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Body Size

Body Size

Large Bison

Weights are frequently used to describe large animals. They are usually qualified with a statement that the weight was: live, whole, hog dressed, skinned, or with the head off. Also, weights may be determined by a guess, experienced estimate, or a scale.

Several variables are known to influence skeletal development and consequently affect the skull size, tusks, muscle tissue, fat deposits, gross size of the animal, annual replacement of antlers, and increments of horns. Extremely large antlers or horns do not necessarily correspond with an exceptionally large body size. If the antler development is not outstanding, the body condition or size is a preferred description.

This section provides a listing of some of the largest weights on record for the various Montana big game species. As such, the standards require verification and the use of a certified scale. Whole weight is either from a live animal or a dead and uncut animal; dressed weight is an animal with head, skin and feet attached and the complete viscera removed.

Future records should include sex, date killed, location taken, hunter name, and observer names for the scale weight.

Greatest Weights (in pounds) for Montana Big Game

Species Whole Dressed
Bear, Black 660  
Bear, Grizzly 1,102  
Lion, Mountain 176  
American Elk 1,010 810
Deer, Mule 453 340
Deer, Whitetailed 375 275
Shiras "Wyoming" Moose 1,117 840
Pronghorn 160 121
Bison 1,555  
Rocky Mountain Goat 310 212
Sheep, Bighorn 302 222