Estimating Your Moose Meat Amount: Eating Well Advantage

Have you ever considered estimating your moose meat amount?

The moose meat amount obtainable ranges from 30% to 50% of its weight, determined by the weight of each cut quarter.

Nevertheless, the amount of meat gathered can be impacted by factors such as bone size, condition, and meat handling.

Moose meat sounds like a lot of meat. You would think that a large animal like a moose would yield a good amount of meat. But is it really as simple as that?

Keep reading to understand how these factors can affect your estimating moose meat amount.

Meat from a moose prepared into culinary dish on white bowl plate demonstrating the moose meat amount yielded from a hunt.

Related Reading: The Cost of Owning a Moose: 5 Essential Considerations

Size Impacts Moose Meat Amount

A moose can provide an abundant amount of meat when hunted, especially larger ones.

To determine the overall weight of a moose, one must multiply the weight of all four quarters, along with the skin, by a factor of 1.61.

For example, if the weight of the quarters, including skin, totals 600 pounds, the live weight of the moose would be approximately 966 pounds.

Additionally, the meat weight would account for roughly 52% of the gross weight, calculated only after weighing all four quarters with the skin.

A bull moose is the only type that has antlers. In Alaska, around 6,000 to 8,000 moose are hunted and killed annually by both residents and non-residents.

This results in roughly 3.5 million pounds of edible meat.

After dressing, a moose weighing 1,600 pounds (726 kg) typically yields around 500 pounds (227 kg) of meat, which amounts to roughly 950 pounds (431 kg) of the animal’s weight.

A common misconception is that a bigger moose is always better. However, it’s important to consider the practicalities of transporting the meat back home.

There are limits to how much can be carried, and any excess is often given to locals or donated to food banks.

Meat on the Bone

Many individuals opt to leave meat intact on the bone for the sake of convenience and efficiency.

Nonetheless, bones can increase the weight of the meat, leading to a lower meat-to-bone ratio.

Retaining the meat on the bone can be a more economically viable option and minimize wastage from boning and segmenting.

Boneless Meat

Boneless meat can equal roughly 52% of the gross weight of the four quarters with the skin. This can help with your estimating moose meat amounts.

Using the previous example where quarters weighed a total of 600 pounds, you could expect to get about 312 pounds of meat from that.

When you process completely deboned meat, you will have approximately 30-32% yield from most animals.

This means that 1000 pounds of live weight will result in about 300 pounds of meat in the freezer.

Condition of The Meat

It’s important to keep in mind that when hunting, a bullet has the potential to harm the meat, resulting in a lower yield.

If the bullet hits the shoulder bone, for example, up to 15 pounds of meat can be lost.

Additionally, the more shots that are fired, the more significant the damage.

It’s therefore crucial to have a skilled and experienced hunter who knows how to minimize these risks.

When hunting, it’s crucial to choose the right spot for field dressing.

Some hunters make the mistake of dressing the carcass on sandy areas or gravel roads, which can ruin the meat and make it unusable for butchers.

To prevent this from happening, it’s highly advisable to come prepared with large cheesecloth or cardboard to place below the carcass.

This will protect the meat from getting damaged and ensure its quality is maintained as well as keep your moose meat amount at its highest.

Maintaining sanitary conditions when handling and transporting meat is crucial for determining the amount of edible meat.

Hunters who handle freshly killed game should wash their hands and use clean, sharp knives when carving out quarters.

Proper wrapping and storage of all meat cuts is also essential.

If the packing process takes longer than expected, it is recommended to lift the meat off the ground to allow air to circulate around it.

Moreover, it is advisable to hang a tarp over the meat to protect it from rain.

Accidentally exposing the meat to outside elements could result in detrimental effects.

When handling moose games, it’s important to cool the carcass down quickly by keeping the meat in quarter cuts with the skin on.

Processing game meat can be a complex endeavor, particularly for those inexperienced with the task.

Placing boned-out meat in game bags can lead to quality deterioration and a higher risk of spoilage.

Moreover, smaller pieces can be more difficult to clean thoroughly.

Consequently, some areas in Alaska opt to keep the meat on the bone until it is taken out of the field.

This approach helps maintain the meat’s quality, particularly in the hindquarters, front shoulders, and backstrap.

Moose Meat Amount from the Butcher

The butcher plays a vital role in determining the quantity of meat you can obtain from your moose.

Nonetheless, it’s important to bear in mind that the quality of the meat will significantly affect the amount of meat that the butcher can extract.

Even if the butcher is highly skilled, if the moose’s condition is exceptionally poor, they may not be able to obtain a significant amount of meat.

When the butcher carves out damaged areas on a moose, it affects the amount of meat you get from it.

Age and drying will also be a factor in the moose meat amount you receive. Any of the dried-out bits will be carved out.

Some butchers may attempt to exploit the situation, resulting in receiving less moose meat than anticipated.

For those who are new to purchasing moose meat, it is advisable to seek a dependable butcher.

To locate a reliable source, forums, and review sites can be consulted for guidance.

If you desire to guarantee the quality of your meat, it may be beneficial to invest extra funds in a reliable butcher.

This is especially valid when seeking boneless cuts like steak.

It’s crucial to recognize that most butchers determine their charges based on the weight of the quarters upon delivery, not after slicing and packaging.

Prices generally vary between $0.35 and $0.45 per pound, contingent on the butcher and the particular cut you request.

Related Reading: How Big Are Moose Compared to Humans?


If you’re interested in obtaining a substantial amount of meat, a moose could be a viable choice.

Nevertheless, prior to embarking on a moose hunting expedition, there are several variables to take into account.

Professionals advise that you peruse hunting forums and review websites to glean insights from seasoned hunters and butchers.

It’s important to bear in mind that moose meat entails more than what initially appears.

Happy Hunting!

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!