This helps control the population and help maintain their habitat. But most of all, hunting is what we like to do, and it never hurts having fresh venison around.
Unfortunately, far too many individuals go out hunting without considering how they will bring their game home or back to their campsite.
The result is that far too many hunters find themselves struggling to lug around several hundred pounds as the sun starts to set.
Learn how much the various parts of a deer weigh so you can show up prepared for your next hunt.
How Much Does Deer Blood Weigh?
Does, on average, weigh around 140 pounds and their blood accounts for 5% of their weight. At this estimation, their blood would weigh about seven pounds.
Bucks average around 160 pounds and just like their female counterpart, 5% of their weight is blood. This would put the weight of blood in an average sized deer at around eight pounds.
How Much Does a Deer Hide Weigh?
For an average 140-pound doe, the hide is about 8% of the deer’s mass. This would put the hide in at an estimated 11.2 pounds.
Bucks, of course, are usually a bit bigger, and in turn so are their hides. A buck that’s around 160 pounds will have a hide that makes up about 9% of their mass or roughly 14.4 pounds.
The weight of the hide can vary also, of course, and tends to be a larger percentage than blood.
How Much Do Deer Bones Weigh?
For a typical doe, the bones are about 13% of the total body mass. For an average 140-pound deer, this is roughly 18 pounds.
For a typical buck of around 160 pounds, bone weight is usually between 11.5% and 12.5%. This puts the average bone weight of a buck at around 19-20 pounds.
Bones will be the heaviest portion of the deer that you’ll have to consider.
Deer tend to be lean animals because of their diet and environment. They aren’t consuming corn or grain-based diets like pigs or cows, which leads way to a leaner, less fatty meat.
Instead, they spend a lot of time foraging for food, which burns calories. Hunting for these animals means you won’t have to worry about consuming meat that’s treated with steroids or hormones.
Deer Weight Chart
|Blood Weight||7 lbs||8 lbs|
|Hide Weight||11.2 lbs||14.4 lbs|
|Bones||18 lbs||19-20 lbs|
|Total Weight (Average)||140 lbs||160 lbs|
Understanding and Calculating Field Dress Weight
You’ve shot and killed the animal, so now what? There are a few things to consider when handling the carcass. First, it’s important to get it field dressed immediately.
Field dressing is important because it will ensure the meat won’t go to waste. This process preserves the deer’s temperature and keeps bacteria or maggots from forming.
- Field dressing starts with hanging the animal by the head or putting the head above the haunches. You want to make sure the carcass is on a sloping angle so that body fluids drain.
- Using a skinning knife and starting underneath the tail, make the cut straight up to the bottom of the rib cage. Make sure you cut through only the skin and avoid puncturing any organs.
- Next, tie off the inside to prevent the carcass from leaking fluid. Be sure to remove the windpipe as well.
- The next step is to remove the entrails so that the body cavity is completely open.
- From there, you can keep the cavity open to let the body cool by placing sticks between the sections of the opening. Or you can hang the body from a tree to let the remaining fluids drain completely.
- Next, you will need to skin the carcass. This is easiest within the first two hours of the kill. Start the cut on the inside of the legs and go toward the middle of the carcass, moving your way up to the head.
- Once you’ve reached the head, pull the skin down, which might take a bit of force. The skin should come down by the end of the legs.
If you’re curious about how heavy the animal was before the dressing, multiply the field dressed amount by 1.26. There are a few other factors that can contribute to the weight of the deer, such as what and how much it recently ate, and if it is dehydrated.
Other Important Weights to Consider
Hanging weight and edible meat weight are also two additional calculations to consider.
The hanging weight is the mass of the carcass without its head and legs. This can change depending on where the cuts are made on the head and legs. For a rough estimate of live weight, multiply the hanging weight by 1.33.
The edible meat weight is measured in two different ways. One is the ideal boneless weight and the other is the realistic boneless weight of the deer. For an estimate of how the live weight compares to the edible meat weight, multiply the edible meat amount by 1.35.
Related: read about our best picks for tactical backpacks to prepare for your trip.
To get an estimate of how much meat you’ll yield, you can divide the field dressed weight by 1.33 which gives you the carcass weight.
From there, multiply by .67 to get the ideal boneless venison yield. For a realistic venison yield, multiply the ideal boneless venison yield by .070.
There are many different weights to consider when deer hunting. It varies by how old the animal is, what they’ve been eating and how their environment has affected their growth.
This can determine what gear you need to bring, or how many other hunters you’ll want with you. Using these calculations can help you better prepare for your next hunt.