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COUNTY: Plumas County
LOCATION DETAILS: Plumas County, California - Caribou Wilderness Area - T. 30 N. R. 7 E. Section 20, SE 1/4 - 9 miles north of Chester, CA, East of Lassen Volcanic National Park.
OBSERVED: I smelled a strong odor, not a rotting carcass smell but sickly sweet and somewhat garlicy. I looked around for the source of the smell but could not locate [it].
In the same area I heard a screeching vocalization. It was not an animal growl, or raptor screech. I am familiar with bear and mountain lion sounds. This was not any sound I recognized.
Footprints found around the area I ate lunch earlier. The ground was hard and rocky so I could not positively identify the tracks, but I am certain they were not bear tracks. The tracks were approximately 14 inches by 6 inches in dimension.
I am an experienced outdoor worker. 25+ years with the Forest Service. The odor, sounds, and footprints were unknown to me. That is why I am making a report.
ALSO NOTICED: Thunderstorms were developing. One party on horseback was about an hour ahead of me. As I was leaving the area 2 hikers were hiking to Evelyn Lake for a camping/fishing trip. They were loud talkers with a boom box. I am sure anything in the area heard them a long way off.
OTHER WITNESSES: Day hiking, trying to be quiet to avoid startling wildlife.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: June 10, 1998, early afternoon.
ENVIRONMENT: Densely forested area with numerous small lakes and rock outcroppings. Rolling terrain. Wilderness area with no roads or structures within several miles. Forest type is Red Fir/Lodepole Pine with Pinemat Manzanita understory. Approximately 1/4 mile south of a maintained hiking trail. Location is Township 30 N. Range 7 E. SE 1/4 of Section 20, MDBM. just south of Evelyn Lake. Approximately 4 miles by trail from trailhead. Nearest dirt road is one mile south.