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Lee Taylor

Summerville Creek Hunts

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Lee Taylor

Otter creek field report 02-13-16: The day turned out to be a wonderful day to hunt South Carolina fossils. I met with one other at 1pm. We gathered our gear and headed out to find the elusive shark teeth and various other fossilized materials. We arrived at a deep cut creek site and began to survey. The first item that was very noticeable was very little evidence of other fossil hunters. What we found was blue marl, tan and brown marl, blue limestone, phosphate, and large stones (gravel of sort). Sanding-in was obvious in 90% of the creek. There were no teeth protruding from the dark gray sandstone walls. The large stones (golf ball to base ball size) had to be removed prior to gathering material and moving it through the sifter. The teeth that began to appear were small but grading upwards in size. I collected about 40 in all. The sizes ranged between .5” to 1.0”. The findings included Tigers, Hemi’s, Mako, Bull, Sand, Lemon, and Black Tip Sharks. Photos to follow.

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Lee Taylor

Otter Creek findings:

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Edited by Lee Taylor

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Salty

Looks like you met with some pretty goods success! Congrats ! I still am anxiously awaiting to look for teeth! The wait is killer!

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Lee Taylor

Success in that the teeth were quality and of many variations. They were small, BUT I am sure there are larger teeth hiding in this creek. The LARGE stones, thick pasty limestone, and very hard marl, make this creek hard to process. It also makes this creek a high qualifier for fossilized material. If I go back I may take a pickaxe. I had my shovel but I really needed my scoop. The shovel was useless. One has to be able to move material through the screen. The more the better.

ps: this creek is almost virgin. Hard to find any indication of shark tooth hunters

Edited by Lee Taylor

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Lee Taylor

May be going back to Otter Creek this coming weekend. Need to take some more aggressive tools. Here is one I have already that I will take

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abcwixson

we may be interested in joining you if the weather holds...planning on being down saturday

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Lee Taylor

It seems this latest site I am working requires you to pic, hoe, scoop, and then sift. I am ready to GO NOW

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Lee Taylor

we may be interested in joining you if the weather holds...planning on being down saturday

I have not looked at the weather prediction yet. This is a site that has been shared with me Wix. Have to play that by ear. I plan to hunt out some more sites so I feel sure there are more on the horizon. It just takes a lot of time to hunt and find a site. Same way in the river. Takes TIME, patience, energy, and money.

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Lee Taylor

just looked at the weather prediction. Looks like close to 70 degrees this weekend. Cannot see the rainfall prediction yet

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abcwixson

all the sites i know are fairly common knowledge but i did find that the bottom of one area has not been sifted and has some nice stuff but its below a layer of organic garbage so a little work is required but man are the teeth ever beautiful...plus it seems that a certain individual likes to dig out the walls there and does find megs of considerable sizes

Edited by abcwixson

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Lee Taylor

I have thought about digging the walls many times. If they are sandstone or limestone I think I will go for it. I talked to a guy about Shark Tooth Hill California, and it is ALL wall digging there.

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abcwixson

wall digging the creeks down there seems to cause way more harm then good...it silts the creeks in terribly...i know there are megs and angys buried in the walls but man what a mess it makes in the creek bottom...and apparently the previously mentioned "gentleman" ( loosely used of course) is not very nice to fellow collectors...going so far as to bully them out of an area all together

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Lee Taylor

we get all types, that is for sure. Wall digging and silting would not be a problem if you were alone, correct?

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abcwixson

when i say silting i mean all the sanding in you see...one creek in particular was well over 6 inches deep in sand...so much so the city dredged it out recently losing who knows how many fossils to the excavtors and piles that were hauled off...wall digging looks productve and is something i may try someday but being mindful about where one digs and where one leaves their spoils is important...these creeks provide an amazing opportunity to view our planets past and educate our future generations and folks doing damage the way they have in some places is only going to prompt city or county officials to impose harsh restrictions on this addictive hobby of ours

ps......also charging people a fee to take them to these sites to wall dig on public property wouldnt sit too well with the powers that be either i dont think...just my humble honest opinion

Edited by abcwixson

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jpc

silting of creeks is good for getting in touch with the lidfe of the past, but it is certainly tough on creek life of the present. something to think about.

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Lee Taylor

okay i understand now. they are moving material in such quantities that they are sanding-in the creek. I am a Master Scuba diver and in the scuba industry silting mean stirring up the bottom so that the water becomes un-clear. That is what was throwing me off.

The guy at Shark Tooth Hill has a similar complaint. He said the wall diggers were leaving "trailings" that were covering up good fossil hunting land

Sanding-in ... in a creek is definitely a problem for a fossil hunter. You cannot dig it because if immediately fills back in due to the flowing water. Many times I will find a sanded-in creek and I know there are fossils underneath but I cannot get through 1' of sand. The creek puts it back as quickly as I can dig it out

Edited by Lee Taylor

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abcwixson

sand is a nightmare especially when mixed with the organic material that settles in every fall...makes a nasty stinky sticky mess

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reddesilets

Keep me posted. I don't officially have the "all clear" yet, but I'm toying with the idea of going out this weekend. Although something with intensive work may not be the best idea for my first time out whether I have the okay to go or not. :/

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reddesilets

Also, I think wall digging may have contributed to me falling last year when my arms got cut up, possibly exacerbating my neck issues which led to my surgery.... hard to see a 2 foot hole excavated at the bottom of creek when you are the top of a bank trying to climb down... just a thought...

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IronRabbit

Also, I think wall digging may have contributed to me falling last year when my arms got cut up, possibly exacerbating my neck issues which led to my surgery.... hard to see a 2 foot hole excavated at the bottom of creek when you are the top of a bank trying to climb down... just a thought...

One of the creeks I frequent has holes carved into the walls that you can only see if you are looking up at them. If you are looking into the creek, you wouldn't even notice them. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if someone eventually walked on the bank above and fell through the thin layer of earth left and into one of these holes.

It's dangerous for so many reasons.

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IronRabbit

I believe the creek that abcwixson is talking about is one that a certain someone hits pretty hard and very often. He is notorious for digging into the walls which are mainly clay. He does not do it in a clean manner and this caused a fantastic site to turn into an absolute mess. My first time at the site there was about a foot (maybe less) of sand that you could find a nice mix of fossils in. Now it's a very thick (foot+) layer of clay. I'll take pictures tomorrow because I want to use it as an example for when I'm showing others how to respect nature while fossil hunting. I'm sure some of you have been to the site, but if you haven't been in the past few months it will be a real eye opener.

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abcwixson

Its deffinitely worst at that creek but he seems to have made his presence felt at other nearby locations as well...its going to be a shame if the other municipalities decide to go the way summerville did and ban tools because of one persons absence of thought...ill be as PC as i can

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Salty

Yes I posted about people leaving messes before as well. One creek that produces a few teeth--it's very well hunted, has become sad. Someone goes there ans sifts all the gravel and throws it up on the banks--along with all the fresh water mollusks and other critters leaving them to die. It also removes all the gravel letting the new washed down teeth to have nowhere to settle. It also makes the creeks change it's course by not leaving enough natural "barriers" to impede the water flow. I have spent my own time trying to put some of the gravel back. Not very successfully due to not having a big rake and big shovel. But ---the next time I went, sure as snarge it looked like the same person went back and threw even more gravel all over. THIS DOES NOT MAKE ME HAPPY! Mean people ....!

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Lee Taylor

I am embarrassed. :wacko: I am guilty of emptying my screen on the side of the creek. I have not had one thought about it until reading the above. Will have to give it some thought and figure out a better method.

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Lee Taylor

NEW fossil hunting tool purchased today. YEA! Need to try it. Need to wear some new off. Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait! Is it the weekend yet!

disclamer: any implements described here are strictly for use in areas deemed acceptable

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