Tight Spot Quivers
Finished Product From Butcher
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Paleface 25-Sep-19
Norseman 25-Sep-19
JTV 25-Sep-19
Scar Finga 25-Sep-19
Bou'bound 25-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 25-Sep-19
Scrappy 25-Sep-19
Lost Arra 25-Sep-19
smarba 25-Sep-19
Bou'bound 25-Sep-19
Fuzzy 25-Sep-19
Grey Ghost 25-Sep-19
Surfbow 25-Sep-19
Franklin 25-Sep-19
HDE 25-Sep-19
drycreek 25-Sep-19
butcherboy 25-Sep-19
HDE 25-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 25-Sep-19
altitude sick 25-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 25-Sep-19
RK 25-Sep-19
cmbbulldog 25-Sep-19
butcherboy 25-Sep-19
Ucsdryder 25-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 25-Sep-19
JL 25-Sep-19
Grey Ghost 25-Sep-19
deerslayer 25-Sep-19
HDE 25-Sep-19
butcherboy 25-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 25-Sep-19
drycreek 25-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 25-Sep-19
RK 25-Sep-19
butcherboy 25-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 26-Sep-19
butcherboy 26-Sep-19
TrapperKayak 26-Sep-19
TrapperKayak 26-Sep-19
Bou'bound 26-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 26-Sep-19
Grey Ghost 26-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 26-Sep-19
altitude sick 26-Sep-19
Paleface 26-Sep-19
JohnMC 26-Sep-19
Surfbow 26-Sep-19
SaddleReaper 26-Sep-19
Franklin 26-Sep-19
Shawn 26-Sep-19
Fuzz 26-Sep-19
cnelk 26-Sep-19
HDE 26-Sep-19
fubar racin 26-Sep-19
tinecounter 26-Sep-19
WapitiBob 26-Sep-19
Bob H in NH 26-Sep-19
Russ Koon 26-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 26-Sep-19
drycreek 26-Sep-19
HDE 26-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 26-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 26-Sep-19
butcherboy 26-Sep-19
BIG BEAR 26-Sep-19
320 bull 27-Sep-19
Cheesehead Mike 27-Sep-19
Paleface 27-Sep-19
LesWelch 27-Sep-19
HDE 27-Sep-19
Ermine 27-Sep-19
butcherboy 27-Sep-19
Bou'bound 27-Sep-19
itshot 27-Sep-19
westslope 27-Sep-19
From: Paleface
25-Sep-19
I was fortunate enough to harvest a nice 5 Point early this year. My partners still had some hunting to do and I was a long way from home so, I decided to take my bull in to the local butcher. Online reviews were great and the customer service at the counter was also very good. Here's my problem, I dropped off 287 pounds -- the 4 quarters were still on the bone (lower leg removed). The rest of the meat was boneless. In my opinion, before delivery, the field dressing was done well, the big trimming was complete and the meat was all very clean and kept at ideal temperatures. I only picked up 158 pounds of finished product -- I was expecting closer to 190. Does this seem unreasonable? Any thoughts? 62# of the finished product was made into burger (straight elk, nothing added), 15# is shanks, the rest is steaks, stew, or loin.

From: Norseman
25-Sep-19
Yes

From: JTV
25-Sep-19
It all depends how it is cut and processed ... a 100 lb Doe will yield around 35-50 lbs of processed meat .. 70-100lbs or so from a 200 lb buck ... aprox. 35% of meat back from a field dressed weight (+-) .....

From: Scar Finga
25-Sep-19
Sounds Very low to me!

From: Bou'bound
25-Sep-19
Butcher must be stealing meat.

From: BIG BEAR
25-Sep-19
If you just took in the quarters and the rest boneless meat.... We’re talking roughly 130 pounds that didn’t come back to you. I don’t see 4 upper leg bones coming out to 130 pounds. I would think anything but bone would have been ground...... Seems like he shorted you. Some butchers have been known to skim some of your meat to make sausage to sell......

From: Scrappy
25-Sep-19
You got screwed, I took in 273 pounds of deboned meat last year and got back 242 of packaged meat.

From: Lost Arra
25-Sep-19

Lost Arra's Link
This might be helpful. The UW Elk Carcass paper is very good but I couldn't get it to attach here.

From: smarba
25-Sep-19
Worth speaking with the butcher. Could be there was some bone sour around the bones and he had to trim more than planned. Could be there is another crate of meat in the freezer with your name on it that got overlooked. Could be he's a crook. But most crooks don't stay in business long so there's probably an explanation. Worth checking on because that seems pretty low to me.

Carl

From: Bou'bound
25-Sep-19
I have had the extra crate happen a couple times. but it was obvious at the time the meat was picked up and they went back in to check the freezer and came out with the balance.

From: Fuzzy
25-Sep-19
yeah that's low

I brought back 270# of bone-in meat from a young bull moose and put 218# boned out meat in the freezer (self processed)

From: Grey Ghost
25-Sep-19
I’ve taken home over 300 pounds of processed and packaged meat from a very large bull. An average bull should yield around 225#. That includes burger with 10% fat added and assumes there wasn’t any spoilage or excessive wound trauma.

Sounds like you got shorted to me.

Matt

From: Surfbow
25-Sep-19
I bet there's a box of about 50-60lbs of elk meat with your name on it sitting in his freezer, if he was skimming it wouldn't be that much. Or, your opinion of your meat care in the field is too high. Or, you dropped off 187 lbs and not 287 lbs...How big was your nice 5-point? Post a pic...

From: Franklin
25-Sep-19
If I only got 158 lbs from a medium sized bull elk I would be hot. Just saying.

From: HDE
25-Sep-19
Processors aren't going to skim meat for themselves no matter how clean and good you think you kept it.

smarba is right abour asking the meat cutter about throw away, may be more than you thought and could easily be another box that accidentally got over looked...

From: drycreek
25-Sep-19
Processor’s aren’t going to skim meat ? If they are unscrupulous, if they sell product, you can bet your boots they’re gonna skim meat. I once had a mulie processed in Miles City and sent to me, (bad mistake), and I got about as much meat from that 250 lb. buck as I would have from a 100 lb. doe here at home. ALL won’t, but some will.

From: butcherboy
25-Sep-19
Processors aren’t going to skim wildgame meat to sell if they are honest. It’s illegal to sell wildgame period. If they are selling it they will get caught. I’m sorry but 287 lbs from a 5 X 5 seems like more than it should be to me. Four quarters with shanks removed, boneless meat, etc isn’t going to way 287 lbs. I just checked in a big 7 X 7 all completely boneless and no rib meat and it weighed 240 lbs. on my certified rail scale.

Overall, I’m not trying to be a jerk here but something is off. Weight may be wrong, more trimming was required, or maybe some was just left in the freezer.

From: HDE
25-Sep-19
A crook is a crook and a processor that sells game meat is a crook by breaking game laws and risking getting caught, so whatever I guess. Same can be said about mechanics and using the same oil filter and not changing out spark plugs. Or a framer using one 16d nail instead of 2 or 3.

When guys say they (processor) skim, they usually mean add a package of steaks to their own freezer - not. Most hunters meat brought is in a crap stage anyway before getting cut up and a 250 lb buck (deer) would have to be the same size as a cow elk if you think the yield should've been higher. Most of the biggest of the biggest (mule) deer are 160# carcass weight on the rail. That means field dressed and skinned. That also means you should get back around 1/2 that weight once processed...

From: BIG BEAR
25-Sep-19
I can buy elk jerkey right at my local party store. It’s probably supposed to be elk purchased from an elk ranch.... But who the heck would know where it really came from ??

Even if a butcher isn’t selling wild game that they skim..... I’m sure some of them keep some for themselves and family.

25-Sep-19
Most, Not all of course but from my experience, most processors don’t eat wild game.

The ones on here are probably the ones that do eat wild game.

Everyone thinks their animal should produce more meat than they get back.

I know most of the processors in my area and they all complain about the guy that gut shoots an animal 4 times. Drags it through a landfill. Then wonders why they don’t get an Angus steers worth of meat back.

If they were going to steal and sell meat it would probably be beef.

Cut a few animals up yourself and you learn exactly how much finished product each species produces.

Usually 50-65% of the hanging weight is packaged edible meat. Depending on the cuts.

25-Sep-19
I'm also of the mindset that 287 pounds of meat off a nice 5 by 5 is really high.

I'm not calling anyone a liar. But, I buy and have butchered, a beef occasionally. Last one weighed 1042 lbs hanging. And, yielded 412 pounds of processed meat. Thee is no one here cleaning wild game in the field with he efficiency that a butcher does in his shop. A beef is going to give you roughly 35% yield on hanging weight. Using that same formula, giving the hunter the most credit as possible in his yield if you carried out 287 pounds of meat, that bull elk weighed over 900 pounds live weight.

You need to check your scale.

From: RK
25-Sep-19
"If they were going to steal and sell meat it would would probably be beef"

Absolute wisdom in that statement

From: cmbbulldog
25-Sep-19
I usually get about 85% of the meat back, give or take.

285 pounds for a 5 point is very high.

From: butcherboy
25-Sep-19
If you are buying legitimate elk jerky you can track it pretty simply. Should be a USDA number on the package or a State number on it. I’ve been in this business for 28 years and have seen it all and still get amazed every season from what hunters bring in and do to their meat. It’s always the processors fault though somehow.

From: Ucsdryder
25-Sep-19
287 from a 5 point is a lot in my experience. Let’s see a picture! I think they were more likely to fudge your hanging weight than steal meat.

From: BIG BEAR
25-Sep-19
Butcherboy.... I’m sure most butchers are on the up and up but I have no doubt whatsoever that there are some out there that would skim some meat from their clients..... I’ve been in the business of reading humans and human nature for 26 years as a Police Officer..... and I can tell you that if left on the honor system..... Some people will cheat and steal. Most butchers I have used in Michigan don’t even weigh deer that are brought in for processing. That means the services they are providing are on the honor system.

From: JL
25-Sep-19
A side observation. Years ago I had one butcher tell me when making sausage, they will get a bunch of orders of the same sausage, throw your meat in the mixer with everyone else's, process the sausage and if you want 25lbs of sausage, you got back 25lbs of sausage using your meat and someone else's. I don't know if that is widespread but I wasn't thrilled with that knowledge. When I was stationed in Wash DC and lived in Maryland, they have the EAB reg and so I donated alot of deer to Farmers Feeding The Hungry program. I'd drop the deer off and sometime there would be maybe 20-25 deer laying/stacked on the floor of the cooler waiting to get processed. Some of those carcasses looked nasty and IMO should have been buried instead of processed. I do my own processing these days.

From: Grey Ghost
25-Sep-19
I’ve killed 14 bulls with a bow, several more with a rifle, and guided a few others to bull kills. I’ve never seen one yield less than 200 pounds of packaged meat.

Matt

From: deerslayer
25-Sep-19
I've killed my share of elk, and do my own butchering. A GOOD sized bull will bring in around 200 lbs of boned out raw, unprocessed meat. That's before trimming. I don't like silver on even my ground meat, so the final weight is quite a bit lower than that. 150 lbs of quality finished meat is quite good, unless there is little trimming done and junk is getting thrown into the grinder. My finished deer weigh a bit less than what is being touted on here, but my ground is also as clean as it gets. It all depends on how clean of a job the cut man does. For me, I like clean, clean meat. I make sure to kill enough animals each year that a quality trimming won't leave me without meat come August.

From: HDE
25-Sep-19
BB - they don't weigh deer because they charge a flat rate per hour of labor, just like a mechanic, and it takes them an hour to do a deer. Bigger animals like elk, moose, or bison are more labor intensive so you charge by the hanging weight pound.

And, not all law enforcement officers are honest either. You can read them and their behavior as well...

From: butcherboy
25-Sep-19
Every profession out there has it’s cheaters and thieves, even police officers. I have no doubt that most police officers are on the up and up as well but there are those that aren’t........ ;)

If you have never seen a bull elk yield less than 200 lbs of packaged meat then you really haven’t been around many processed elk. Try in the thousands.

From: BIG BEAR
25-Sep-19
Yep..... Agreed. Bad apples in every profession. Police Officers have cameras on them in most departments now all the time to cut back on bad cops......

From: drycreek
25-Sep-19
I processed my own game for years until I got tired of fooling with 4/5 deer each year. I don’t know about y’all, but the only beef I buy is steaks to grill, and very few of them. I prefer whitetail, antelope, or axis deer to eat. I know how much meat I should be getting back.

A local processor screwed up my order last year and didn’t make any smoked sausage links. When I asked him about it, he offered me some out of the freezer. Now, according to some theories on here, they don’t eat game meat, so I guess they don’t hunt either. So who did that sausage belong to ? I think it’s very naive to think people of all stripes don’t steal. The jails are full of them ! Needless to say, I didn’t take the sausage and he won’t be getting any more business from me.

From: BIG BEAR
25-Sep-19
^^^ THIS

From: RK
25-Sep-19
Dang Don. You are a hard ass!! Hope you are well

The deal with processors is that they will ALWAYS have meat, sausage etc from game

It's hard to believe but there are LOTS of people that bring game in and never come back to pick it up. They kind of stick it to the processesor. That may have been where your guy got that sausage drycreek

Don't know about other states but in Texas the processesor can sell game meat to recover his or her losses caused by the client not coming in to pick up their order

Always to much rush to judgement

From: butcherboy
25-Sep-19
^^^^^^^^^^^^

This times a thousand! Spot on!

From: BIG BEAR
26-Sep-19
If the customer pays for the processing when they initially drop the animal off.... there is no “sticking it to the processor”.....

From: butcherboy
26-Sep-19
Most don’t pay for the processing at the time of drop off. People call and change their order all the time by adding specialty items or cancelling some. So yeah, processors get stuck with unpaid work all the time. I still have about 8-10 in my freezer from last year. If we would have everyone pay up front it would eliminate the unpaid work for sure. Problem with that is the work order changes. Money would have to be refunded all the time or more charges added when the customer thinks it’s all been paid for.

From: TrapperKayak
26-Sep-19
There is no way 4 quarters of elk with the lower leg bones removed and initial trimming done would yield 129# of bone and trimmings. Something ain't right...

From: TrapperKayak
26-Sep-19
'285 pounds for a 5 point is very high' Another observation: The number of points on a rack does not necessarily indicate the size of a bull. There are some raghorn 5x5s (2 1/2 yos) and I've seen some huge 5x5 mature bulls, and several in between. What was the approx. age/size of your bull Paleface?

From: Bou'bound
26-Sep-19
Just like people some animals are bigger boned then others

26-Sep-19
And, it appears most of those big boned bulls get killed by bowsite members every year. Some deer too by the weights getting thrown around by some.

From: Grey Ghost
26-Sep-19

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
From the link provided earlier...

Matt

26-Sep-19
No animal yields 60-70 percent on its field dressed weight when packaged. Domestic or wild.

26-Sep-19
More like 30-40% depending on species.

Bison are terrible finishers. They are all ribs, hump and hide. A lot of waste.

Well bred beef are good finishers . Elk in the middle.

From: Paleface
26-Sep-19
Thank you for all the comments. To respond to a few...

I am absolutely confident that there was no spoiling of the meat and it was field dressed well. Conditions were ideal for the meat.

The bloody meat was removed and major trimming was done before drop off.

I don't have pictures downloaded yet but I'd estimate that the bull was 3.5 years old (admittedly, I'm no biologist).

I weighed each load as I carried it off the mountain and got 288#. 2 days later, the butcher confirmed a drop off weight of 287# (on my receipt).

I am familiar with the UW Elk Carcass Study (that's what I was basing my expectations of finished product off of). I dropped off 287# and got back 158#. That leaves129# of bone, trimmings and missing meat. I'd estimate that the bones weighed 25# which still leaves 104#. Even if 1/2 of that was for trim, where is the remaining 50#? (My thought is that it's probably in a tray that went missing or was delivered to another hunter.)

I have processed similar-sized elk myself before (but never weighed the finished product). That being said, my freezer is not nearly as full this year.

I am pretty upset by the meat that I yielded but to be honest, I don't think that it was malicious or theft. Everyone that I dealt with was professional and courteous. I do believe that a mistake was made.... But what recourse do I have now?

My papa used to tell me that "the easy way is usually not the best way" and I think that applies here. I should have just cut it up myself. At the end of the day, I paid $390 for 158# of meat which comes out to $2.46/lb for finished product!

When I picked up the meat, I knew something was wrong, it just looked light. When all the meat fit inside my 160qt cooler, I definitely knew something was wrong but the employees assured me that was all the meat that they had. I asked to weigh the meat but their scale only went to 150#. It was starting to rain, I had a 30 hour trip ahead of me, so I let it go and figured that I'd deal with it when I got back home. Yesterday, I called the butcher and they assured me that they don't have any of my meat and that the numbers don't seem off to them.

The meat that I do have is processed well, it's clean and wrapped nicely. Personally, I think that a mistake was made and a tray of my meat went missing -- what happened to it, I don't know. To be honest, I feel like I don't have much power in the situation now -- nor did I when I picked it up and started asking questions.

Kind of a disappointing end to a great trip ....

Anyhow, thank you again for the input, you guys are great.

From: JohnMC
26-Sep-19
Why not politely ask your processor. Could be an easy explanation.

Most small business owners want to make a honest profit, ,the customer to leave happy, become a repeat customer, and recommend him to their friends.

From: Surfbow
26-Sep-19
What JohnMC said^

Sometimes the easiest solution is a simple conversation. Not saying you did, but too often people's first response is to jump on the internet and slam somebody they think has wronged them when a civil discussion could have solved the problem...just read the outfitter reports on here

From: SaddleReaper
26-Sep-19
What percentage or loss in finished meat weight could be attributed simply to moisture loss throughout the process... Anyone know? Was it hung for any length of time?

From: Franklin
26-Sep-19
Bottom line..... Paleface got screwed.

Never take your meat to a processor, especially one you don`t know or have a relationship with. Learn to do it yourself as it`s very rewarding and fun. You worked too hard for that animal.

From: Shawn
26-Sep-19
Totally disagree with Franklin, although I believe the amount received back was light by what I would guess around 60#s it is not a mistake to have it processed. Around home I do all my own butchering when 1500 miles away I bring to a butcher. It is frozen quick and a good processer just makes everything easier. When in Kansas, Iowa or Nebraska I use the same guy in Nebraska. Even if I have to drive an extra 3 or so hours it is well worth it. 90 bucks and he even capes out my whitetails. I believe a mistake was made as has been said folks want return business and new customers from good reviews. Shawn

From: Fuzz
26-Sep-19
Paleface DID politely ask, several times, about missing meat but obviously it didn't do any good and no solution was made. I didn't take it that he was badmouthing anyone, just asking BS for opinions on how much meat was returned to him.

Appears to me like he was shorted quite a bit.

I grew up processing deer, about 80 a year, mostly for friends and family. We also made tons of summer sausage and landjaegers. My dad ALWAYS made sure that people got the own meat. No meat from other peoples deer were ever blended, no matter how small a batch. I'm sure we were in the minority but it's only right.

From: cnelk
26-Sep-19
Do it yourself next time.

Then you know who/what to blame

From: HDE
26-Sep-19
Franklin - what do you do for a living so I know what services to do myself so I don't get screwed either - afterall, everyone's profession is dishonest, right?

From: fubar racin
26-Sep-19
Brain surgeon/ astronaut/ space shuttle engineer/ most interesting man in the world!

From: tinecounter
26-Sep-19
Have experience being on both sides of this issue. Like Fuzz, I grew up processing deer. My parents owned a rural locker plant, where we did custom processing from hoof to freezer and also sold (wholesale and retail) beef and pork. During deer season we also processed deer. Invariably every deer season, we dealt with a few comments and sometimes complaints of “that’s it; where’s the rest of my deer; this can’t be right and are you sure that’s all.” It was an early education that hunters routinely not only over estimate live deer weight, they also don’t realize the bone and trimming waste in processing. No customer was ever shorted and most understood dad’s explanation of weight loss in processing.

Skipping forward 30 years to my first Colorado cow Elk kill. Took the field dressed animal to a processor to cut up and freeze for the trip home while I returned to our camp to help with camp chores, recovery and field dressing of other hunter’s kills. Picked up my processed Elk on the way home and was surprised at the small amount of meat I was given to take home. Just said, “Well that’s a lot less than I expected,” paid my bill and was on my way. Was I shorted? Yes, it seemed so, but I was reminded of the hunter comments I’d witnessed in my youth. However, it was the last animal I left with a processor.

Based on your description of what you left to be processed, a 45% loss does seem high.

From: WapitiBob
26-Sep-19
Watch some youtube videos from processors and how they "trim" and the loss seems reasonable to me. Toss a hind quarter on the table and start slabbing off the outer rind, it won't take long to take 20% of the weight off.

From: Bob H in NH
26-Sep-19
Watch the speed a processor works at and you will see why you tend to get more when you do it yourself. My wife scrounges every ounce of good meat and it gets tosses in the burger bucket. Processors usually have a "team" that goes to town on it.

From: Russ Koon
26-Sep-19
A hunting partner and I had two bucks processed by two local butchers in western ND in different years. One was a German gentleman working out of his garage, and the amount of wrapped meat was pretty much exactly what we had anticipated and agreed with our estimates of the hanging weight. We had both killed several deer before our western trips and had often done our own processing and could usually estimate the weight fairly well. His estimate of the hanging weight was very close to ours

The other instance was a few years after the first and the German gentleman had quit processing due to age and health issues, and the job went to another local butcher who came well recommended by locals (who, it turned out, were mostly related to him). He made a large quantity of sausage every year at about the time of the NR seasons for deer and antelope, and several locals anxiously awaited his annual sausage sale to stock their freezers. My buddy got one grocery bag with 48# of wrapped meat from a nice adult muley buck he had taken with one arrow to the rib cage that was well cared for and delivered promptly to the shop the next morning in very good condition. We both asked about another sack of meat they had perhaps forgotten in the back room, and were assured that was the correct yield from a buck we both estimated at close to 180# field dressed weight. I'd received a similar sized grocery bag with 43# of wrapped meat from a button buck fawn WT that I'm sure weighed less than a hundred pounds on the hoof some years earlier.

We were once-a-year visitors to the area with no relatives there, and they were in the process of making their popular annual sausage product. We were both quite certain he was getting cheated, but with no actual proof and no local contacts except a few friends on the ranches we had hunted twenty miles away, we were left with no real chance to correct matters except to warn others of that butcher when we encountered anyone on the hunting sites we visited who mentioned planning to hunt the area.

I decided at that point to take the necessities with me to do my own initial processing and arrange in advance for some cold storage in case it would be needed.

We did just that when my younger brother, his neighbor, and I hunted elk in AZ sfew years later. I had a NR cow tag, and got my cow on the last morning I was able to stay before starting home. Took us most of the day, between the gutless process removal of all the meat, the hauling out to the trucks, and the boning and dividing of the neat at the roadside, but we ended up with it all divvied up and I was on the way back to IN with three coolers of elk layered on ice, each of them on their way back the other direction to their homes in Phoenix. No lost, "misplaced", or stolen meat.

I'm pretty sure I took the smallest of the three portions as divided it up while deboning it, and I remember mine weighing seventy-something at home as I cut and packaged it. That would seem to also have been an excessive yield according to the above guidelines. I do notice that each of the weights listed comes out EXACTLY half the field dressed wight being the boneless meat yield in that chart. I find it difficult believe that the results would be that uniform when applied to animals that might have had diets that varied in protein, calcium, and other factors that could have affected their muscle mass compared to their total field dressed weights. Not much meat on some of those calves when you subtract the guts, hide and bones. I suppose the bulls MIGHT have the exact weight of antler when field dressed to compensate exactly for their lower percentage of muscle mass in relation to dressed weight, but I doubt it. I would expect a middle aged cow to probably have the best ratio of muscle mass to overall weight, especially if she'd been feeding in mostly higher protein crop fields in hill country.

26-Sep-19
Exactly right about the chart.

I weighed a 3.5 year old bull elk and a mature cow. Separately. Then weighed them at the processor before and after processing. They must have been a miniature subspecies of Rocky Mountain elk.

From: drycreek
26-Sep-19
I’m not an elk hunter, but I personally saw four elk cows weighed on one of Ted Turner’s ranches near Raton. They weighed from 320 to 480 field dressed. The largest one was 18 years old according to the guide looking at their teeth. Now that is the sum total of my elk hunting experience and I have zero knowledge of whether he was aging them correctly, but I do know what the scale said. He picked them up straight from the pickup whole with an electric hoist with scales built in. Maybe he put his thumb on them.....:-)

To Rob: No, I’m not a hard ass until it’s really necessary, but I’ve been studying people for 72 years, and I am a realist. I freely admit to not being a very trusting guy though.....if that helps. ;-)

From: HDE
26-Sep-19
Some of this is really funny. Guys pay someone to do something for them so they have more time to do other things they find to be more worthy of their time.

And then they expect that guy to essentially work for free because the time value for the money paid for service to do it the way they would've done it themselves says the service provider should painstakingly remove every edible piece of meat from a carcass and clean every speck of dirt and gut slime from the meat

This means the cutter guy has to work his butt off just to get by while everyone else gets to make a good wage for the "work" they do.

I have to just shake my head and smile in astonishment that some people can't understand why there is "so much waste" and that they don't get back as much as they should.

Nobody on Bowsite saying this, just observations from other forums...

From: BIG BEAR
26-Sep-19
And this is my take Nate.... I have butchered my own deer.... and I have had numerous deer and one moose and one elk and one caribou butchered by a butcher.

I like the job that the butcher does much better than what I do. So much that I am willing to ignore any discrepancies like the original poster of this thread incurred if it happened to me.

That doesn’t negate the fact that I believe SOME deer processors skim some meat from clients.

From: BIG BEAR
26-Sep-19
Also.... I think that’s a load of bunk about the butcher “painstakingly remove every edible piece of meat”....

I watched a butcher do a deer for me once. With 2 guys working... every edible piece of meat was painstakingly removed in about a half an hour... including all the meat from in between the ribs. They have it down to a science. It’s what they do. They don’t painstakingly labor over a deer for 5 hours like I would.

From: butcherboy
26-Sep-19
I know for a fact that I painstakingly remove all edible meat. My back is in pain, my feet hurt, my carpal tunnel flares up. I don’t know about you but that’s a lot of pain! Lol

All kidding aside. I will always do the best job I can with a customers meat. Some will lose more than others depending on how blood shot it is, dirty, or if there is any bone sour. I cut and treat everyone’s meat just like I would my own.

You are right though, there are some bad processors out there and they give the rest of us honest, good ones a bad name. That’s what I’m tired of the most I suppose. Doing really good work and still get the blanket statements about how processors are bad or can’t be trusted and on and on.

To those that cut your own, good for you if you enjoy doing it. To those that trust me to do it, a big thank you!

From: BIG BEAR
26-Sep-19
Chad.... I would trust you 100% with my deer. Here in the Midwest states where we have a half a million hunters in my state.... A lot of part time processors crop up during deer season. Some that will give good butchers a black eye. Butchering is a customer service job just like taxidermy. When I find a good butcher.... I stick with them. The product a good butcher provides is well worth my money.... and my time is worth money too... I’d rather not invest an entire afternoon into a job that I will not be as happy with as I would be with the services of a quality professional butcher. Peace.

From: 320 bull
27-Sep-19
A dice roll is about all you have with a new butcher. Good ones are gold and there is a ton that aren't. I do all my own wild game but use a butcher for hogs that I raise. It took me 4 years and 3 butchers to find the right guy. In that 4 years I have had bacon that I wouldn't eat and some that is fit for a king. Just the way it is. We used to do our own elk in camp but lately we de-bone bag and chill in the freezer for a few days before freezing solid for the ride home. Thaw and butcher a week or 2 later when the dust settles and have had good results that way. We did a cow last night that was shot in WY on the 12th or so I think. 5 of us did the work in 4 hours. Ground and packaged cleaned up done deal.

27-Sep-19
I thought I'd weigh in on this thread. Paleface/Wyatt is a good friend and I've known him for several years. In fact my buddy Les Welch and I were hunting with him the day he killed the bull in question.

Les had already killed a bull on opening day so that morning he was calling for me and Wyatt. We got into some elk and I killed a bull early that morning. The bulls were still bugling so Les and Wyatt went after them while I broke down my bull.

A couple hours later I got an inReach message that Wyatt had killed a bull. Les and Wyatt cut up his bull while I worked on mine several hundred yards away. That evening back at camp Les commented to me about how incredibly meticulous and thorough Wyatt was about removing every edible sliver of meat from his bull. Les said that Wyatt even trimmed the meat off of the belly around the guts to the point that he was a fraction of an inch from slicing into the guts. I didn't personally witness how thorough Wyatt was at removing the meat from this bull but I hunted with him in 2017 and I saw how meticulous he is at trimming meat when he helped cut up my bull.

Besides being meticulous about getting every shred of meat off of a bull he lays the meat on a sheet of tyvek and is extremely meticulous about keeping it clean. The meat was cooled quickly and delivered to the butcher promptly. Some of you are speculating that he brought dirty, blood shot meat to the butcher. He did not. I'm certain that it was extremely clean with no spoilage. The reason Wyatt took the meat to the butcher this time rather than processing it himself is because he went to Idaho with Les and me for the next week and he needed to take care of it.

The day after we killed our bulls Les and I finished packing out my bull while Wyatt finished packing out his. We were at his truck and he had just finished weighing his game bags. I asked him how much it weighed and he told me 288 pounds.

I know there has been debate and discussion on the Bowsite in the past regarding how much meat various people get off of a bull. I've been cutting up my own animals since I was a teenager, I almost always weigh the meat and I almost always get more meat than what others are reporting on Bowsite. I'm not judging anybody else but I know how I do it and I'm pretty thorough. I guarantee you that Wyatt gets more meat off of a bull than I do. I really don't care what any chart says...

Some of you are speculating that Wyatt's meat weight is wrong. It's not. Some of you also imply that you'll be able to disprove or verify the weight of the meat if he posts a photo of the bull. Like somehow looking at a photo can disprove his scale, which was verified by the butcher. That's seems laughable at best.

Also, Wyatt is one of most polite, thoughtful, conscientious and respectful people I know. I'm certain that any interaction he had with the butcher was very respectful.

I have no idea what happened to Wyatt's elk meat but it's unfortunate because he and his family really appreciate and enjoy it.

It's also unfortunate to have this conclusion to an otherwise awesome hunt.

From: Paleface
27-Sep-19
Admittedly, I knew the risk when I dropped off the meat -- I'm from out of state and I had no relationship with the butcher. They had good online reviews and made a good impression when I dropped it off.

I have been short on time twice before and dropped off bulls at a different processor (in a different state). Both times I dropped off @300 lbs. (broken down the same way) and netted just over 200lbs. I am pretty meticulous -- the elk that I have done myself at home have had a much higher yield. I don't expect the butcher to treat my carcass with the care that I do but I also don't think it's unreasonable to pay a fair price and expect a professional job in return.

Before posting, I was very polite when picking up the meat and once I returned home, I was as diplomatic as possible with a phone call. Apparently, the amount of loss (whether trimmed or lost) is acceptable to the processor. It is not acceptable to me -- I worked too hard for that meat.

To clarify, I didn't jump on the internet and badmouth anyone -- I didn't mention the processor by name or, even the state that I was in.

Honestly, I was just hoping that someone else had been in a similar situation and might have a little guidance on the best way to proceed. It sucks to feel powerless and like I was taken advantage of.

I had a chance to stay in the woods for another week and slow down the chaos once I got home and I took it. Apparently, 50 lbs. of meat is the price that I'll pay for that luxury.

From: LesWelch
27-Sep-19
I’m literally just coming home from that hunt right now. So I don’t have time to elaborate. I can say with 100% certainty that Wyatt got screwed. One of the reasons I don’t post on Bowsite much anymore is all of the know it all‘s posting how much Wyatt’s Bull really should have weighed. I was there, took part in breaking down that bull, and watched how particular Wyatt was with his meet. Literally spending the better part of an hour just wiping blood off and ensuring the meet was as clean as humanly possible. Yes, Wyatt definitely got screwed here. I also am the 4th person to confirm his weights.

From: HDE
27-Sep-19
"Also.... I think that’s a load of bunk..."

Chris - my comment about painstakingly is directed to "those guys" that question and talk trash about the processor on their skill and ability that have it down to a science. Kinda like backseat drivers or Mondy morning quarterbacking...

Those are the others that weigh everything when they get home and call up to bitch because they should've got 10 more lbs from a 397 lb bull elk.

From: Ermine
27-Sep-19
Sounds about right for processed meat back for a 5 point. Unless it’s a monster 5 point.

From: butcherboy
27-Sep-19
When someone brings in an elk as clean as yours was Wyatt, it’s a pleasure to cut up. There will always be some trimming to do but not much on a well taken care of animal. All I can say is that you are probably right about some meat being left in the freezer or someone else’s name was put on it. It does stink and the problem lies with us all being human and we all make mistakes. Processor should have double checked in the freezer or tried to make it right with you.

From: Bou'bound
27-Sep-19
Wyatt could handle my meat any day. Sounds like a very thorough and conscientious hunter. Does it the right way.

From: itshot
27-Sep-19
never killed an elk or used a butcher but my packaged meat is usually 25-30% of live weight on deer

using that ratio, your animal was about 525-630 lb? is that reasonable? not sure how much they weigh....

the expected 190 would be for 630-760 lb animal

congrats either way, you done good

From: westslope
27-Sep-19
This is the reason I started processing my own meat. I like being the only one who has a hand in the matter, period.

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