Saturday, October 26, 2013

Percentage Breakdown of a Deer: What Weighs What?

I fully realize I'm "odd" when it comes to these types of things but... I've always wondered, "How much of a deer's weight consist of hide, bone, head, meat, guts...?"  Stated another way, "How much real meat do you get from a deer?".

I recently commented to some friends on the amount of lean, trimmed, deboned meat I packed in the freezer from a small, Southeast Texas deer and asked for their input.  One of them shared the following numbers from a 7 point buck he killed near Mason, TX some time back.  I found this interesting so I thought I'd share.

Obviously, your mileage will vary depending on lots of factors (poor knife skills, fat deer who really needed to pee, ...) so these should be considered general, "rules of thumb".  My percentages were not as high as found below but the certain individual (whose name rhymes with Mon Dartin) who weighed each of these components will pick a carcass cleaner than a pack of hungry fire ants in August.

A few notes:

  • Ribs are broken out separately since not everyone takes them.  
  • The live weight the deer is probably a bit higher since it does not include the weight of the blood.
  • Weight of ticks IS included below in the hide category.

If you've done a similar calculations on other game animals or on deer from other parts of the country, please share in the comments sections below.

% of live animal % of field dressed
lbs animal animal
Live Weight
136 100%  ---
Field dressed weight
104 76% 100%
32 24%
Edible meat
56.9 42% 55%
4.1 3% 4%
Head, antlers, lower legs, skin
29.3 22% 28%
Trimmed scraps, bones
13.8 10% 13%

At some point, I plan to weight each and every component since now I'm curious as to how much a deer's head weighs, just by itself.


A Man in the Woods

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blood on your Hands

Below is a picture I snapped after a successful outing this past Saturday.

It is a photo of my favorite rifle with blood on the stock, leaning against a tree.

It is bloody because I either:
(a) picked it up with a bloody hand,
(b) used it to finish off a wounded deer,
(c) put the blood there as a symbol of a successful hunt,
(d) deeply cut my finger trying to open a pack of TicTacs, or
(e) absentmindedly threw a piece of bloody trachea away from the carcass and hit the ONLY object within 900 square acres I would have preferred to NOT get bloody.

A Man in the Woods (finally)