How Much Meat Should I Expect? (Deer, Elk, Moose, Bear)


November 24, 2008, 08:22 PM
I have to be honest, I am new to hunting for the most part. Didn't like it much as a kid, but now, as a man, I feel it to be very important and am over my petty complaints of how gross it is or how sad I am that I had to kill a cute little rabbit.

I am finding that the older I get (25 now), the more I want to be self-reliant. I'm planning on moving to either Alaska, Montana, Alberta, or British Columbia and am going to take up a quiet life outside of conventional society.

I need to know how much meat an average deer, elk, moose, and even bear will yield. This is important because I plan to live mostly on game that I shoot myself.

Thank you, kindly.

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November 24, 2008, 09:05 PM
Pretty close to 40-50% of the dressed weight is reasonable. Give or take depending on the quality of the critter's food source.

November 24, 2008, 09:40 PM
Perhaps my question should revolve around the average weight of the animals I ask about. I'll google search it later, but if anyone has any experience, I would be obliged if you saved me some time.

November 24, 2008, 10:00 PM
I would say that from a smallish deer (like the one I got last week in my other thread), I yielded about 35 lbs of pure, fatless meat (and that's not counting the rump, ribcage/meat or neck) ... in other words, just the shoulders, hams and tenderloins. Of course, I made mine into jerky which is the dry part of the meat (with no water) which reduces its weight by about 90%.

From a larger doe or buck, I've gotten as much as 60+ lbs of usable, good quality meat per deer. In other words, a LOT. Hope that helps.

November 25, 2008, 02:03 AM
most montana bear are rather smallish, bout the same weight as an average mulie buck. As to you Q, depends on if you keep rib meat, neck meat. 40% weight as mentioned sounds right

November 25, 2008, 07:28 AM
The actual size of the critters will vary depending on location, age, and sub-species. That said, a single cow elk (400ish lbs dressed) was plenty of red meat for my family of 4 for a year. Probably a little under 200# of boned out meat. Granted, we don't eat elk every day (and since I didn't get one this year I'll be running out pretty soon :() and we do mix that up with store bought poultry, pork, etc.

November 26, 2008, 04:22 PM
From my doe this year= 40#'s lean meat ready to eat.
From my cow elk=100# lean meat, ready to eat.
I don't plan on shopping the meat aisle of my local albertson's.

November 26, 2008, 06:17 PM
Crazy G from the Authorized version of THR says this,

You will get about 50-55% of the weight of the animal. Here is a chart of average weights by species, which will vary by region.

Species Average (lbs.) Exceptional (lbs.) Upper Limit (lbs.)
Antelope 80 100 125
Whitetail Deer 125 225 350 +
Mule Deer 150 250 400
Bighorn Sheep 175 250 300 +
Black Bear 200 400 650 +
Caribou 250 400 600
Grizzly Bear 500 1,000 1,500 +
Elk (Wapiti) 500 800 1,000
Moose 650 1,200 1,600 +
note - females weigh approximately 1/3 less than males

I found it to be an excellent piece of info.

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