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Thread: How much meat to expect?

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Default How much meat to expect?

    I know there's a few older threads covering these issues but since I got my first moose last weekend I would like others to weigh in. My situation is I shot a 2x3 forked horn moose I brought 1 hind quarter and both front shoulders into get processed and then did the rest my self. They weight they gave me was 129lbs bone in. I had cut where legal at the knees. Does this seem right for a bull of that age? Thanks in advance.

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    You don't mention the weight of the quarters that you took into the butcher.....if the skin was off and the meat is clean, i would expect to get back about 60-65% in finished product exclusive of any beef fat that may have been added to the burger.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Not really enough info, were the rib cages still attached to the front shoulders?

    All told for that size of a moose total meat should be between 400-600,lbs, but the rack size really dos'nt dictate how big the moose is. ( this includes the neck )

    By the time you take out the bones of a rear quarter on a moose this size, ( usally around 30-40 pounds, and the trimmings, depends on how it was cared for) you should have close to 80-100#. Fronts are alot heavier and alot more bone, if you take off the ribcage then they are going to be less than the rear quarters but are still going to give you somewhere between 75-90 lbs of meat.

    Again this is on a moose the size of what you posted.

    Hope this helps, can't really say as I did'nt see the moose.

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    We bone out all the meat from our party to be shared equally. We have gotten between 400-440 from mature bulls racks being between 50-58 inches. This has been for the last 4 seasons.


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    For beef, a animal will provide 48-52 percent meat from the live weight. I would expect a moose to be slightly lower due to the thicker hide and longer leaner lower legs. About 45 percent would be a good estimate.
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    It was just the 3 legs I ground all neck ribs and excess meet and also took out back straps and such so the hanging weight bone in at the butcher of 2 front legs and one rear was 129lbs the best guess was this is last years calf. Skin off I should had been a little more clear. I'm curious if the hanging weight seems right. Packing it out I would have guessed it to be more meat.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishingyoda View Post
    It was just the 3 legs I ground all neck ribs and excess meet and also took out back straps and such so the hanging weight bone in at the butcher of 2 front legs and one rear was 129lbs the best guess was this is last years calf. Skin off I should had been a little more clear. I'm curious if the hanging weight seems right. Packing it out I would have guessed it to be more meat.
    Yeah, that's a smaller moose you have there. I weighed a hindquarter once that came in at 165 lbs. That was ONE hindquarter! You're gonna lose somewhere around 30-40% just in the leg bones. That's not counting trimming out fat and such. But then you'll have a weight gain with your burger. Don't forget to figure that in.

    From your post you sound like you are questioning the accuracy of the hanging weight. Were you not there when they weighed it?

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    That could very well be an accurate weight, as has been said, without seeing the moose it is difficult to "guess" the accuracy of the yield. Moose body size can vary greatly.

    As Michael elludes to; it is always good practice to be present and observe the weigh in of product upon delivery to the processor, it is CYA for both parties.

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    Something does not make sense, every time I have taking in meat I was given a receipt with the amount of meat on the receipt. I been told that there is a round a 30% waste. I would say you did get the correct amount of meat for the size of the animal.

    Is the weight recorded on the receipt ? If so what does it say? IF NOT WHY NOT?

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    That's over 43lbs of returned meat per leg - seems pretty reasonable to me vs the ones we have taken in at about the same estimated size/age.... And if ya had any damaged meat on either front shoulder from bullets that would also have been deductions?
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Didn't you weigh the hind quarter you kept?
    Seems like that whould have given you a clue.
    129 lbs (bone in, as stated) for 3 quarters, seems a little light, to me. Using Mike's loss for bone weight, you only got 79 - 90 lbs of meat out of the 3 quarters.

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    IWas not there but had a close friend drop it off due to my work schedule watch them weigh it. The recipt says 129 they told him to expect 90lbs bone out. No I didn't weigh other hind quarter as I don't have a scale. I'm not thinking they are ripping me off as it's a very well known processor. I just have no experience with moose and was curious if he was on the small side of last years calfs. I really appreciate all the responses. It seems like it might be reasonable if larger moose yield 400ish lbs of meat. I'm guessing with the other quarter I had a little over 200lbs.

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    There is a huge variance in weights of moose, even within the same age class. I've shot 2 fork bulls recently, and boned out both yielded 140 to 150 pounds of meat. Both were archery moose with almost no waste, and I processed them from start to finish myself. I don't have any "do I trust the butcher" questions. Being archery, they were shot early August rather than mid September. Most people I tell that too are very surprised they gave so little meat, expecting it to be closer to 200 lbs. I believe that an extra month makes a big difference in weight! Also, a lot of guys are getting their meat back with anywhere from 25 to 50% weight added, depending on how they order their burger and sausage prepared.

    A friend of mine shot one this fall, archery, and it yielded 140 pounds. His family said it was the smallest fork they've seen; they've shot quite a few, but only a couple during archery season. It sounds to me like you got an average to small sized forky, nothing to worry about.

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    Member Bsj425's Avatar
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    where did you take it? If you cant post it send a PM. I took the same as you last year 2 fronts and 1 rear to Homegrown market. They weighed all 3 right there. Then went above and beyond and saved the bones/trimmings so I could add the weight to the meat I got back from them and it was within 4lbs of the original weight of the 3 quarters.

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    Wow, that seems light. I've shot at least ten forks, and pretty much get 200 pounds.. plus the ribs. 129 is small. Hind quarters from a fork weight about 65-70 lbs.

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    just to chime in but may not help due to size. My moose was a 56 1/2" and dressed out at 754 lbs bone in to include the ribs. One hind quarter weighed 124 lbs and the front weighed 94 lbs.
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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    I have shot at least a dozen spike/forks through the years. Average is 180 to 220 pounds of meat, every time that I can remember. It sounds like you are right in that area. I salvage every thing I possibly can. I assume you processed all the neck and rib meat and such, so by the time you add that up, your right in the ball park.

    Congrats on a nice pile of good eating!

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    +1 for denalihunter. Between the people I hunt with (family and friends) we caught 3 bulls this year. 2 were large (59" and 58") mature bulls, although certainly not monsters, and each yielded around 700lbs once field dressed, bone in, not including ribs which certainly add bone weight. The third moose sounds similar to the one described. He was a 2x3 and I noticed he was on the smallerish body size right away. All the front shoulders and neck meat went to burger and sausage- 80 lbs. before any additives. Hindquarters yielded about 80 more pounds of steak and grind. Through in the rib meat, some on and some off the bone now, backstraps, loins and every scrap a few fellas can salvage and we're right in the 180-190 mark.

    I've done this awhile, but I'm never ceased to be amazed at the difference in body size/mass between a cute little forkie and a mature bull. Even further, the difference between a mature bull and a big boy...you know where I'm coming from if you've experienced on of those.

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    We got our moose butchered up at a locker. It weighed 765 field dressed and we brought home 310lbs of meat, 175lbs of ground(no additives) and the rest steaks and roasts. A little more gristle than when I do my deer but I have a tendency to trim my deer meat way to lean. I've stopped that as of last year and now get about 15% more meat.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Don't know if this helps you or not but I shot a little bull this year with the same antler configurations. All said and done I ended up with about 280 lbs. of just meat. I guestimated this bull to be about a year and a half old.


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