View Full Version : My First Hog Hunt, with K-31

Dave R
July 7, 2006, 10:21 PM
Last week, I had my first-ever big game hunt. I have hunted upland birds for years, and varmints, too, but never anything that could account for multiple meals from a single critter ;- ) We had a family reunion in central Florida, so my brother in law (BIL) and I decided to try a guided hog hunt.

He was also a hunting rookie, using a rifle he had never shot before—a recent gift from his father. A Rem700BDL in .30-06.

I chose to use my Swiss K-31 for the hunt. Why? Because it’s my only rifle with a scout scope on it, and I wanted to try the scout scope. And it’s got gobs of milsurp character. I use a handload which is just a little softer than a .308. It’s a 150gr. Speer Hot Cor bullet at 2,600 fps.

We hunted at Outwest Farms, near Okeechobee, FL. It was somewhat of a “canned hunt”. The hogs were not fed, they ran wild. But they were on a fenced ranch. We chased them down in a truly awesome swamp buggy. The floorboard of this thing was over 6 feet off the ground. Wheels were about five and a half feet in diameter.

The guide brought hounds on the swamp buggy. But it turned out they only use the hounds if they have trouble locating hogs. We didn’t.

We just drove the buggy around several thickets that often hold hogs. After a while, we spotted one trotting along fence line, maybe 100 yards away.

We stopped the buggy and I jumped to the front and took a sitting position. Holy cow! It is hard to get a good hold on a moving animal! The hog was moving 90 degrees to us, now maybe 90 yards away. Nearly a broadside shot. I aimed at the top of the shoulder and took my shot. The hog jumped, twirled, and bit at his leg. I thought I had made a solid hit, so I was very surprised when he took off running. Dang! (The autopsy showed that hit was low and behind, in the back of the upper leg). As he was running away, I tried head shot, but called it high. Then I tried a rear-quarter shoulder shot but it went wide. I recalled the old saying about hearing shots in the woods. “1 shot, dead deer. 2 shots, maybe a dead deer. 3 shots, that one got away.“ I felt pretty stupid for missing the first shot and two subsequent shots. Buck fever had me. I reloaded as the guide took off in the buggy and cut the corner on the hog. So now he’s quartering toward us at about 125 yards. I tried another head shot and missed right. Then I decided to get serious about getting a hit. I slowed down, concentrated, and let him come to me. At about 90 yards, when he’s nearly broadside again, and slowing to a trot. I aimed at the top of the shoulder again. This one hit solid. He went down on his side, hard, and kicked twice. Autopsy showed this shot hit just behind the shoulder joint.

About the same time, BIL spots another hog running the other way. We run her down and he takes a head shot with his .30-06. She seems stunned, and runs into a thicket, where the height of the buggy allows him to see her. With her stopped, he makes a perfect head shot, right behind the ear. Lights out right now. The first shot, he lead her too much, and shot through the bridge of the nose.

Within 30 minutes more, both hogs are quartered and on ice. The guide says both run about 100 pounds. We weighed the meat later and it yielded just under 30 lbs., including ribs. My boar definitely had more gamey smell that BIL’s sow. Could be the run he took, could be the male thing. But I overcame it, as you will see.

So, a quick equipment review. The scout scope is a Good Thing. With both eyes open, I could follow the running hog well. More magnification is not needed at that distance. Target acquisition was quick. The misses were certainly a result of my shooting, and not the sighting system.

The Speer 150gr. bullet performed fine at 2600fps. That’s more than 300 Savage speed, and less than .308. Exit wound was fist-sized. The bullet was not recovered.

The K-31 was fun to use. Ergonomics are fine, and the straight-pull action allowed for fast follow-up misses ;-)

We drained the ice on the way home (half hour after first ice) and put in fresh ice, along with a box of rock salt. We rinsed the meat again and put it on fresh ice when we got home. By that time, you could barely smell any “game” in my boar.

We had loin for dinner that night. Tasted great! We braised the loin, then baked it in oven bags, coated in spices. It was tender and not at all gamey. A bit dry.

Tonight, we had the other loin. This time, I didn’t braise. I just baked it in a bag, with a mixture of about a cup of honey, and 2 TBSP of Dijon mustard. Baked at 325 for 2 hours, rotating the meat in the bag every half-hour or so. AWESOME! It fell apart as I was transferring it from the bag to the serving platter. Poured the sauce back over it on the platter. Very tender. Sweet. Some of the best meat I ever ate! Did ribs, too. Those I boiled for half-hour, then coated in barbeque sauce, sealed in tinfoil, and baked at 325 for a couple hours. They were falling apart, too. My kids ate every bite they were served, and everyone asked for seconds.

Why is it that eating something you have killed and prepared is so incredibly satisfying? It must awaken some primal emotions that go way back to the beginning of our species. No restaurant meal is ever as satisfying, no matter how good the taste. No store-bought meal “feels” as good.

As you can tell, I really enjoyed this introduction to hog hunting. Can’t wait to do it again.

July 7, 2006, 11:29 PM
Congradulations on the porkers!! I too paid for my first guided hunt this year and it wasn't no where near as exciting as your story. I got two pigs on my hunt the first weighed in at just over 100lbs and the second weighed almost 200. Had a great time though and I would do it again if I ever get the chance. Now that you have the hunting bug for game larger than birds put in for an Elk hunt and get you a few hundred pounds of meat for your freezer.

July 7, 2006, 11:38 PM
Congrats Dave, and welcome to hog hunting. You picked a perfect sized hog for eating. It's not just the hunt that makes the meat taste better, it's the animal. I've had people going for seconds, not knowing it wasn't just pork. Hope you get to go again.

July 8, 2006, 05:29 AM
Sure is great to hunt with milsurp rifles, isn't it?
Those old guys have lots of character and capability left.
Great to see one put to good use.

July 8, 2006, 06:19 AM
A great hog with a great rifle! ... And most important of all, a great time!


July 9, 2006, 04:25 AM
Nice piggy you got there! I am also a fan of the K-31 and have a Beech '51. I think the guys over at the SwissRifles forum would get a real kick out of your story and pic.

Here's the URL if you don't already know about it.


Dave R
July 9, 2006, 01:00 PM
OK, I posted the story at SwissRifles.com. Couldn't post the pic, as they ony allow hosted pix, and I don't have any place to host the pic.

July 10, 2006, 07:01 PM
OK, I posted the story at SwissRifles.com. Couldn't post the pic, as they ony allow hosted pix, and I don't have any place to host the pic.

Well you can do two things, sign up for something like photobucket and the like (Free). OR you can link the other forum to this post. :)

Dave R
July 10, 2006, 08:22 PM
Pic is posted (and hosted) now.

July 10, 2006, 10:45 PM
I friggin' love this story. Love the K31. Love hunting. Love pork. Can't wait to try your recipe - my mouth is watering just sitting here reading this I too have a K31 with a scout mount (Darrel's), but never seriously considered hunting with it. May have to now. Is your mount a Darrel's also? - looks just like mine. What scope you using?

and the straight-pull action allowed for fast follow-up misses Hee hee :)

Dave R
July 10, 2006, 11:02 PM
but never seriously considered hunting with it.Oh, please consider it. You'll be glad :D

The ONLY reason not to take one hunting is if you'll be hiking huge distances. It does weigh a little more than a sportster. Or maybe if you're going after Griz or Buff...OTOH, the original loading would not be bad for elk--175gr at about 2,500fps.

Yes, my scope mount is a Darrel's. The scope is a cheap Chinese NC Star 2.5X32. I'm pleased to report that this rig held its zero perfectly through 3 planes on its way to Florida. I was worried about that. But before we went after hogs, we both checked our zeroes. Mine was right where I left it.

When I checked the rifle in, the TSA rep was pretty interested in it. He was an obvious shooter. Thought it was some kinda strange Mauser at first. Then wanted the whole story while inspecting it...Good think I checked in early! I was happy to tell it. Fun moments at the airport.

July 11, 2006, 12:21 PM
I hunted with military rifles for years. There is something satisfying to lugging one of the old pieces into the field and actually scoring with it. I used to have a bunch of old military rifles and hunted with them every now and then. Good job on the pig!

July 12, 2006, 10:30 AM
Now I want to take my m44 hog hunting. noob question here, but what round does the k31 use?

Dave R
July 12, 2006, 01:09 PM
K-31 uses 7.5 Swiss. Which I think is exclusive to Swiss rifles.

The good news is, several manufacturers are now making 7.5 Swiss ammo. And its real easy and cheap to handload. You can use .284Win brass for cases. Just run them through the 7.5 Swiss resizing die, and trim length if needed. Components and powders are the same as .308 or .30-06, so its as cheap to shoot as any other rifle, if you reload.

July 14, 2006, 11:58 PM
That was a fine example of a thread. It was nice to read and combined the K31 with hog huntin! Good stuff.

July 15, 2006, 12:10 PM
This rifle is a real sleeper IMO, not to many in my neck of the woods,,when I bought mine a few years ago ,I spent way more money then its worth to buy the left hand bolt set up,,quess I will have to try the scout set up now..

May find a new pig gun :)

Rich Lucibella
July 15, 2006, 12:46 PM
The K31 is an amazingly good rifle...well worth twice the Milsurp Price, IMHO.

The one thing I value in this forum above all else is honest hunting stories. You admitted to Buck Fever...any of us who haven't just haven't hunted enough. Yet, you learned from it right there and took that extra 1/2 second for a perfect shot.

Your BIL's shot is the reason I'm against head shots on hog, except under very narrow circumstances....he might just as easily have hit the lower jaw as the bridge of the nose and he might just as easily have lost that hog as found him for a second shot.

I understand meat hunting, and I am not above taking a "Hail Mary" shot on a running hog. But it seems to me, if I have the time for a head shot, I certainly have the time to hit the Boiler Room. It may spoil a bit of meat, but it sure is a lot more humane to the critters in the long run.


Well done, in any case.

Ranger Al
July 16, 2006, 11:43 PM
Nice looking pig, Dave!:eek:

July 17, 2006, 10:14 AM
Dave R,

Hunting hogs is a dangerous activity and should not be undertaken without great thought and consideration beforehand...because it is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! Once it gets in your blood, it is virtually impossible to stop. But for those willing to take the risk, ain't much better!

Want to make it even more exciting? Use a handgun (not a hand rifle, but a real, sure 'nuff handgun) and take your shot from bad-breath distance. And then you will have one heckofa story to tell, particularly if you get buck fever and your first shot is not disabling...'cause hogs fight back.

In addition to a variety of rifles/calibers, I have used Magnum Research's .45/70 BFR and Smith's Scandium .44 mag to take good-sized hogs in Tennessee. My next hunt (since you are kinky for the military weapons, this should appeal to you) will be with a Springfield .45 acp.... hardball. That should be interesting.

Congratulations on your hunt, and welcome to the great sport of hog hunting.


July 17, 2006, 10:30 AM
Good hog. Glad you enjoyed your trip to Okeechobee.
As I live in this city/county, can attest to the grate hog hunting.
Our deer run a little small but tasty if cooked right.:D

July 17, 2006, 03:24 PM
leadbutt wrote: This rifle is a real sleeper IMO, not to many in my neck of the woods,,when I bought mine a few years ago ,I spent way more money then its worth to buy the left hand bolt set up,,quess I will have to try the scout set up now..


Re the LEFT HAND BOLT SET-UP you mentioned, I see that I did read correctly.

I assume your rifle has been converted to left hand operation. Once upon a time I had this done on a post 64 Model 70 Winchester Standard Target Rifle, and on a Remington 40X Rangemaster, Redfield Olympic sights converted also. Worked out well too.

Who did the work on your rifle, and if I'm not being nosy, what price glory? E-mail me if you like.

Dave R
July 18, 2006, 12:08 AM
because it is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! Yup. We're planning the next hunt now, but its out over a year. The only thing I don't like about Idaho is NO HOGS! So I have to associate the hunt with a trip.

I may have to take up hunting deer or elk or something. Are pigs like a "gateway drug" to the hard-core stuff?

July 18, 2006, 01:37 PM
alan, I don't have the link any more but try the Swiss rifle site,,, The Swiss where very smart and had made a left handed set up for the K-31, By the time I paid and had it sent over it was close to 600 US, and that ws a few years ago

July 19, 2006, 05:36 PM


July 19, 2006, 05:57 PM
When I go to Texas, I help trap wild hogs. You don't want to just kill'em, because their meat is tough from their bland diet. We put them in casges and feed them lots of corm and other stuff. They get nice and fat and then the meat is good.

What food sources did they have? Curious because the meat was so good.

Dave R
July 19, 2006, 11:24 PM
What food sources did they have? Curious because the meat was so good. Dunno. All I know is they weren't fed. The local foliage was typical central Florida.

As I said, my boad had a bit of game smell to him. But after 3 rinses and several hours soaking in brine, the meat had virtually no smell before I started cooking.

TexiCali Slim
July 24, 2006, 09:01 AM
I am going to get a k-31 and I will highly consider a scout scope. Thanks for the informative and entertaining post!:D

Fat White Boy
July 29, 2006, 10:00 PM
I hunt hogs here in California- Ours feed on everythng from acorns to barley to sugarbeets. I have taken ones that have no fat and others that have an inch of fat on them. It just depends on what they have been eating. I keep the loins whole and have the rest ground into sausage. Italian, Polish and breakfast sausage are the best.

I also have a K-31 and have thought about taking it on a hunt. I reload for it and it shoots great using 168gr BT. Too much fun.

Dave R
July 30, 2006, 01:10 PM
Too much fun.Yup. :D

The hogs that BIL and I took had very little fat on them.

Sausage sounds good. Jerky, too?