The Long Dark Wiki

Both wolves and bears are attracted to the smell of game. This can be troublesome when the character is carrying fresh steaks back to camp, but can also be used to a player's advantage to distract these animals.

What Items Produce Odor?[]

A player's odor, or scent, makes them detectable to wandering wildlife. Meat and guts increase the character's odor when carried. Currently, only those products taken from animals in the game produce additional odor to that of the player. Man-made foods produced before the disaster have no odor and are therefore no longer detectable by animals at all, making them safer to transport.

Each 1.5kg of Raw Meat, 2 Fresh Gut, or 2.5kg of cooked meat in the player's inventory produces 1 Scent Indicator. Each Scent Indicator increases the range at which the player can be detected by 10 meters, as well as creating longer ranged "Points of Interest" which nearby Wolves and Bears will approach investigate. Items dropped on the ground do not produce Scent, although meat/guts/carcasses dropped with the Decoy ability ("3") will create a 30m circle around the item, flagging other possible food items for wolves to consume.

Wind appears to be a factor; being upwind of an animal will decrease the range at which it can smell you; however, it may still see or hear you regardless of wind direction. The more decayed an item's condition is, the more odor it produces, thereby increasing the potency of the scent spore that players transmit to wildlife, making the player that much more detectable to them.

Odorous Items
Gut (fresh only)
Lake whitefish (raw)
Lake whitefish (cooked)
Smallmouth Bass (Raw)
Smallmouth Bass (Cooked)
Coho salmon (raw)
Coho salmon (cooked)
Rainbow trout (raw)
Rainbow trout (cooked)
Rabbit carcass
Rabbit (Raw)
Rabbit (Cooked)
Venison (Raw)
Venison (cooked)
Wolf Meat (Raw)
Wolf Meat (Cooked)
Black bear meat (raw)
Black bear meat (cooked)

Drop decoy[]

Bait items may be selectively dropped from inventory, but is a slower process than some players would like when facing a predator. Instead, the 'Drop Decoy' button is provided to automatically drop the stinkiest item in inventory. Repeated pressing will repeatedly drop bait until none remains.

  • '3'-key on keyboards
  • 'down' directional pad on controllers.

Making Bait[]

Giving up a whole salmon to avoid being mauled may seem like a fair trade, but there is an even more economical way. A sliver of meat baits just as effective as a whole.The game is a little stingy in how it lets you handle your meat, but there are quite a few options to make economical baits. Further letting these small portions rot to the point of ruined will also ensure they are the first items dropped even when you are carrying other meat.

  • Aborting a harvest by pressing the 'esc' key will result in a partial portion harvested.
  • Aborting an eating by pressing the 'esc' key will result in a partial portion remaining.
  • Increasing a harvest option to maximum and then reducing back down may result in a partial portion being selected for harvest. Repeat the harvesting action to obtain multiple small portions.

Animal reactions to food[]

When a predator has detected the character, it pursues. When a pursuing predator detects the smell of a bait, it will reorient and walk a little quicker directly at the bait instead. This shift is more noticeable with wolves as they cease their growling. When they reach the food, the predator will take it and retreat briskly, away from the player, to a safe distance. The entire food item will be consumed the moment it is taken.

  • NOTE: Charging predators will not be distracted by bait! Always try to drop bait before a predator starts charging to avoid attack.
  • Baited animals are not blind and will charge when they see you are within striking range, so keep your distance.
  • At this time predators are unable to detect bait when they are unable to detect the character. They will not notice it or eat it if you are not around.
  • At this time predators are programmed to retreat until they get to a set distance from the player. If you pursue a retreating predator, you can follow it indefinitely because it will never get far enough away to stop retreating.

Baiting animals[]

While a predator is tracking bait, it is not tracking the player, so you could drop the bait and just walk away.

  • But since you now know the animal will walk directly to your offering, you might take the opportunity and line-up a clean shot, positioning yourself to have the bait directly between you and the predator so it walks head first toward you.
  • Another tactic can be to use the animal's retreat to position it where you like. Since the animal will retreat away from the player when it reaches the bait, you can determine in which direction that will be. As noted above, you can also now follow it to herd it along perhaps even shooting it in the back when it gets to where you want it.