How Much Meat Do You Get from a Moose? [4 VARIABLES]

Wondering how much meat you get from a moose? The amount of meat you can get from a moose can range from 30% to 50%.  The weight is estimated using calculations based on weighing each cut quarter. Factors such as bone size, condition, and handling of the meat can all affect the amount of moose meat you can get.

Moose meat sounds like a lot of meat. You’d 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 each of these factors can affect the amount of meat you can get from a moose.

meat from a moose prepared into culinary dish on white bowl plate

Related Reading: How Much Does a Moose Cost? [5 Thing to Consider]

The Size of the Moose

A moose can give a lot of meat compared to other hunted game. The larger the moose the more likely you’ll get a good amount of meat.

The common calculation used to determine the total weight is done by multiplying  the total weight of the quarters with the skin on by 1.61. So if, for example, the quarters weigh 600 pounds, the moose’s estimated live weight is about 966 pounds. With this in mind, you could end up with meat that is then roughly around 52% of the gross weight once you’ve weighed the four quarters of the moose with the skin.

A 1,600-pound (726-kg) moose will dress out at around 950 pounds (431 kilograms), giving roughly 500 pounds (227 kilograms) of meat. Every year, Alaskans and non residents alike kill  roughly 6,000 to 8,000 moose, producing around 3.5 million pounds of edible meat. The antlers are only found on bull moose.

Although you might think that a bigger moose is better, it’s not always the case because you can only realistically carry and transport a certain amount of meat back home and the rest is usually distributed to locals or food banks.

Meat on the Bone

Some people prefer keeping meat on the bone. This could be because it’s easier and quicker just to chop up and be on your way. Of course, the bone can add to the weight of the moose and depending on how big the bones are, could mean that you’re left with less moose meat and more bone. On the flip side, it can be more economical and reduces the wastage of meat through boning and cutting specific sizes.

Boneless Meat

Boneless meat can equal roughly 52% of the gross weight of the four quarters with the skin. Using the previous example where quarters weighed a total of 600 pounds, you could expect to get about 312 pounds of meat from that.

Completely boned out meat you will net 30-32 percent of most animals. 1000 pounds on the hoof is around 300 in the freezer.

Condition of The Meat

You might have not thought about this before, but a bullet can cause damage to the meat, which can also affect the amount of meat you can get. If for example, the bullet reached the shoulder bone, then you could lose about 15 pounds of meat right there. The more fires shot by the hunter means there even more damage. That’s why having a seasoned hunter who knows what he’s doing can make all the difference

Another factor is the field dressing and where it took place. Some hunters might start dressing the carcass on a sandy area or on graveled road. This also damages the meat and is usually discarded by butchers. It is recommended to have large-sized cheesecloth or large cardboard prepared beforehand to place under the carcass to prevent any damage to the meat.

Ensuring sanitary conditions when handling and transporting meat can all determine how much meat you can get. It’s important that hunters handling the freshly killed game wash their hands with water and use clean sharp knives when carving out quarters. All of the meat then needs to be wrapped and stored properly. If packing the meat is taking longer than anticipated, then it’s best to take it off the ground, so the air can circulate around it and to hang a tarp over it in case it rains.

Another important factor to keep in mind when handling moose games is to cool the carcass down as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to keep the meat in quarter cuts with the skin on.

Unless you are an expert, it is a long and difficult job. Boned-out meat in game bags does not cool well and can accelerate spoilage, and all the smaller pieces are inevitably more difficult to keep clean. For this reason, there are some areas in Alaska where the meat on the hindquarters, front shoulders, and backstrap are always kept on the bone until it is removed from the field.

How Much Moose Meat Will the Butcher Give You?

The butcher does play a role in how much meat you can get from your moose. Again, the condition of the meat can determine how much meat the butcher can get. If the state of the moose is really bad then you can’t expect your butcher to perform a miracle and come up with a substantial amount of meat.

As mentioned before, if you’ve shot the moose many times then the butcher will be carving out those damaged areas and this will affect the amount of moose meat you can get.

Age and drying of the meat can also be a factor in how much meat you’ll get. Any of the dried out bits will be carved out.

Of course there are some butchers who will take advantage of the situation and maybe you’ll end up getting less moose meat than expected. If you are new to all this and this is your first moose then it’s best to find a reputable butcher. You can go on to forums and check review sites to get a good idea.

The butchers who are trustworthy maybe charge a bit more for their service but it can be worthwhile in the end. This is especially so if your looking for good boneless cuts like steak. Most butchers charge by the weight of the quarters as it comes in the door and not by the cut & wrapped weight as it goes out the door. If you’re charged by the weight, the prices do vary from $0.35 to $0.45 per pound depending on the butcher and what you asked for.

Related Reading: How Big Are Moose Compared to Humans?


As a large lean animal, a moose can sure give a great amount of meat. But there’s a whole lot of things to consider before trying to get moose meat. If you go to forums hunting forums and review sites then you can learn from more experienced hunters and butchers. Remember! there’s more to moose meat than meets the eye!