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Meat yield % from game animals?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by NoirFan, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. NoirFan

    NoirFan Member

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    Hello, I've not yet been hunting but as a cook I'm curious to know what the commonly hunted game animals yield in edible meat weight versus total weight. Can the experienced hunters here give me rough numbers for the game they hunt? I'm most interested in:

    Deer (all types)
    Wild pig
    Rabbit
    Squirrel (all types)
    Turkey
    Feral cattle
    Elk
    Antelope
    Grizzly and black bear
    Moose
    Bison

    But data from other animals is welcome. Please include the heart as I consider it to be a form of muscle meat.

    Thank you
     
  2. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Someone will come along with a much more detailed and scientific (and probably correct) analysis than mine, but I always figure an average of 1/2 bodyweight for the animals I hunt. By the time you discard bone, organs and hide, you've ditched (or at least aren't eating) about half of the animal.

    From your list, I hunt squirrel, rabbit and deer.
     
  3. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    Closer to 1/3 of the live weight of the animal. Once you dress the animal out, discard cape, bones, head and ruined or bloodshot meat.
     
  4. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    id say somewhere between the last two answers. smaller deer your lucky to get a 1/3 real big deer might give you a bit more the 1/2. thats if you take the time to recover every scrap of meat on it. Ribs brisket ect. But for most the 1/3 answer is proably closer.
     
  5. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Member

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    1/3 guts hide, 1/3 bones, 1/3 meat varys from critter to critter but basically stays the same.
     
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I was blown away at the yield from pronghorn. Far higher than any other animal that I've hunted. THR member exbiologist can probably give you the best data.
     
  7. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Yes 30% is the typical meat yield from just about any animal.
     
  8. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    I'm in general agreement ...

    I usually figure a maximum yield of around 40%, typically in the low 30% range.

    So the numbers given so far sound pretty good to me.
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    I've always heard 40% for deer/caribou/moose - at least that's what the AK fish and game people use as a standard. That probably includes some parts that many don't keep - liver, heart, fat, etc.
     
  10. elkdomBC

    elkdomBC Member

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    a 55 inch bull moose I killed in late August 2011 live weight about 1200 pounds,when skinned ,gutted and hung at the butcher shop weighed 788 pounds,
    on the right is a 1.5 year old bull moose(live weight about 650 pounds) that weighed 335 pounds on the hook fully dressed out,

    from my mature 55 inch bull, the moose meat when finished and frozen was 440 pounds of boneless finished product,

    this young bull moose (on the right of meat pole)yielded 165 pounds of boneless finished product,

    35 to 40% finished product is normal
     

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  11. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    4 whitetail deer this year for me:

    238 lbs, got 125 lbs of meat
    165 lbs, got 75lbs
    145 lbs, got 55lbs
    148 lbs, got 60lbs

    Base weights on the hook-
     
  12. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Member

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    I don't have an answer for you but, congrats to 627PCFan for shooting a 238 lb whitetail! That's huge!
     
  13. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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  14. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    I know this remark is off-topic, but that is a gorgeous deer. Dang. I hope to get one half that big next year. (will be my first try with my Super Blackhawk...)
     
  15. Cob

    Cob Member

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    I agree with above answers= 35% is a good number.... If you take your meat to a processor, you can get the meat custom butchered to your taste. I personally like to convert venison meat that is not so tasty (so exclude the hams, tenderloins and backstraps) into sausage and "hamburger".

    When this is done, my butcher (if i do not do it myself) adds beef or pork fat to the mix... Once I dropped off a 200 lb live weight deer, about 165 field dressed, and picked up over 300lbs of meat.

    I believe the butcher offloaded some extra venison into my cooler and handed me the bill.. He said it was because the weight doubled when i got summer sausage, link sausage, and breakfast sauasge, due to the fact he added pork fat to it... hated paying that 1.25/lb, but it ate good.
     
  16. NoirFan

    NoirFan Member

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    Thanks for the responses so far everyone. A follow-up question: can you make stock from wild game bones? I would think so but since I've never hunted I might be overlooking some common pitfalls (for example I didn't know venison fat was unpalatable until I started reading this forum)
     
  17. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    You could try but I dont think your going to find there is enough marrow inside. Its not like beef bones-
     
  18. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    While I agree that 35% meat from a carcass is about right, I think your butcher is fudging the numbers or loading you up with extra fat and filler. On your 200lb live deer weight you should have around 75lbs of useable meat......but to come home with over 300lbs of meat doesn't figure.

    Most sausage recipes call for 20-to-25% added fat.....those numbers would mean they must have added another 75lbs of water, fat, and filler....or added a substantial amount of pork/beef.
     
  19. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    I tried it once with feral hog bones — it did not turn out too well. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't exactly tasty either. It just tasted a little 'off'. I do not intend to do that again.
     
  20. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    We always figured 1/3 was pretty close
     
  21. Cob

    Cob Member

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    I have never used the same butcher since. At the end of the season, sometimes hunters drop off deer, and never pick them up. in FL, the butchers are not allowed to sell the venison.

    I think he gave me two deer, and the bill for both to clean out his cooler. i should have argued more, but did not. Just have not went back since.
     
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