Before going out to get that sparkly new pet you saw in the last battleground, there are a few things to note:
1): First off, make sure that you have all of your Macros and Addons set up properly. Clear your creature cache (yes this will require a log out) before you go hunting. (Make sure to do this outside of a major city or you may miss your rare spawn).
2): Hotkeys are your friend. Even if your normal play style involves clicking your abilities with a mouse, I highly recommend you get used to using hotkeys for certain spells, namely: your Deterrance/Tame Beast Macro, Silencing Shot, Concussive Shot, and Tame Beast (the normal spell without casting Deterrence). All of these spells will be used in the challenge tames added in 4.2. Instead of using WSAD to turn, get used to moving using your mouse to turn. You can keep W as your move forward button, and equip one of the spells to the 1, 2, & 3 slots on your action bars.
3): Pathing. This can be the most boring part of hunting for rares. Certain rare pets will spawn in multiple locations, and your best bet is to patrol each of these locations until you find your pet. You may have to spend hours upon hours of patting simply to find your pet, especially if you dont’ know your spawn times.
4): Camping. Certain pets spawn in only 1 location. This makes waiting a little easier, but generally taming becomes harder (either via competition with other hunters or via the strategy required to tame). However, if you don’t know your spawn time, then you can park your hunter at the right location, make sure NPCscan is running and your creature cache is cleared, then sit back and watch TV until you hear the spawn announcement.
5): Spawn Timers. Know them. I will try to be as accurate as I can be with this information, but a lot of it is a best guess. However, if you know that, say Karoma will not spawn in less than 6 hours, and you just saw someone else tame him, then can take a break for at least the next few hours.
6): Be polite. There is nothing more rude than killing a rare beast because another hunter is about to tame it. If you see a hunter grabbing your beast, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Be nice, congratulate him, and write the time down. Then show up when the spawn timer should start to be resetting and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that your pet is far more likely to come up now than by blindly patting.
7): Be helpful. If you see another rare spawn up other than the one you’re looking fore, type /who and find a hunter that may be looking for it. This is exactly the reason I’ve started writing this page, I’ve helped out so many hunters while looking for my own rares that I’ve learned a thing or two about taming them.
8) Check your spawn points often. If you have an alt leveling in a place where a rare might spawn, park your hunter there and if it happens to spawn with your alt, quickly jump over and tame him. I’ve gotten at least 3 spirit beasts in this manner.