While the Hunter merit badge is one of the easiest to earn towards getting your backpack and Possum rank, there are a few things you’ll want to grab before you start (or while you’re going) to make life easier. But first, the requirements:
- Pass the Hunter exam
- Kill a Radstag with a Black Powder weapon
- Kill a Radstag with a Crossbow (doubles nicely w/ Archer badge)
- Kill a Radstag with a Hunting Rifle
- Kill a Yao Guai with an automatic weapon
- Kill a Yao Guai with a shotgun
- Kill a Yao Guai with a Pipe Syringer
- Kill a Wolf with a knife
- Cook a meal with Radstag, Yao Guai, or Wolf meat
A couple of these could present some challenges, but we have some tips to help make life easy for you, and hard for your quarry. Plan ahead for the weapons you’ll need, and if you don’t already have a crossbow, you can grab the plan at the archery course at Camp Lewis (see our Archer guide). Hunting rifles abound, and are easily craftable, and you can get plans for black powder weapons from Flintlock at the Whitespring. Note that it seems that for the wolf kill requirement, the weapon has to say “knife” in the name. For example, the cultist dagger doesn’t count. Note also that you only have to be holding the weapon when the animal dies to get credit. So you can lower your target’s health with your favorite weapon, then finish them off with the required weapon.
So let’s say you’re trying to kill a Yao Guai, and you suddenly realize that the syringer does garbage for damage (or your other required weapon isn’t up to par). Remember that some of the syringer mods are kinda useful, especially for this challenge. The best one for general game use is the Endangerol mod (you can learn this by scrapping a bunch of syringers), which reduces your target’s damage resistance by 25% for a couple of minutes. Not too shabby. The second one is the Bleedout mod (also learnable through scrapping), which does a bit of damage over time. If the bear you’re fighting isn’t too intimidating, the third trick is that you can don’t even have to shoot with the syringer, so maybe gun bashing is the way to go for you.
The last bit that might be challenging is finding enough Radstags or Yao Guai to quickly finish your objectives. Our favorite spot for Radstags (which really can spawn all over the place) is in the Toxic Valley, a tad southeast of Graninger Farm (just west of the butterfly on the map). And from there, Philippi Battlefield Cemetary usually has a low level Yao Guai in the parking lot. Other good places for Yao Guai are Monongah Overlook (binocular symbol Northwest of Monongah), Middle Mountain Cabins (can spawn three relatively high level bears, but could also be Honey Beasts, or Radscorpions), and in front of the Dolly Sods Wilderness (which doubles nicely with the Stings and Things daily). If you have Marsupial, it’s not too difficult to jump on a roof at some of these locations as well, so maybe keep that in mind if you’re getting your hat handed to you.