-highlighted spots, or the head d) Hunt only 3-star animals (or 2-star animals if you have the Elk Trophy and are willing to only get a Good hide)

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