Growing up on a farm, nature and wildlife always fascinated me. I am much more comfortable in the wilds of the woods than the wilds of any city. Though I am a long way from being favorably compared to Survivorman (Survivorman: Discovery Channel), I am not afraid of bugs, snakes, or most animals. I have had the chance to travel the world and go “Into the Wild” both underwater and on land where I find myself alive and at peace and often euphoric from Nature’s beauty.
I still remember my first fossil hunting experience in the 5th grade. It was to a shale mine in the Pa coal country. I didn’t realize it at the time but it was a trans formative experience that would lay dormant deep inside me for 30+ years. All those years since finding my first leaf fossil a passion would burn inside me only to be awakened by my knuckleheaded best friend from Georgetown, and his midlife crisis.
Kris Mack, his career at a crossroads and needing some personal inflection suggested in jest that he was gonna take the summer off and fly fish and look for fossils in Montana. I then recalled a certain 30,000 acre ranch a family friend owns in Montana and I approached him. His response was “well I have a wind field, an oil and natural gas project, horses, and cattle. If you found Dinosaurs, that would be cool.” So, sure enough, in April 2011, I reached out to Montana State University to see if they would be interested in collaborating. I am thankful to have met and be led by Ashley Poust and Dr. Frankie Jackson PhD, our field experts. (Findings from Bone Doggle 2011 will be housed in one of the World’s Finest Dinosaur museums, the Museum of the Rockies Dinosaurs and more in Bozeman, MT | Museum of the Rockies.)
I cast a rather wide net in recruiting our All Star Team of middle age underachievers for Bone Doggle 2011. The majority of people I approached reacted as if I am crazy or silly or goofy, hmmm. I did find 5 very special men who yearn for adventure, new experiences, and each has a different reason for going but a common goal – finding the “BIG ONE.” With a little luck, who knows? We may just wind up being modern day Jurassic Park City Slickers. No matter what, we will have fun and hopefully come back in one piece. –Jamie Robinson
“In Montana, we tend to identify places where rocks of the right age are exposed by looking at geological maps generated by agencies such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS). When we find an area that might be promising, we then drive out and camp somewhere nearby, hiking to find outcropping rock and then prospecting over that rock for pieces of bone (or eggshell) that might be peeking out. We never start digging without first finding some part of the fossil which has already been uncovered by blowing wind or pelting rain” – Ashley Poust.