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Sharktoothguy11222

Where Exactly Is Bone Valley?

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Sharktoothguy11222

Ok, some my parents pretty much confirmed that we are going to Florida this summer. So, I was wondering if anyone knew where exactly is Bone Valley. i've looked all over the internet, and I can't find a specific area.

So, I have a few Questions:

1. Where is Bone Valley in Florida?

2. Is there an age limit to get there?

3. Where are the good formations for the hemis and megs?

4. any other info will be greatly appreciated.

I think I heard somewhere that there are both land and water fossicking areas, if that is true, I am looking for land areas, I can't dive or swim :(

Thanks, Daniel

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Uncle Siphuncle

The locals can do a better job of this than I can, but my understanding is that Bone Valley is a Miocene or Pliocene formation outcropping in SW FL inland from Ft Meyers/Sarasota, outcropping in a few places along the Peace River which may be accessible by boat as well as in the phosphate pits with the sexy megs which are basically inaccessible from what I hear.

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Gatorman

Bone valley is a formation like Dan said. There are numerous phosphate mines on this formation but getting access into them is nearly impossible anymore.

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Sharktoothguy11222
Bone valley is a formation like Dan said. There are numerous phosphate mines on this formation but getting access into them is nearly impossible anymore.

I realize that they are phosphate mines, though, are there any areas that are public access.

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Gatorman

None that I know of, there has to be a way in thought the commercial dealers are still getting fossils from there to sell.

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Uncle Siphuncle

I would think you'd need to have a friend or family member employed by the quarry. Maybe the workers are finding and selling them. Florida is a pretty strict state for collecting. Am I correct in stating that collecting construction sites there is a misdemeanor? I heard a story of a small group of little old ladies that got caught sneaking around a phosphate pit and all ended up getting hauled down to the police station. Is this fact or heresay?

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Northern Sharks

I don't know my Florida geography too well, but I a lot of the best Bone Valley stuff is from Polk County and the best colored stuff comes from the phosphate mines.

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gatorjames85

Trespassing on a construction site is a FELONY in florida, so be careful. From what I hear, the only way to get in the phosphate mines is with a fossil club. I believe that the Peace River cuts throught the Bone Valley formation. You could probably hunt there w/o swimming. The guys that just went there could probably provide more info.

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tomclark

Yep, Peace River is Bone Valley and open for plundering. Anywhere along the Peace River from Lakeland to Charlotte Harbor is good fossiling. Especially so from Bowling Green to Arcadia, IMHOP. You can dig all you want in the river and sift. If you take less than a gallon of fossils per site per day (for no more than three days or so.....wtf?) you don't need a permit. You can take a short canoe or kayak trip and fossil instead of paddle. If you take too long a trip you don't have time to fossil, especially if the water is low, which it almost always is these days. You do not have to know how to swim!!!! You can walk up or down river from any boat ramps on the Peace or it's tributaries and find good fossils. Those upper and middle reaches of the river are definitely Bone Valley aka "Diaper Water Gulch" .

Back in the day when you got caught walking old mine tailings, the guards would just throw you out. These days, yes, they will bust you. Maybe if you bring little kids with you then you might get away with it, LOLOL!!! Nope.

Only access to "Bone Valley" is through the mines (club trips, sometimes....) and the Peace River and it's feeder creeks like Horse Creek.

There are thousands of Bone Valley shark's teeth and every other animal fossil laying out in the open on those mine tailings. There are places where the tailing piles are greyish blue with some black phosphate pebble and the entire surface can be littered with fossils. Too bad, huh? Other mines, unlike phosphate mines, are just sand and/or SHELL pits. Loaded with stuff, too. Can't get access unless you have connections in the business or family.... I can't.

Yet.

What part of Florida are you going to visit?? What cities?

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Gatorman

Tom how do clubs get access? I am thinking of organizing an online fossil club as part of this site, specifically for getting into these types of places. And having monthly fossil trips which any member of the forum can attend. However my problem is I don't know how to go about setting this up, I personally would like to assign someone on this forum to be in charge of this club and to make all the necessary arrangements. Any volunteers?

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Sharktoothguy11222
What part of Florida are you going to visit?? What cities?

I have no idea where i am going. I have not finalized any plans. I was just wondering if it was possible to get into Bone Valley for Free.

And Anson, having a fossil club here would be great. If you ever get a slot to get into Bone Valley, I'll be there.

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gatorjames85

Anson, I was wondering about seeing if we could organize a Bone Valley trip through this forum. I don't know how to get organized as a club, but that would be nice. I found a number for clubs to call to get in Cargill's mines, but now that Cargill has merged with IMC to form Mosaic I don't know if it is still a good number. I definitely would be open to helping get a club organized, let me know.

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Gatorman

I don't know what all is involved in organizing a club, it seems like a great idea but what are the hassles and what expenses are there?

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gatorjames85

Someone would need to be in charge of finance, which would require setting up a bank account. Membership would have to be recorded and dues collected. We sould need to write up a constitution. Regular meetings would need to be held. I don't know if there are any more requirments besides this. Maybe some people on the forum have been involved with fossil clubs before.

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Gatorman

Thats the thing I wanted this to be a free club no dues no trip fees any member of the forum can join a trip they just have to make an agreement to be there so we can get the number of slots we would need. I don't know if thats possible though.

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gatorjames85

I mean, I don't see why you would necessarily need dues. The real question is what Mosaic will require. I would think that they would just want to arrange things with a club officer and get their releases signed.

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tomclark

If the person at the mine, probably public relations, is nice and mine policy not impossible, then it's just a matter of signing waivers at the gate and likely being shown where to collect by a foreman of sorts. Almost any club trip to a mine is similar in that way. I've heard that mines are not being as friendly as they have been in the past.

I'd bet they wouldn't charge for it and wouldn't have a problem with free clubs. In fact the size of this website now and membership would be great PR for Cargill, Mosaic, etc. if they'd just be nice. Oh, they make you bring a hard hat or you don't get in, LOL. There are some smaller shellpits with excellent vertebrate material all over that part of the state, as far west as Hillsborough and Manatee, Sarasota counties and would be worth a call to that nice person who'll let us all in. Best ever for me was Leisey Shell Pit in Ruskin, OMG. World Class with Frank Garcia, seems long ago..didn't go enough when I had the best chances!!!! Aaaaahhhghh!!

Bone Valley is free baby at the Peace River anywhere you can get in like at a bridge or park or boatramp. Free!

Fossil frustration drove me to my local building material business, crushed shell and rocks, etc. I asked to fill a bag (about 3 bucks) by myself from the pile. Shell pit material is Pliocene, Caloosahatchee Formation (at this time), several good corals and some shell fossils, some good marker shells for the time period. Hhahahahaha. Even got two cowries, extincts. "Can I help you, Sir?" hahahahha.. "Yeah, get up here and take these shells down so I can see 'em, LOLOL" It's always worth the trip, an odd way to collect, in the middle of downtown here, LOL.

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Gatorman

Why do you have to wear a hard hat in an open mine when your a mile away from the equipment? they expect you to be throwing rocks at each other?

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bear-dog

Tom how do clubs get access? I am thinking of organizing an online fossil club as part of this site, specifically for getting into these types of places. And having monthly fossil trips which any member of the forum can attend. However my problem is I don't know how to go about setting this up, I personally would like to assign someone on this forum to be in charge of this club and to make all the necessary arrangements. Any volunteers?

Tampa BAY Fossil Club had permission from Mozaic,the person in charge of getting people in retired ,no more hunts this year.Will re-think things next year to see if they will hire a new person. :) Beardog :D

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bear-dog

B)

Bone valley is a formation like Dan said. There are numerous phosphate mines on this formation but getting access into them is nearly impossible anymore.

:) agreed Bone Valley is a fornation ,not a place.Now impossible to get into to fossil hunt the best spots[the phosphate mines].You can run through thin layers on the Peace River.If you can get lucky and hit a spot not hunted over. :D

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coral daddy

B)

:) agreed Bone Valley is a fornation ,not a place.Now impossible to get into to fossil hunt the best spots[the phosphate mines].You can run through thin layers on the Peace River.If you can get lucky and hit a spot not hunted over. :D

I live in Plant City, where the mines are, half of my church works for Mosaic, the new owners of the mine. They will not let anyone in there at all. They now have guards that patrol all the roads and perimetersin hillsborough, Polk and Hardee county etc. My buddy has a 99 year lease of 1200 acres with the Alifia river running through it at the start of the river called Hookers Prairie. This dang mine has fired untold number of employees for fishing in the pits which used to be a given there. No more Fin and Feather club either. The Tampa Fossil club did have limited access, though is was like a lottery to get in.

The arrowheads and fossils picked up by the empolyees throughout the years, my ex mother inlaw retired from the a few years ago and she has some awesome teeth and years ago I went to her section of the plant ans she took me into her bosses office and he must of had a 100 galloin fish tank that was empty of water but slammed full of fossils, mostly teeth, some ivory and killer long bones.

Go to the town of Mulberry and they have the phosphate museum on hwy 60 and 37 behind the police station

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Nettuno

Over the past year or so I've contacted every fossil club in Florida and also the guy that issues fossil permits and they've all said getting access to any phosphate mine inthe bone valley formation is not a realistic possibility anymore due to a number of factors. In short, they don't need to worry about liability if they don't let you in. I'd even heard the mine workers were no longer allowed to walk around and collect. Hopefully aurora doesn't end up the same way.

This hobby gets more challenging all the time.

The peace is fun but you won't see classic bone valley colors I the river.

Edited by Nettuno

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