“The Nugget Shooter’s Field Guide,” by Reese Townes. GoldSeeker Books; ISBN: 978-0-578-61746-6; 120 pages; Paperback; Color Photographs “The Nugget Shooter’s Field Guide,” is a comprehensive deep dive into the world of gold “nuggetshooting,” exploring aspects of Alluvial; Eluvial; Colluvial; Eolian; and Residual gold deposits and mining. I first became aware of the author, Reese Townes, as a frequent and respected contributor to several gold prospecting forums that I visit regularly. A successful and knowledgeable nuggetshooter, Reese grew up in Montana, where his father was a dealer for Garrett Metal Detectors. As a boy he was enamored by stories of gold prospecting he heard in his father’s shop, and soon, was out panning and detecting for the elusive treasure himself.
As he grew older, Reese learned all he could about geology and its relation to placer gold. He listened to seasoned “Sour Dough” miners and nuggetshooters, picking their brains for the hard earned knowledge and experience he would later use to find his own nuggets and pay streaks. In his book, Reese takes the reader across the Country, from old California hydraulic mines, to ancient riverbeds, “Mass Wasting” deposits in Montana, and placer areas in Arizona deserts and mountains. His writing style is concise and refreshing, explaining methodology and complicated theory in language even I could understand. The book is a true field guide, using color photographs to brilliantly illustrate what you are looking for when detecting tailing piles; hydraulic pits; mass wasting areas; alluvial bench deposits and more. His detecting strategies are well thought out, illustrated, and thorough.
The book features a “Photo Resource Guide,” that helps the reader become familiar with different types of gold “traps” that hide nuggets when you are trying to detect them. Reese explains how to work the different deposits and how to recognize areas that may have trapped gold. There is a chapter devoted to equipment that goes beyond the right detectors and coils. Reese explains the tools he takes into the field that he uses for crevicing, breaking up bedrock, removing roots, or hydro-shocking a nugget out of rock. He explains why he uses the machines and coils he works with, and where you can buy them.
One of the best chapters in The Nugget Shooter’s Field Guide, is “Detecting & Base Camp Safety.” Reese dives into his personal experience with putting felt soles on waders to reduce slipping on algae covered creek rocks, building simple “Boma” fences around his tent, and putting up flash/bang trip wires to deter bears, cougars, and humans from entering your camp at night. The book is 9”x6”x.5” so it fits neatly into your daypack, and can be carried easily in the field. In my opinion this is one of the finest field guides available to nuggetshooters learning how to be successful out on the claims. Add The Nugget Shooter’s Field Guide to your library today! - Terry Soloman