Jump to content
Fossilian

Where do you guys get all your fossils? How far did you travel?

Recommended Posts

Fossilian

Hey guys, I am really new to this fossil hunting place. I have been hooked since grade school though. So now since I am an old man with 2 teenage boys, I have finally decided to go fossil hunting with my family. 

 

So, I was really looking to be active on this forum. One event I found interesting is the blind trade. I was about to apply, but then I saw what people were trading. 

 

How did they get so many different kinds of fossils? Over where I live, there are only shark teeth.

 

Thanks, I live in NJ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ynot

In the area that I live there are no fossils. I have to travel at least 6 hours to get to a good site. 

Many others here on TFF have fossil bearing formations as close as thier backyards.

How far You have to travel is dependent on what You hope to find and where You live in relation to where that type of fossil can be found.

I try to find a good site wherever I go, regardless of what is there. (I like all types of fossils.)

 

Good luck,

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nimravis

 Unlike Tony, I have a great fossil collecting area  within a 45 minute drive- Mazon Creek.  Though the area us close to me and I have a ton of Mazon Creek fossils, they are not my favorite. I wish I live near the Badlands of South Dakota so I can collect mammal fossils every day- those are my favorite.  But to get to the heart of your question,  some people acquire their fossils by personal finds,  some people take their personal finds and trade with other collectors, others never collect any of the there own fossils and purchase everything or collect some and purchase others. You will be able to do the same thing with your shark teeth- a lot of people on the forum love shark teeth.

 

Good luck and good collecting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Darktooth

Actually you have a lot more in your area than just shark teeth. There is Dino material, marine reptile, belemnites ammonites, fish,  crustaceans, the list goes on and on. Travel is dependent on what you want to find and how far you are willing to go to find it. I would do more research about where you live and New Jersey in general. Your state has a lot to offer. Then you can check out the states that surround you. For instance I live in New York and I have all kinds of Devonian fossil sites to search. But I do drive to New Jersey and Maryland to find sharkteeth because we don't have any here. So it really depends on what you want to find and how far you are willing to go. Recently my family went to florida to Disney and I was able to fit in a brief hunt  while on vacation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
7 hours ago, Nimravis said:

 Unlike Tony, I have a great fossil collecting area  within a 45 minute drive- Mazon Creek.  Though the area us close to me and I have a ton of Mazon Creek fossils, they are not my favorite. I wish I live near the Badlands of South Dakota so I can collect mammal fossils every day- those are my favorite.  But to get to the heart of your question,  some people acquire their fossils by personal finds,  some people take their personal finds and trade with other collectors, others never collect any of the there own fossils and purchase everything or collect some and purchase others. You will be able to do the same thing with your shark teeth- a lot of people on the forum love shark teeth.

 

Good luck and good collecting.

 

Wow, thank guys for replying. I thought shark teeth were the most baseline of all fossils.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossildude19

I am lucky as well, as I have sites within 10 - 20 minutes of where I live. But, I have traveled to New Jersey, and  New York to find fossils. Day trips of 4 hours (one way) are not uncommon to reach diverse Devonian sites in NY.

 

Big Brook is a 3-3.5 hour drive one way for me.  I just did a trip a few weeks ago - 7.5 hours one way - and stayed with relatives to fossil hunt for 2 days. 


As mentioned  - it depends on where you wish to go, and how far you are willing to travel.  I try to base my vacations around areas that give me access to fossil hunting, when I can. 

 

See this website for info on fossil sites in NJ. Just keep in mind, the information is very old, (garnered from old scientific reports, etc.) and may no longer be accurate. 


Regards, 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fruitbat

Heck...I drove about 250 miles yesterday on a scouting trip for new locations to do some collecting in Carboniferous sediments.  Of course, I am in Texas so a 250 mile trip is just a minor excursion.  There are plenty of collecting locales within 10 miles of where I live but I'm always on the lookout for something new!

 

-Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
1 hour ago, Fossildude19 said:

I am lucky as well, as I have sites within 10 - 20 minutes of where I live. But, I have traveled to New Jersey, and  New York to find fossils. Day trips of 4 hours (one way) are not uncommon to reach  hoursdiverse Devonian sites in NY. Big Brook is a 3-3.5 hour drive one way for me.  I just did a trip a few weeks ago - 7.5 hours one way - and stayed with relatives to fossil hunt for 2 days. 


As mentioned  - it depends on where you wish to go, and how far you are willing to travel.  I try to base my vacations around areas that give me access to fossil hunting, when I can. 

 

See this website for info on fossil sites in NJ. Just keep in mind, the information is very old, (garnered from old scientific reports, etc.) and may no longer be accurate. 


Regards, 

 

 

 

What type of tools do you use in Big Brook? What type of sifter? One made of pool noodles or just a wooden box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
2 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

I am lucky as well, as I have sites within 10 - 20 minutes of where I live. But, I have traveled to New Jersey, and  New York to find fossils. Day trips of 4 hours (one way) are not uncommon to reach  hoursdiverse Devonian sites in NY. Big Brook is a 3-3.5 hour drive one way for me.  I just did a trip a few weeks ago - 7.5 hours one way - and stayed with relatives to fossil hunt for 2 days. 


As mentioned  - it depends on where you wish to go, and how far you are willing to travel.  I try to base my vacations around areas that give me access to fossil hunting, when I can. 

 

See this website for info on fossil sites in NJ. Just keep in mind, the information is very old, (garnered from old scientific reports, etc.) and may no longer be accurate. 


Regards, 

 

 

 

Also one more question for you guys. Should I purchase one of these rain boots to go fossil hunting in streams ankle high.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ynot
20 minutes ago, Fossilian said:

 

What type of tools do you use in Big Brook? What type of sifter? One made of pool noodles or just a wooden box.

I like a wood frame, You can always add noodles if You need it to float.

7 minutes ago, Fossilian said:

 

Also one more question for you guys. Should I purchase one of these rain boots to go fossil hunting in streams ankle high.

 

Do You like dry feet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossildude19
14 minutes ago, Fossilian said:

 

What type of tools do you use in Big Brook? What type of sifter? One made of pool noodles or just a wooden box.

 

I made a wood frame sifter - using 1" x 3"  boards, cut to about 18" long. Screwed together, with flat angle brackets in each corner, and 1/4 " hardware cloth. 

I put rope handles on mine.  You can add noodles for floating, or a lead fishing weight as an anchor, so it doesn't float away. 

 

Rain boots/rubber boots or waders are the way to go. I honestly usually go in the summer, and just wear my sandals with shorts, though. 

Regards,

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian

Man, I don't know how to make anything... Best I can do is purchase a noodle sifter as there are no wooden ones for sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian

Or should I purchase an item on eBay called "Primitive Shabby Amish Wooden Sifter" on eBay. But I think that one can't be used in water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ynot

Most hardware stores will cut the boards to size for You. After that it just takes a couple of screws to make a good sifter.

The best way to learn is to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
28 minutes ago, ynot said:

Most hardware stores will cut the boards to size for You. After that it just takes a couple of screws to make a good sifter.

The best way to learn is to do.

Haha, just drilled a hole through the wrong place. This is dang hard gonna keep trying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane
12 hours ago, Fossilian said:

Hey guys, I am really new to this fossil hunting place. I have been hooked since grade school though. So now since I am an old man with 2 teenage boys, I have finally decided to go fossil hunting with my family. 

 

So, I was really looking to be active on this forum. One event I found interesting is the blind trade. I was about to apply, but then I saw what people were trading. 

 

How did they get so many different kinds of fossils? Over where I live, there are only shark teeth.

 

Thanks, I live in NJ.

When it comes to trade, one person's junk is another person's treasure. Some people here have been collecting for decades and/or have more opportunities in terms of time and location to find stuff. Don't let that deter you at all as every collection begins with the first fossil found/traded/gifted/purchased. :) 

 

As others have already said, you are not in a shabby area for fossils, pending how far you want to drive. You also have some unique fossils I could only dream of (although my area is rich in certain paleozoic invertebrates, finding a shark tooth would be an extremely rare event, whereas others like you are in places where they can be almost literally bucket-filling).

 

Being active on the forum does not require having hundreds of museum-quality specimens. All it takes is interest in fossils. We have members who don't or can't collect, but supply us with interesting discussion, documents, and participate in several ways. Even if you are just reading posts or post the occasional congratulations or question about someone else's fossil trip, consider yourself a member of our virtual fossil family :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
7 minutes ago, Kane said:

When it comes to trade, one person's junk is another person's treasure. Some people here have been collecting for decades and/or have more opportunities in terms of time and location to find stuff. Don't let that deter you at all as every collection begins with the first fossil found/traded/gifted/purchased. :) 

 

As others have already said, you are not in a shabby area for fossils, pending how far you want to drive. You also have some unique fossils I could only dream of (although my area is rich in certain paleozoic invertebrates, finding a shark tooth would be an extremely rare event, whereas others like you are in places where they can be almost literally bucket-filling).

 

Being active on the forum does not require having hundreds of museum-quality specimens. All it takes is interest in fossils. We have members who don't or can't collect, but supply us with interesting discussion, documents, and participate in several ways. Even if you are just reading posts or post the occasional congratulations or question about someone else's fossil trip, consider yourself a member of our virtual fossil family :)

 

Thanks, I'm already planning a large trip to Big Brook. Hopefully I can make the drive every weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane

Fantastic! We have a few members here who hunt at Big Brook, and perhaps you might run into them. :hammer01:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
18 minutes ago, Kane said:

Fantastic! We have a few members here who hunt at Big Brook, and perhaps you might run into them. :hammer01:

Hopefully they can teach me a thing or two. What I really hate are the ticks there. One bite can just ruin your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kane

Definitely take precautions by wearing the right clothing, and if a bite gets through there is hope to minimize the problem if it is caught soon enough. If I recall, it leaves a distinct aura welt pattern, and it can be caught quickly. Gone are the days when, as kids, you could just wander without a care into tall weeds in shorts and sandals. Alas!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
6 minutes ago, Kane said:

Definitely take precautions by wearing the right clothing, and if a bite gets through there is hope to minimize the problem if it is caught soon enough. If I recall, it leaves a distinct aura welt pattern, and it can be caught quickly. Gone are the days when, as kids, you could just wander without a care into tall weeds in shorts and sandals. Alas!

Truly, gone are those days...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossilian
1 hour ago, EMP said:

Well here in the Mid-Atlantic our area is kind of lukewarm in terms of fossils. There are a few well known sites that get hit hard by tons of people, and then there a lesser known ones that require more digging to find out about.

 

Personally my strategy is more of just this: what kind of fossil do I want to find and what would be some good formations to look in? Sometimes I really want plants, other times it's trilobites, sharks teeth, etc. Next I use things like geologic maps and USGS/MGS websites to learn more about the character of a formation and the fauna/flora listed from it to see if there's any potential. Next I go to the maps, see where it occurs as bedrock, and use Google Maps to see if I can find any road cuts. All in all it can take anywhere from an hour to several days to find a site, and many times I have gone out empty handed (especially with all the new development! Hopefully the citizens councils can keep that down for now).

 

Personally my travel times can vary a lot. It's a solid 2-3 hour drive to places that are the furthest out, maybe even 4 hours if I'm particularly adventurous. The closest sites to me are less then an hour away, but for the most part you don't find much of anything in them.

Thanks for your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plax
On 5/7/2017 at 1:05 PM, EMP said:

Well here in the Mid-Atlantic our area is kind of lukewarm in terms of fossils. There are a few well known sites that get hit hard by tons of people, and then there a lesser known ones that require more digging to find out about.

 

Personally my strategy is more of just this: what kind of fossil do I want to find and what would be some good formations to look in? Sometimes I really want plants, other times it's trilobites, sharks teeth, etc. Next I use things like geologic maps and USGS/MGS websites to learn more about the character of a formation and the fauna/flora listed from it to see if there's any potential. Next I go to the maps, see where it occurs as bedrock, and use Google Maps to see if I can find any road cuts. All in all it can take anywhere from an hour to several days to find a site, and many times I have gone out empty handed (especially with all the new development! Hopefully the citizens councils can keep that down for now).

 

Personally my travel times can vary a lot. It's a solid 2-3 hour drive to places that are the furthest out, maybe even 4 hours if I'm particularly adventurous. The closest sites to me are less then an hour away, but for the most part you don't find much of anything in them.

am guessing you must be in the crystalline belt of Maryland? Can't think of anywhere else in Maryland that would be poor in fossils. Had the same situation growing up in SE PA. I agree with your observations and recommendations to Fossilien.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Macrophyseter

The nearest confirmed public fossil sites that I know of are like 3 hours away, and even so I'm much too young to actually go fossil hunting on my own, and my parents and absolutly no interest in fossil hunting (they think its worthless dung), so they arnt gonna help me out. Because of that, I'm just confined to buying fossils in gift shops and online, aside from finding a few generic seashells at my backyard when there was a hole dug up to build a solid border between our neighbor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
minnbuckeye

As is usually mentioned in a situation like this: Join a fossil club! Locals from your area can chime in on what is available. I have been hooked for about 3 years and started with a fossil club. In fact I just returned from a trip with them yesterday collecting Devonian material in Iowa.  Anyways, not only do you get to visit known fossil containing areas, but more importantly, members are usually there to help educate newcomers. For instance, as I mentioned, our group was out to find trilobites, but after busting rock for 5 hours, I asked a few members to direct me to an area known to have Pennsylvanian flora. Their knowledge allowed me to expand my horizons and be successful immediately. Since no one in the group has an interest in what this zone has to offer, I have it all to myself. By using their expertise, you will quickly develop the skills needed to venture out into the unknown and be successful. Good luck!

 

Another thought that came to mind: Just because you  find a certain fossil (shark's teeth) all of the time, do not think it is too lowly to offer as a trade. There are MANY areas of the world where local collectors have no chance at finding a tooth. They may be very happy trading for what is run of the mill for you. I do think once you understand what is available locally, you probably will enjoy the "find" better than the trade.

Share this post


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.

×