Rainsford, the protagonist, is a hunter sailing with his partner Whitney on a yacht when he suddenly falls off. He struggles to stay afloat, but eventually reaches an island where the antagonist General Zaroff lives in a mansion.
Rainsford sees a mansion and knocks on the door where a huge man named Ivan answers. Ivan is just Zaroff's assistant and Rainsford starts talking to Zaroff who recognizes him from his books about hunting. As they conversate about hunting, Zaroff admits to Rainsford that hunting animals has grew boring to him and that he decided to start hunting humans. Zaroff makes Rainsford play a game where he is the one being hunted by him.
Rainsford hides up in a tree trying to avoid Zaroff who knows that he's up there, but lets him survive longer for his own enjoyment. After he leaves, Rasinsford sets up traps for him like a Malay mancatcher which only injurs his shoulder, the Burmese Tiger Pit which kills one of Zaroff's dogs, and a spring trap that kills Ivan.
While being chased by Zaroff and his dogs, he reached that end of a cliff where he made the hasty decision to jump off. Zaroff gives up and goes back home to get some rest.
When Zaroff opened the door to his bedroom he saw Rainsford standing behind his curtains. Zaroff knew that he had won and congratulated him for his efforts.
Rainsford survives being hunted by Zaroff and kills him. Afterwards, he sleeps in his bed.