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Brown Bear

Low Country Fossil Excursions

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Brown Bear

Greetings from Florida!

 

I am hoping one of my fellow Fossil Forum brethren might help me out. I am planning a family vacation to the Charleston area the first week of April and came across Low Country Fossil Excursions online. I definitely wanted to do some fossil digging while we are up there, but some of their reviews concerned me. I just spoke to Shawn Damon (guide/owner) on the phone but I am still a little worried about this guided hunt.

 

I am an AVID hobbyist fossil hunter here in Florida, with about 20 years (on and off) of experience, and frequently participate in digs with the University of Florida. Not to be rude, but it is imperative to me, that for the kind of money they are asking, we are going to an area not accessible to the general public or at the least, not heavily trafficked and picked over. I appreciate the value of a good guide, but I am just unsure. Do any of you have experience with this company? Are they worth the $360.00 they are asking for to take my wife, myself and my skilled 8 yr old side-kick (daughter) on a 6 hour "walk-in" hunt? It seems like a lot, especially after what I read on Trip Advisor.

 

Would I be better off to learn the SC fossil hunting rules and strike out on my own? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for your candid and honest answers!!!!!

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Brown Bear

Just an afterthought but are there any SC locals that have creek access that they would allow my Tribe of 3 to hunt in lieu of a paid tour? I would be glad to clean up behind ourselves or pay for access to your property.

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Salty

Before I got to do any exploring on my own, I contacted this outfit. Due to there was only two of us at the time, they needed more people to make it worth their while. I can understand that, but I was disappointed. However, I have heard that they do a pretty good job, and people do find some teeth/ fossils. How big, how many, I don't know. I understand your concern because it is a fair chunk of change. Where they take you I don't know either, but I guess if the people are finding the goods it can't be to worn out of a spot. I would do it, because trying to find a spot on your own, you would be greatly challenged, and waste precious time. I would try it, but please post feedback so we all know if we should recommend them in the future. Good luck!

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Lee Taylor

LCF has been around for quite some time. He does know of sites and he is constantly searching for more sites just like the rest of us. Sounds like prices have gone way up over the years. I suppose their problem is paying their bills just like the rest of us. $360 will not pay many bills.

 

The worst case I have seen (and I am not suggesting LCF does this) is seeding the edge of the river. In a case like this, the "guide" arrives early and slings a hand full of fragments and pieces into the river and then sets up a lawn chair. He then has the paid customer search for the frags while he watches from the chair.

 

I paid to hunt a site the other day in California. Enormous amounts of fossils have been dug out of this site. The spot we dug only yielded a few. They are there, but hidden, you just have to dig them out. In this case, no one could tell you exactly where the shark teeth were. The owner of the property collected about $400 and went home happy. There were no guarantees, we all know that going in.

 

One year I had a Florida guide ask for 900 for the two of us for multiple days. I negotiated the price down to around 400. The bottom line is, they are trying to pay their bills

 

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Brown Bear

Thank you All! I knew I could count on TFF members to help me out. I did find a guide that I was comfortable with for this trip. Charleston Fossil Adventures owner, Ashby Gale. He is a paleontologist and former park ranger in the area. Prices were VERY reasonable and he practically bent over backwards to accommodate my family and I. After our trip, the first week of April, I will post pictures of any finds and a full, detailed report. So far I am incredibly impressed by his professionalism and willingness to help.

 

We will also be poking around the Edisto Beach Area on our own.

 

Happy Hunting Everyone!!!!

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Lee Taylor

Very familiar with Gale. He is quite knowledgeable in the paleontology of the area.

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History Hunter02

Ashby is really awesome.  When we went, we did the beach hunt and identification tour.  Not sure if you already went, but I suggest doing the identification also.

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IronRabbit

Just wanted to add that Ashby is a really awesome guy and knows what he is doing. I haven't gone on any tours with him, but have talked with him a few times at the Palmetto Paleontological Society meetings. I'd like to think his tours are just as awesome as he is. 

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