Now Booking 2013 Field Season
Dinosaur Fossil Safari Dig & Keep Real Dinosaur Bones
Would You Like To Dig Dinosaurs?
Would You Like To Keep What You Find?
Join Dr. Steve Nicklas and his staff of expert dinosaur hunters on weeklong expeditions to the dinosaur fossil country of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana or Nebraska.
Most of us can only dream of going on a dinosaur dig, of finding real dinosaur bones, of having real dinosaur bones in our collections. Can you imagine finding and keeping a real dinosaur tooth claw or bone? Now you can, thanks to a unique partnership between PaleoBarn, Prehistoric Planet, PaleoClones, Paleo Prospectors and our network of private landowners.
Now you can join our summer, weekly, field expeditions of Paleontological survey, preservation, excavation and recover. We’re talking Dinosaurs here. Expeditions generally run from the last of May to mid August. Our expeditions take place in the prime dinosaur territories of South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Nebraska. The 160,000 plus acres (11 privately owned ranches) that we have under lease have many excellent exposures that range in age from the mid to late Cretaceous (90-65 million years ago) to the Oligocene (25 million years ago). The majority of our ranches are in the Hell Creek Formation located in North and South Dakota and Montana. Our Montana ranches also contain mid Cretaceous marine fossil beds from the Bearpaw Shale. The Nebraska ranches have exposures from the Pierre Shale and many prime acres of Oligocene age beds. One of our Nebraska ranches also has numerous outcrops of giant septarian nodules, which contain calcite crystals in great abundance.
Unlike other expeditions on the market today, you will be able to keep almost everything that you find (up to a maximum of $4000). Only individual bones valued at over $1500 and articulated bones are excluded. In all cases, however, if you cannot keep your find, you will receive a finders fee of 3% after the final sale of the specimen. In most cases, each participant finds several hundred bone fragments; ten or so mostly complete bones and an occasional tooth or claw in any weeklong expedition. Extremely rare and scientifically important specimens are generally appraised and donated to appropriate museums for study. Since 1999, we have donated over $600,000 worth of specimens to museums. Standard fees for weeklong expeditions are $2320 per adult. Some discounts programs are available so please ask. The fee pays for nearly everything including: insurance, 3 meals a day for 6 days, lodging for 6 nights (double occupancy) daily landowner fees, daily guide fees, daily transportation to and from the motel to the dig sites, hand tool usage, field instruction and assistance. All resulting in your very own dinosaur fossil collection.
Make no mistake the goal is DINOSAURS. You will find dinosaurs, you will take home real dinosaur bones, and we guarantee it!
SEE WWW.PALEOPROSPECTORS.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION
#1. Nebraska - June 2 to 8
#2. Wyoming - June 9 to 15
#3. Wyoming - June 16 to 22
#4. OFF STAFF ONLY - June 23 to June 29
#5. Wyoming - June 30 to July 6 (College Credit students PLUS regular participants)
#6. South & North Dakota - July 7 to 13 (College Credit students PLUS regular participants)
#7. South Dakota - July 14 to 20
See detail descriptions below)
Each session will be limited to the first 15 applicants. Sessions will be booked upon our receipt of your confirmation, waiver and deposit. The ranches will be divided into collecting zones, one for each session so that everyone will have the opportunity to collect fossils from prime areas.
Please note that ALL participants who fly in for their trip are required to rent a vehicle and get themselves back and forth from the airport, with the exception of students enrolled for college credit. Individuals who use their vehicle to get back and forth from the collecting areas will receive a $300.00 discount. After arrival and check in on Sunday, collection will begin on the first Monday morning of each session and end each Friday evening. Wake up call will be at 6:30, breakfast at 7:00 and we will leave for the field by 8:15 AM. Lunch will be provided in the field and we will return each evening in time for dinner.
Detail Session Information:
During Session #1 we will be located in Chadron, Nebraska. There are three collection ranches. One has produced abundant articulated mosasaur specimens from the Pierre Shale Formation and excellent artifacts. Two others are from the White River Formation (Oligocene). We will stay in the Westerner Motel in Chadron. (Fly to Rapid City, South Dakota)
Session #2, 3 & 5
During Sessions #2, 3 & 5 we will be located in Newcastle, Wyoming. For Sessions 2, the collection ranch is located about 25 miles to the southwest of town. It is in the Lance Creek Formation. It has very well preserved but somewhat hard to find dinosaur material; however, it also has ABUNDANT museum quality plant fossils. This ranch is a must for any plant fossil collector. During the week we will spend time collecting in the dinosaur beds as well as time collecting plant fossils.
During Session #3 we will collect from two new ranches in the Lance Creek Formation. These ranches have not been collected on in years!
During Session #5, students will have the opportunity to excavate one of the several fairly complete dinosaur specimens that were found during the 2012 season, as well as the normal collection activities. Regular participants for Session #5 will participate in the normal collection activities. These ranches were collected for the first time last year and were very productive. In addition we will be able to collect a 4000 acre exposure of Pierre Shale with abundant ammonites and other associated marine fossils.
We will stay at the Sage Motel in Newcastle. (Fly to Rapid City, South Dakota)
Session 5 is open to both College Credit students registered for our course as well as regular participants.
Sessions #6 & 7
During sessions #6 & 7, we will stay in Buffalo, South Dakota, collecting on three private ranches.
Session 6 is open to both College Credit students registered for our course as well as regular participants.
During this week the students will be working on an early Archaic/late Paleo Indian buffalo kill site located about 15 miles south of Buffalo SD. The site was superficially investigated last summer and could be extremely important. It consists of a large number of semi articulated buffalo skeletons and some stone tools eroding out of the side of a large hillside. The goal this coming summer is to determine how much bone material extends into the hill and how much has already eroded away.
Meanwhile the participants will be prospecting on the Miller ranch in North Dakota which is one of our best Hell Creek ranches and was not collected at all last year. The ranch always produces great micro site material as well as abundant Triceratops material and Indian artifacts.
In Session #7, we will be collecting on two Harding County ranches, both of which are in the Hell Creek Formation. These are both close to town, and over the years have produced large numbers of quality fossils. The ranches have many good collecting areas and are excellent for first time collectors as well as more experienced participants.
Fantastic meals will be served at a local saloon with an excellent cook - nobody will go hungry! Do not plan to lose weight during these sessions!
We will stay at the Tipperary Lodge Motel in Buffalo, South Dakota. (Fly to Rapid City, South Dakota)
Earn College Credit!
Dr. Steve Nicklas, the founder of PaleoProspectors, will be offering a college-credit field course for select participants through Gainesville State College, Gainesville, Georgia. Participants will get hands-on experience excavating two sites in Wyoming and South Dakota. Be the first to see these bones come from the ground before they get to the museum! For more information, please click on the "College Credit" menu tab on the left of this page. This requires advance registration for the two week course (Sessions #5 and 6).
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