Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A Brooktrails Bear Got Aggressive Striking a Resident Drawing Blood and Caught On Video Charging Family Home

The black bear in Brooktrails that struck a resident and loomed outside the family’s home charging the windows [Screenshot from a video provided by Ryan Ballou]

A flare-up between a Brooktrails man and a bear got physical this weekend when a brown bear used its claws to scratch the man drawing blood. 

Ryan Ballou and his family live in the Blue Lakes Drive area of Brooktrails and have become well acquainted with a family of bears that have roamed the area for over ten years.

[Video provided by Ryan Ballou] 

On the night of Saturday, March 11, 2023, a bear Ballou knows well began to exhibit aggressive behavior. The bear was on Ballou’s porch when it began charging and posturing through the windows of Ballou’s home. 

At one point, Ballou’s dog accidentally opened the door to the porch. When Ballou went to shut the door, the bear swiped him with his paw drawing blood. 

[Video provided by Ryan Ballou] 

Video footage provided by Ballou depicts a bear almost glaring through the window and rushing towards it several times and slapping it with its front paws.  He told us that the glass on his windows is weak and would be unable to hold up to a bear charging them.

Ballou has a passion for wildlife. He runs a Facebook page called Ballous Bears documenting the critters that navigate the area of Blue Lake Road. In his time taking notice of his furry neighbors, Ballous has documented bears, snakes, salamanders, deer, skunks, raccoons, and others.

[Video provided by Ryan Ballou] 

After his hostile encounter Saturday night, we asked him if he would contact Fish and Wildlife to report what many would describe as human-wildlife conflict. He said, “Nah, he has good and bad days. I’m not gonna rat his location out to fish and game. He is just a hormonal teenager and doing what bears do.”

Ballou knows full well the power bears wield and their potential danger. “I’m not friendly to him and I don’t encourage him to be here that’s for sure,” he explained. “I do however admire his tenacious spirit.”

The bear’s intensity could be a by-product of an entire neighborhood stinky with household garbage. Ballou said sanitation services have not been available for two weeks since the snow began.

[Video provided by Ryan Ballou] 

Ballou holds no grudges. On Sunday morning, he caught a video of the bully bear climbing one of his trees. ”He’s a clumsy jerk, but he’s okay.”

For those that would like to mitigate their interactions with bears, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a few principles to curb their presence

  • Bears are drawn to smelly attractants such as garbage cans, barbeques, bird feeders, and fruit-bearing trees. 
  • Rather than putting trash cans along the curb the night before pick-up, residents should place them early the next morning minimizing bears’ opportunity to get into the garbage. In that vein, consider regularly bleaching and deodorizing the cans.
  • Common deterrents used to ward off wildlife include motion-sensor alarms, sprinklers, and lights. Some homeowners have used electric fencing and/or electric doormats.
  • To make sure a curious bear does not end up in your living room or under your house, make sure to lock all doors/entrances and block access to crawl spaces.

If a human-wildlife conflict does occur, report the circumstances to Fish and Wildlife by submitting a Wildlife Incident Report.



  1. There is one other deterrent. A large caliber rifle can quickly reduce the risk to people in the area. There are too many bears now that the liberal loons have all but eliminated hunting. Our “advanced” society will allow pets and children to be eaten by wild animals rather than realize. The reason grizzly bears , mountain lions wolves and the likes were hunted into very small numbers was to prevent human and livestock loss. Then there are the morons that feed the bears. But thats just another level of stupid

  2. IMO this guy has created a dangerous bear because he enjoys the attention. Sadly, this bear will likely end up dead. He leaves garbage on his camera-ready deck as well as a large pan of cat food positioned for filming. He seems to think he is very cool when, deep down, he is creating a situation detrimental to bears and his neighbors.

    • I agree! I’ve seen the large bowl, filled with cat food & positioned within camera range. I’m disappointed to see this seems to be intentional, to make videos & get more views, to make $.

  3. A fed bear is a dead bear, once the bear starts to equate people and food it just gets ramped up over time. With bears hitting trash cans, Bird feeders and outside dog dishes it’s only a matter of time. Time to buy a 12 gauge with slugs or a big riffle. Some people think such behavior is entertaining, but bears need to eat wild food not trash and dog food. Having lived in Canada you have to make sure you do not feed or attract bears or you will come home to find they are in the house and have done a ton of damage. I once worked at a camp and a bear broke in to the Cafeteria, it was not “cute” or “entertaining” as the bear had to be shot.

  4. LolNah, he has good and bad days. I’m not gonna rat his location out to fish and game”

    You did report his location by wanting your name and video in the news….you think your that hard to locate?
    I cannot imagine these bears just coming to your home that has people and dogs unless enticed. Sadly you may have signed these bears death warrants by no fault of their own. This bear is a threat to others in area now

    • Yes, I agree. Once I saw someone mentioning he was enticing the bears, I looked at the other videos he’s made & they all have either garbage or a large bowl of cat food on the deck, conveniently placed for taking videos.
      He doesn’t call Fish & Game because he doesn’t want to lose his bear video gig. He has a Facebook group about his bear videos & I’m sure he got paid for this story.

    • Even worse, purposely or negligently leaving cat food &/or garbage on the deck. After reviewing more videos, it appears to be intentional, than accidental.

  5. I’ve replied to a few comments, here. After messaging Ryan Ballou, on Facebook & asking him about having cat food & garbage on his deck, after his long-time problems with bears, I decided to comment on this situation, so others can form their own opinions.

    At first, Ryan laughed it off & claimed there wasn’t any cat food, then said there may have been ‘wet cat food’. When I continued to question him & was skeptical, he promptly blocked me.
    After someone mentioned this was likely an incident of intentionally feeding the bears, I reviewed more of his videos. This is why I became suspicious.

    It seems many of the videos show bowls of cat food or bags of garbage on his deck, which obviously will attract bears. This is also conveniently within camera range.
    This person has had a FB group, with videos about his bear problem, for quite awhile.
    Now, there’s been articles submitted, with his recent videos, which I’m sure he’s been paid for. He has also repeatedly refused to call Fish & Game, even though this has been going on for a long time, possibly years.
    This is either extreme negligence or intentional, imo. Draw your own conclusions.

        • Debbie you need to let fish and game know this. Cause if he is really feeding bears that is a big time no no. And he can be fined and if he keeps doing it he will do jail time. Ok well maybe not jail time cause they never put anyone in jail any more. And if it’s reported neighbors can hold him responsible for anything g that happens to their animals property or self.
          I know this cause I had a neighbor feeding a mountain lion cub deer and raccoons and my dog got attacked by the mountain lion and she had to pay for it all. She had been reported and told many times to stop.

          • Katy, I haven’t directly witnessed it, but it’s become obvious from viewing the many videos he’s been taking of the bears on his deck.
            When I questioned him on Facebook, he lied about it, then blocked me.
            Another local gal hoped that officials would see this news story & investigate. Sure enough, some ‘state’ officials did see it & have contacted him. They came out & took DNA samples.
            Now, he’s acting innocent & cooperative. But, he has refused to contact officials, for a long time, despite many people asking him to.
            He even started a FB group with his videos of the bears, to get attention & make $.

  6. He may not “feed the bears” but other people do in brooktrails area!! Hence the fact that this “family of bears” aren’t truly afraid of humans, as they should be. It’s not just caus trash hasn’t been picked up. Sad these people are going to get themselves and others hurt and the bears killed.

    • Rachel, I suppose it depends upon one’s definition of ‘feeding the bears’. When a person has had chronic bear problems for many years, but chooses to leave bowls of pet food & garbage on their deck, that’s feeding the bears, imo. Doing it to get videos, for his own personal gain, is blatantly abusive to the bears & his neighbors.

  7. If you are going to feed the bears, give them wild food. Fresh wild salmon? Bears up there probably dont remember how they taste. Like what are the bears eating in brooktrails anyways? Besides trash and dog/cat food? Surely this is not the only porch these bear visit. Just one stop among many.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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