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Meat Yeild???


New member
Sep 9, 2002
How much processed meat should be expected from 440# of hanging quarters? The 440# is skinned, shanked, etc... The processer claims it will yeild only ~120#...? Sounds kind of LOW? Any comments?
uokman.....I assume since you are in Alabama, you are talking about black belt whitetail.

With this assumption in mind, it does sound like the processor is trying to give you the "green weiner", especially if you are having any saugage or ground venison made up where they add weight. Whitetail leg bones are not that heavy, so.....depending on the number of hams you have hanging, he could be shorting you a good 30 to 50 pounds.....Find another processor.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 09-26-2003 08:11: Message edited by: whitedeer ]</font>
i brought back home 140 lbs after it was cut up on my elk. I packed it out boneless and didnt save the neck or shanks due to heat made the last trip a waste of time so we didnt bother. I lost less than 10 percent of # from the cutter that did it for me. So i say you are getting royally shafted and would get my meat done somewhere else..

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 09-26-2003 08:27: Message edited by: schmalts ]</font>
The 440# I'm talking about is elk. We transported the animal to the processer whole (less guts/lungs, etc) and then while at the processer, skinned, caped and shanked the carcass - we then split the carcass length-wise and quartered it. The resulting quarters are what weighed 440# - from this the processer claimed I should expect only ~120# of packaged meat! I should also mention that I had requested bone-in T-Bone and Ribeye Steaks, 25# of roasts and the entire remainder ground up.

A 25% yeild from the "hanging quarter" seems extremely low to me. I know that elk bones are heavy - but even allowing 1/2 of the hanging weight to be bones, fat and unusable scrap I would have expected somewhere around 200#.

The processer does sell elk meat that is "unclaimed" and for this reason - I'm VERY suspect... "Finding another processer" is not a simple solution for several reasons - the next closest to where we hunt is a 1.5 hour drive (after we get off the mountain) and they already have my animal!!!
uokman.....If this is elk as you have described, your processor is nothing but a crook. With the cuts you are getting, there should be at least 220 pounds.....not 120 pounds....and probably closer to 250 pounds. Take the time to go and watch the processing or learn how to do it yourself. That is too much hard earned and expensive meat to just give up. Take a copy of these replies with you and challenge the crook!

And if they have your animal it has probably already been processed and you have a real battle on your hands.....local BBB and County licensing authorities should be contacted to help you if this is going to be an "after the fact" issue.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 09-26-2003 09:39: Message edited by: whitedeer ]</font>
I used to cut wildgame meat when I was going to college for beer money...

If you got 440+ pounds of haning carcass, you got yourself a decent sized bull, congrats. Most 2.5-3.5 bulls which is mostly what we cut, will only weigh in at about 350-380 +/- and an average cow elk carcass will push 270+/-... Now for only getting 120lbs of meat, that is bullchit. If you are cutting steaks with bone in you should expect to get more than 55% of the preprocessed meat back, probably clooser to 60%.

On average I would say that we would give about 50% +/- 5% of haning weight back after the cutting was done. The people that I worked for did a really good job, trimming out all the crap, ie. fat, bones, tendons, bloodshot, and what not.

The only reason that I can think of that you could possibly have a low yield is if you shot the crap out of it. Blood shot shoulders are hard to salvage much meat off of. It seeps into all the voids and will ruin good meat. But if its not too shot up you should get twice what they are claiming you should get.

If you want send me an email and I will forward you the number of the place I used to work. The cut about 600+ elk a year and about twice that many deer so they have a pretty good idea what you should expect... and they have been doing it for a long time.

[email protected]
How dod you know the weight is 440# ? Did he weigh it at the shop then estimate it from there ? Also, I'm guessing ALL the bone was in there ? Bones are alot of weight.

on a 437# you should get 188# of meat if everything is Deboned. If there was some time lag between the field and the Proccessor you'll loose the outside of the meat due to dryness and such. If there is any hair, Bloodshot, or any dirt anywere the #'s go down ALOT.

I'm not saying that there was anything wrong with the meat but thats just a reality that the Butchers, (Any of them BAsterds
) don't get paid to sit and Do nice trim work. the "BULK" is what pays the bills. It's better for them to trim quick, get paid more. Thats howe it works.

I'm guessing he's off a few pounds maybe but not a whole lot. I'll take the difference stance and say he's not shafting ya much.

Remember, we don't all hunt to save on meat, It's WAY WAY more then beef. If you say you do, You're a lier

BTW, Kudos on the Elk UOKMAN !!!!
Ihave hunted elk allmy life and I have never seen an instance where 440 pounds of hanging weight in quarters would only yeild less than 25 percent. Minimum should be 200 considering the fact that when they make burger they add 10 to 15 percent beef soot. Not including peperoni or sausage. If I take a 100 pounds of meat to be ground into hamburger or sausage, peperoni, I will always get 110 to 115 pounds back. Keep in mind that it is all trimmed up and ready to go. No trimming is needed. NO WAY are you getting a fair shake on that deal. Hate to hear that considering all the work and money it takes to get to this point only to get scammed. Call a local biologist and find out if there are any formulas to your processed weight. I will see if I can find something for you too.
This won't help for what you are looking for but here is the formula for converting live wieght to hog dressed weight.
2-year old bull = 44.62%
cow = 48.29%
2-4 year bull = 44.11%
cow = 45.87%
Mature bull = 42.15%
cow = 50.80%
Thanks for all the comments... Moosie - I know it was 440# because upon arrival at the processer - only the owners mother was there and the could not get the animal into a cooler until it was quartered - SOOOOoooo, me and my buddy - caped (yes, the bull was good enough to warrant a large spot on my wall - much to the annoyance of my wife!!!, shanked, skinned, cleaned and quarted the elk. We stripped all the exterior fat off the carcass and cleaned it like you read about... then we weighed it. No, it was not shot up at all - 1 bullet hole - I even cut the blood-shot meat out prior to quartering and weighing.

Guess next trip, I'll need to plan on some extra time to do my own butchering... ain't nothing for me to cut up an elk... just not enough time allowed last trip. I do a job that puts any other butcher I have EVER used to shame! Of course - since I get a elk about once every 2 years - I make damn sure I get use out of every scrap of usable meat - where the butcher shops view it as just another hunk of meat to process as quickly and with as little labor as possible. Actually, this whole issue with my elk at the butcher's could easily describe the downward spiral of many US businesses - no pride in workmanship, quality, etc, etc....
Well good news to report! With all the input from you guys - I rattled the cage of the processer enough that when my meat arrived yesterday - I got 290#!!! Thanks for the information - it certainly helped educate me so that I could address the issue with the processer...

All's well that ends well!!!

I'm going to have to wonder once Again... So, You weighed it at 440# (4 quarters with the meat on ? and then got 65.9% of it back having the bone only weighing 34% ?

I'd say not bad at all. But sounds like it was 440# after taking all the "CRAP" off of it, So maybe so.

Can ya tell us the Split between Steaks and Burgers, Ect ? I'm just curious I guess. Thanx.

PS, Were is the picture, I've been out and Missed alot. I'd like to see it !!

EDIT : I see were ya tried to post some Gator pics and Failed
Send me the Pics and We'll get um up for ya !!
Moosie - The quarters were totally cleaned of fat, hide, hair, etc, etc... I had 8 roasts cut, bone-in T-bone and rib-steaks with everything else ground into burger - with no beef-fat added.