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DiligentEyes

Hi everyone,

 

I want to start by saying I am new to the site, so I apologize if I do something incorrect commit a faux pas. I am a younger gentleman in college living in North Carolina; my father instilled a love for fossils in me from a young age, and as I grew up I would explore beaches and phosphate piles. Even though it is just a hobby, I put a lot into fossil hunting; my interest was always beyond the surface level of "I love shark teeth," and I have done countless hours of research. 

 

This brings me to the present day where I call your wisdom and guidance. Unfortunately, due to my age, I missed out on what I would consider the "golden age" for North Carolina fossil hunting. I have come to find that NC once had a lot more fossil sites. Mines have been shut down, sites overgrown, and closure to the public; it pains me greatly that I was only able to visit a phosphate quarry once. I know there are options, like joining the fossil club; I plan to do this when I can, my only problem is that I am short on funds and college absorbs a lot of time thereby making my schedule rigid during fall and spring (I am pretty sure this is when most of their events are held but I might be mistaken.) 

 

I guess the purpose of my post is to ask for thoughts and guidance from those far more knowledgeable than me; what should I do? I really love this hobby and while the Aurora Museum spoils and the rare beach finds there's nothing like expanding your passion to new heights. I know that giving locations is also a bit of a challenge given commercial hunters, but if there is any guidance you all can give me there that would also be great; I am open to any formation, while I don't have any kind of boat I am still interested to take note of those kinds of locations.

 

Thank you all.

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sixgill pete

There are thousands of locations throughout eastern North Carolina. All of the rivershave countless sites. There are many land sites. Research. Use google earth. Read older geological papers. 

Yes, many of the old quarries are closed or offer very limited collecting opportunities. Find private quarries, research owners and approach them. The worst they can say is no. Many sites are no more than old drainage ditches in farm fields. 

Also get a copy of Bulletin 89 "fossil collecting in north carolina" from the NC dept ofenviroment. You can find it online.

And remember, NC has so much more than shark teeth. Echinoids, an amazing molluscan fauna, pet wood, reptiles including dinosaurs. 

Yes, it definately is not the good old days, but the sites are there if your willing to do the research 

And yes, I would highly recomend joining the North Carolina Fossil Club.

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Try this link for the best "how to" guide.

Good luck. My son is also a college aged fossil fan and we just had this discussion about how the golden age of fossil collecting has passed, but the internet has made up for much of it. Hundreds of sites are closed, but the remaining ones are easier to find now. Don't forget that NC borders SC and VA too! The fossils won't mind if you take a car trip to visit them :i_am_so_happy:

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Thomas.Dodson

Sixgill Pete and Scylla have given you good advice. Yes, we may be past the old days of strip mines, coal slag piles, and abandoned quarries littering the American countryside because of reclamation laws (Darn environment! :heartylaugh:) but there's still plenty of opportunity out there. Persistence and an open mind are key. I'm not one to turn down even a simple roadcut or ditch when prospecting for new sites. Call those landowners. Try new things. I've collected fossils from completely eroded sites because pocket gophers were kind enough to throw fossils out of their mounds.

 

In North Carolina you also have the benefit of relying on the experience of others to start collecting (like the North Carolina Fossil Club) and it will only become easier then to prospect your own sites after you know what to look for. 

 

Good luck.

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FranzBernhard
7 hours ago, DiligentEyes said:

I missed out on what I would consider the "golden age" for North Carolina fossil hunting.

You don´t! As already stated, sites may be less numerous and obvious today, but the advent of the internet with all its freely available info at your fingertips is pure gold!

Finding your "own" sites, not told to you by someone else, is more than gold.

Enjoy building up your own "collection" of fossil sites and enjoy your fossils collected from your "own" sites!

Franz Bernhard

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Ludwigia

I'm afraid that I can't contribute much, having never been to S.C., but I would just like to give you a warm welcome. Stick around here and I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

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DiligentEyes
Posted (edited)
On 1/2/2021 at 6:22 PM, sixgill pete said:

There are thousands of locations throughout eastern North Carolina. All of the rivershave countless sites. There are many land sites. Research. Use google earth. Read older geological papers. 

Yes, many of the old quarries are closed or offer very limited collecting opportunities. Find private quarries, research owners and approach them. The worst they can say is no. Many sites are no more than old drainage ditches in farm fields. 

Also get a copy of Bulletin 89 "fossil collecting in north carolina" from the NC dept ofenviroment. You can find it online.

And remember, NC has so much more than shark teeth. Echinoids, an amazing molluscan fauna, pet wood, reptiles including dinosaurs. 

Yes, it definately is not the good old days, but the sites are there if your willing to do the research 

And yes, I would highly recomend joining the North Carolina Fossil Club.

Hi, 

 

Thank you so much for your help and support. This is very encouraging! I never considered private quarries and researchers. I will definitely redouble my efforts and not lose my resolve! 

Edited by DiligentEyes
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DiligentEyes
On 1/2/2021 at 6:51 PM, Scylla said:

Try this link for the best "how to" guide.

Good luck. My son is also a college aged fossil fan and we just had this discussion about how the golden age of fossil collecting has passed, but the internet has made up for much of it. Hundreds of sites are closed, but the remaining ones are easier to find now. Don't forget that NC borders SC and VA too! The fossils won't mind if you take a car trip to visit them :i_am_so_happy:

I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! Thank you so much for your help and advice!

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DiligentEyes
On 1/2/2021 at 7:04 PM, Thomas.Dodson said:

Sixgill Pete and Scylla have given you good advice. Yes, we may be past the old days of strip mines, coal slag piles, and abandoned quarries littering the American countryside because of reclamation laws (Darn environment! :heartylaugh:) but there's still plenty of opportunity out there. Persistence and an open mind are key. I'm not one to turn down even a simple roadcut or ditch when prospecting for new sites. Call those landowners. Try new things. I've collected fossils from completely eroded sites because pocket gophers were kind enough to throw fossils out of their mounds.

 

In North Carolina you also have the benefit of relying on the experience of others to start collecting (like the North Carolina Fossil Club) and it will only become easier then to prospect your own sites after you know what to look for. 

 

Good luck.

That is definitely encouraging, I never really thought about calling the landowners either. There have been a few times we have asked people directly, but calling may be less intrusive especially if it is more rural lands. I am grateful for all of your help and I will definitely try to get into the fossil club. Thank you so much!

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DiligentEyes
On 1/3/2021 at 1:33 AM, FranzBernhard said:

You don´t! As already stated, sites may be less numerous and obvious today, but the advent of the internet with all its freely available info at your fingertips is pure gold!

Finding your "own" sites, not told to you by someone else, is more than gold.

Enjoy building up your own "collection" of fossil sites and enjoy your fossils collected from your "own" sites!

Franz Bernhard

It is always fun to take a trip down memory lane and look over my collection. It is so rewarding, and even more so when you put the time in to research them and study them. I will not lose hope, thank you! 

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DiligentEyes
On 1/3/2021 at 3:00 AM, Ludwigia said:

I'm afraid that I can't contribute much, having never been to S.C., but I would just like to give you a warm welcome. Stick around here and I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

I appreciate that, thank you for the warm welcome. I'm glad I tried the forum, there are a lot of nice folks on here.

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On 1/8/2021 at 2:07 PM, DiligentEyes said:

I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! Thank you so much for your help and advice!

Welcome!

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On a limited budget fossil collecting from a school in the Piedmont or mountains would be difficult. If you are at a school such as ECU or UNCW your geology department will have a wealth of information. The answers to your inquiry pretty much depend on where you are going to school.

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DiligentEyes
1 hour ago, Plax said:

On a limited budget fossil collecting from a school in the Piedmont or mountains would be difficult. If you are at a school such as ECU or UNCW your geology department will have a wealth of information. The answers to your inquiry pretty much depend on where you are going to school.

That's a great point! I never thought about asking other colleges for info. I have a few contacts over there I can use. Thank you for the tip. 

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