Average bull elk weights.

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by bigngreen, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I took an average 3.5 year old bull this week end and made a very clean kill with a neck shot so I took my time this morning cutting him so I could get a good set of numbers for some others info. He's a little above the average elk but below a big boy, there was less than a pound of meat loss so the numbers are quite good.

    Live weight was 474.65 pounds.

    Hanging weight, skinned and no head or legs was 337.65 pounds.

    Total meat yield was 242.65 pounds.

    Steak and roast meat was 77.15 pounds.

    Trim for burger was 165.5 pounds.

    Left front shoulder was 29.5 pounds and right was 26.1 pounds of trim meat.

    Left hind quarter 30.3 pounds of steak and roast and 21.5 pounds of trim, the right quarter went 28 pounds of steak and 18.6 pounds of trim.

    Flank and rib meat was 37 pounds of trim.

    Backstraps went 15 pounds of steak and 15.85 pounds of trim.

    Neck was 17 pounds of trim.

    Tenderloins were 3.85 pounds of scrumptious goodness!

    Bone was 95 pounds, hide, head and horns was 62 pounds. You can add about 75 pounds of rest of the legs and guts and gore.
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Sheese!!!! U 8 it already!!!!:rolleyes:
     

  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate the objectivity you bring to this subject. I always learn something.
     
  4. KYHILLJACK

    KYHILLJACK Well-Known Member

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    How about the heart and liver ? I enjoy the heart, boiled with mashed potato and gravy. Hard to find anyone that will take the liver. But I hate to waste it. Try every couple of years to eat some and just haven't developed a taste for it yet.
     
  5. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Rhian,

    Congrats on the fine harvest ans thanks for sharing another great thread.

    I know that you (esp. with your many years of experience in doing so) try to save as much meat as possible when you do it yourself, but what would be an expected yield if one takes it to a reputable processing place.

    I'm leaning towards 150 to 200 lbs, as most don't bother with trimming meat off ribs or trimming close to bones.

    Some of my friends were dissatisfied from their yield last year as they were expecting more. My co-worker shot a mature cow and got IIRC 80 lbs of meat. When I told them it's a reasonable yield, they disagreed so I told them if they do not like the game processing yield to to it themselves. :D

    Ed
     
  6. Taos

    Taos Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the detailed weights. Very interesting. My own experience closely follows that description. In five years of weighing elk with no guts,head or hide, the heaviest I can recall was a large cow that weighed in at 608. Most raghorn bulls came in at around 425-500 lbs like that. Heaviest bulls at about 550 lbs. We weighed about 40-50 elk a season. I personally think talk of 1,000 Lb elk is a little assanine. These elk were all taken and weighed in western Co., and I am sure there are bigger elk in the western states, but that is what they weigh in that country.
     
  7. runshort

    runshort Well-Known Member

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    bigngreen

    Just curious as to what would be considered a large bull (live weight) in the area you hunt?
     
  8. Taos

    Taos Well-Known Member

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    Do not recall any that went overabout 575, but that is Co. where quantity beats quality every time. As far as horns go we do not see much over about 360 in the area we hunt. But we do see 10-12 bulls a day, sometimes more.
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The average elk in the greater Yellowstone area will be 250 pounds on the rail, that's from weighing several thousand of them on certified scales. The average trim would run 115 pounds and the steaks would run 65 lbs so 180 pounds.
    We tracked every statistic for every animal we processed and if I saw 80 pounds of meat come out of the freezer on an elk I would go back and find the rest OR there had better be a dang good reason for it like spoiling or shot with a grenade, if I got an animal like that I called the customer and had them come down and look at it so as to avoid problems.
    If you look at my numbers you can see how fast you loose meat if you don't take the flanks or blow of the shoulder, you can seriously impact your yield by shot placement and then loose more by how you handle it in the field and at home.
     
  10. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    They told him, the front shoulders were blood shot!
     
  11. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    Roosevelt Elk are dramatically larger. I called in a really nice 6x6 bull in September. Legs, ribs (separated from the spine), backstrap, tenderloins, all trim from the neck, and any flank or trim meat, 580 lbs.

    I would say average bull in Colorado, quartered with the spine, is in the 300 lbs range, minus backstrap and tenderloins.

    I've got one in the trick right now that is quartered without the spine. I'm dropping it off at the locker tomorrow, ill report back.
     
  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The largest elk I ever weighted on the rail, skinned, no head or legs went 409 pounds if I remember. Those are the kind of numbers that you go get every one so they can see it, I've probably scaled close to 3000 elk from the greater Yellowstone area and that's what you get, the average elk weight will be a two year old elk but our elk tend not to get to old either! I would say live weight around 700 pounds would be tops, soaking wet maybe :D

    I would say the average elk size is increasing though mainly because the regulations are changing so less spikes and rag heads are getting shot so I'm seeing a long more 3.5+ year old bulls.
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    So they probably tossed the shoulders, didn't touch the flanks and cut the hinds and backstraps at a minimal level which is fairly typical but absolutely poor work IMO.

    A good number of meat shops don't use profuse amounts of water to keep things clean and flopping a blood shot front shoulder on a table creates a big mess so they won't do it. I take a few extra minutes to seam out the good meat and take the shanks and hit every thing with a hose that is always at hand.

    At our shop when the customer came in we filled out a cutting sheet, what they wanted done and cuts, it also had comments and we weighed three different times so when you picked up your meat it was not hard to see why you are low or high for that matter. I would also take anyone who had any kind of question about meat quality straight back into the cutting room and give them gloves to inspect meat coming of the cutting table, NEVER did I have a customer find a hair or blood shot and they always left their game with me even though I was the most expensive in the area. I always cut the customers animals the way I cut my own!
    We also did not want you to skin your animal, we skinned for free and charged if you did it your self which is the opposite of most shops but we wanted to be able to clean skin the animal and not have to cut a piece of hairy jerky! I put on clinics on game handling before season and for our outfitters, you can loose a lot of meat starting with gutting!
     
  14. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Copy that, thanks for taking the time to share your experience and shed some light. I personally have not experienced being short changed with the game processor in question as I've always gotten what my expected amount of meat in return.

    Thanks again!

    Ed