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Lee Taylor

Shark Tooth Hill recomendations

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Lee Taylor

I am located in Charleston SC. Here we have river guides that will take you on their boat and put you over sharks teeth. I have paid land guides in Florida and offshore fossil hunting boats. I may be in Bakersfield CA on business in the near future. Interested in knowing of any paid guides for shark tooth hunting. No guarantees, just someone that knows the area and makes a business of taking paying customers to sites. How do things work in that area? Most of our best sites are underwater and the boat owner must have a Captains license to charge for his service.

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caldigger

Lee, if you happen to go to the Ernst Quarries (the only pay to play site in that area), you will find that the dig spots are generally in well defined areas. Slow Curve has specific areas you can dig in as well as East Quarry. Rob Ernst (owner of property) will tell you exactly where you can and can not dig so there is not a lot of guess work involved. The only real skill is finding spots, especially East Quarry, that have not been dug as of yet. Unfortunately, years of digging has made the area resemble a bombing range and quite a bit of good virgin ground has been buried beneath tailing piles from careless diggers. Not to say there isn't good ground to cover, but it does involve a bit of hit and miss.

You won't require a guide for this site, but it always nice to have someone that has dug here before join you on the dig. Dry digging is a bit different from water searching. You'll be digging/sifting or hammering chunks out of a sandstone wall. You can always PM me if you have further questions.

When are you planning your trip? Look up Sharktoothhillproperties.com Rob has set up different days for different sites so make sure the site you want to go to coincides with his and your schedule.

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Lee Taylor

Well I was suppose to be spending the night in Fresno tonight but the trip was canceled. The next trip has not been scheduled yet. Thanks for the info. That is exactly the type general info I was looking for. Not sure I will hit a site yet but may never pass that way again. Been shark tooth fossiling for 20yrs so STH is on the radar. May come back at you with a question about tools or other general stuff. Over here on the East Coast I often get emails from all types. I would probably enjoy visiting the area and taking some photos (another hobby). I have a good collection so I have no obsession. Just have to see how things go. If the opportunity presents itself I will likely jump on it.

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Dil950

Just stumbled across this site looking for more info on summerville and coincidently saw your post. I was at the ernst quarries this past weekend and its a fun place. It was basically 70 bucks to dig from 9am to sunset. But as somebody mentioned above, its digging and hammering. We were spent by 1:00, right when the sun was getting intense. Digging was probably the best way for finding quality larger sized teeth but just sifting loose dirt may be a faster way of getting numbers. We kept on finding smaller teeth as we were shoveling away the tailings. Kind of made me think others probably left behind quite a bit especially when you start getting tired swinging a sledgehammer haha. His facebook also shows some people finding 3" sized teeth off the surface.

Talking to Rob it seems like he is trying to turn it into more of a destination spot. Bathrooms are going up in the next few weeks. He plans on putting up a display building over the middle of the slow curve. Half of the slow curve area is actually fenced off for private sale. I think each parcel was 1000 sqft. He already stripped off the overburden so you are pretty much getting the good stuff. So if anybody is looking for their own private tooth farm, he has two parcels left.

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oneofmetwo

I've been to the Ernst Quarries before as well. They're pretty sweet and the prices aren't bad. I went with the SoCal Paleontological Society last year. They have another trip coming again the first weekend of April, though it might be full already. www.socalpaleo.com. I found a lot of shark teeth, though I didn't find a whole Meg. :-(

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Lee Taylor
On 2/16/2016 at 5:12 PM, caldigger said:

Lee, if you happen to go to the Ernst Quarries (the only pay to play site in that area), you will find that the dig spots are generally in well defined areas. Slow Curve has specific areas you can dig in as well as East Quarry. Rob Ernst (owner of property) will tell you exactly where you can and can not dig so there is not a lot of guess work involved. The only real skill is finding spots, especially East Quarry, that have not been dug as of yet. Unfortunately, years of digging has made the area resemble a bombing range and quite a bit of good virgin ground has been buried beneath tailing piles from careless diggers. Not to say there isn't good ground to cover, but it does involve a bit of hit and miss.

You won't require a guide for this site, but it always nice to have someone that has dug here before join you on the dig. Dry digging is a bit different from water searching. You'll be digging/sifting or hammering chunks out of a sandstone wall. You can always PM me if you have further questions.

When are you planning your trip? Look up Sharktoothhillproperties.com Rob has set up different days for different sites so make sure the site you want to go to coincides with his and your schedule.

 

I have NOT hunted the Quarry yet. Will be in Bakersville Saturday Jan 28th with plans to hunt the quarry. I have tried dozens of times to contact someone, yes I used the website, and their phone number, and email address. Their interaction and response is next to ZERO. Their automated scheduling immediately scheduled me for the WRONG date even though it was put in correctly. I have experienced similar problems with other sites also. In that they cancel the hunt but fail to notify world travelers. These behaviors really open ones eyes. I will probably just SHOW UP. If they are not there I will drive on and put it in the memory bank. Between now and then I will continue to try to reach them. Based on their pathetic response over the past two weeks I doubt this will be a successful adventure

 

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Lee Taylor
On 2/18/2016 at 1:17 AM, Dil950 said:

Just stumbled across this site looking for more info on summerville and coincidently saw your post.

 


this is me in South Carolina. It is my Youtube playlist


 

 

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Dil950
14 minutes ago, Lee Taylor said:

 

I have NOT hunted the Quarry yet. Will be in Bakersville Saturday Jan 28th with plans to hunt the quarry. I have tried dozens of times to contact someone, yes I used the website, and their phone number, and email address. Their interaction and response is next to ZERO. Their automated scheduling immediately scheduled me for the WRONG date even though it was put in correctly. I have experienced similar problems with other sites also. In that they cancel the hunt but fail to notify world travelers. These behaviors really open ones eyes. I will probably just SHOW UP. If they are not there I will drive on and put it in the memory bank. Between now and then I will continue to try to reach them. Based on their pathetic response over the past two weeks I doubt this will be a successful adventure

 

 

Hi Lee,

 

      You may actually have a shot even if there's no response.  When I went, he waited until 8:00 AM before setting off in case anybody just showed up.  So it seems like if you show up 7:45 on a day that's available on the calendar, chances are you'll see him and anybody else scheduled.  Just drive slow when you get close because the entrance is around a bend and it's easy to miss.  This was the info he sent with some direction help.  On a side note, how hard is it to find non private creeks in summerville?  I have seen a lot of youtube vids around that area but seems likes you kind of have to know where to go.

 

Thank You for your reservation, attached is our information packet. Check-in is between 7:45 and 8:00am at our staging point. If using a GPS navigation system, please input The Ernst Quarries NOT Sharktooth Hill (as this will take you 15 minutes away). If you cannot make the start time, please notify us prior to 7:45am and we can attempt to accommodate you, but there are no guarantees.
 
Our sign is on the north side of the road, black and white, and 8' off the ground on a telephone pole. It has The Ernst Quarries on it, along with a number 4. If you feel you have gone to far, please call for directions.
 
Unfortunately, we CANNOT accept debit or credit card payments at this time. Cash and checks are the ONLY method of payment, and need to be presented at the gate.
Payment is due upon arrival, no exceptions.
 
 
Effective January 1, 2016 our prices have changed. Please review the new pricing section, as many changes have occurred.
 
No dogs are allowed, this is for their safety. Many of the manageable hazards that affect humans are unmanageable and deadly to dogs.
 
If you have any questions please call: (661) 319-7080
 
 
Rob Ernst
 
 
 

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ynot
7 hours ago, Lee Taylor said:

 

I have NOT hunted the Quarry yet. Will be in Bakersville Saturday Jan 28th with plans to hunt the quarry. I have tried dozens of times to contact someone, yes I used the website, and their phone number, and email address. Their interaction and response is next to ZERO. Their automated scheduling immediately scheduled me for the WRONG date even though it was put in correctly. I have experienced similar problems with other sites also. In that they cancel the hunt but fail to notify world travelers. These behaviors really open ones eyes. I will probably just SHOW UP. If they are not there I will drive on and put it in the memory bank. Between now and then I will continue to try to reach them. Based on their pathetic response over the past two weeks I doubt this will be a successful adventure

 

When I have gone to the Ernst quarries Rob's system notifies You about a week before the arrival date. But as dil950 said -- if You do not receive any notice just be at the meeting place at the appointed time, Rob will be glad to let You in.

 

Good luck on the hunt!!

Tony

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Lee Taylor

I am loaded pretty heavily and do not want to take any tools on the plane. I see the shovels, pics, chisels, screens, goody bag, sun protection, water in the youtube videos. Is there a place in Bakersfield that you recommend for purchasing? What else do you recommend. I will bring my camera, of course, I always do that.

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Lee Taylor
22 hours ago, Dil950 said:

 

Hi Lee,

  On a side note, how hard is it to find non private creeks in summerville?  I have seen a lot of youtube vids around that area but seems likes you kind of have to know where to go.

 
 

 

Its very hard. Summerville also has rules against using mechanical means of any kind. Fortunately there are no shark tooth police. I have a license to collect that is issued by the state. The best sites are the rivers. We have one that you can hunt that is similar to the Peace river in Florida. We do have a few guides around that charge (similar to Ernst). The Dept of Natural Resources DOES give citations for fossil hunting rivers without a license. If your in the hobby for a long time eventually you get invitations to hunt private property.

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Dil950

He has tools there. I had my own but needed up just using his. I guess if ts super busy that may be an issue?  Stool and shade if you can. It's pretty much manual labor. Break off the matrix with hammer and chisel then shovel it away. If it's sunny it'll get pretty hot and tiring.  We didn't bring either so we were exhausted by noon so we just left. 

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Lee Taylor

I am familiar with the brutal sun conditions and surface hunting. I typically sit on an upside down plastic bucket in the creek. Sounds like the chisel, pick, and shovel are the key tools. The screen seems optional. An overhead umbrella is probably worth the trouble.

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ynot

The screen is a very useful tool to have there, especially in the East pit.  I think that is the one thing Rob does not have for customer use.

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JBMugu
8 hours ago, Lee Taylor said:

I am familiar with the brutal sun conditions and surface hunting. I typically sit on an upside down plastic bucket in the creek. Sounds like the chisel, pick, and shovel are the key tools. The screen seems optional. An overhead umbrella is probably worth the trouble.

Lee,

 

if if you are interested I could show you our dig location near STH if you would be willing to reciprocate if we visit SC. The wife and I were thinking of going out there to hunt later this year. We have the same problem, if you don't know where to look it's  hard to find teeth. If you go to the earnest quarry all the teeth are white, we have a location that yields more color but takes a little more digging.

image.jpg

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Virgilian

I'm surprised nobody's said anything about Valley Fever yet. I've read that you can acquire an infection there. It's caused by a fungus. I've also read that it's in the uncultivated soils of California's southern San Joaquin Valley. A severe infection is not pleasant, apparently. It can be debilitating, requiring months to recuperate.

 

I've never talked (or otherwise communicated) personally with anybody who's actually contracted Valley Fever from the Sharktooth Hill area, but I keep reading about all the warnings.

 

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ynot

Valley fever is something to be aware of, but it is not limited to the Shark tooth hill area and You are more likely to get it in Arizona than in California .

Tony

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caldigger

I have discussed this issue with Rob and he stated that he has never gotten any reports of people getting Valley Fever from his quarries.

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caldigger

It's supposed to be a high of 60 degrees there on Saturday the 28th, so I wouldn't count on brutal heat. If you do decide to go, I could arrange to be there to join you for the dig. 

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siteseer
2 hours ago, caldigger said:

I have discussed this issue with Rob and he stated that he has never gotten any reports of people getting Valley Fever from his quarries.

 

 

What Rob may not know is that one of his father's dogs got Valley Fever and died.  A friend got it on a trip during which he collected with Rob's father but also in the Kettleman Hills (farther north up Hwy 5).  I should also add that I was on that trip too but didn't get it.  I dug with his father for about 14 years (with a couple of trips before that plus several Kettleman Hills trips) before he passed away and never got it.  As far as I know, his father never got it and he was digging most days out of the year for many years more than I.  For some people though, it can hit you like a cold but some people do suffer for weeks and some die.  

 

There seem to be outbreaks of it after a wet winter and then a dry spring-summer.  The fungus is in the soil not the formation.  Some people wear masks but most of my collecting was in the summer when wearing a mask is very uncomfortable.  You should try wearing a mask with the cooler weather.  The quarries are out in an open area with no trees so the wind can make it feel colder.

 

There are previous discussions on Valley Fever on this forum and anyone interested should do a search (a search the web) and read up. 

 

 

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Virgilian
17 hours ago, siteseer said:

 

 

What Rob may not know is that one of his father's dogs got Valley Fever and died.  A friend got it on a trip during which he collected with Rob's father but also in the Kettleman Hills (farther north up Hwy 5).  I should also add that I was on that trip too but didn't get it.  I dug with his father for about 14 years (with a couple of trips before that plus several Kettleman Hills trips) before he passed away and never got it.  As far as I know, his father never got it and he was digging most days out of the year for many years more than I.  For some people though, it can hit you like a cold but some people do suffer for weeks and some die.  

 

There seem to be outbreaks of it after a wet winter and then a dry spring-summer.  The fungus is in the soil not the formation.  Some people wear masks but most of my collecting was in the summer when wearing a mask is very uncomfortable.  You should try wearing a mask with the cooler weather.  The quarries are out in an open area with no trees so the wind can make it feel colder.

 

There are previous discussions on Valley Fever on this forum and anyone interested should do a search (a search the web) and read up. 

 

 

 

And so I did a quick forum search, as suggested. Found a couple of threads started by FossilsForKids, who reports on June 21, 2009, that he'd contracted a case of Valley Fever. He caught it from digging near Hart Park, directly opposite (south of) Sharktooth Hill. Initial reports (June 3, 2009) suggested he didn't have Valley Fever (first thread). A later medical examination confirmed Valley Fever (thread two).

 

 

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Lee Taylor

Well here I am a year later. I did visit Ernst Quarries in the beginning of 2017. I found it to be stunningly beautiful and interesting at the same time. Would I go back? Yes I would. I noticed some similarities of human behavior to the east coast fossil culture. One thing I noticed that was the same, is that one has to move a LOT of earth to increase ones odds of finding good stuff. Another similarity to the east coast culture was that some people pay to hunt and others do not pay. Still another similarity was the fact that some fossilers hunt on private property without permission. That behavior is not uncommon on the east coast. I am not condemning and I am not approving I am just stating a fact. I also noticed everyone wanting to know where to hunt, wanting to know where they can find sharks teeth. On the east coast, if you are viewed as someone that might know where fossils are, you will get LOTS of emails from strangers wanting you to take them out in the woods and point to a 7.25” Meg. I am very grateful to people like Rob Ernst. I have always been the type person that is happy to pay for guidance, access, and permission.

 

Ernst Quarries

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ynot
1 hour ago, Lee Taylor said:

I did visit Ernst Quarries in the beginning of 2017.

So how did You do and where are the pictures?

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digit

Yup. We'd love to see how you did on your visit to STH.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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