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When you hunt in Red Dead Redemption 2, you can choose to carry the shot animal or to skin it. When you skin it, you get meat and a pelt whereas just carrying the carcass simply leaves you with ... a carcass. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of skinning an animal in RDR2?

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I've played enough to complete the story and side missions. Personally, I always skin them if I want the items. Here are the differences as I understand it:

Skinning carcasses

  • You can store more skins on your horse than carcasses. When you stow a carcass you have one 'large' slot on the back of your horse and one 'medium' slot on either side of the horse, whereas multiple skins can be stacked up on the back of the horse (the exception being very large pelts which must be stowed in the large space).
  • You store some of the meat and the other items (horns, feathers, etc) in your satchel right away.
  • Some animals are too large to stow, and have to be skinned to get their parts.

Unskinned carcasses

  • Unskinned carcasses give more meat overall when sold or donated to camp (If you skin bigger animals you usually get a message saying you couldn't carry everything).
  • They are worth more money when sold, compared to the value of the pelt/meats when skinned.
  • Not skinning them means you can avoid sitting through the skinning animation (approximately 3-10 seconds depending on the size of the animal)

Here is a pretty good article with more details

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idk if they changed something since the above comment in '18 but I just sold a big china pig 3-star carcass not-skinned and made $2 less than when I skinned a previous 3-star big china pig and sold the meats/parts after selling the carcass. So from what I can tell, as long as you can skin it and assuming you can carry the entire haul in your satchel, it's most profitable to completely skin the animal and sell off everything individually.

I can't speak on if it's more worthwhile to skin or not skin when donating to camp however, in terms of provisions.

My curiosity at this point is whether or not a carcass not-skinned decomposes faster.. That, and the fact you can carry additional skins with you by not skinning until you get to where you're going are the only reasons I can see to not skin the kill.

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