Just curious, how many pounds do you guys typically get on an average cow when quartered? How about when whole? I only got 81 pounds on this one. All the cuts are boneless. I'm disappointed, but glad to learn from the experience. The next time I that I have to quarter, I'm going to do a better job on the shoulders, but also go ahead and take more meat. I don't see a reason that I couldn't just gut when done and take rib meat and more in bits and pieces and bag it (for burger). Do you guys take the time to do this? I took the minimum required by law, but I don't feel obligated to leave meat for the crows and coyotes.
How much meat to take is certainly personal choice and most learn to take more and more each time they harvest an elk, figuring out how to deal with it the more they do it.
If I understand correctly, you didn't skin it and only took the four quarters? So did you not get the backstrap and loins? These are the best cuts of meat and something you won't want to leave next time.
Personally, I take every ounce of meat I can strip off . . . . I gut first, then skin and quarter (skinning and quartering one side at a time). It would be pretty tough to explain how to quarter (it's a visual thing). . . . I keep four meat bags with my packboard. One for each hind quarter, one for both front quarters and one for the backstrap/loins/barrel meat. The barrel meat consists of every ounce
of meat you can get off that carcass that didn't come with the four quarters. The backstrap (2 total) will be cut into steaks, the loins (2 total) will be left whole and the barrel meat will eventually go in to two piles. For me, those two piles will consist of the best and cleanest cuts for jerky, the rest for making peperoni sticks/summer sausage/canning meat. Some will also make hamburger. The pieces of meat from the quarters that won't make a perfect steak, will also go in to one of these two piles.
Take your time and keep the meat clean (free from dirt, grass, hair, flys, anything but clean meat). I butcher my own but I've been told that if you send dirty meat to a butcher to have it processed, he'll figure you don't care, so he'll treat it like you do.