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Fossil Locations


JackChleb

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I'm looking for some fossil sites that are about an hour to two hours around Blanchard. I'll collect just about anything and really just want to find some spots. I also am a little confused on laws regarding fossil collecting in Oklahoma, so if any one has any info on that I would love to hear. :D:trilo:

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Fossildude19
46 minutes ago, JackChleb said:

I'm looking for some fossil sites that are about an hour to two hours around Blanchard. I'll collect just about anything and really just want to find some spots. I also am a little confused on laws regarding fossil collecting in Oklahoma, so if any one has any info on that I would love to hear. :D:trilo:

 

It would be best to do your own research about fossil laws in your state. 

Call your local Environmental department and ask there. 

Getting legal advice online is not in your best interests.  ;) 

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2 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

 

It would be best to do your own research about fossil laws in your state. 

Call your local Environmental department and ask there. 

Getting legal advice online is not in your best interests.  ;) 

to expand a bit on what Tim said... if we give you some advice about fossil laws and you get busted because we were wrong.  Well, that is potential lawsuit, just plain trouble and/or bad publicity.  Ask around.  

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For what it’s worth, there are plenty of sites within a 2-hour radius of you.  I am on the north side of okc and earlier this year, I began collecting after a many-year hiatus.  It did not take me long to sniff out some very productive, legal places, and I have a laundry list that grows almost every day of additional places I still want to check out.  honestly, I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever have the time to hit them all.  

 

It’s considered bad form to mention specific locations here unless they are well known or public parks.  I am not aware of any fossil parks in Oklahoma, but, just beyond your 2-hour radius, there is not one but two fossil parks in North Texas.  One at Mineral Wells north of Forth Worth and the other on the North Sulphur River at Ladonia northeast of Dallas.  I should add that North Texas in general is pretty amazing for the fossil hunter and most of the region is within 2.5 to 5 hours from you so, if you are feeling adventurous, there are a number of locales in North Texas that in day trip range. 

 

Back to your original parameters of places that are 1 to 2 hours from you, you’ll find plenty of those too.  In your immediate vicinity (and in much of central and north central Oklahoma and a big chunk of Western OK, too), outcrops are Permian.  It seems like, with a few exceptions, the local Permian outcrops are, at best, only slightly fossiliferous.  Fossils of vertebrates ( Dimetrodon and large amphibians, usually fragmentary), plants, and even insects are known to be out there but research, patience, and probably some luck will be keys if you hope to find some.  

 

To your south, in the Arbuckles, Criner Hills and to the south of Ada are the real treats.  There are a variety of Silurian, Ordovician and Devonian outcrops that are extremely fossiliferous.  Crinoid parts,  brachiopods and mollusks are particularly numerous but there are plenty of trilobites and other interesting invertebrates out there, often in astonishing numbers.  

 

On the fringes of your 2-hour radius, Eastern Oklahoma has outcrops with very similar marine fossils to Southern Oklahoma just slightly more modern (Pennsylvanian and Mississippian).  In addition, along the Red River near,

and adjacent to, especially Lake Texoma, you can find even more modern (Cretaceous) marine fossils like Ammonites.  On the Texas side of Lake Texoma, you can also find fossil bones of marine reptiles (mosasaurs and the like),

shark teeth and other vertebrate fossils from the end of the age of Dinosaurs.

 

As far as finding good collecting sites, the internet is definitely your friend.  I’ve had very  good luck gleaning information on possible collecting sites from the archives of the Oklahoma Geological Survey.  Do a search for “Oklahoma a Geological Society” and “pdf” and “fossils”.  You will find pages and pages of old research papers.  On occasion, the authors of these papers go into some detail describing locations of where they collected specimens.  Mind you, if the paper is 50 or 75 years old, much may have changed since they wrote that description so you need to think like Sherlock Holmes (and spend a lot of time on Google Earth), but, surprisingly and more often then you might think, a description from the 1950s is at least sufficiently valid today to get you within spitting distance of a good site.  Then, Google Earth can often close the deal by helping you see an exposure in the general area described.  Of course, you still have to get boots on the ground to confirm for certain.  One lesson I’ve learned more than I care to admit:  barbed wire does not show up well on Google Earth.  Lol.  In other words, many sites that look awesome on Google Earth are exactly as they appear when you get there in person EXCEPT there is barbed wire between you and the outcrop.  Lol.  Don’t worry though.  There are plenty of sites where the outcrop is OUTSIDE the barbed wire too.  

 

As everybody else has said, it is also best to do your own research into legality.  I am no lawyer, so any advice I give is not likely to be completely correct and I don’t want anybody getting in trouble for listening to my half-baked understanding of the law.  I will say this:  don’t cross a barbed-wire fence boundary without explicit permission from owner.  That’s just asking for trouble.   Also, with or without barbed wire,  if you think a site might be private property, it almost always is, and, that being the case, you can’t go wrong in politely asking the owner for permission to do some collecting.  The worst they can do is say, “no”, and, from what I hear, a surprising number of landowners are quite gracious about allowing collecting as long as you ask first.  If you do get permission, definitely do not abuse the privilege by leaving a mess in your wake or by bringing large groups of friends and well wishers because such activity only increases the chance that landowners who are currently friendly to the occasional, lightly-treading collector will start saying “no” in the future.     

 

Anyway, as you do your research, feel free to ask questions, in the forum or by PM.  I was pretty much where you are now only a few months ago so I probably had to get answers to many of the same questions you have now.  I can probably help you validate or invalidate your research since i’ve Investigated a bunch of possible sites... sites that you are likely to uncover in your research as well...  in the Arbuckles and especially in the Ada area.  

 

Good luck and enjoy!  

 

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FranzBernhard
1 hour ago, BigKen said:

Good luck and enjoy!

One of the most competent, informative and friendly posts of this kind. No special site mentioned, but this post will ignite the fire of self-discovering of "new" site. Thank you!

"Discovering" your own sites is much, much more rewarding than to go to sites that have told to you in detail by someone.
Franz Bernhard

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@JackChleb Welcome to TFF from Austin, Tx.  You have been given some great advice from @BigKen.  BigKen, also a warm Welcome to you to TFF; great early entry post you just made.

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