I have been remiss in not fulfilling my promise to write more about the game Way of the Hunter. In part my delay was due to my personal mental state but it was also because the game was suffering from a lot of bugs, and I felt stepping back until some of those were fixed was a good thing… I guess we took time out together to get fixed!

Since my last post Way of the Hunter has moved forward a lot with many of the major issues being fixed. So now I think I can finally look more closely at how the game plays. I think I should start with a warning for anyone thinking about playing this game. It gives a pretty authentic hunting experience. Finding the animals can be difficult. Getting close to the animals can be damn near impossible. Then there’s the difficulty of getting a clear shot once you are in range. To quote from one reviewer, “You’ve moved while within 150 meters of the game, so they’ve been spooked. Now they’re running away for the day. This happens every time and with every animal.” – Now there is a degree of truth in that, but I have found it possible to get closer and set up good shooting opportunities. The thing to grasp from the start is that hunts in this game require a patient approach and often it’s good to plan ahead based on the knowledge you’ve gained from tracks. In many ways my hunting in the game mirrors my birdwatching forays – calm, slow and methodical is good.

Choosing the right weapon for the task is important but you won’t be penalised in a contrived manner for using a weapon that is not of the correct tier – most deer are tier 5 animals, so you should use a tier 5 firearm. Most of the time if you stick to this, a single shot will be enough to kill the animal but, not always. Here’s an example of a Male White-Tailed Deer. My first shot was close to head on from over 160m and the bullet lost a lot of energy passing through the muscles before hitting the left lung…


…As a result, the wounded animal was able to run away with the herd. That meant I had to track the herd to find this deer again. I was able to get within 100m for my second shot which, this time, was from a more ideal side-on position…


…The Deer went down immediately, obviously weakened by the initial shot and now unable to even try to run away. The key information is in the lower panel on the right, where the highlighted band shows what was hit by the bullet while its energy was in the optimum range to kill the animal. So you can clearly see the effect of the bullet passing through the muscle in the first shot – a lot of its energy was lost. You don’t actually have to be in the optimum energy range though if the bullet has a clear path to the lung – the animal will just take a little longer to go down.

Normally, a clean lung-shot results in the animal running for a short distance before dying. Here’s what an initial blood-spatter looks like…


…Bright pink is a sure sign that a lung has been punctured. The yellow is the highlighting applied by Hunter Sense which will usually help with tracking the animal. Here you can see a series of highlighted blood drops leading through the brush…


…ultimately taking us to our dead deer in the trees up ahead. If you turn off Hunter Sense, you can usually still follow the blood trail quite easily. This is an area where Way of the Hunter seems to perform better than The Hunter: Call of the Wild.

Returning to our White-Tailed Deer and look at another of the screens presented at harvest…


..Here it gives more information about the animal and your hunt – because I had to shoot the deer twice, I only get 4 stars (Most of my hunts are 5-star😊). You can learn a lot about each hunt improve your hunting skills by doing a detailed review. You can also check that you are shooting the right animals to improve the herd – Normally I try to stick with Mature 0 or 1-star animals to improve the gene pool. The game encourages you to adopt this approach and there’s even a task to remove 5 Mule Deer with those attributes which pays quite well😎

Back to the harvest and there are more details in the Hunt and Trophy screens too – Here’s a Hunt screen from a Mule Deer that I downed…


…It tells how far I had to follow the animal after shooting it in the lung from 80m with the Remington 783 rifle. In the meat info section you can see a category ‘Loss by shot’. This is the quantity of spoiled meat that cannot be used. This is where using a suitable gun is important. If I used a tier 6 weapon from the same range there would be more damaged meat and thus, less financial reward. This feels like a realistic approach to the issue of hunting with a limited choice of guns. In the real world a hunter may only have the one rifle with which to hunt – It might be a 30-30 Winchester (Tier 4) like the first gun you use in this game, or it might be an Elephant gun (probably Tier 8)!

This is now a long post and I have much more to tell, so I’ll aim to cover more in a few days’ time 😎👍

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