How to Hunt in Dwarf Fortress? A Comprehensive Guide

Hunting is an indispensable skill in Dwarf Fortress, playing a pivotal role in ensuring the survival and prosperity of your dwarven colony.

Not only does it provide a sustainable source of food, but it also yields essential materials like leather. Moreover, hunting serves as a valuable training ground for dwarven combat and archery skills.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of hunting in Dwarf Fortress, covering everything from the basics to advanced strategies.

How to Hunt in Dwarf Fortress?

Before embarking on a hunting expedition, certain prerequisites must be met. Equip your hunter with the necessary tools, such as a crossbow or bow, and a supply of arrows. Once these preparations are complete, your fortress is ready to venture into the wild.

How to Hunt in Dwarf Fortress 3

Hunting Animals:

The diverse ecosystems surrounding your fortress are teeming with potential prey. Deer, rabbits, boars, and wolves are among the animals you can target.

These creatures inhabit the forests and mountains near your fortress, providing a varied and accessible range of hunting grounds.

To initiate the hunt, select your trained hunter and give them the order to target specific animals. Patience is key, as stalking prey may take time. When the opportunity arises, a well-placed shot from a crossbow or bow can dispatch the creature efficiently.

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Butchering and Tanning:

Once the kill is made, the next step is to extract valuable resources from the carcass. Assign dwarves to the Butcher and Tanner labors, who will then process the animal.

Butchering yields meat for sustenance, while tanning produces leather—a crucial material for crafting armor, bags, and other items. Managing these tasks efficiently ensures a steady supply of both food and resources for your fortress.


To transform raw meat into a delectable and nutritious meal, assign dwarves to the Cook labor. Cooking not only enhances the taste but also increases the value of the food, providing additional benefits to your dwarves. A well-fed population is a content and productive one.

How to Hunt in Dwarf Fortress

Tips for Hunting in Dwarf Fortress:

  1. Choose Ranged Weapons: When engaging in hunting, opt for crossbows or bows and arrows over melee weapons. Ranged weapons offer a safer and more effective means of taking down animals from a distance.
  2. Utilize Trained Hunters: Trained hunters exhibit superior accuracy and efficiency in dispatching their prey. Invest time in training your dwarves to ensure a higher success rate in your hunting endeavors.
  3. Daytime Hunts: Animals tend to be more active during the day, making daylight hours the ideal time for hunting. Increased activity levels enhance your chances of encountering and successfully hunting various creatures.
  4. Target Rich Areas: Focus your hunting efforts in regions abundant with wildlife, such as forests and mountains. These areas provide a diverse selection of animals, ensuring a steady supply of resources for your fortress.
  5. Avoid Dangerous Territories: Exercise caution and avoid hunting in areas inhabited by dangerous creatures, such as goblins or kobolds. The risks outweigh the potential rewards, and a single misstep could lead to disaster.
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How to Hunt in Dwarf Fortress 2


In conclusion, mastering the art of hunting is a fundamental aspect of Dwarf Fortress gameplay.

It not only fulfills the basic needs of your dwarven population by providing sustenance but also contributes to the overall well-being and strength of your fortress.

By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can navigate the challenges of the wilderness and emerge victorious, establishing a thriving and resilient dwarven community. Happy hunting!


How do I assign a dwarf as a hunter in Dwarf Fortress?

To assign a dwarf as a hunter, navigate to the dwarf’s profile and access the “Labor” tab. Look for the “Hunter” labor and toggle it on. This designates the dwarf as a hunter, allowing them to engage in hunting activities.

What equipment does a hunter need in Dwarf Fortress?

A hunter in Dwarf Fortress requires a ranged weapon, typically a crossbow or bow, and a supply of arrows. Ensure that your designated hunter is equipped with these items to effectively engage and take down animals from a distance.

Which animals can be hunted in Dwarf Fortress?

Various animals, including deer, rabbits, boars, and wolves, can be hunted in Dwarf Fortress. These creatures are commonly found in the forests and mountains surrounding your fortress, providing a diverse range of potential prey.

How do I butcher and tan the hunted animals?

After successfully hunting an animal, assign dwarves to the Butcher and Tanner labors. They will then process the carcass, extracting meat for consumption and leather for crafting. Properly managing these tasks ensures a steady supply of both food and resources.

What are the advantages of using ranged weapons for hunting in Dwarf Fortress?

Ranged weapons, such as crossbows and bows with arrows, offer a safer and more effective means of hunting in Dwarf Fortress. They allow dwarves to engage animals from a distance, reducing the risk of injury and increasing the likelihood of a successful hunt.

Meet Ryan Miller, the passionate and knowledgeable head content writer at With a deep love for the great outdoors and a keen eye for detail, Ryan shares his wealth of experience and expertise in the realm of hunting through insightful tips and comprehensive guides.

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