First time posting here and I hope you can help ease my mind. This spring my brother and I got a really young small black bear (first bear ever and we were pumped!). We're confident it was 2 years old (definitely legal, but barely). We didn't weigh it but the two of us could swing it into the truck bed without much trouble.
We butchered it ourselves (done many times with other big game) and are quite meticulous about cutting out all the sinew. At the end we had only 18lbs of meat. The two hind quarter roasts were each big enough to feed two people for a meal, maybe 3 people max.
A very good friend of mine (and avid hunter) has all but eliminated our relationship (or at least it feels that way) because he couldn't believe we only got 18lbs and said we'd wasted it and shot it just for show. I've explained to him that it was really small and the only meat that was wasted was the lower legs which were so full of sinew it would've taken forever just to get an extra couple pounds out of them.
Has anyone else had this experience of so little meat out of a small bear? Being the first time I'd butchered one it was definitely completely different than deer or moose so I don't know what to expect. I feel no guilt over it as I 100% believe we didn't waste it, but I'm on the brink of losing a really close friend over it because he thinks I'm turning into "one of those guys that takes animals and doesn't use the meat". If anything we erred on the side of shooting a bear that was borderline old enough to harvest.