Finding cougars in Red Dead Redemption is a bigger challenge than some of the missions. The saying goes, “You don’t find cougars, they find you.” Cougars are so sought after in Red Dead Redemption because they are worth pretty good money once you bag one, and let’s face it, they are fun to hunt down. While there is no absolute guarantee as to where to find cougars in Red Dead Redemption, there are several areas that are notorious for spawning them which you can hit on a very regular basis and get in some game hunting.
The first place you’ll usually encounter cougars is in Stillwater Creek when John Marston sets up camp at night. He makes a comment about it being too quiet, and within seconds a cougar attacks. The good thing is you can keep going back there lurking around the marshy areas or wherever you see tall grass/ The key here, as with anywhere when it comes to hunting cougars, is to do it after 6:00pm (game time) as they spawn at night. If you look around during the day you’re wasting your time.
Where else can cougars be found in Red Dead Redemption? There are a few spots, but the odds are about 50/50 each time you visit. Unlike at Stillwater Creek where you can expect a cougar 2 times out of 3.
*MacFarlane Ranch area - Go to the hills northwest of MacFarlane Ranch and head for the highest peaks. You will need to bait them and be patient. The first bait is going to draw a cougar, but the next two you plant are going to draw a wolf and then a pack of boars. The fourth bait laid however is going to bring in another cougar, so it is worth planting 4 as the wolf and boar pack do provide a little extra while you’re waiting.
* West Elizabeth - Go to the Great Plains region around Beecher’s Hope to find a cougar. This isn’t the best place to spend your time looking, but if you’re in the region at night it’s worth checking out.
* Rio Bravo - Around New Austin there are three areas where cougars are actually fairly common. Fort Mercer is pretty hit or miss, but you have to head there anyway now and then so it’s worth taking some time to see if you can bag a cougar there. Repentance Rock is the best place in this region to find a cougar, but Plainview isn’t all that bad either. If you have time/desire to just hit one spot, make it Repentance Rock.
* Blackwater - This is not the best place for cougars, but now and then if you go just south of Blackwater you can find a couple cougars above the image of the boars on your map.
Now and then you may randomly encounter a cougar on the road to Mexico from Plainview at night, but it’s not worth detouring to check out.
In multiplayer mode, go to the hunting cabin in Tanner’s Reach, Tall Trees, and you should encounter 8 cougars at one time. They can be tough to handle if you don’t go stealth, so using a hunting knife to take a couple down quickly and quietly to start off is a decent idea. Be on the lookout for Khan the Jaguar here, there is a better than one in three chance of an encounter with him, and bagging him nets some seriously sick loot.
Keep in mind when cougars attack that they will almost always do it from behind jumping out of brush cover. Once they stun you, they usually tag your horse, and then take cover again before they stalk and attack you again. A good tip is that if you can get a cougar in open ground, it is going to sprint in a straight line so you can take a little extra time to line up your shot. Rifles are best as you can score a kill with a head shot, but the right pistol can definitely buy you enough time to quickly get off a second shot with little danger. A hunting knife is great if you are in the predator role, but if a cougar attacks you it’s useless as it won’t block at all.