A friend of mine got an elk last Monday. I helped him pull it off a mountain, and then I helped him butcher it and package it up. He gave me quite a bit of elk for my trouble, as well as the hide and the bones. He was going to throw the hide away anyways.
The hide is currently scraped and salted, and sitting in the garage waiting for me to soak it and tan it. I got a commercial tanning compound, as I forgot to get the brain from the head. We left the head on the mountain, because I didn't want to pull any weight down that I didn't need to pull. The bones are currently in the smoker. There's nothing like a smoked bone to throw in soups or stews. Not only do you get the smoke flavor, but all the marrow and other nutrients that modern America throws away are all there in the bones. Do you wonder why your chicken soup doesn't taste as good as grandma's? Add the bones. Red beans and rice? Ham bones in the beans. Ever had pho? Beef and pork bones used to make the broth.
These bones will get sealed up and put in the freezer until we need them for a soup or a stew. I use every bit of an animal, and quite frankly I don't know why other people don't. But I'm old fashioned, and I know it.
UPDATE: The bones are smoked, and vacuum sealed.
Toss one of those in a pot of chili, or a good beef stew? Boy, you don't know what you're missing.