Ask The Biologist

Where’s the Meat?

Where’s the Meat?

By Bob Humphrey

A 100-pound deer doesn’t yield as much meat as you might think.

QUESTION: Last fall, I shot my first deer and brought it to a local meat processor to have it prepared. When I picked it up, there was hardly enough meat to fill a grocery sack. I expected a lot more considering the deer weighed about 100 pounds. I’m wondering if I was taken advantage of. — Ron B.

ANSWER: Let’s take a look at it methodically. You say the deer weighed 100 pounds. As you said “sack” rather than “bag,” I’m going to assume you’re from the south and are referring to live weight rather than dressed weight. That means dressed weight was probably between 75 and 80 pounds. That should leave you with between 50 and 60 pounds of edible meat, which you could, indeed, fit in a grocery bag.

Where's the MeatOf course, much depends on exactly how it was processed, and how meticulous the processor was. Many meat cutters carve out the best cuts for steaks, chops and roast, and then grind the rest for burger. Some will add pork fat or pork to the burger for moisture, which might increase weight (and cost) slightly. There’s also a good chance less desirable portions like the ribs, lower shanks and possibly even the neck didn’t “make the cut.”

If you want more meat and want to make absolutely certain it’s cut exactly the way you want it, I suggest you do it yourself. It’s not that difficult. There are plenty of good how-to resources available, and it can be quite gratifying to know you were involved in every step of the process from field to table.

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Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd