Carcass Harvesting is a survival skill that is used to harvest meat, hides, and guts from wildlife. There are five types of harvestable animals in The Long Dark, and, apart from rabbits, all animals can only be harvested at the location of the carcass. Higher levels in the carcass harvesting skill reduce the amount of time required to harvest and increase the amount that can be harvested by hand from a frozen carcass.
How to harvest
Players can only harvest at the location of the animal, which cannot be moved by the player. The only exception to this are rabbits, which can be picked up and harvested at any location.
In order to harvest, players have to "use" an animal carcass and select the Harvest Carcass menu option. Players can view the time- and calorie-cost of harvesting a carcass, as well as select the number/amount of guts, hide, or meat to harvest.
Harvesting a carcass is messy, and the raw animal parts the player takes will emit an odor that attracts predators from greater distances than usual (indicated by a icon of three wavy lines on the upper center area of the HUD). Cooking the meat and curing hides and guts reduces or eliminates the intensity of the scent.
Harvesting a whole freshly killed animal often takes several hours to complete. Players can instead choose to quarter an animal, which harvests the hide and guts, and additionally harvests the meat into "quarters" with a weight of up to 10 kilograms (roughly 22 pounds), each of which contains half their weight in harvestable meat. Depending on the harvestable meat, a wolf may yield only one "quarter", while a Moose may yield up to nine "quarters". Players can then take the quarters and harvest the meat elsewhere at a later time. Quartering may be the safer option if there are nearby predators or potentially dangerous weather conditions.
To quarter an animal, players have to "use" an animal carcass and select the Quarter option. Players are notified of the amount of time and the number of calories that will be spent while quartering.
Quartering a carcass yields Skill points at a ratio of 1 point per hour spent harvesting.
Players can harvest carcasses by hand, but can decrease the amount of time needed for harvest with certain types of equipment. In most cases, any bladed tool will harvest faster than using one's hands, however, in a few situations (e.g., when harvesting guts with only a hatchet available or harvesting hides at high skill level) harvesting by hand may be slightly faster.
If a carcass is less than 50% frozen, a hunting knife is the most efficient tool for harvesting. If the carcass is more than 50% frozen, a hatchet or hacksaw is more efficient for harvesting meat, but a hunting knife is still more efficient for harvesting guts and hide. A hacksaw cannot be used for quartering.
Carcasses can be obtained either through hunting or can be found by scavenging for any existing dead animals.
A carcass can exist in three different states: Ravaged, Frozen, and Normal.
A ravaged carcass has a significant lack of meat on the carcass. A frozen carcass generally requires a tool to harvest the carcass, depending on the player's carcass harvesting skill level. A normal carcass has either been recently killed or has been warmed up by a nearby fire.
|Name||Minimum weight||Maximum weight||Hide||Guts|
|Rabbit||0.8 kg x Rabbit (food)
|1.5 kg x Rabbit (food)
|1 x Rabbit Pelt||1 x Gut|
|Deer||8.0 kg x Venison
|10.0 kg x Venison
|1 x Deer Hide||2 x Gut|
|Wolf||3.0 kg x Wolf Meat
|6.0 kg x Wolf Meat
|1 x Wolf Pelt||2 x Gut|
|Bear||25.0 kg x Bear Meat
|40.0 kg x Bear Meat
|1 x Black Bear Hide||10 x Gut|
|Moose||32.0 kg x Moose Meat
|45.0 kg x Moose Meat
|1 x Moose Hide||12 x Gut|
Players can increase their carcass harvesting by harvesting meat, guts, or hides from a carcass.
The player will gain about 1 skill point per hour spent harvesting. If possible, one's hands should be used to acquire skill points faster. However, 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of meat will require 30 min with the Basic Harvesting skill. Therefore a large-sized Moose can take more than one day to be fully harvested (including hide and guts).
A limited increase can be obtained from the research book Field Dressing your Kill, Vol. I , which allows players to increase their carcass harvesting by 10 skill points with 10 hours of research.
Once players have reached a new skill level, they unlock the effects described in the table below.