I started my fossil hunting by going to several “Pay to Dig” sites in the Western U.S. I wanted to see how interested I really was. I liked it! I found fish fossils in WY and Trilobites in UT. Later, with the aid of a series of rock and fossil hunting guides, I ventured out on my own.
I initially wanted to find a saber tooth cat, so I searched in various Plestiocene areas in several states. I never found a cat, but when I migrated to Eocene areas, I found a compete tortoise shell, the jaw of an Oreodont, and half of the pelvis of a Titanothere.
To get experience with dinosaur fossils, I volunteered as a “Paleo Slave” with a professional group who were digging in the Morrison formation of the Jurassic era. I helped excavate a part of a large Camarasaurus. I worked hard for a week, and was paid back in years of knowledge. This group taught me the basic principles of how to dig and how to cast a fossil. You may want to consider becoming a volunteer somewhere yourself. It is well worth the effort.
I read all the technical literature I could absorb on Geology and Paleontology. This helped me recognize the ground and strata I would search and work in. I also studied dinosaur anatomy so that I can begin to identify the bone type or species of what I might uncover in the field. I carry photos of species skeletons in the field to help me to confirm the identity the fossil bones I find. Below are the sites that I found helpful:
Pay to Dig sites
How To A Find Dinosaur Sites
You can view a team searching in real time at http://lastdinos.livesci.org
Other Great sites