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Found 304 results

  1. Possibly Predator

    Stuck home, sorting hundreds of ziplock bags from last year. WOW, how did I forget these. A toebone that I think is predator and if so, a robust predator --- This is a toebone, think of the size of yours. and in the same Ziplock, a jaw segment. As far as I can tell the width of the Jaw around the alveoli is unbroken. Who recognizes this m2-m3?
  2. Here is an odd one. It's very hard and mineralized. I found it in an intermingled deposit of Pleistocene and Miocene material - I was pulling shark teeth and mammoth ivory fragments from the same hole. So, I don't know if this bone is some Miocene marine critter or a Pleistocene land beast. Can anyone tell what this is? Found in the Peace River, near Zolfo Springs (Bone Valley formation). Thanks in advance!
  3. Here's a weird one. I found this big bone that looks like a knuckle or knee cap. I am completely stumped on this one. Does anyone know what the heck this is? Thanks!
  4. This nifty little gem turned up in my sifter yesterday (Peace River, Bone Valley formation, Hawthorn group, Hardee county, Gardner Florida). I have no idea what it is. All of these little mammal teeth look the same to me. I tried to take the best photos of it that I could, but it's small and tough to get the crown in focus, but I think I managed it...maybe. Does anyone know what animal this comes from? Thanks in advance!
  5. Due to the proliferation of Covid-19 “stay at home orders”, I felt an urgency to go out and fossil-hunt at least one more time before my city, county, or the entire state got put on lockdown. I loaded up the truck on saturday night and we headed out to Gardner early on sunday morning. When we arrived at the ramp about 9:00am, there were a lot of vehicles and activity – much more than my previous three trips. I think a lot of people had the same idea – get out and enjoy the river while you can. It was a beautiful day with plentiful sun and a cool breeze. We loaded up the kayaks (my wife, my stepdaughter, and my grandson) and we headed upstream to check out our usual spots. As we were going up around the bend and our first site came into view, we saw a pair of fossil-hunters parked right in “our” spot. Looking further upriver towards our second spot, there were fossil-hunters in that spot as well. The early bird gets the worm and these folks beat us to a preferred spots. So plan B came into action and we paddled further upstream. We paddled further than we have ever been previously. Looking for gravel beds or exposed strata eroding into the river, we found a good spot about another three-quarters of a mile beyond our usual spots. On this day I decided to be picky and only go after teeth or highlight specimens. I have buckets full of dugong ribs, chunkasaurus, and turtle scutes at home, so I immediately discarded those when they turned up in my sifter. I tossed them downstream behind me into the river and kept digging. My 10-yo grandson held the sifter and helped me with sifting and he got a big kick out of pulling teeth and bits from every shovel load. A little further down the bank, my wife was snapping nature photos and my stepdaughter was digging and sifting in her own spot about 50 feet away. This spot was a tease. Tons of small teeth and common stuff, but only tantalizing fragments of the better stuff. A broken quarter of a mastodon tooth, broken megalodons (fragolodons), etc. I think I did find a couple of baby megs (when they are tiny, I find them hard to discern at times, versus bull or mako). I felt that there must be at least one good meg in this spot, so I dug like a man possessed. I moved a lot of gravel and dug three bomb-craters in the river bed, but to no avail. That big meg eluded me. Eventually my back started complaining and we decided to call it a day. We saw many other hunters on the river, some operating alone and others in groups. We would exchange pleasantries as we passed them by - “How yall doin’?”…… “Beautiful day!”…..”Having any luck?” - most were friendly and reported results similar to our’s – lots of small stuff and oddballs, but nothing to write home about. Of course, if I found a pocket of 100 megs in a hole, I would say something along the lines of “Nah, just little stuff and broken stuff.”. I hope they had better luck than I did. I often wondered if any of the other hunters were forum members, but I never asked because I don’t like intruding on folks or being nosy. But if any of you reading this saw two green kayaks (one of them a bright neon green tandem) pass by with a tall lanky guy, two women, and a kid, then say hello here so I know it was you! I spoke to a couple of fossil-hunters who had rented canoes from Canoe Escape and put in at Zolfo Springs. They told me that Pioneer Park (and the ramp) had been closed earlier that day and that the public park at Brownville was also closed. Both of those are parks with facilities and staff, so I expected they would close eventually. Gardner is just an unstaffed ramp with no facilities, so hopefully it stays open. Hearing that made me glad we decided to go when we did. As I sit here writing this, Hillsborough County (where I live) is about to announce a “stay at home order” - threatening the rest of our fossil season. I know that exercise is considered OK for going out (essential), but I don’t know if driving three counties away to fossil-hunt will be viewed as “exercise”, so I am unsure if I will see the river again any time soon. I guess now we wait and see how this whole Covid-19 thing plays out. I hope this is not the end of fossil-season for us because the water is so LOW. I brought home a much lighter load this time around, having decided to leave all the dugong ribs and chunks of matrix behind. My highlight of the day was a small fossil tooth that I pulled from my first hole. It’s intact with both roots and an undamaged crown. I will try to get it ID’ed today. I also found a couple of very small teeth that I think might be baby megs, but I am unsure. I’ll post photos of our swag when I get everything spread out and dried. I was so tired when we got back last night that I didn’t even inspect or lay out my finds. I showered, ate, and went to sleep by 9:30pm. My wife is still downloading her photos now, so I added visuals to this thread later today. EDIT : apparently the guy I spoke to on the river was wrong - Pioneer Park is still open.
  6. Last one from the Peace River! There’s three ridges where my finger is pointing.
  7. Peace River, Florida bone find

    Another stumper! This one has a sheen to it that doesn’t show up well in the photos. I try to show all sides. It’s cubed in shape.
  8. First time poster! Going through my collection and I have some that stump me. Any idea on this one?
  9. from Peace river, Florida. Thoughts!
  10. Peace River Petrified Wood?

    Inspired by @Harry Pristis's recent post in the member sales forum, I found this oddball in my sifter on monday's hunt. It's dense and mineralized. It "clanks" when you tap it. However, it has a very organic shape and a wood-grain texture. I have found the silicified white variety previously, but could this be an example of phosphatized or something other local variety of fossilized wood? I've found a lot of river-tumbled bone chunks and ivory chunks, but this one seems different. Not quite bone, not quite antler, not quite ivory, and I am fairly certain it's not just a rock.
  11. Here are two small oddball bones that I found. Both appear to be complete or mostly complete, but they have odd shapes that I am having difficulty making sense of. This is especially true for the last one, which is shaped like a human ear (I know it's not that, LOL, but that's what it reminds me of). Both were found in my sifter on the Peace River at Gardner (Pleistocene?, Bone Valley, Florida) Any help would be appreciated. #1 #2 -
  12. On my last trip to Gardner (Peace River, Bone Valley member, Hawthorn group, Hardee County, Florida), I found these small Pleistocene mammal/vertebrate teeth. Even when these are pristine, I have difficulty with them because they all look so similar. Some of these are pretty worn, so ID might be impossible. I tried to snap good photos of the crowns to show the distinctive "squiggles". Can anyone ID these? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I compared them against photos of previous teeth I have found, but I couldn't come up with anything. Three more, with one oddball on the end :
  13. Sm Miocene Tooth

    When I first found this tooth, I paused. Many times I have stated that horizontal banding in the Peace River means one thing--- marine mammal, likely whale. This tooth is very small, could be something like Aulophyseter, but I am no longer so sure. Decided to see if others recognize this tooth.
  14. Gardner, Peace River - Slow and Low

    We paddled past Charlie Creek today. I took a long slow look at it as I paddled by going upstream and then when I floated slowly by on the way downstream. It looked very low. In fact, all of the Peace near Gardner is very very low right now. I was wading through knee deep water and pulling the kayak behind me more than I paddled. We (my wife and I) did a lot of digging and sifting. I also did a lot of slow systematic scanning of the river bottom (using nice 12-noon overhead sun to light up the shallow water). I found a lot of chunkasaurus, broken bits of mammoth teeth, ivory shards, dugong ribs, turtle scutes, and assorted small shark teeth. Found a modern vertebra, and a bunch of small oddballs that are drying out. Also brought home some more micro-matrix material to sift through later. Grabbed a couple of big cool-looking limestone rocks for the garden. We spent almost 7 hours on the river today and didn't find a single meg or highlight find. Beautiful weather and a nice paddle though. Lots of catfish everywhere. Small ones and big ones. Bring a rod and catch your dinner while you fossil-hunt. Saw zero gators today. I guess they don't like shallow moving water, so they must be congregating in the deeper stretches elsewhere. I will emphasize - the water level is very low. In some places it is only inches deep. For long stretches, I had to pull the kayak behind me and walk the river. An outboard motor would have problems unless it was mounted on one of those long booms designed for shallow water. We did see an airboat, which was nice enough to throttle down as it passed us. We also saw a group of canoeists and kayakers who had paddled down from Zolfo Springs. They said the entire stretch from Zolfo to Gardner was "almost too low" - so I am assuming they did a fair bit of portaging. The USGS Zolfo gauge read 4.49 this morning and the discharge flow was 99 - slow and low. Will post more photos later. I am dead tired, but it's a good tired. The photo below is just upstream of the ramp and not far from the mouth of Charlie Creek.
  15. The last time I got out on the river was back in mid-January. Since then, I have watched the USGS gauges while the weather stayed mostly dry. The river height and flow was dropping steadily and just when I was ready to go hunting again, the entire house got sick with the flu - this was right before the coronavirus started grabbing all the headlines. It was very frustrating to sit inside the house while the weather was so beautiful and the river getting so low. Yesterday was the first day where the wife and I both felt close enough to 100% to brave the trip and go hunt some fossils. I loaded up the truck the night before and we headed out the door just before 7am. The drive was uneventful and we arrived at the Gardner ramp on the Peace River about 9am. We hadn't been back to Gardner since 2017, so it was a pleasant change of scenery from my usual spots. The plan was to revisit a couple of old spots we had found on previous trips back in 2016. I hadn't laid eyes on this stretch of river in a long time, so I was not sure what changes to expect. To my surprise, the ramp area was dead. Nobody else was there. Usually the ramp is quite busy, but our timing must have been very good. We had the entire area to ourselves. (Going on a tuesday morning helps) The last time I was at Gardner, the water level was almost two feet higher, so I was pleased to see how low the water was. The current was also quite lazy. The USGS Zolfo Springs gauge read 4.6 feet and the flow was about 120. You can tell in the photo below how low the water is by looking at the opposite bank. Now, I am not going out of my way to obfuscate the exact location of my search spots in this report. This is because this stretch of river is heavily hunted and these spots are known to other hunters. This fact was reinforced on me when we arrived at the first spot and found shovel holes and spoil piles nearby. But more on that later... I have been to Gardner a handful of times previously, but the water was never this low. In fact, I ended up jumping out of the kayak and dragging it behind me while I waded through knee-deep water. My wife rode like a queen in the front seat of the tandem kayak and snapped photos. Our first destination was about a mile upstream, so there was a combination of wading/pulling the kayak and paddling. The water was running surprisingly hard in a couple of places, but the paddling was never too difficult. Most of the paddling was fairly easy with the wind pushing us from the south. We were looking for a clayey layer exposure known for producing prolific quantities of common fossils of mixed types - Miocene and Pleistocene material intermingled and then compacted into a tight cemented matrix. This material falls out of the sandy banks and into the river, where it breaks apart into gravel, fossils, and sand. There are several of these exposures along the Gardner stretch in both directions from the ramp, but each one has a slightly different character and mix of fossils. Some are heavier on Miocene material and some are heavier on Pleistocene, but all are mixed from being reworked over long periods of time by river action. Before the fossil spots, we passed the entrance to Charlie Creek. You can't really tell from this photo (below), but the water is less than waist deep here. Charlie Creek is on the right and the main channel of the Peace is on the left. We didn't explore Charlie Creek today and we kept going. Finally, we found the first part of the exposure I was looking for. Flood action has lengthened the visible exposure and there was a gravel bed present that was missing on my previous trips. You can see it in the photo below as the dark stripe on the lighter-colored sandy bottom. The sun was lighting up the water and it had the color of weak tea. Here there was a fossiliferous layer of rocky-clayey matrix weathering into the river channel. You can see it as a white layer in the sandy bank in the photo below. There were shovel holes and a few spoil piles in the area, so other hunters had already visited this spot. The holes and piles looked fairly fresh, so it was likely within the the last few days. Still, the exposure is productive and a lot of new material is crumbling out the bank and ending up in the river. There is a lot of gravel and clay lumps to sift. Digging test holes along the water-line yielded a mix of small common fossils - dugong ribs, small shark teeth, megalodon teeth, turtle scutes, mammoth ivory fragments, mammoth tooth fragments, horse/camel/bison teeth, and the occasional vertebra/skull. I was hoping to find some nice intact megalodon or mammoth teeth. I found small pieces of both, but no large intact examples. Here are a couple of in-situ photos. In the first, you can see a nice bluish-colored shark tooth weathering out of the sandy matrix. In the second photo, you can see a piece of bone coming out of the matrix material - which is crumbly and loosely-consolidated with pieces of varying sizes. My wife was still not feeling too great physically, so she mainly surface-collected along the water-line while I shoveled a ton of sifters worth of gravel. I found a lot of dugong ribs. It was an All You Can Eat Ribs Special and I filled up a sack with them before I stopped picking them up. I left a bunch behind - just too many to mess with. I would work a spot for about 30-45 minutes and then move on further upstream searching out more exposures to sample. We sampled four different spots along a roughly mile to mile and a half stretch. All told, we spent about six hours on the river. Eventually, we turned around and decided to head back to the ramp to beat rush hour going back into Tampa. We had a leisurely, slow, and pleasant float back downstream to the ramp. On the entire trip, we only saw two other sets of humans. One was a husband-wife fishing duo who passed us in a flat-bottomed bass boat with a small outboard motor. The other was a group of three locals fishing from chairs near the ramp when we got back. Surprisingly, we only saw one small gator near the confluence with Charlie Creek. We did see and hear lots of birds though, which was nice. Here is some of the stuff we found. Some is still drying out. Big chunks of micro-matrix are on the right - those will be searched later from home. Lots of ribs in the foreground. Lots of bone chunks and oddballs on the left in the rear. Unfortunately, I didn't find a single intact megalodon. The half-tooth in the photo was a tease. I saw it sticking up out of the sandy bottom and was excited when I reached down for it. I was disappointed when it was only half! LOL.
  16. The wife and I went to Gardner yesterday (report and photos will be forthcoming), and I found a bunch of stuff. This is an oddball that I am not sure about. Something about it says to me "pleistocene megafauna" - it has a wood-grainy texture on the less-damaged portion. It's broken, but I am hoping that the position of the hole and shape might be diagnostic. Does anyone know what critter this comes from?
  17. Ectocuneiform

    I do not always attend my fossil club meeting, but made an exception last night. @minnbuckeye had generously donated some fossils for the upcoming club Auction (Thanks Mike) at the March Meeting and I was delivering said donations to the Auctioneer. Also we had a cold front coming in today , so I was out hunting yesterday. Found a couple of 100s small shark teeth, 4-5 turtle spurs a couple of mammoth fragments and some random bones, not much else. After hunting , grabbed burgers & fries at McDs , arrived to the club meeting an hour early. I also had a ziplok of fossils from my previous time out, which had some excellent fossils in it... like a mostly complete whale cookie..* (see below) I went back to my tailgate and was sorting fossils between a few I wanted and the rest to the prize table for tonight's raffle. A car pulled up next to me , lo and behold, it was Richard Hulbert, tonight's speaker on the Florida Fossil Permit and maybe an update on the Montbrook dig (https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/montbrook/) which he leads.... I could not have been more pleased... Richard started to identify those random bones left and right... This one was heading for the donation pile until Richard said, "Artiodactyl, ankle bone, maybe bison, complete...." That is more that enough to track down one of @Harry Pristis outstanding identification photos (THANKS Harry ) and that definitely reduced the possibly IDs for this fossil to.... wither Bison or modern cow. If Harry has a right side ectocuneiform, this one is also... My "feeling" is that this one is hard fossilized, but as I have seen previously , size may be a differentiator. So Harry, if you see this thread, let me know if you agree with "right" and have any reason to believe more likely Bos than Bison.. Whale Cookie !!! (I actually think of them as Oreos, but they do not have that chocolate taste...
  18. Rare Shark Tooth

    If it is what I think, it is only the 3rd one of these I have found in 10 years, and all of them have been broken. I found my first in May of 2013 and 2nd in December of 2015. Neither of those finds had any serrations. Almost everything that I was finding was broken, broken Mako, broken GW, broken tigers, and many broken Bull shark teeth. I had one good upper hemi.... Here is a photo with a broken Tiger shark tooth. On picking it out of the sieve, I stopped immediately. Point and serrations like a tiger, but something was odd... Even though I was finding lots of tigers, I have chances of this one being a tiger at 15%... Here is the tooth.... and a blow_up of the serrations one one edge... The broken outer edge is .75 inch. Imagine it would have been 1.2 inch if unbroken.
  19. Possible Dugong rib

    Hello, I found what appears to be a fossil in Peace River FL today. It is extremely dense so I am thinking it could be a dugong rib fragment. Any thoughts?
  20. Hunting with Sacha

    No, not Sacha from Disney's Peter and the Wolf, no, not Sacha from Casablanca..... @Sacha So we went hunting yesterday meeting up with a couple of other fossil seekers in a location that has been very, very good to me in the last decade, but has taken a lot of hunting pressure and is not what it once was... However I can always hope to catch lightening in a bottle... or in my case, a fossil in the sieve. Nice day, a little cool, but 3 of us had wet suits on and I was comfortable. There was a younger guy from Minnesota, who was hunting in his bathing suit!!! I used to be young once!! I was hunting maybe 15-20 feet from Sacha and we carried on an ongoing banter, what we were finding, previous hunting successes, other likely locations and most important what was the other guy finding. One topic we discussed was how many of the numerous unknown bones you find, do you keep.. Sacha tends to toss and I keep almost everything to be tossed, if necessary , at some later date!!! I was finding mostly small shark teeth, but some were in good shape and big enough to encourage me to keep on hunting that hole I was digging. Sacha stayed at the same spot the whole day, whereas I stayed in one spot for 90 minutes, wandered around digging potholes for 90 minutes and eventually returned to my original hole , digging deeper and deeper, maybe because it was easier to carry on the conversation.. So here are my finds. What you see at the bottom are small shark teeth. Broken to the left worth $10 a pound that I donate to a fossil friend and relatively whole on the right ( young relatives, fossil club raffles and auctions, schools, kids organizations, etc. ) I have been doing this for 12 years. There is no lack of requests for teeth.. Average complete teeth go for $25 a pound. Consider what 30-40 pounds is worth. I try to be net zero on shark teeth by every year end. What is left under the white? Some more complete and/or interesting bones, broken or small bits that came into my screen. Fossilized wood, sea urchin spines, barracuda teeth, even one broken Meg, some upper Hemipristis, sting ray teeth, deer tine, small camel premolar, broken root dolphin tooth, sawfish rostral teeth, mammoth bits, dolphin bulla, calcified clam, etc .. normal stuff for the Peace River. I have some items I though worth their own photo: Closeup of the dolphin tooth, may be a ray barb fragment... the back sweeping teeth I did not recall seeing previously, and the reason for this post. Sacha asked what shark had the upward tip teeth with a rear nutrient groove. For that matter, why do some sharks have outward pointing tips? Finally, with whatever space I have left , I will flash up some of the bones. I may/may not add some to a fossil ID. Enjoy!!! Bone#2
  21. Large Mandible Symphysis

    Pulled this 6 inch square bone out of clay, shell, mud, sand, and a little gravel. It has retained many of the fine details and blood vessels. Initially I saw the horizontal bands and thought mammoth teeth plates, but not to be. So, large , broken bone I am pretty positive is lower jaw. I the 1st photo, I seem to see a Mandibular Symphysis groove moving directly left from the tip of my thumb. I am thinking Mastodon, but also wonder if Bison or Giant Sloth is a possibility. I hope that some other hunters have seen the kinds of parallel grooves present in the 2nd photo. Could these be huge blood vessels?? All comments and suggestions appreciated. Jack
  22. Unusual molar and canine

    I have been hunting in the Peace River so long that anything I can not identify must be unusual. Small molars are difficult. Maybe @Harry Pristis has seen this before. It is 7 mm long and 5 mm wide. I also said Canine.... a little broken but it has character !!! 2 inches in length All comments, guesses, and identifications appreciated.. Jack
  23. Peace River ID

    Made a quick trip to the peace river today near Bartow today. Nothing too crazy but did find two things that I need some help on. My best guess on the first one is dolphin / whale tooth, but I haven't found many of them and the crown is kind of weird... maybe broken and then smoothed over by the river? The second is a very small fossil. I have found very similar ones before but never bothered to get them ID'd. My best guess is some kind of small mammal tooth. It is so small that I couldn't get a great picture with my iphone. The ends of the fossil (not pictured) are zig zagged, carrying on the patter from the sides (kind of like horse teeth). Definitely not ray dental plate like I originally thought. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you.
  24. My wife and I found these yesterday and I need some assistance ID'ing them. These were all found near Zolfo Springs Florida, Peace River, Bone Valley formation. 1) is a tiny vertebra 2) is an oddball that I cannot decide if it is a chunk of tooth enamel/dentin, or a partial claw or tooth of some kind. 3) is a partial jaw with a tooth in it. 4) is an oddball that I cannot decide if it is an antler tine or a tooth of some sort. 5) is a partial vertebra with a pattern on one end than might be diagnostic (or not). First up, the tiny vert :
  25. My wife Tina and I hit the Peace River yesterday for some fossil-hunting. The weather was mild with the temps hanging around the mid-70’s for most of the day. The forecast had called for a partly-cloudy day, but the sun was rarely seen. It was mostly overcast, so the sun wasn’t going to help us much with water visibility. One thing the forecast had mentioned was gusty winds coming out of the north. We both made note of that, but didn’t expect it to be an issue. We were wrong. More on that later. We made good time on the way out. We left the house just prior to 7am, and we managed to beat the majority of the morning rush-hour traffic out of Tampa. If you don’t leave before 7am, you run of the risk of getting caught in the death-grip of Tampa/Brandon traffic. Trust me, stay away from I-275 and I-4 during rush-hour. You can easily lose an extra 45-60 minutes of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to go the first 20 miles out of the Tampa/Brandon metro area. We arrived at the ramp shortly before 9am and began unloading the tandem kayak and our gear. While we were getting our yak ready, a Canoe Outpost bus pulls up and dumps off it’s load of 8 canoes and a gaggle of surburbanites. They proceeded to monopolize the entire ramp, leaving no room for anyone else to launch. Poor ramp etiquette for sure, but surely it wouldn’t take them long to get out of the way, right? Well, these folks looked like they were packing for a 10-week overseas safari. I had never seen so much junk loaded into canoes for an overnight or weekend camping trip. These folks just kept unloading more and more boxes, containers, coolers, and bags from the bus, that it started becoming comical. Those canoes looked so overloaded that I doubted they would float and they left little room for the paddlers. There was literally almost no room to sit in these canoes. Time ticked away and they made no sign that they were aware that at least two other boats were waiting on them to launch. “We didn’t make good time on the way out here to sit and waste it all at the ramp while clueless people piddle around with their excess of gear.” - is what we thought to ourselves. Finally, we decided to carry the yak across the ramp and down the hill-slope and just launch from the muddy bank. We were already a 1/2 mile down the river before the first of the canoes started to launch. So, after putting the crowd of rookie canoeists in our rearview mirror, we started the paddle to the search area. The wind was at our backs and the river was running harder than we had anticipated. I had hunch our work would be cut out for us on the paddle back upstream. The paddle downstream was nice. We saw a lot of birds of every possible type, but only a single small gator and no turtles. I guess the cool overcast day was not good for reptiles looking to soak up the sun. We made it to the search spot about 45 minutes later and unloaded our gear. This particular spot has been good to us in the past, but the last couple of trips made it apparent that this spot is hunted out and cleaned out. The haul from each trip was becoming a game of diminishing returns. On this trip, we decided to hunt the snarge out of this site one more time before crossing it off the list for the remainder of the season. My hunch was right. We didn’t make any major finds on this trip, but we did find a lot of interesting small stuff – some of which I will need help identifying. The spot is still productive, but it’s 90% tiny teeth, turtle scutes, and other very common pieces. The amount of highlight specimens coming out of this spot has definitely decreased and I think it’s time for this spot to “recharge” until next season. The highlights from the sifter this time included : a small but very complete fossil vert, a piece of tiny fossil jaw with a tooth in it, another vert, an unknown odd tooth, and some geological oddities including a nice piece of botryoidal chalcedony. Tina found a turtle leg bone, some nice (but small) teeth, and some oddballs that will need a closer look. The pieces are drying now and I will post some better photos later after they dry. All in all, we spent about 4 hours searching at the site. This includes a thorough walk-around to look for low-hanging fruit and obvious surface finds. Then the digging began. The last flood season had exposed a gravel bar in a new place that wasn’t there in previous years. In this season alone, we have spent a combined 30-ish hours searching this one spot. This represents hundreds of full sifters worth of gravel that has been searched. I sampled the entire length of the deposit working from one end to the other. The gravel layer is relatively thin – less than 12 inches in most places. Digging much deeper rarely yields anything other than fine sand, organic muck, and clay that is not very fossiliferous. So, we mostly worked the exposed surface layer, although I did dig numerous sample pits that were substantially deeper – all of those yielded nothing of note. We always fill our holes and re-distribute spoil gravel in a natural pattern. If you come across one of our search sites, you will never know anyone was there, except perhaps for the total lack of trash in comparison to the rest of the river. Well, this time around, one of the first things I noticed was fresh shovel marks in the bank near the gravel bar. There were no obvious spoil piles, but there were definite signs of someone digging the banks well above the water line. This tells me that “my spot” is no longer off the beaten path. Other hunters have also noticed the new gravel bar – and some of these hunters are illegally digging the banks and being obvious about it. Having said all of this, I now feel comfortable giving a bone to the reader – this spot is just downstream from the town of Zolfo Springs. Feel free to go look for it. It’s a healthy paddle downstream and you’ll have your work cut out for you on the paddle back upstream against the current. But feel free to go look. You might get lucky and find something I missed. I likely won’t be returning to this particular spot this season unless it’s for a group hunt. This is probably still a good spot for a beginner hunt, but I personally feel like I have tapped out this spot for the year. Plus, this specific spot has never been a good source of megalodons, so I don’t feel too bad about leaving a few hints about the location. While I am not just interested in megs, I’ve always been disappointed with the lack of them in this general vicinity. You will find everything except megalodons around there. And it’s not just me, the handful of other people I have brought to this specific area have never found any megs either. Weirdly, there are lots of small teeth from other shark species, but no megalodons – not even fragments. About mid-afternoon we decided to head back to the ramp. The wind was really whipping up and gusting strongly. When the wind picked up the water would get choppy and really start to run hard. The wind was coming out of the north and blowing directly in our faces while going back upstream against the current. The USGS Zolfo gauge said the discharge flow rate was approx. 321 cfs. Usually, that is not a difficult paddle for your average able-bodied or slightly-aged-bodied (like myself) person. But, trying to paddle it with a 16-20mph gusting headwind in your face is a different matter entirely. We had to take several extra breaks on the side of the river to catch our breath and wait for lulls in the wind. When the wind would calm down, we would set out again and paddle a couple hundred yards before pulling over and waiting again. We finally made it back to the ramp a little later than usual and we were both tired as heck – I’d use a more choice word to describe it, but I want to keep this family friendly. My arms, shoulders, and back were shot. My neck and shoulders are still sore as I type this – the old grey mare, she aint what she used to be. LOL. My next trip out will be to revisit some old honey holes that are in remote areas that are difficult to reach and will require an overnight trip. These spots near public ramps are just too hunted out and I am curious about what some of my old spots look like now. Some of my favorite honey holes have not been visited since about 2017. I am confident that few (if any) other people hunt those same stretches, so I am keen to see what Mother Nature has “recharged” for me at those spots. Those spots are next on this list for this season.