Best Hunter (2007)

Ray Casais

You may have seen him around town: an imposing, ranchero-outfitted bear of a man with puffy, chubby cheeks and a clean-shorn head that he keeps warm under his trademark cowboy hat (indeed his business cards read "the man in the hat"). His shins are covered in scars. He has been bitten by a snake, a turtle, a snake, a squirrel, a monkey, and, of course, several hogs.A golden amulet with shimmering red ruby eyes dangles amid a burst of chest hair: the fearsome head of the feral hog, his one true passion. His wife had it made for him. The head is also rendered on a dinner plate-size sticker that faces out of the back of the massive Ford truck that he keeps well stocked with guns and ammunition. But he doesn't use them much. Instead Ray Casais picks up a cold steel spear, visits the doctor for a spinal steroid injection (amateur rodeo accident), and heads out into the Glades. When he's feeling adventurous he goes out with only a knife, pouncing on his massive, razor-toothed prey and dispatching them with extreme prejudice. The heads of 37 knife kills hang on the walls of his home — all of whom he has kissed, dead, on the lips."I don't drink; don't need to," Casais said one morning at Versailles. "It's a rush. Some people like to race cars, others like to swim with sharks. This is what I do."


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