If you've read The Poacher's Son, you know that a rampaging black bear plays a prominent role in the story. The incident was inspired, in part, by a real-life occurrence that happened in Waldoboro, Maine, a number of years ago. I did make up one significant detail for the novel, however. In reality the bear never took a bite out of the man who shot it.
Such was not the case in Township 5 Range 7 in Maine today. Here's Maine Public Broadcasting's account of the misadventure:
A Shin Pond man is recuperating after being attacked by a bear on Maine's first day of bear hunting with dogs season. Ryan Shepard, 37, was charged by the bear Monday while hunting in Township 5 Range 7 with three friends, officials told the Bangor Daily News….
Shepard was bitten in the arm and leg by the bear, which weighed at least 300 pounds. He was taken to Millinocket Regional Hospital, and state game wardens say his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening….
Shepard fired at the bear when it charged past dogs that were holding it at bay. The bear was mortally wounded.
Lucky guy, unlucky bear.
It turns out that getting mauled by a black bear isn't such an uncommon occurrence in Maine after all. Not according to John Holyoke of the Bangor Daily News:
Though a DIF&W spokesperson said on Tuesday that just three people have been reported injured by black bears in Maine over the past 30 years, the number is higher than that. A check of Bangor Daily News archives dating over the last 24 years reveals at least six attacks that resulted in injuries. No deaths were reported. And it’s impossible to know how many incidents simply were not reported....
Also in the DIF&W files, but unverifiable in BDN accounts: A 1986 incident in which a Bradford hunter — also a former boxer — punched a black bear in the nose to repel an attack.
I'm not necessarily buying the punch in the nose story, but stranger things have happened in the Maine woods.