- "Animals to spot, hunt, and be hunted by."
- ―Gameplay trailer.
Hunting is side-activity featured in Grand Theft Auto V.
The hunting activity appears to be based on the one featured in the 2010 open-world western Red Dead Redemption, another game made by Rockstar Games. The hunting activity will occur mostly in Blaine County.
Hunting is available after Trevor meets Cletus and complete his second mission "Fair Game". After starting the hunt, by finding the appropriate icon on the northwest side of the map that looks vaguely like an elk head, and entering the trailer at this location, Trevor is equipped with the animal call that Cletus gave him in the intro mission and also has unlimited sniper ammo for the duration of the hunt.
Each kill must be photographed and sent to Cletus using the phone. Cletus will then send you money based on the type of animal killed and how it was killed. Heart-shots, neck-shots and head-shots earn you extra points and money which will help you move toward higher medal rankings for a single hunt. A Blazer is available outside the trailer. Hunting is available from sunrise to sunset. Cletus will send you a warning text when time is almost up and a final text when hunting is over for the day and you will return to the trailer.
- Cougars are deadly and come often. Invest all or most of your cash in the stock market before starting a hunt to avoid costly hospital bills. (Don't let them know you're rich and abuse the system). The Hospitals charge a percentage of your cash on-hand each time you die. Thankfully they do not dig into your assets and investments to pay the medical staff.
- When being attacked by a cougar, use Trevor's rage skill (Xbox push L and R, PS3 push R3 and L3). Rage allows Trevor to take almost no damage from a cougar attack which would otherwise instantly kill the player. He will survive the attack and can then shoot the cougar or even melee it with a knife.
- Use the 4 wheeler Blazer provided. You will be able to cover ground more quickly and will also be able to get to your kill for a photo more quickly as well.
- The animals don't scare easily unless you get inside their "red area" depicted on the map, or if they smell you. Stay downwind of your target if possible. Sneaking isn't as important as Cletus says it is. Speed is the key. Bag as many as you can while there is still daylight.
- Watch your radar. You will be able to see a cougar before it attacks. A cougar may also make up a distinctive sound before an attack.
- Make sure there are no cougars near you when you're making a picture of an animal. Cougars can kill you even when you're busy making a picture, sending it to Cletus or even during the black screen where the game tries to load your online pictures.
Animals known to be hunted:
There also challenges that the player can perform during the hunting, to increase his score and get the gold medal more easily, the challenges are divided in three categories:
Master Hunter Challenges
- Rank 1: Kill an Elk with a heart shot.
- Rank 2: Kill 2 Elk in a row without a call.
- Rank 3: Kill 3 Elk in a row undetected.
- Rank 4: Kill 4 Elk within four minutes.
- Rank 5: Kill 2 Elk with a single shot.
Weapon Master Challenges
- Rank 1: Kill a Coyote with a shotgun.
- Rank 2: Run a Boar over.
- Rank 3: Kill a Mountain Lion with a grenade.
- Rank 4: Kill an Elk without looking through the scope.
- Rank 5: Kill any Bird with the Sniper Rifle.
Nature Photographer Challenges
- Rank 1: Text Cletus a photo of a Doe.
- Rank 2: Text Cletus a photo of 2 dead Elk.
- Rank 3: Text Cletus a photo of a dead Coyote and a dead Boar.
- Rank 4: Text Cletus a photo of an Elk corpse and a charging Cougar.
- Rank 5: Text Cletus a photo of an Elk, a Cougar, a Boar and a Coyote corpse.
- In the Ammu-Nation in San Andreas the player can hear the advertising speaker talk about anti-material rifles for hunting with the famous punchline: "Who needs to skin the deer when it already has been minced!"
- As in Red Dead Redemption using very powerful weapons such as the rocket launcher or minigun may blow up the animal so you couldn't skin it. Even if the animal can still be pictured, Cletus will pay much less if powerful weapons are used(except in the case of heart shots).
- You can send the photographed kill to almost anyone in your contacts list, and they will text back randomised reactions. Possibly due to a designer oversight, this works even if the person is dead.
- Sometimes, when the player finishes the activity, the game will not show the score and will become glitchy. Pick-ups, such money and weapons become unavailable to pick them. If you try to buy weapons from Ammu-Nation, money will be spent, but the ammo can't raise up, making it a total waste. Reloading the game (before or after the activity) will fix the glitch.