OhMan Something I actually did and can respond to, this like, never ever happens, I'm excite.
Firstly, all of my yes about the stags, it's so weird the way stags work that I pondered just not hunting them (that didn't work about because some IC stuff but eesh, my character was so not happy with having to stab the things eighty hundred and eleven times because they were super-brave berserker deer from the ninth circle)
Something to make stabbing things eighty-hundred and eleven times make them not as good would be nice to me, because if you're going to roll a hunter, roll a freakin' hunter and not an axe-wielding soldier-guy that for some reason hates all the wildlife that ever existed (and also because the more holes you put in something, the less valuable that something is, regardless of whatever it may be, except maybe like cheese graters or something but we're not making cheese graters here.)
I...personally never had a huge problem hunting deer :/ I was also pretty beastly with a bow so it wasn't often that I didn't have a very telling blood trail to follow. But that bug that apparently exists needs to die in a fire, it explains why I never could find the few I -did- miss, I just assumed they despawned or something (it was by some stroke of misfortune always right next to a crash)
Boars act weird to me. I dunno if that's been talked about. It's weird how aggressive they are. At one point sows would only attack if startled (I'm not sure if that's how the code actually worked, but it's how it seemed and it was so cool and real and I could RP around that instead of just sitting there confused because a -relatively- non-aggressive animal just charged me down for no clear reason) I would love for that again. Sure, make super mean giant-males again, I guess (though not the boar-missiles that put like eight hunters out of commission please, that was rough) but really, boars aren't particularly out for blood unless somehow startled or threatened, so if you walk in on one it could have a chance to be aggressive or just chill and leave you alone or something, but the straight-aggro is so -odd- to me.
Wolves are awesome, I like wolves, maybe make them sneak or something to be slightly more dangerous if they're alone? The packs are cool but a lone wolf isn't generally going to just rush out at you roaring from several miles away, they're -somewhat- sneaky little critters. Packs would probably too, but that would be just too much, from my reckoning just solo wolves being sneaky wouldn't be a huge problem unless you were unlucky as all heck.
The only thing I know of bears is that the crafted ones are somewhat easy, my lame-as-anything spear-guy just stabbed one to death with no damage (after a couple of featherings anyway >_> <_<)
overall I think hunting is -relatively- solid but could use a touch of tweaking for sure. And natural spawns again. I liked natural spawns. It feels so weird wandering around an empty forest and then OH LOOK EIGHT STAGS. Furry little woodland creatures aren't -all- ninjas -all- the time.
Are longbows working right? I never had issue hitting most things from up close, and the arrows, crappy wooden ones, would go straight through them, and that's biggish stuff like deer and wolves. people I see with shortbows and crossbows are missing and getting terrible little lame hits when I see them, maybe I'm just seeing only unlucky shots. (except stupid crap in the garden, I could never hit anything in the garden)
And mostly what someone else said, put the hunting back into hunting. Leave the crafts, tweak them as you see fit, but add some (possibly rare?) natural spawns. Sometimes you catch a windfall, it happens just as much as the bad stuff. Make them skittish so you have to sneak (though you should be already anyway), and such.
I'm not even gonna touch the economy stuff, I'm talking from a straight enjoyment-and-semi-realism perspective.
also yes to overhunting. I was -trying- to instill that in the beginning but no one went with it and I just had to give up so I could -keep- up. eight people each bringing in 4 stags a day -every- day of -every- season they'll respond to a rattle will cripple the size of the community in a -bad- way in such a tiny little area. Most people don't even get tags for that many in the -whole season- in RL, it's like 2-3 unless they're -way- into it. And maybe a doe. (People were usually pretty good about not just murdering every doe they saw though). Maybe just straight limit stags-per-season and make them more valuable or something? (I guess did -kind of- touch the economy stuff)
Sorry for the stream-of-conscious abomination I've got running here. And the length. I just got off an overnight shift and I'm running completely on energy drink high right now, I don't have the faculties to summarize neatly or organize.
That's all I've got for right now.