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  1. #1
    Dominant Buck
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    jcchartboy's Avatar
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    Thought folks might enjoy this article...

    JC

    Weight problem: How to accurately size up a deer
    By Dave Henderson • February 17, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Most hunters can tell you the number of antler points and the weight of every buck they see in the field. And most would be astonished -- and would probably back up that disbelief with belligerence -- to learn that a good-sized buck would barely reach the average man's belt buckle.

    Hunters' weight estimates on deer, inflated as they invariably are by adrenaline and sheer ignorance, are worse than fishermen's claims. One cannot readily reach into a tackle box to find a scale capable of settling an argument on the size of an 8-point buck.

    The rule of thumb for determining live weight is to add one-third to the field-dressed weight -- but that's of no use without a suitable set of scales.
    The average buck taken in New York and Pennsylvania, for instance, is 1.5 years old and field dresses at around 120 pounds, according to wildlife biologists from those states. The heart girth is in the neighborhood of 36 inches.

    Measuring system

    Minnesota hunter-writer Jeff Murray has handicapped the measuring procedure to adapt it to various regions of the country. In his book, "For Big Bucks Only" (North American Hunting Club, 1989), Murray says the field dressed weight for a deep south buck, including Texas, is 5.6 times the heart girth, minus 94.

    Field-dressed weight of the big deer of the upper Midwest can be ascertained, according to Murray, by multiplying the heart girth by 7.7 and subtracting 178. Virtually anywhere else it's a matter of multiplying the girth measurement by 6.5 and subtracting 120.

    The farther from the equator a subspecies lives, the larger the body will tend to be, according to a loose interpretation of a biological law known as Bergman's Rule.

    The average adult buck (they reach full skeletal size at 4.5 to 5.5 years) in the northern regions of this continent, for instance, approaches 200 pounds. Adult does, whose full development ends at 2.5 years when they begin expending their energy on pregnancy and lactating, are 130-140 pounds.

    Yet a biologist on a South Texas ranch once told me that he'd never seen a Texas doe field-dress as much as 100 pounds in his 31 years of hunting and only a handful of bucks that reached 130.

    On the other hand, in 1981 a 10-point buck killed on the Duluth Indian Reservation in Minnesota was weighed on certified scales at 402 pounds field dressed. Biologists estimated the live weight at 511 pounds -- and that only tied the record.

    How much is meat?

    Bob Wylie, an old friend from Binghamton who cut meat for more than 60 years before passing away last year, once itemized just what comes in that fur-bound container and what you can expect to get back.
    Fr comparison we used the average New York-Pennsylvania whitetail, which the respective fish and wildlife staff types say is 120 pounds field-dressed.

    "You can figure that the head will weigh eight to 10 pounds, depending on the size of the antlers," Bob said. "And the hide will go between 10 and 15 pounds. You'll find that the feet, cut off at the knees, will be one and a half pounds apiece. That should account for about 25-30 pounds total."
    If your butcher cuts the meat on a saw, all you're apt to lose after that is 10-12 pounds of ribs and cartilage. But if the carcass is boned, consider the weight discarded with two front shoulders, a pelvis, upper legs and a six-foot vertebrae.

    "With an animal that comes in clean and wasn't shot up badly, you might get between 40 and 50 pounds of boned meat."

    As if to illustrate the point, Wylie cut up a 134-pound bow-killed buck that night and wrapped it as 57 pounds of boned meat.

  2. #2
    Dominant Buck
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    Good read, thanks for sharing
    Economic disaster begins with a philosophy of doing less and wanting more. All values must be won by contest, and after they have been won, they must be defended.

  3. #3
    Dominant Buck
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    NJ deer are by and large small. When they used to be weighed there would be a line at the check station during 6 day or doe day and we would watch the weigh ins. Most does go 60-75 lbs. Yearling does 40-50 lbs. Most bucks 90-120 lbs. Field dressed deer lol, skinny buggers. This was before baiting came into vogue but even with that I'm sure it hasn't changed much in NJ. There are exceptions to every rule but check stations used to be fun and you could learn alot. Especially the aging on the spot when they would slash open the mouth (with your consent if you weren't going to mount it)to get a look at the teeth.

  4. #4
    Dominant Buck maximus's Avatar
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    Field-dressed weight of the big deer of the upper Midwest can be ascertained, according to Murray, by multiplying the heart girth by 7.7 and subtracting 178. Virtually anywhere else it's a matter of multiplying the girth measurement by 6.5 and subtracting 120.
    I can just see someone walking up to me while I'm holding a heart in one hand and calculater in the other
    I'm going to be very busy in the afterlife, the list of people I'm going to haunt grows every day

    I no longer need google, my wife knows everything

  5. #5
    Non Typical njpassthru's Avatar
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    so I figure a 100lb deer would give you roughly 20-25lbs. right?

  6. #6
    Dominant Buck
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    As if to illustrate the point, Wylie cut up a 134-pound bow-killed buck that night and wrapped it as 57 pounds of boned meat.
    Unless you go to The Hometown Butcher...

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Dominant Buck maximus's Avatar
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    Unless you go to The Hometown Butcher...
    I'm going to be very busy in the afterlife, the list of people I'm going to haunt grows every day

    I no longer need google, my wife knows everything

  9. #9
    Monster Buck
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    so I figure a 100lb deer would give you roughly 20-25lbs. right?
    bingo
    Vengeance is a dish best served cold !! Killers' Pro Staff Hatred is the longest lasting love affair,life member UBNJ,life member NRA,life member whitetails unlimited,life member buckmasters

  10. #10
    Non Typical westjerzeybraque's Avatar
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    slight off topic but no really. JC my father and i hunt maine. They have some big big bucks and some big body deer. the 200lb club just was posted and there is a few big boys that tipped the scales at 250 with no guts,.
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