Lost Arra's Link
I brought back 270# of bone-in meat from a young bull moose and put 218# boned out meat in the freezer (self processed)
Sounds like you got shorted to me.
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...
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.
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...
Even if a butcher isn’t selling wild game that they skim..... I’m sure some of them keep some for themselves and family.
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.
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.
Absolute wisdom in that statement
285 pounds for a 5 point is very high.
And, not all law enforcement officers are honest either. You can read them and their behavior as well...
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.
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.
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
This times a thousand! Spot on!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Then you know who/what to blame
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.
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.
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.
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. ;-)
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...
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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