March 1, 2013

Hari Ragat: Hunting Yields

Art (C) Ernie Chan

I need a gauge for how many people a hunter can feed with a given catch. Askthemeatman.com has these estimates on the meat yield of a typical steer that provide a good answer.  Main takeaway from that page is that you get about 50-60% of a meat animal’s live weight in edible meat, and that’s including the organ meats.

Now, assuming that we’re talking about a survival hunting scenario, where the prey will provide 100% of the food the survivors will eat, and that a healthy adult living a vigorous lifestyle will need about 2-3 lb of cooked food per day:

A 180-lb wild boar, typical weight for wild boar in the tropics (max weight is about 300 lb), will yield 75 lb of edible flesh. Divided by 3lb per person, this will feed about 30 people for a day.

A deer (island sambar) weighing about 120 lb will yield enough meat for about 20 people for a day.

An adult water buffalo weighing about 1,800 lb will yield 900 lb of meat, enough meat for 300 people!

So, to feed the crew of a typical karakoa, about 100+ men, you’ll need to catch at least 3 typical-sized boar, or 5 deer, but if you can bag a water buffalo you’ll have enough food for three days. Guess which is the most dangerous …

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