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califossilhunter

Website to Share and Find Fossil Sites

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califossilhunter

This is an new website I just launched as a platform for people to share and find fossil sites near them. No account required.

http://www.californiafossils.wordpress.com

**Any suggestions or comments are welcome

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Fossildude19

The more who know, ... the more will go.

Something to keep in mind when you post fossil localities online.

One of the things I enjoy is the hunt for productive sites through research and bushwhacking.

If you make it too easy, the sites will be picked over in no time.

Voice of experience talking here.

Regards,

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jpc

I agree with Tim. You will be lucky if people want to share their local sites online.

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Canadawest

We learn over the years to make a judgement call on sharing information or taking others out to our favourite collecting sites.

In general I will direct someone to a broad area. Something like 'you can find ptychodus teeth if you search the dark grey areas in the upper levels along the Milk River. Look for....' Then they can make the effort to find a site.

Newbies aren't aware that many us have stopped the car a hundred times. Climbed 30 hills. Picked up a thousand rocks, etc. before discovering 'the spot'. I like getting out into Nature and finding 'nothing' is still a fun rewarding day...however, it can mean an hour's trek through some twisted coulee to get to a distant hoodoo on the other side that proves barren. No fossils, just a few cactus needles hitchhiking on my boot.

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Tomwith3girls

I wish we had a site like this for the East coast! 

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sixgill pete
On 4/15/2016 at 7:04 PM, Fossildude19 said:

The more who know, ... the more will go.

Something to keep in mind when you post fossil localities online.

One of the things I enjoy is the hunt for productive sites through research and bushwhacking.

If you make it too easy, the sites will be picked over in no time.

Voice of experience talking here.

Regards,

 

I agree 100% Tim. There is a site about 30 minutes from my house. It was pretty much held close to the vest by the few of us who new about it and went there. Someone passed the exact location along to a "friend" now the site is picked clean. This friend brought another friend, then another and another. Pretty soon a local person who many of us despise, who decimates spots for profit was brought there. 

 

It was an excellent location, not anymore. The hard work of 1 person who took the time and effort to find this place was ruined in less than 3 months.

 

This is the reason so many of us will not divulge our good spots and why we so often say get out and do some research.

 

I hope a website like this never appears online for anywhere, especially the southeast.

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Fossildude19

With the advent of the internet, and Google Earth/Maps, and GPS, ... research is much easier than in the past. 

 

"To the motivated go the spoils!" ;)

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Canadawest
28 minutes ago, sixgill pete said:

 

I agree 100% Tim. There is a site about 30 minutes from my house. It was pretty much held close to the vest by the few of us who new about it and went there. Someone passed the exact location along to a "friend" now the site is picked clean. This friend brought another friend, then another and another. Pretty soon a local person who many of us despise, who decimates spots for profit was brought there. 

 

It was an excellent location, not anymore. The hard work of 1 person who took the time and effort to find this place was ruined in less than 3 months.

 

This is the reason so many of us will not divulge our good spots and why we so often say get out and do some research.

 

I hope a website like this never appears online for anywhere, especially the southeast.

I had something similar happen

 

Nobody was at fault but rather just a snowball effect. I had a favourite microfossil site to take kids for an adventure.  A place that was convoluted hiking into.. We could lay on our stomach and poke at the ground for hours finding little raptor teeth, scales, fish vertebrae, etc.  Always  guaranteed to find some fun stuff.

 

Then I took some fossil keeners. They were fine. Good ethical collectors and closed mouthed. Then one more guy... He decided  'What a great place for a group field trip'.  His motives were completely harmless.  After that...a half dozen  collectors every time I went. Anyways, end of that site!

 

re finding sites.  Google Earth...feels like cheating.  I used to get out the topo maps and study air photos trying to piece together potential field trips. Now I Google Earth and 'wow'. We have some remote parts of the Rockies that I've figured out how to get into that I would have been clueless about accessing before.  

 

 

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Ludwigia

I agree with all that has been written above. Everybody already knows about the classical sites which are practically inexhaustable, or beginners can find out about them quickly enough. Lots of operating quarries and clay pits, pay-to-dig sites and stuff like that. However, I only take trusted and similarly interested friends and aqaintances to my unique sites for the reasons already stated.

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Uncle Siphuncle

Allow me to expound on a great site, properly managed.  Once upon a time, I found a great Upper Cretaceous site in Texas that gave up tons of crabs, echinoids, occasional shark, fish and reptile material, as well as a bivalves and gastropods by the bucket load that I've never seen in abundance elsewhere.  There was at least one new species of echinoid present.  Long story short, over time I took representatives from 3 universities, 2 museums, and a bunch of private collectors to the site, totalling 70-75 people, generally one at a time, and all found great stuff.  

 

How can this be, you might ask?  Simple.  I dealt with each person one on one before the hunt and got their word that they'd treat this as a one day hunt, take all you want today, then forget the site exists.  No leaning into me later, no sneaking back, no bringing friends, no bringing tag alongs on this invite, no chatter with individuals or clubs.  I explained that I had self, family, and future invites to indulge, and if one guest loses his manners, it throws a wrench into the entire program.  The conduct of each guest impacts my willingness to share with anyone, period. 

 

I never had a problem, and all 75 people acted honorably.  The direct approach with people, for me, works best.  My philosophy is that the guy who expended the effort, fuel,and time to find a new site gets to decide how to slice the pie.  He can slice it thin, and share with many.  He can slice big chunks for a few friends and family.  Or in special cases, he can choose to eat the whole dang thing himself, with no apologies.  I have sites in all these categories, guided by personal preference.

 

To the motivated go the spoils.

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Tomwith3girls

Wow, this seems to be a touchy subject. I completely understand everyone's position on this subject and respect your opinions. But, for the "newbies" out there just starting and trying to love a new hobby, I think something like this would lead them in the direction of finding more sites on there own. 

My wife and I stumbled on this hobby by pure accident. We moved to NC almost 3 years ago and decided to check out the beach. While there, we noticed people picking up stuff on the beach and it didn't look like shells or glass. Me being the extrovert of the relationship I started a conversation and found about shark teeth! We were hooked from that point on and have done a lot of work on our own. Now, I don't draw a map for someone looking for a site, but I have no reservations telling someone that the Edisto River and Onslow Beach produce an abundance of fossils. I think there could be a happy middle place in this topic. 

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Kane
On 9/27/2016 at 3:52 PM, Tomwith3girls said:

Wow, this seems to be a touchy subject. I completely understand everyone's position on this subject and respect your opinions. But, for the "newbies" out there just starting and trying to love a new hobby, I think something like this would lead them in the direction of finding more sites on there own. 

My wife and I stumbled on this hobby by pure accident. We moved to NC almost 3 years ago and decided to check out the beach. While there, we noticed people picking up stuff on the beach and it didn't look like shells or glass. Me being the extrovert of the relationship I started a conversation and found about shark teeth! We were hooked from that point on and have done a lot of work on our own. Now, I don't draw a map for someone looking for a site, but I have no reservations telling someone that the Edisto River and Onslow Beach produce an abundance of fossils. I think there could be a happy middle place in this topic. 

A middle of the road option may be best, but also helping newbies by informing them of the ways they can locate new sites on their own. Reading geologic maps and some trial and error is a good learning experience. How does that old bible proverb go? Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime.

 

There are also other ways, too, such as joining a local rock/fossil/gem collecting society that organizes trips - with the added bonus of gaining access to sites not generally open to the public.

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Tomwith3girls
1 hour ago, Kane said:

A middle of the road option may be best, but also helping newbies by informing them of the ways they can locate new sites on their own. Reading geologic maps and some trial and error is a good learning experience. How does that old bible proverb go? Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime.

 

There are also other ways, too, such as joining a local rock/fossil/gem collecting society that organizes trips - with the added bonus of gaining access to sites not generally open to the public.

I agree Kane.

My wife and I received little to no help until I found this site. This was the most useful and educational fossil site I have seen. I think a new topic on this site specifically designed to help people do all those things you suggested like reading maps, etc., would be very helpful. I haven't joined any groups other than the few people I have met on here. 

 

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Tomwith3girls

 

 

23 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

 

I don't think anyone meant to jump on you Tom. Sorry if it seems that way.  We do feel strongly about posting sites and directions to them online because anyone who has done this for any amount of time has seen sites go barren or get closed off to collecting because a few greedy people ruined it for everyone. 

 

 

Believe it or not, there are already a number of pinned posts on the Forum that cover this material. :)

 

LINK 1

LINK 2

LINK 3
LINK 4
LINK 5

 

 

They are posted (pinned) under the General Fossil Discussion Forum. 

This site can be a wealth of information. :D 


The onus lies on the curious to look for the information. 

Sometimes, in fossil hunting, a little "digging" is necessary. ;)

 

I understand the desire for noobies to want to get out there and find T-rex teeth right off the bat.  I do. 

Sometimes, crawling must come before walking, and then flying. 

 

After putting in the miles of driving, dollars for gas, hiking, searching, and after countless bruises, bug bites, cuts and scrapes, ticks, snakes, mud, quicksand, scorching sun and cold rain or sometimes snow,...  digging, sifting, snorkeling, diving, ... it is difficult for us to just lead someone to a site and say, "Have at it".  

And I would be willing to bet that with a concise Google search, anyone can find well known sites to fossil hunt at. 

 

This is an addictive hobby, and for some, not in a good way.  The constant need to find something new and great (or, ...unfortunately, for some,... just the lure of easy money) drives people to do brainless things. And that is what gets people kicked out of places, and gets professionals viewing "amateurs" with scorn or disdain, and ruins sites for future hunters.:(

 

The desire for low hanging fruit is what keeps me in fossils, as too many people aren't willing to "pay their dues" to get to the big leagues. 

So please don't take offense at the strong reaction some of us have about this topic. It isn't directed at you personally, just the thought of publicly announcing fossil site via the interwebs. 

Fossil Hunting is just that, and should remain that. 

 

If it was just called Fossil Finding,... everyone would do it. ;):P

Regards,

 

No offense taken and thank you for your response. like I had said previously, I have used this site to my advantage due to the helpful nature of the members. There is a ton of knowledge and great people on here and it is much appreciated.

My only suggestion would be to have a tab specifically for new fossil hunters to give bread crumbs, tips, common sites, etc so they can get out there and make the hobby their own. I wouldn't expect anyone to post there "secret spots or honey holes" to the general public. I completely agree that you have to put in the work. I am a career Soldier (21 years now) and not afraid of a little walking, bug bites, snakes or anything else (except my wife) and believe strongly that you will appreciate it more when you go out there and earn it. 

My only regret so far is that I didn't start this hobby earlier. It truly is addicting and I love that it is something my wife and I enjoy doing together. 

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tmaier

Another thing you might want to consider is to expand your interest to include all of nature. Geology, minerology, botany, zoology, paleontology, etc. So... you go out hiking and you observe things. Sometimes you find fossils, and sometimes you don't but you always find nature. So you always win that way, and it gives you a better view of how the fossils fit into the bigger picture of the world.

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