California Caribou Wilderness Area, tracks found...
Plumas County, California
Caribou Wilderness Area, 9 miles North of Chester, California
Due East of Lassen Volcanic National Park.
June 10, 1998
I am an 25 year experienced outdoor worker with the California Forestry Service.
I smelled a strong odor, not a rotting carcass smell, but a sickly sweet and somewhat garlicky smell. I looked around for the source of the smell but could not locate anything. 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 were found around the area where 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. The odor, sounds, and footprints were unknown to me. That is why I am making a report.
The area was densely forested with numerous small lakes and rock outcroppings with rolling terrain. It is a wilderness area with no roads or structures within several miles.
The forest type is Red Fir/Lodepole Pine with Pinemat Manzanita, approx 1/4 mile south of a maintained hiking trail.
Location is Township 30 N. Range 7 E. SE ¼ of Section 20, MDBM. just south of Evelyn Lake.
Approximately 4 miles by trail from trailhead. Nearest dirt road is one mile south. 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 and you could hear they were loud talkers with a boom box.
I am sure anything in the area heard them a long way off.
Dave (name and email addressed withheld)
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