Jump to content

Recommended Posts

HeyFromOwatonna

Hey members, guests, novices and experts—

Mr & I are planning to hunt (agates for him & fossils for me) in South Dakota within the next month. We spent two days at the Fairburn agate beds north of French Creek campground in Buffalo Gap National Grassland last August and brought home 100+ lbs of what we thought were Fairburn agates. Noobs! Nearly every one was just a basic prairie agate; however, we're ready to try again and hopefully get it right-er this time. If at first you don't succeed, then return with a bigger rock hammer. Am I right?!

But I'll be on the hunt for fossils. If someone would enjoy sharing their local knowledge, I'd gladly pack some Ordovician treasures I've collected from the Galena Formation in southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa (think of TFF member Bev's finds) to show my sincere appreciation of your kindness, hospitality and generous spirit! With that said, I would greatly appreciate your help with one or all the following concerns and questions (numbered for ease in answering):

1) a clear description and examples of what fossils I can legally collect and corresponding limits, if applicable?

2) a clear description and examples of what fossils I am forbidden from collecting?

3) who to contact and what to expect if I think I've found something of paleontological significance (your giggles are appropriate here because the likelihood is somewhere between "When pigs fly!" and "Never-ever. Ever.")?

4) who to contact and what to expect if I think I've found something of archeological/cultural significance (again, chances are next to bupkis, but knowledge is power & I have so little [intentionally ambiguous])?

5) a clear description of where I can and cannot collect?

6) how to avoid trespassing by accident and methods to determine public from private property; are fences ever decorative or maybe intended only for livestock?

7) directions to possible collecting sites &/or possible fellow enthusiasts to contact?

8) best place for a marbled, aged steak grilled rare and where my fresh-from-the-dig fashion & primitive-camping aroma wouldn't offend other diners and ruin their night out?

9) …and any tips, equipment needs, tricks, shops worth exploring, warnings, hints, or advice you wish someone had shared with you, or you learned the hard way, or you'd care to provide so I can give you due credit when I find the next Sue or Stu and I've been asked whose information lead to my incredible discovery and who's the person I'm naming this new species after?

We're tentatively planning on exploring the area around Fairburn, but with a minimum of four full days to explore, we are open to other locations offering possible cabochons, collectors' specimens or fossil hunting we can get to with our Jeep or comfortably walk in & out of. We enjoy the hunt, but aren't looking to dig a mine shaft. I'm happy to clarify or provide more info via private messaging on TFF &, if anyone is interested on what kinds of "thank you gifts" I can bring, I can shoot some pics to post in this thread if it would raise more enthusiasm! I'm very new at forum participation; so please advise if a different approach may have been more effective. Meanwhile I'll gather a few of my fossils I could use everyone's help to ID. Looking forward to finding fossils, connecting with other enthusiasts and forming new friendships!

Your fellow rock-licker and proudly so for over 10 years—

"HeyFromOwatonna"

PS. I hope I did this a little bit right, but my apologies to the administrators in the likely event of any errors, omissions or breaches of protocol. The fault is entirely mine as I was too excited to read through all of the guidelines, which, I assure you, I will now patiently read.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:envy: Loved the post! :rofl::hearty-laugh:

The BEST steak around here is from a little butcher shop called "Ody's" outside of Ostrander! A bit far from the Black Hills. :D

Looking forward to seeing the answers to these questions! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites
Raggedy Man

Have you exposed your prairie agate to LW UV light? You might be surprised. If you were stopping in Nebraska I'd tell you to stop at the High Plains Homestead and have a steak. They're amazing! Enjoy your trip!!

Best regards,

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

...

PS. I hope I did this a little bit right, but my apologies to the administrators in the likely event of any errors, omissions or breaches of protocol. The fault is entirely mine as I was too excited to read through all of the guidelines, which, I assure you, I will now patiently read.

Guidelines? There are guidelines? :o

Seriously, good luck. I can only help by saying that any vertebrate fossils on Federal (BLM) lands are off limits to collecting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of answers for you, but you might not like them. At Frenvh Creek campground, you usually have to walk a ways to get the agates. I have found two little ones while looking for fossils. There is a huge amount of White River Fm around the campground. Almost all of it rich in vertebrate fossils, even more of it National Grasslands... No collecting of vertebrate fossils. Darn shame. The re is also a lot of Pierre Shale which has a variety of ammonites, mostly Baculites. The best thing you should do us get the Buffalo Gap National Grassland map from the USFS office in either Wall, Rapid City or Hot Springs. Learn how to read it. It is ok to collect inverts on the Nat Grasslands, but not vets. There is also some private land in the area, and Reservation land. You should always know if you are on public land. If you head onto private land, get permission. Finding landowners us a whole separate essay. There is Hell Creek fm north of the Black Hills... Again, the issue here is getting landowner permission.

Many of us who live and collect out this way are pretty secretive with our sites, as they generally involve a lot if footwork and detective work, so forgive me for not telling you exactly where to go.

God luck and have gun. Don't let my answer discourage you.

Correction: Good Luck and have Fun, not gun.

Edited by jpc
  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

And isn't there a really hefty fine, like $10,000, which IS enforced if they catch you taking a vertebrate fossil?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
Eocenecarnage

I love The Black Hills. I was there about three years ago, most beutiful scenery and fossils in the country. Especially the Mammoth Site.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 5 months later...
  • 2 months later...

We will be in this area in July and are looking for places to look for rocks and fossils. We have done very little fossil hunting in our lives but want to go somewhere we can find a small something we are allowed to keep. Hopefully this is the start of a new hobby for us all! We're staying in Rapid City and have 2 small kids, one of which is fossil obsessed. Hopefully we can find a little something for him. Any tips?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...