Last week I intended to get back to truck sim but I barely put my feet on the pedals when a heatwave set in on Monday. By Thursday temperatures had climbed to the mid 30’s and reached 38C. In these conditions I had to abandon driving my trucks because it was too hot to wear headphones or a hat, which are necessary to allow head tracking to work. So I stepped back into The Hunter: Call of the Wild. I took the opportunity to visit the first of the US Reserves – Layton Lake District. Now, with even more hours of gameplay behind me it has become apparent that The Hunter COTW will be a game that gets played as a continuous companion to the Truck Sim games. As such I have decided it needs its own posts in much the same vein as Trucking Digest and this is the first – welcome to Birdshot 🙂 The Other Save Slot will continue to be used to highlight other games that I try out or play from time to time.

So – Layton Lake District – set, I believe from the in-game lore, in the state of Oregon. Unlike Hirschfelden with its mix of farmland and forests, this reserve is largely wilderness. The wonderful scenery makes the visit worthwhile……That’s Kraken Mountain with, if you look closely, a Moose in the foreground. Here’s another beautiful vista in the Belmont area of the map……There’s also a disused railway line running through the southern area of the reserve with three bridges that you can walk across or use as a vantage point…

Just like Hirschfelden, the game gives you introductory missions before continuing with tasks of greater difficulty. One of the first involves investigating who has wrecked the camp of one of the reserve’s residents – a guy called Hope who lives ‘off-grid’. I found some human boot prints at which point the reserve warden asked me to follow them to track the culprit but not to start any fights. The trail didn’t go very far before I found a very torn shirt hanging on a bush – it seems the Bear’s had taken retribution for Hope!

One of the complaints levelled at Hirschfelden by the community is the lack of wildlife. Coming over to Layton I found there were definitely more animals about though I reckon the deer are just as capable of making themselves scarce as the ones in Hirschfelden. There is an abundance of Bears and Moose here which means you don’t have to work very hard to find a target. Perhaps that’s the problem, some virtual hunters don’t like having to work for the shooting opportunity? I’m enjoying Layton but I’ll be going back to Hirschfelden very soon to try out new gear.

Bears? You can’t move without stepping on them. One early task is to get photos of a Black Bear family for another of the reserve’s residents. Here’s one baring her teeth for me……As I was getting paid for the photos I didn’t swap to a rifle and shoot her. However, this Blonde furred Black Bear was not so lucky……Apparently not all Black Bears are black even if all cats are grey in the dark!

Moose are to be found all over the reserve and present a difficulty for the guns I had available when I first arrived. You can kill a Moose with the .270 rifle but only if you can get a front on shot to the heart. Any other angle results in a very long trek tracking the wounded beast until you finally find it. The Bears are a little easier to kill with the .270 and I’m pleased to say I became quite adept at taking them down from a variety of angles. However, that gun is still a bit under-powered for them. Fortunately, as my skills have improved and as more money became available I found myself able to buy the 7mm Regent Magnum rifle which is a guaranteed Bear stopper and also works well on Female Moose or is that Mooses, Meece? – apparently not! As for large Male Moose – that’s not so clear cut and I will probably need the most powerful gun of all for those if I want to avoid a long chase. Here’s one male Moose that didn’t get too far as I shot it head on……A late evening kill with the 7mm.

I’ll finish this post with another shot of Kraken Mountain……Now perhaps I can fire up the FLB and go for a drive???