Hunting is an activity in WolfQuest that is essential to ensure the survival of the player's own wolf, their family, or their pack. Occasionally, carcasses will be available for scavenging, but these should not be solely relied upon for survival. Those who hunt as a group may coordinate their tactics to herd and attack their prey, while those who operate alone may face a challenge... if they don't meet their end first.
While wolves have a large range of prey, WolfQuest currently offers a small selection of prey animals. This may be extended if sufficient funding can be secured by the team in order to continue development and add more to the game.
- Main article: Elk (2.7)
Due to their size, elk can be dangerous prey to the inexperienced or solo wolf. While weaker elk will still flee when approached, stronger members of the herd will resist and fight back if approached too closely. Regardless, all elk will fight back when near death; bull tend to be more lethal than their female counterpart.
Hunting a herd involves a certain amount of strategy; players working as a pack ought to communicate with their packmates for the best overall experience and cooperation. Those who wish to seek out the herd would do well to pay attention to wind direction. Approaching the herd from downwind will give the herd less warning to the presence of a predator, while approaching from upwind will forewarn the herd before their predator is within visual range.
- Main article: Hare (2.7)
The hare is fast, but not fast enough to outrun a well-rested and sufficiently fed wolf; charging at this prey animal with low stamina is inadvisable if stats have little to no priority in speed, stamina or both; strength counts for nothing if a wolf is worn out. Similarly, starvation may also prove troublesome as a hungry wolf may experience difficulty keeping up with its prey long enough to close in for the kill.
- Main article: Cattle ranch (2.7)
Exclusive to Slough Creek, the cattle ranch offers players an alternative source of food for their pack only available in single player mode. None of the adult cows can be harmed while visiting the ranch, and there is only one target that can be killed and consumed.
While visiting the cattle ranch, it is important to know that the only objectives are to seek out the calf, kill and consume it within a limited amount of time, then escape. There will only be one calf for every visit.
If the player gets too close to an adult cow, they will be chased out of the enclosure and forced to restart beside the portal (purple cloud); passing at a distance is advisable, but do so quickly as the herd will indicate their discomfort with a wolf in their midst by their loud moos, which may or may not alert the farmer to the player's presence. Once the calf has been located -- its location is randomized each time the ranch is accessed -- and killed, the player has a limited amount of time to consume the carcass and escape the ranch.
Unlike elk and hare, the calf provides an infinite source of food but it does not last forever. The moment the calf has been killed, a countdown event will trigger. The player will then have a limited amount of time to consume the carcass and gain as much food for their pups as they can before the rancher's dogs sound the alarm. By the time this event triggers, the carcass will despawn. The player will then have no choice but to leave the enclosure and return to Slough Creek via the exit portal or face the consequences of their actions.
If the player chooses to overstay their welcome or refuses to return to Slough Creek, their wolf will be shot and instantly killed by the ranch owner.
- Though unrealistic, solo hunting in WolfQuest is possible through patience and perseverance, and can be achieved in single player without a mate. In the real world, a lone adult wolf cannot take down large, healthy prey on its own, nor would it attempt to do so due to the very real risk of injury or death.
- While possible in-game, in reality, one adult wolf cannot successfully hunt and kill an adult elk on its own without risking serious consequences. Hunting large prey as a team is less dangerous than hunting solo -- if prey stands its ground and doesn't flee, wolves will soon lose interest and move on. A pack will typically hunt weak, old or sick elk, or any member unlucky enough to get caught.
- Only a pack of adult wolves would both be capable and willing to make an attempt to take down large prey. Wolves may target prey on sick or weaker members of the herd as they may be easier to take down; in-game, not all elk are at full health. This is a nod to the behavior of real packs.
- It's also worth noting that not all pack hunts end successfully, meaning a pack may go hungry for longer than is portrayed in WolfQuest. In the game, almost all hunts end successfully, as it would be boring and harder still to ensure the player's own survival as well as the survival of their pack.
- Although the cattle ranch is only available in single player, it is not known whether this was the original plan; it can be assumed that due to technical limitations, it was not possible to introduce it to multiplayer with Unity's then-modern build.