Where do we meet?

We will meet in the east parking lot of the Heritage Center in Bismarck, ND. Exact time will be announced.

Can I take pictures?

Yes and No. This dig is on private land, and to respect the landowner’s wishes, make sure there is no photography showing the surrounding landscape, or any buttes. Closeups of you or fossils are ok. We make sure to take photos throughout the dig, and can e-mail you extras.

How strenuous is this dig?

Most of this dig entails quarry work (sitting and digging). There is a short walk from where we park vehicles, to the dig site.

If I get too hot, is there any shade?

We have a shade tent and chairs just off site, near the vehicles.

What should I bring?

Please bring more water than you think you will need – it tends to get hot, and we don’t want people becoming dehydrated. Pack any lunches or snacks you may want. Be prepared to hike with whatever you bring, so pack accordingly (no big coolers!). NDGS will provide any tools you might need for the day. We pack out what we pack in, so please take all garbage back with you. No littering!

What types of fossils are we finding?

We will be working in the Hell Creek Formation, 65 million years in age. The quarry we are working in has produced numerous bones from Edmontosaurus, Triceratops, shed teeth from Tyrannosaurus. We may also find bones from crocodiles, turtles, gar-pike, bowfin, champsosaurs, birds, salamanders, mammals, and plants.

Wow! We can find a whole dinosaur?!

While it’s possible to find a whole animal, most of what we are finding are parts and pieces. A crocodile tooth here. A gar-pike jaw there. A rib from a turtle. Finding a whole dinosaur would be a very rare, and time consuming project. A single leg bone could take you days to uncover, and an entire skeleton weeks.

Can we keep the fossils we find?

No – all fossils we find will return to the State Fossil Collection in Bismarck, ND.

Is there a restroom?

Yes, we have a port-a-potty next to the shade tent.

Will my cell phone work?

Maybe? We generally get very poor signal out where we are prospecting. Even if you do manage to connect, we ask that you head back to the vehicles if you want to chat, as courtesy to the other diggers.

Can I smoke?

Yes, but just like the cell phone use, as courtesy to the other diggers, we ask that you smoke back where we park the vehicles, or far from other people. Please take your cigarette butts with you as well – we want to make sure we keep the area clean.