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Ready for that NorCal gold!!


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Hey guys! :coffeetime:

My name is Basel, and I recently joined this forum a few days ago. Im a graphic designer and am usually stuck behind a computer all day, but I spend countless hours daydreaming about being far away from technology. After years of reading articles and websites, ive finally decided to just get out there. I have decided to drag my girlfriend to come out with me even though she is convinced that i've gone mad.

I have purchased some gold pans, a Keene sluice box, and have been looking into some metal detectors.

I think I would be happy buying the Tesoro uMax Silver as a starter detector. I realize that it doesnt have a majority of the advanced features on the newer more professional models, but would like to know if it would be able to locate some small nuggets. Is ground mineralization going to keep me from enjoying this detector?

The only other question I have, is the one which I have the hardest time getting answered. WHERE!?

I am in northern california, (san jose/berkeley) and would LOVE someone to just guide me into the right direction. For panning and sluicing, I plan on taking a trip towards the Yuba River within the next week or two, which is obviously known for having some gold, but for metal detecting.. I admit that im kinda lost. Any information or advice would be a huge help!

I really look forward to getting to know you guys, and sharing some of my experiences! im an avid photographer as well, so expect some pictures!

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I also would love to have someone point out to me where I can go with my detector and start digging up nuggets. Gold is valuable stuff and most guys on this forum would like to know where some good gold is that they can go and dig up.

I can offer some suggestions as far as locations you might try, but let me ask are you going to camp, stay in a motel, etc. or what???

Also, metal detecting for nuggets is the toughest form of prospecting and it takes many new guys 6 months to a year or more to find their first nugget - and thats with the better equipment that is actually made to find gold. The Tesoro uMax Silver is a fine detector for finding coins in the park. I would say its just not designed with serious prospecting in mind.

I suggest you try panning first and learn a little bit about finding gold. The knowledge you gain will help you in detecting nuggets later.

Chris

Here are a few of the nuggets I have found with my detector in California:

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Thanks for the quick response! I plan on driving early morning towards the Yuba River and spending time using my sluice, and collecting concentrates all day, and then leaving when the sun sets. Im sure ill find very little to nothing my first time. Im very aware of how difficult it is, which is strangely one of the reason I am so fascinated with prospecting!

As far as detecting goes, it sounds like it may be something I should try when I can afford to get a better model for gold. I figured I would have a chance with the uMax Silver, but I guess its not the smartest purchase. My price range is closer to 200, which isnt much, but im assuming it would be wiser to just save that money instead of buying something I'll regret later.

As far as location, it may be that i've just asked a very general question that doesnt really have an answer. gold is where the gold is. :) I only asked for location, because i figured someone could guide me towards land which isnt claimed. Maybe general areas which are used to seeing panners? I really would hate to discover ive been digging up someone elses land! Thanks again, really glad I joined the forum!

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Welcome to the forum

If you have the chance, look on e-bay for a Tesoro Bandido II. You should be able to pick one up for about 200 bucks. the reason I say this is because if you are going to be looking for gold try to get a machine that has a manual ground balance and then pick up a 4 or 6 inch coil.

The Bandido and Bandido II aren't made anymore and have been replaced by the higher priced Vaquero, but are one of my favorite Tesoro machines for all kinds of hunting and do quit well on gold. The Silver is a 2 knob turn on and go and I think you would have problems with it in the minrelized ground.

I see that there are 2 of the Bandidos on e-bay right now.

Good luck on your endeavors.

Allen in MT

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Lets see now--South fork yuba outta nevada city has the blm purdone crossing-up to edwards with the RIGHTEOUS yuba gold channel through it.1/2 mile up from the parking lot-GET TA WORK. Bear River campground-smaller gold but nice anyhow. Then there is the Auburn Recreation area with a billion places to look. I like drivers flats over cherokee bar because of access and the GREAT ruck a chucky rapids gold abounds. Party on--have a ball-bring the sunscreen and beer as the HOT is arriving now. Best hotel in the motherlode is the MINERS INN IN placerville.DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE HUGE GOLD DISPLAYS IN THE AUBURN COURTHOUSE AND B/A IN PLACERVILLE TOO. We miners welcome you to kalif (land of environutz and bureauratz)--tons a fun to ya 2-John

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Mineral Bar Campground is in the Auburn Recreational area that John mentioned. For more information about it, check out this page on my website:

http://nevada-outback-gems.com/prospecting...Mineral_bar.htm

It is a spot where you would have a good chance to find some gold, but as John mentioned, it gets hot this time of year.

I've panned there many times myself.

Chris

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King Midas: You've touched upon a tender question -- to what extent and under what circumstances should anyone share information? That is a very personal question with as many answers as there are opinionated prospectors. Most folks on this forum share a common passion and enjoy talking about stuff that is of great interest to a prospector...until it comes to specifics such as WHERE exactly did it come from. I've had some of my spots cleaned out by others and a while back I just decided that sharing technical and theoretical information on a public forum is fine, but not things that could lead a high grader to my personal spots or motivate a thief to my doorstep. You reside less than a couple of hours from the Mother Lode country. Once you get out into an unclaimed field, ask folks you meet for local knowledge. They are more likely to share personal prospecting secrets face to face than through the digital medium if you make a positive impression. Enjoy your newfound passion. It is good to know that there are at least a few still out there not completely absorbed by the virtual world.

As for a metal detector, there are numerous past threads on this and other forums that contain detailed information. Keep in mind that most free milling gold is small and lies in highly mineralized ground -- too small for coin machines to reliably detect under those conditions. That is why specialized units have been perfected for nugget shooters. You have to make a decision: How committed am I to finding natural gold as opposed to coins, trinkets and relics? Around the Bay Area you will be able to get mucho experience coin shooting parks or beaches at any hour of any day (instant gratification has its virtues) so the Tesoro will get you a lot of swing time right where you are. Natural gold, on the other hand, takes considerable patience. Until you hit a pocket or a patch or the rare elephant nugget your whoopie moments may be few. Are you (and your girlfriend) prepared to deal with that? If so, then go ahead and spend some bucks on a gold machine. The less expensive approach is to get some color with a pan and sluice. It is a lot of fun to get wet on a hot day. Without headphones over your ears, the two of you will better be able to engage in conversation. Nugget shooting is more of a loner's game. Keep us posted on your adventures.

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Another thing to consider. If you want the girlfriend along with you then you may want to stick to the sluice. You 2 can work that together and have fun. At the worst she can sit on the bank and chat with you while you do it. The detector is very solitary. You wander far listening intently to the headphones. Not much for her to do on that one.

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For what's it's worth. Back in the 70's I went down into a small canyon just off the road in the rt 49 gold are of Calif and being younger and stupid I didn't carry any water.It was just a quick look around, about an hrs worth.

I got wasp stung from a nest under a ledge, almost heat stroke and when I got back to the car almost scaled my mouth with th jar of water I left on the seat..... about 110 or more deg.

That's my story and I'm stuck to it, be safe, cause something will bite you. :ROFL:

Wyndham

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wow you guys are great!!

Im definately gonna keep my eyes open for the bandido 2 and hope that something eventually comes my way!

The mineral bar camp ground looks really great actually! i had no idea that you could find more than just gold, but im definately gonna have to do some more reading to better identify whats in the pan! Id hate to be tossing out Before I slept yesterday, I grabbed a book I had randomly purchased for a dollar at a used book store called "Ghost towns and Mining Camps of CA" or something very close to that. The book isnt great, but it DOES feature several maps and locations where the old 49ers used to "get down." Definately not a guide...but definately amazing to read about how much gold was out there at one time!

MicroNug,

I think most guys my age and in my area are just looking to party and get wasted. Theres nothing wrong going wild every now and then, :innocent0009: but its nice to get out there and to do your own thing. I think joining this forum is just what I needed!

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KingMidas

I think you would be happier with the LoBo Super Trac.

Auto ground balance and a great gold getter. Very easy to learn how

to use. Just my :twocents: AZ

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Very good answer Martin! I totaly agree, your answer is good also AZBirdDog.

I am some time amazed and discusted too at the questions some times so called experinced gold prospestors will ask you and I have always been known to help newbies. But when a guy presents himself as above and has all the costly equiptment drives up and seriously asks you where are the nuggets? , my wifes reply has become mine also "Just where God left them, in the ground"

In my present situation I am running a "Pay to Dig" liminted to 25 people on two miles of virgin creek, people who say they are prospectors will drive up here through 27 miles of dredge tailings in some places a mile wide and when I show them that the tailings stop at the property line they still ask , where do I dig?? In the winter out at the LSD you have people walk up on you while you are digging, they always seem to have a sidearm and its very handy and they ask you "Getting any gold?"

The only thing I can add is for KingMidas to join and support a local club, thats the fasest way to meet other prospectors and learn than any other, I am concerned that in the area his is planing on going he will wander on some guys claim and get shot!

Good Luck

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I am concerned that in the area his is planing on going he will wander on some guys claim and get shot!

Mineral Bar is pretty safe - no claims up or down river for more than a mile because its a recreation area and cant be claimed. Of course right at the bridge its been pretty well pounded, but if you are willing to hike a ways, wade across the river, etc. there are some decent spots.

Chris

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Another spot to put a sluice in ,easy access , is on the Bear river out of Colfax. Camp ground close buy.

DARIN WAGNER eye4gold

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:twocents: there is another reason folks will share GREAT info--I'M TOOOOOOOOO darn OLD TO PURSUE SOME OF THE SPOTS MENTIONED(YUBA BETWEEN PURDON AND EDWARDS CROSSING). The river comes up/down sometimes as much as 20'(over the bridges) and the yuba blue cut channel is a constant feeder due to it's extreme richness and the areas propensity for massive amounts of rainfall-party on gents-John

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ColinT is right. Google the Motherload Goldhounds. This is a great bunch of people and they have quite a few outings. Check out their website and I am sure you will agree. The Bear River outing is coming up.

Cheers,

Matt

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So I made my girlfriend watch an episode of Gold Fever! I dont think she finds it as hilarious as I do, but they show her the basics of using a gold pan. Im not sure if you guys watch that show, but I cant get enough of it. I love the low budget quality and tom massie is just ridiculous.

I was about to place a bid on one of the two Tesoro Bandidos, but decided against it at the last second. I think I have a lot to learn about detecting before I make a purchase, and Id rather save to buy a better machine later on. In regards to joining a club, I don't really think that its something Id be willing to commit to. To me, joining this forum is like joining a club! Lot of friendly people, and maybe ill see you guys out there sometime!

Regardless!!! The trip to the Mineral Bar is on! Ive made a list of some things im going to bring along. Ill be there for about two days, and then cruising on home. Feel free to add things you think I would need to the list! I dont need any camping gear but im sure im forgetting something important!

food

water

shovel

pickaxe

goldpans

1/2 inch classifier

sluicebox

buckets

prybar

rubber boots

girlfriend

camera

sunscreen

crevice scrapper

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Tent

2 sleeping bags or one big one :innocent0009:

misquito spray

long rubber gloves

sucker or snuffer bottle

small rock chisel 8-10 inch

3lb hand sledge

gold vials, plastic or glass

Look for one of the big hinged rubbermaid chests and all of your items except the sluice will fit in it, the one in photo is a rubbermaid roughneck

You are probably doing the right thing by easing into it slowly at first. It looks like you will have all the basics and if down the road you feel that it is something you want to continue doing you can jump in deeper by going for a highbanker or getting a good gold machine Tesoro LST, Whites GMT, Fisher Gold Bug 2, Minelab Eureka Gold and will give you the time to save the money

happy hunting

e&hagd

Allen in MT

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Dont' forget hats. Not only do they go with the sunscreen to protect against the cancer gods but they also provide a weapon agains bees and other flying insects. Don't forget cell phone chargers. Pick up a little treat for the girlfriend and hide it and give it to her out there. It'll be "romantic" and she'll have a happy memory of the trip even if no gold appears. You might want some sort of sucking device... I mean for the gold. even a turkey baster if that's all you have. For cleaning out cracks. Don't forget buckets to clean your sluice into. Something to put your gold in if you find it. I ALWAYS FORGET THE DANGED SNUFFER BOTTLE TO GET THE GOLD OUT OF MY CONS!

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Absolutely take a container of Tecnu Extreme along. If you have to ask what it is, you are in for a real interesting experience.

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Martin you really shouldn't have let them in on the poison ivy/oak scrub! :ph34r2: Seriously no one should go out without it unless of course you like to itch a lot for a week or so!

mike f

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  • 1 month later...

So its been a few weeks, but I finally took my trip to the Mineral Bar! It was a good time, but I definately was not ready for all that work. I went with my girlfriend, and brought my sluicebox with me. After we arrived, I realized that it was about 96 degrees outside and i forgot to bring a hat. I remembered everything except the hat and the sunscreen. Once we had arrived, I started to walk up the river but didnt last more than 200 feet. It was just too difficult to carry all that equipment that far. I wasn't going to let that stop me though. After poking around for a big, i started to dig under a huge boulder. I have really long arms, and managed to get some good material into my bucket and into the sluice. Honestly, this trip was more of a test because I had no idea what to expect. After about 4 hours, we decided that it was time to leave. We both got burned pretty bad and had some serious headaches....BUT....i found gold!

yes! I only worked a few buckets worth of material, but at the end of the day i found about 10 very small flakes of gold. I would post pictures, but its nothing that would blow anyone away. Either way, I had a great time, and next time ill be more prepared. I thought taking a large shovel and large pickaxe would have been a great idea, but it was impossible to walk with all that stuff.

again thanks for all the help

ill let you know all about the next adventure

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