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Elk meat weight broken down
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
DonVathome 28-Feb-22
cnelk 28-Feb-22
WV Mountaineer 28-Feb-22
DonVathome 28-Feb-22
HDE 28-Feb-22
Quinn @work 28-Feb-22
DonVathome 28-Feb-22
azelkhntr 28-Feb-22
HDE 28-Feb-22
elkmtngear 28-Feb-22
HDE 28-Feb-22
LKH 28-Feb-22
azelkhntr 28-Feb-22
Lost Arra 28-Feb-22
fastflight 28-Feb-22
sitO 28-Feb-22
Quinn @work 28-Feb-22
Hancock West 28-Feb-22
WV Mountaineer 28-Feb-22
elkmtngear 28-Feb-22
elkmtngear 28-Feb-22
Hancock West 28-Feb-22
elkster 28-Feb-22
HDE 28-Feb-22
butcherboy 28-Feb-22
DonVathome 01-Mar-22
Rocky D 01-Mar-22
Smtn10PT 01-Mar-22
HDE 01-Mar-22
LKH 01-Mar-22
Smtn10PT 01-Mar-22
Kurt 01-Mar-22
Cheesehead Mike 01-Mar-22
East/West Coast 01-Mar-22
Cheesehead Mike 01-Mar-22
cnelk 01-Mar-22
DonVathome 01-Mar-22
KsRancher 01-Mar-22
LKH 01-Mar-22
FORESTBOWS 01-Mar-22
From: DonVathome
28-Feb-22
Does anyone have a break down of what boneless elk meat weighs? I am looking for total weight, backstrap weight, rear leg, front leg neck etc. Basically I am curious what percentages are better cuts. We just bought a 1/4 cow and asked for only steaks and ground meat. We got 200# total. 183# of ground meat and 17# of steaks (Tbone & sirloin tip). Seemed a little low on steaks.

My guess is backstrap & sirloin tip alone is 15% of total meat weight. We got 8%.

From: cnelk
28-Feb-22
Back in 2017 I weighed my cow elk I killed opening evening These are my notes:

I was fortunate enough to fill my B List tag opening evening with a big ol dry cow

Im back home now and got the meat all taken of.

I thought it would be a good idea to weigh the quarters, as there are several threads discussing that

Here are the weights - bone in/leg cut off at knee

Loose meat [backstraps/tenderloins] - 23lbs

Front shoulder - 34 lbs each

Hind quarter - 51lbs each

Total = 193lbs

The meat is fresh and cool. Less than 24hrs from field to home This should give a good idea of what to expect

Four quarters all boned out = 23lbs of bones

170lbs net weight boneless meat

28-Feb-22
Don, my guess is you are about right with over all weight. However, maybe short sone steak. Not sure where the ribeye and tenderloin steaks are. Not sure where the roasts are either. I reckon it depends on how it was cut. But, nobody is grinding the rib-eye or tender loin. That I’m certain of.

From: DonVathome
28-Feb-22
Thanks! We asked for just steak and ground meat so roasts were ground up. Luckily my experience with elk gave me a rough idea. It is not far off so I doubt I will say anything . Also each butcher might differ a little. Some iffy steaks (getting near the end where it would be a tougher steak) could have been ground up.

The big things that made me wonder was we get 3-4# of sirloin tip steaks. That seemed a little low.

Another question what cut tastes better of an elk, sirloin tip (front of leg bone) and round steak (behind leg bone)? I always thought the back (round) steak. Off my caribou this year the tip was amazing fresh - did not try round steaks to compare but was very very impressed with the tip steak - basically as good as backstrap but a little tougher.

From: HDE
28-Feb-22
That's a lot of grind from a hind quarter. Did you ask for all steak cuts or just the ones you mention? If just the mentioned, they threw the round and sirloin cuts into the grind pile. It sounds like they also threw the filet into the grind pile - bad mistake.

From: Quinn @work
28-Feb-22
HDE the filet is on the T-Bone so they didn't grind that.

Should of been a couple ribeye's in there and yes it does look they they may have ground the sirloins and all the rounds.

From: DonVathome
28-Feb-22
I asked for steak cuts but was somewhat specific so very likely they ground up steaks I should have asked for! I said no swiss steak (not sure what that was) and no round steak - that was probably a big mistake! Ahh well going to have some great burger!!!!!

We got 200# of meat and it cost $654 ($3.27 per pound out the door) so I thought that was pretty good. Last year we got some and it tasted amazing.

From: azelkhntr
28-Feb-22
Use the Rule of 4. A 400lb elk will yield up 100lbs of meat +/- depending on how close you trim.

From: HDE
28-Feb-22
"HDE the filet is on the T-Bone so they didn't grind that."

Quinn, not all of it. You're confusing the "tenderloin" of an elk with what the filet cut on a beef is with the transition being where the porterhouse normally comes from. It wasn't listed as a steak cut and it should be there unless it was thrown into the grind pile. The hind quarter is split on the second to last rib and those two are hanging ribs attached to the sternum by tissue and weak cartilage connections, so a couple of ribeyes on a hind, sort of if you want to call them that.

From: elkmtngear
28-Feb-22
"We got 200# of meat and it cost $654 ($3.27 per pound out the door)"

Wow! That's about 3 times more than I've ever paid, for a similar yield.

From: HDE
28-Feb-22
"Use the Rule of 4. A 400lb elk will yield up 100lbs of meat +/- depending on how close you trim."

I guess you'd have to be pretty liberal with how much you trim or leave out in the hills for the coyotes to eat too. If an elk carcass weighs 400#, then you should get anywhere from 275# to 300# back. What you choose to keep after that is entirely up to you.

From: LKH
28-Feb-22
Cnelk, You don't mention the neck meat. I get heavier returns on the fronts than you but I trim right up to the ribs and cut it off quite a ways up the neck.

A big bull elk will yield up to 40 lbs of neck meat.

This year I took a 6 pt about 2.5 years old. about a 260 bull. I ended up with 130 lbs of grind meat. Just ground 24 of it yesterday.

From: azelkhntr
28-Feb-22
From: HDE28-Feb-22Private Reply "Use the Rule of 4. A 400lb elk will yield up 100lbs of meat +/- depending on how close you trim." I guess you'd have to be pretty liberal with how much you trim or leave out in the hills for the coyotes to eat too. If an elk carcass weighs 400#, then you should get anywhere from 275# to 300# back. What you choose to keep after that is entirely up to you.

?? No, its about right. 1/4 of the wt. in head, hide and lower legs, 1/4 in guts, 1/4 in bones and 1/4 in usable meat which includes the neck and ribs. I always end up with a bit more at the end because of adding 15-20% fat to the grind.

From: Lost Arra
28-Feb-22

Lost Arra's Link
>>I guess you'd have to be pretty liberal with how much you trim or leave out in the hills for the coyotes to eat too. If an elk carcass weighs 400#, then you should get anywhere from 275# to 300# back. What you choose to keep after that is entirely up to you.<<<

68-75% boneless yield from a field dressed animal is incredible. Are you keeping the liver, heart, kidneys and tongue?

You can download this publication (pdf) and it gives some interesting numbers.

From: fastflight
28-Feb-22
Wish I could figure out a link but, the Bearded Butchers did a YouTube video called Buying Bulk Beef that I thought was fantastic. Check it out. Seems like you got a lot of meat off a quarter. Must have been a huge animal.

From: sitO
28-Feb-22
Wow! That's about 3 times more than I've ever paid, for a similar yield.

? If you're paying a dollar a pound for beef you may be eating horse

From: Quinn @work
28-Feb-22
Elkmtngear,

Can you share the butcher that you are getting good beef from for $1.08 a pound?

From: Hancock West
28-Feb-22
3times more for beef or elk? Beef cant be that cheap unless you are raising them or getting them given to you. Right now its $1.41 on the hoof. A quarter from an 1,100lb steer would be $387.00 each without processing. Processing would likely be close to an additional $200 per quarter

28-Feb-22
I’d say elkmnt does his own raising and processing.

From: elkmtngear
28-Feb-22
Somehow, I missed the "beef" part, of the "Elk Meat Weight Broken Down Thread".

Makes me glad I fill my freezer with elk and venison!

From: elkmtngear
28-Feb-22

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
"I’d say elkmnt does his own raising and processing"

I do have "connections". This was a "wild" range cow (bull calf), that a landowner told me I could have, so I let my Wife hunt it. I didn't raise it, but I did process it, and it was amazing!

From: Hancock West
28-Feb-22
Thats awesome elkmtgear.

From: elkster
28-Feb-22
Thanks for the link, Lost Arra's

From: HDE
28-Feb-22
"?? No, its about right. 1/4 of the wt. in head, hide and lower legs, 1/4 in guts, 1/4 in bones and 1/4 in usable meat which includes the neck and ribs. I always end up with a bit more at the end because of adding 15-20% fat to the grind."

A 400 lb elk live weight doesn't matter. Carcass, or hanging weight, only matters for yield.

From: butcherboy
28-Feb-22
Just so everyone knows, buying a quarter of a beef doesn’t mean buying an actual hind or front quarter. It means taking a half of beef and dividing that in half again. You can get a little bit of everything but it won’t be much.

Yes, I grind roasts, t-bones, sirloin, ribeyes, rounds, sirloin tips, flank steak, tri-tip, Denver, sirloin, flat irons, ranch steak, delmonico’s, chuck, etc. It all depends on how the customer prefers to have their beef cut.

From: DonVathome
01-Mar-22
Thanks guys! I took a calf this year way back in and do not have a lot. I have weighed deer and many are shocked and argue about getting UP TO 25% of live weight in meat. To get that you trim hard.

Most forgot they have pig fat added to ground burger - and some cuts might have bone in. I have found if you trim good - not great but good, you get about 20% of live weight in boneless meat after butchering, trimming and cleaning.

Anyone who gets 30% is doing some funny math or has a scale that is wrong. It just does not happen. Sorry about asking about cow on an elk forum! I used my knowledge of elk to estimate numbers hence why it is here - and I suspect % will be the same for an elk vs. a moo cow. Or, after a Utah elk hunt with tons of domestic cows my buddy calls domestic cows "pooh" cows instead of moo cows. Still cracks me up!

From: Rocky D
01-Mar-22

Rocky D's Link
This got me to thinking so I looked online and found this information.

“ In 2003, a couple of studies were done at the University of Wyoming to answer this very question. Researchers were determined to measure how much boneless meat a typical animal should give you. In the study conducted on Rocky Mountain Elk, bulls had an average field-dressed weight of 437 lbs and cows had an average of 339 lbs. A field-dressed carcass is an animal that has been gutted with the lower legs and windpipe removed but still has the head and hide on it. Skinning and removing the head drops about 73 lbs off the average field-dressed weight of a bull elk and about 45 lbs off a cow elk. Researchers reported that bull elk yielded an average of 218 lbs of boneless lean meat and cows yielded an average of 169 lbs of boneless lean meat. Lean meat is defined as meat with less than 1.4 % fat. Researchers were purposely trimming off the game fat, and the meat was also aged for 14 days before all the final weighing was done.”

From: Smtn10PT
01-Mar-22
I want to know where LKH is hunting that 2.5 year old bulls are already 6 points.

From: HDE
01-Mar-22
^^^ Texas.

From: LKH
01-Mar-22
Central Montana. The place I was on regularly kills bulls in the 340-380 range. Also when I guided south of Rawlins bulls put on a lot of antler. Also, my guess may have been off a year but it wasn't a really big bull. Also not a really small bull.

From: Smtn10PT
01-Mar-22
Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you have a good spot!

From: Kurt
01-Mar-22
I noticed that comment on the 2.5 yr 6-point 260 as well. Steroids?

In CO a 2.5 yr old would be a rag horn 4 or 5 pointer. A 3.5 yr old would be a 5 or small 6 point and never make P&Y if I shot him....topping out at about 250 where I hunted around treeline/continental divide. Other areas may grow them bigger.

As per weights and yield, I'd go with cnelk and the WY researcher data. Corresponds with my qtr and meat weights from a lot of CO elk.

01-Mar-22

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I have notes from this bull, all weights are boneless. He wasn't a particularly large bodied bull, I've killed bigger. Front shoulders were boned out at the kill site and thrown in with the other trim meat. I will admit that I had a very difficult time with this bull at the kill site. It was steep and as I was rolling him around doing the gutless method he slid down hill and his hind quarters got wedged under a downfall tree. I struggled and wrestled with him but just could not pull him free by myself. As a result I may have wasted a few pounds of meat that I couldn't get at.

Backstrap and tenderloins = 26#

Hind quarters = 40# each

Trim (neck, shoulders, misc) = 90#

Total boneless meat = 196#

Most other bulls I've killed have yielded over 200# of boneless meat but I don't have the breakdowns. The backstraps and tenderloins on my 2021 Arizona bull weighed 32#. He was a very large bodied bull and his skull is significantly larger than my other bull Euro mounts. The rest of his meat is still in game bags in my freezer so I haven't weighed it yet.

01-Mar-22

East/West Coast's embedded Photo
East/West Coast's embedded Photo
This is a total guestimate based upon the outfitters assessment I was fortunate enough to harvest my elk in 2021. This was a 6x6 Heard Bull (estimated at 1,000 lbs give or take). We packed out backstrap, front quarters (estimated 120 - 140 lbs), Tenderloins, rear quarters and some other misc. meat (estimated 100 - 120 lbs) and the trophy (as we caped it at 120 - 140 lbs with antlers (see pic).

The processor did an amazing job, the round, backstraps are phenomenal and the ground meat with 10% fat ground in makes amazing burgers, chili and Shepard's pie! (To name a few). I am fortunate who has a wife who loves wildgame almost if not more than I do!

01-Mar-22

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
East/West Coast, congrats on a great bull!

I think your outfitter might have been a little "optimistic" on the weight estimates. It might be possible for a mature herd bull to weigh a half a ton but I think it's extremely rare. Also if you look at the study that RockyD posted above it shows that the entire hide, head and antlers weigh about 73 pounds. If you're only packing out the front half of the hide (cape), head and antlers it would probably weigh 20-30 pounds less, so around 50 pounds. Granted, those were "average" sized bulls.

The attached picture is me packing out the head, cape and antlers from a 360" gross herd bull. It was also the largest bodied bull I have ever killed or seen in person. This load was heavy but it wasn't 120-140 pounds, more like 80 pounds give or take...

From: cnelk
01-Mar-22
"Cnelk, You don't mention the neck meat."

I also didnt mention rib meat. Didnt take either. Totally within the Regs

From: DonVathome
01-Mar-22
Some GREAT bulls guys! One thing I have learned is a pound gets significantly heavier the further it is from the road and the older I get.

From: KsRancher
01-Mar-22
My bull last fall was a small 5x5.

Rear 1/4's 57lbs each

Front shoulders 29lbs each

Loose meat 56lbs

228lbs total

After processing 178lbs boneless meat. I didn't take rib meat or any organs

From: LKH
01-Mar-22
Not taking the neck meat is completely legal here in MT too. Before you decide to follow that path, try some ground up. It's probably the tastiest meat on a bull elk.

01-Mar-22
I got 4 quarters and 2 back straps of a large 300" bull back to prosser. Bone in weight 305#

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