ATTENTION: thread contains SPOILERS.
I'm bored out of my mind waiting for Microsoft to approve - or rather 'certificate' - the patches for the Xbox One, and so I decided to do something for the people struggling with the Old Bear hunt quest. Future patches should mitigate most if not all of the bugs currently found in this quest, but the guide should get you through regardless.
(Cute but not cuddly)
JEREMIAH'S FOLLY - THE HUNT FOR THE OLD BEAR A Strategy Guide on How to Defeat the Old Bear & Avoid Game-breaking Bugs
Jeremiah's questline will have you traversing two regions for a rifle; it will introduce you to the Aurora and its consequences; a basic training course on how to fish, hunt, repair your clothes, gather herbs and fruits; and finally end in a confrontational quest: the Old Bear must die. Of course, it falls on your shoulders to do so, and as frightful as the arrow-riddled beast can be, your worst enemy is the possibility of having your save ruined by a nasty bug.
Perhaps you've already lost a savegame to an unrecoverable bug or - we can only hope -, you're looking for information on how to complete this quest quickly and safely. After all, in an adventure game such as this, the rewards are your survival and STORY progression. Losing all of your progression to a nasty poorly scripted quest is as disheartening as it is unfair. Fret not, for this is the friendly - and spoilery - guide you've been searching for.
PART 1: Jeremiah's Cabin, aka "An Unfortunate Quest Start"
Soon after completing his Survival School Quests, Jeremiah will task you with the killing of the man-eating bear. Call it bad quest design or an unfortunate decision that is bound to be changed in a future patch, but it is what it is: the Old Bear is waiting for you right outside Jeremiah's door. No, he won't come out to help you or shoot the bear from the door as he is a very static and fairly useless old sod NPC. You're on your own here.
Your first thought should be: DON'T PANIC! Douglas Adams was right all along. If only you had brought a towel with you in this nifty little adventure. Towel-less as you are, the rifle will have to do. BUT DON'T SHOOT IT JUST YET! You're not ready for it. Unless you want to risk cuts, bruises, an infection and maybe a torn shirt, this is the time to pull your inner Sir Robin to action and RUN. It should be a trivial matter because this first encounter is just as heavily scripted as every other encounter in the quest. The bear will stand his ground for a couple of seconds when you walk outside, and it should be enough for you to turn around and escape.
How do you escape? RUN AROUND THE CABIN. The Old Bear will follow. Unceremoniously 'jump' off the ledge where the bear can't follow and then keep on running Forrest Gump-like for as long as you can. It's OK to be sprinting now. There are no wolves nearby. If you have any meat in your inventory, it might come in handy during your escape, but otherwise just keep running away. A very likely and recommended destination is the Camp Office cabin. The bear won't come as it is scripted to stay in that general area until it's shot for the first time, so you have time to rest, get some food, a drink, say your prayers and all that. Get your inventory sorted and make sure to pack the following items: 3 bottles of purified water; an energy drink if you have it; coffee (yes, coffee); meat for 24 hours; a sleeping bag; matches, tinder and enough wood for a 6-8 hours campfire; the lantern; the hunting rifle, ammunition, and a knife. Pack light. You want to be agile, awake and healthy. This is a HUNT.
Are you rested and well-fed? Good. Take hold of your trusty old rifle and make way to Jeremiah's crib. As you approach the area, BEFORE you're within sight distance, CROUCH and move slowly towards the hunting grounds. If the bear sees you, it'll come for you and it won't be pretty. Your priority here is to remain undetected as you circle around the area looking for a suitable vantage point from where to shoot the Old Bear safely and with utmost precision. Your unerring accuracy from thousands of Counter Strike sessions will pay off in this here little hunt... but just in case you're not a very good shot, here's a tip: IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU HIT, so long as it is a positive, confirmed hit anywhere on the bear.
This is the part where we talk BUGS. The hunt is a heavily scripted quest that is prone to give you a headache if you deviate too much from Hinterland's plan. What is worst is that once you've hit a bug, you might not know it until it's too late and you've overwritten your save with a buggy game. It could mean GAME OVER if you're not careful here, so PAY ATTENTION to your JOURNAL. Before taking your first shot - or doing anything really -, open up your journal and take a closer look at the Jeremiah's Folly quest description. There is a COUNTER. It specifically tells you to hunt your prey in six different places, all of them conveniently marked on your map. If you're thinking that it will take exactly SIX SHOTS at SIX DIFFERENT LOCATIONS to KILL THE OLD BEAR, you're correct! Every time you hit the bear, the COUNTER registers ONE HIT and the Bear scampers off to the next location marked on yer ol'map.
KNOWING THIS, take note of a small list of things NOT TO DO:
Do NOT waste time precision aiming your shots. Body shots count the same as headshots, and it'll always take SIX shots to kill it.
Do NOT shoot it up-close. Jeremiah sucks at hunting bears, period. You want to hurt the bear from safety.
Do NOT walk into its line-of-sight. Unlike wolves, the Old Bear will charge towards you if it sees you. STAY CROUCHED.
Do NOT immediately follow it after what seemed like a confirmed hit. Check the COUNTER on your journal to see if it registered.
Do NOT waste shots after hitting it once for each location. If the COUNTER went up, wait for it to scamper off.
Here's a list of what makes for a GOOD VANTAGE POINT:
Dents, ledges and other hard to reach places on big rocks, ridgelines and boulders.
Bent over trunks. Walk the 'plank' to its highest point.
Any other place that is not reachable by the Old Bear should do, too.
Unable to strike back at you, a very frustrated Old Bear will run off to the next LOCATION on your map. Having said that, I'll guide you to a suitable vantage point in each of the six locations. It is important to keep your distance from the Bear up until the sixth location (the last shot must be taken up close because of a scripted fog in the last area, but we'll talk more about that later. Finally, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you confirm the hit registered on your JOURNAL before moving forward because the game will automatically save once you reach the next site of the hunt, and if you lose your glitch-free save, you're done for. This will probably be patched soon enough tho, so don't worry too much about it in the future. I hope.
ANYWAY, you made it back to Jeremiah's, the bear is somewhere nearby, possibly right where you left it. Circle around the area and try to get ON TOP of some rocks overlooking the cabin. Position yourself in one of the small and hard to reach flat 'dents' jutting from the rock. Do this right, and you're quite safe from retaliation from the bear. Take a deep breath, aim for a body shot, and pull the trigger. Keep your eyes peeled for a blood splatter. The Old Bear will emit a loud, painful howl, run around a bit looking for a way to pounce you, and - unable to do so - will run off. OPEN YOUR JOURNAL and CHECK THE COUNTER. Is it 1 / 6? You're good to go. Off to the Deadfall Area we go.
PART 2: The Deadfall Area, aka "Shooting From a Tree Trunk"
Navigate to Max's Last Stand and half-way through to the dead body, climb over the hill to the area south of the Deadfall. STAY CROUCHED. The bear is roaming this tree-infested area, and you'll be climbing on a bent-over tree trunk to take advantage of the situation. It's very hard to miss. Make your way to the tip of the trunk, take a deep breath, aim for a body shot. Did it hit? Check your journal. If it doesn't register: quit, reload, do it again. The Old Bear should be running off to the Frozen Creek as we 'speak'. Let's go get us some bear.
PART 3: The Frozen Creek, aka "You Have To Circle The Area"
You're coming in from the south, possibly through the Unnamed Pond. This is a VERY CRAPPY approach, and if you follow the creek, the Old Bear will see you, crouched or not. Instead, you'll go north looking for a way to climb on the rocks all the way to the snowy climb to the Forestry Lookout. You're not shooting it FROM the lookout, tho. Navigate, CAREFULLY, to a vantage point on the ridgeline until you see the Bear roaming the frozen creek. Proceed as usual. Take a deep breath, point and shoot. Check your journal. Confirmed hit and register? Off we go to the rail track west of the Camp Office cabin. IF YOU'RE TIRED: make a fire, rest for a bit, and drink some coffee. Tiredness negatively affects your ability to take aim.
PART 4: Rail Track, aka "The Easiest Shot In The Hunt"
Trudge your way southeast, towards the track. A short distance before even seeing the track, you'll see some rocks and accompanying hill. Climb the side of the hill, make your way CAREFULLY onto the rock, land on a small dent jutting out from the rock. Take aim, shoot, check journal, head towards the Train Loading Area.
PART 5: Woods West of the Train Loading Area, aka "Almost There Now"
Follow the track. Once you're by the yellow Loading Car (or Service Car or whatever it is), stay CROUCHED and make a west turn for the road leading towards the Logging Camp. This one is tricky because the game will automatically save as soon as you turn west, and the Old Bear is usually right on the road ahead, and he'll see you coming if you're not careful. Don't follow the road. Instead, just as before, circle the area, keeping close to the hill on the north side. On the other side, northwest-west-ish, you'll see some rocks. Get on top, find a flat dent to rest on, take aim, shoot. If the shot registers, the Bear will run a short distance to the Clear Cut area. Here comes the damned scripted fog.
PART 6: Clear Cut Area, aka "The Damned Fog"
I won't lie to you: this last part is scary. On your way there, heavy fog will descend upon you. The good news is: make your first shot count, and the Old Bear will be dead. The game even saves the moment you take the killing shot, so you'll know it's done. The strategy here is to KEEP CROUCHED and silently move in, LISTEN for it, search the snowy ground for signs of blood and paw prints. The fog makes it harder for it to spot you, too. As soon as you devise his contour on the fog, STOP, take AIM and wait for it. Shoot the sucker dead. Game saves, fog lifts. YOU'RE A HERO, my friend. A bona fide Bear Hunter, you are. Congratulations are in order! Clap -- clap -- clap.
Take the Old Bear's Ear, take some or most of the meat if you need. I recommend you make a fire and cook everything on the spot. You can store the meat in one of the cabins at the Logging Camp if you want. It will come in handy for the next part as it involves sitting around, waiting for the next aurora to happen. Meanwhile, make your way to Jeremiah, listen to what he has to say, and be on your way.
The man-eater is dead.
(If you enjoyed the read, let me know. It took much longer to write it than I thought it would.)