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Dig, dig--miss, miss--Booyah!


Lanny in AB

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On 5/29/2018 at 3:48 PM, Au Seeker said:

Lanny, awesome gold, great job!!

Also would like to thank you for taking the time to stop by the forum and posting, you have been missed here!!

Thanks so much for the warm welcome back!

All the best,

Lanny

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14 hours ago, Nugget Shooter said:

Great stuff Lanny and thanks for sharing, getting too hot to hunt days now so it is go North or hunt nights here. Glad you showed back up as well!

Thanks, much appreciated! As for our weather, we're getting summer temperatures in May after one of the worst winters ever, but it's not too hot to chase the gold yet, so I'm trying to get out every opportunity I can. As for night detecting, that's something I haven't tried yet as in our mountains, that's when the big predators are out and highly active, so probably not a good idea, but glad it works in the desert.

All the best,

Lanny

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9 hours ago, Andyy said:

Oh my word.  No wonder you are always smiling in your picture.  :D

Andy, I wish that my smile was always a result of good gold finds, but thanks for dropping in to leave a fun comment.

All the best,

Lanny

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9 hours ago, Mike Furness said:

Great work Lanny ... Well paid for your efforts! :old:

Thanks Mike!

Sure was a fun weekend.

All the best,

Lanny

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  • 8 months later...

This thread has been around for a long time, so some new viewers may not be up to date on what I'm up to in regards to chasing the gold these days, so here's an update:

As well, just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to those that are new viewers taking a peek at this thread.

I mainly metal detect for nuggets now (chased the gold in Alaska, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, north-central British Columbia, south-eastern British Columbia, Alberta, but now I spend almost all of my time chasing the gold in British Columbia, Canada), used to dredge, sluice, high-bank, snipe, etc., (still do a bit for fun) but for more than a few years now, I've been associated with a large-scale placer operation, one that has slapped on me the title of their mining consultant. Sounds grandiose, however in no way is it, but they like to have me do testing for them with my detectors after they've finished cleaning a section of bedrock with their massive, heavy equipment.

Why have me on the mining site? To see what they're missing. Furthermore, after I've finished poking around, they've gone back and taken more bedrock (sometimes several feet) at times when I get a lot of gold in a hurry (or they've headed in another direction if there's a good line of pay shooting off under the overburden away from where they were trending), and other times when there's hardly any gold found with the detectors, they bury that bedrock right quick. It's a win, win situation for both of us as they value what I can do with my machines, and I value the privilege of the incredible opportunity. Their only caveat is that I can't tell the total weight of the gold I find to anyone outside of their crew (and I always must report it to them), but hey, who can't live with that, right? Oh, and they let me keep what I find, won't take a percentage (I've tried many times).

In addition, I know a lot of other claim and lease owners that have properties they're not currently working, ones with abandoned excavations and sites, or ones they haven't got to yet, and they love to have me snoop around with my detectors as well, and if I find anything promising, they set up and get after the gold. I've been doing that for quite a few years, but I still like to check out unfamiliar, un-staked ground too.

In addition, I like to write stories about my gold hunting outings, and oftentimes, I'll include information for any rookies out there that are trying to figure things out as they get started. Why? That's how I got started; a few good people (my original mentor is now 88) took me under their wing and taught me the ropes (a few clichés too many in that sentence, I know).

My one son is now a dedicated nugget shooter (the other one lives thousands of kms away), and I love training him, plus my wife is now onboard with chasing the gold (she used to love panning my dredge concentrates, always heavy with goodies and always a good time for her and my mother-in-law [yeah, I know, sometimes the word fun and mother-in-law don't get used together in the same sentence]), and I'm ordering my wife a shiny new detector this winter because she's seen what we're getting (she loves to pan down our scoops of quick finds from the detectors which we slap in the pans when they're target rich for her to have some fun with; we call that speed-panning as it saves us the downtime of isolating the positive signals out of the scoop each and every time, giving us bonus time swinging the coils).

So, it will be great to meet some of you that are new, and for those that are acquaintances, it's a wrap!

All the best,

Lanny

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I've finally gotten around to writing about the story (put notes down right after the find) about the last finds on the previous page (4). It took me a while as we were able to chase the gold well into November in 2018 (rare, indeed), but now that the land is locked down by serious ice and snow, I've found some time for writing . . .

Golden Bonanza Days, Part 1:

I got the call last season for the chance any nugget shooter dreams of.

A friend of mine owns and operates a large placer mining operation. They had been working an ancient channel deposit (60,000,000 years, plus or minus, but hey, what’s a million years here or there, right?) and as I wrote this account, they were in the final stages of moving all of their heavy equipment to anther site. So, I got a call that people usually only dream of ever getting.

I was invited to bring my family to nugget shoot a section of virgin bedrock. After sixty million years, it was finally exposed to the sun’s rays once again, and as the entire mining operation was shut down, with no active mining in progress for the changeover, my buddy wanted us to come and check the bedrock for him before they had to do the reclamation work and bury it once more for perhaps another sixty million years.

I couldn’t believe it! What a chance, perhaps the call of a lifetime . . .

I called my son, who I’ve been training how to detect sassy nuggets, and he said to count him in. My wife, who is a speed-panning wonder of target-rich scoop dirt, said she was in too. So, we packed our gear and headed for the mountains.

For whatever bizarre reasons the weather gods had last winter (2017-18), the weather was terrible right up until the first of May, and then it was like someone hit the sun-and-warmth switch for instant summer. The transformation was surreal and wonderful. Fresh pine heavily scented the valley. A wide variety of mountain song birds were back in force, the flowers were blooming on every slope, wild honey bees, heavily laden with pollen, buzzed a honey-hunter’s symphony. While high above, the hawks and eagles choreographed their ageless aerial ballet as they rode the invisible thermals of the cobalt blue expanse. In addition, red-throated, as well as iridescent green-breasted humming birds initiated impossible angles of changing flight as they darted from spot to spot while visiting the innumerable mountain blossoms. To say it was breath-taking is a feeble attempt to capture the impossible, and those of you that frequent the wild reaches of the Rocky Mountains already know of what I speak.

We set up our gear, and I unpacked the feisty Makro Gold Racer and connected my shiny new sniper coil. I was going to take the Racer for a hard run, as I was still getting used to it, and with all of the ancient cracks and crevices exposed, I believed it had a good chance to sniff out some gold. The other nugget shooter, my son, would be learning more lessons on the Gold Bug Pro. (For final clean-up, I always check the bedrock with my GPX 5000 after running the legs right off of the VLF’s.)

So, I set my son up with the Gold Bug Pro, outfitted with the 5X10 elliptical DD. I reviewed the basics of the detector with him (I love how quick the learning curve is on the Bug Pro), and off he went to a corner where the bedrock rose steeply, a jagged wall of bedrock rising close to 45 degrees up from the floor of the excavation, and that bedrock was iron hard (similar to some other bedrock we hunted later in the season) so there were lots of gutters, cracks and crevices visible that held intact material due to the hardness of the host rock. My son ground-balanced, adjusted his headphones, then made a few swings. He stopped dead right quick, then repeated a swing. With the numbers on the meter in the sweet zone (40-70 on the meter, if you’re familiar with the Bug Pro, usually depending on the size of the piece of gold), he quickly captured the target in his scoop and dropped it in one of our green plastic gold pans we’d already set out. A few more swings, and he dropped another scoop of target-rich dirt in the pan. Having got off to such a fast start, it looked like it was going to be a good day.

To be continued . . .

All the best,

Lanny

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Golden Bonanza Days, Part 2:

In the meantime, I’d finished all of my adjustments on the Racer, and I went off to investigate a different spot, some way off in the excavation from the area my son was detecting, as I had seen some little pockets of intact channel that had some spidery cracks in the bedrock running outward from them on my initial walkthrough. After a few swings (no kidding), I had the coil over a soft sound. A bit of scraping later, and I’d trapped the signal in my scoop. Into the pan it went. (Now, please remember that I use a super-magnet on an extendable wand whenever I detect bedrock [worked recently or anciently], so it really helps eliminate ferrous trash, and this means that any target that goes into the scoop is non-ferrous.) After a few more swings, I’d hit on two more targets that went into the pans for my wife’s speed-panning operation. Then, a slew of targets went into the pans.

Meanwhile, as I was collecting signals, my son was busy adding more targets to his pans. (I had two pans to fill, and he had two pans for target material as well.)

During our nugget hunting, my wife set up her panning station in a convenient bedrock pool of crystal water, water about the temperature of glacial meltwater by the way, and she was ready to get her panning gloves wet (she uses those little gardening gloves that have rubber palms and fingers with a canvas back as they insulate well enough to take the sting out of the coldness), so she wandered over to my son to gather a pan of possible goodness, and she swung by me to grab one of my pans too.

(To describe the site in more detail, there was a sloped ramp that led down into the excavation where the rock trucks had run back and forth to be filled by the excavator. There were the remnants of a pad by the ramp where the excavator had sat during the last scraping the dirt for the last cleanup, the pad having been moved up above the level of the excavation so the last of the pay could be scraped from the bedrock.

In opposition to this, the far end of the excavation had been worked first, the work proceeding backward in the direction of the exit ramp until the cleanup reached that location. What remained in the excavation or open-pit site were ridges of rising bedrock, deeper excavated low-lying areas where the bedrock was soft [or areas of contact zones where soft bedrock met hard] or where ancient channel material had gathered in natural gutters or larger crevices, and there were pools of standing water [I always check these with a waterproof coil] where seepage had found a way to fill depressions or where runoff from springs on the margins of the excavation had filled low spots. On a related note, some of the bedrock had been bent and warped by tremendous geological forces in the past, and these places held little concentrations of material left over from when the bedrock was super-hard enough to resist the might of the excavator’s bucket.

In a few places there were small sections of friable rock [in this case slate] that when found, I always detect first, then later pan as those plates of perpendicular placement [in 90-degree opposition to the underlying bedrock] act as excellent gold traps, traps that were working in earnest as the dinosaurs plodded across the ancient streambed when large sections of the planet were in a more tropical state.

As well, there were those aforementioned contact zones, always excellent places to detect as small slices of the softer rock were sometimes in place against the harder rock, or there were ledges, sometimes terraced, with bits of material intact, and these traps often produce some nice gold. [On a related note, I learned a long time ago to trust my detector, not my eyes when scouring bedrock. What I mean by this is that oftentimes bedrock appears to be solid, especially when is is of uniform color, so it seems a better use of time to detect areas where visible intact material is concentrated, but this is one of Mother Nature’s grand deceptions, whether the bedrock has been worked by recent miners or mother rock worked by the Sourdoughs.

Mining tip for the rookies: always, always, always take the time to go slow to let the detector read the bedrock contours and surfaces, to check the little invisible gutters and pockets, and yes, to find the hidden crevices that snapped shut when some monstrous dinosaur tromped on it while crossing, or more likely, when some massive boulders tossed along those streambeds, by some titanic hydraulic event, forced their will upon the yielding bedrock.

To be continued . . .

All the best,

Lanny

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Here are pictures to go with the story: I will post the ending as soon as I have it finished. (The only thing slowing me down is time.:rolleyes:)

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Mountain scenery and that beautiful blue alpine sky.

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We grow tall mountains around here.

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The time of year when the bees get busy.

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Some of the ways the water moves around.

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All shut down getting ready for the move.

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Speed-panning wonder!

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This bedrock is heading uphill at an insane angle.

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My son trying a little high-banking, but he zeroed in that spot and quickly went back to detecting (just because a spot looks good, doesn't mean it is😉).

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This bedrock has a great chance of hiding something . . .

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My robust, torquey blue mule. That diesel engine is just starting to get broke in (million mile Cummins wonders).

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My son cutting his teeth on the Minelab GPX 5000 (I hope his wife still likes me as he has a wonderful case of the fever!😋).

 

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Look what the Gold Racer sniffed out: small and chunky!

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Some of the meat to go with the smaller potatoes.

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I think this picture says it all about the clichés about gold and rainbows.

All the best,

Lanny

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow and double wow!!  That is some really nice looking gold.  Not that I've ever seen ugly gold.  But I really have a thing for larger gold that is polished like that.

And those feeders remind me of Parker's work on Gold Rush.  (Not that I watch that show) 

Kudos for the great work!! 

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3 hours ago, Andyy said:

Wow and double wow!!  That is some really nice looking gold.  Not that I've ever seen ugly gold.  But I really have a thing for larger gold that is polished like that.

And those feeders remind me of Parker's work on Gold Rush.  (Not that I watch that show) 

Kudos for the great work!! 

Thanks for your kind words of appreciation Andy, and thanks for taking the time to leave a note, much appreciated.

As for the gold, it looks much brighter after we agitate it in a vinegar and salt solution for a while, really brightens it up after it's sat for 60 or so million years getting stained down there with the super-heavies while having a bit of a rest on the bedrock

Nice to hear from you, and all the best,

Lanny

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1 hour ago, nugget108 said:

Amazing gold!! Those are some spectacular chunks, good job.

Thanks for sharing with us. 

Thanks, and I really appreciate you stopping by to let me know, much appreciated.

All the best,

Lanny

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Welcome Back Lanny, just thought I'd stop by and see whats new on your thread. Amazing story Lanny. you really put a lot of details in them. your very observant and that's part of 
what makes a great nugget hunter in my opinion.
Nice photo's too. I almost feel like I've really been there.
Great gold too. Booyah!   :thumbsupanim

AzNuggetBob

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21 hours ago, adam said:

Great photo`s  !!  What amazing fun your having  :thumbsupanim

Adam, many thanks for dropping in, and thanks for your kind words about the pictures and story. Because it's with family, that's what truly makes it a rich experience, the gold taking a second-place, but fun spot. 

All the best,

Lanny

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21 hours ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Welcome Back Lanny, just thought I'd stop by and see whats new on your thread. Amazing story Lanny. you really put a lot of details in them. your very observant and that's part of 
what makes a great nugget hunter in my opinion.
Nice photo's too. I almost feel like I've really been there.
Great gold too. Booyah!   :thumbsupanim

AzNuggetBob

Bob, great to hear from you! Thanks for taking a look at the thread, and thanks for all of your likes, a mail-box full of fun! Furthermore, thanks for the kind words about my thread too, much appreciated.

I truly enjoy reading your tips and advice, and I can only wonder at how much gold you've gathered over the years. Montana is just to the south of me, and I've chased the gold there, starting my very first gold-chasing in Alder Gulch actually, but from reading some of your posts, it sounds like you really had a great time liberating some of that Montana gold (so much land, and so rich in gold history!!).

Do you have a thread that's dedicated to your Montana gold-hunting days? If so, I'd love to read those stories, truly.

All the best,

Lanny

Edited by Lanny in AB
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3 hours ago, Lanny in AB said:

Bob, great to hear from you! Thanks for taking a look at the thread, and thanks for all of your likes, a mail-box full of fun! Furthermore, thanks for the kind words about my thread too, much appreciated.

I truly enjoy reading your tips and advice, and I can only wonder at how much gold you've gathered over the years. Montana is just to the south of me, and I've chased the gold there, starting my very first gold-chasing in Alder Gulch actually, but from reading some of your posts, it sounds like you really had a great time liberating some of that Montana gold (so much land, and so rich in gold history!!).

Do you have a thread that's dedicated to your Montana gold-hunting days? If so, I'd love to read those stories, truly.

All the best,

Lanny

Lanny You really deserve the likes. you are very good at writing too.
I have not spent a lot of time nugget hunting in Montana. but I have hunted most of the well known gold area's in N.Cali., Nv. Az. and Baja Mex.
and tracked down some that aren't so well known with a lot of research and a lot of leg work.:desertsmile::D
AzNuggetBob

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1 hour ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Lanny You really deserve the likes. you are very good at writing too.
I have not spent a lot of time nugget hunting in Montana. but I have hunted most of the well known gold area's in N.Cali., Nv. Az. and Baja Mex.
and tracked down some that aren't so well known with a lot of research and a lot of leg work.:desertsmile::D
AzNuggetBob

Thanks for your kind comments about the writing, and I'm sorry I was wrong about your nugget hunting time in Montana, but I'm happy to know you spent a lot of time in Northern California, the south-west and Baja, Mexico. You've really had a grand adventure, and as for research, that's something I need to get better at as it sounds like it's paid off for you.

Just curious about something if you have a little time, what were the people like/the conditions like, in Mexico when you were there chasing the gold?

All the best,

Lanny

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Your correct Lanny Its been a great adventure. I dont think Id ever had this much fun if it wasn't for prospecting.but I'll tell ya I sure miss the creeks and pine trees where you are. not as many of them here in Az. with gold.
Down in Mexico the people in the small towns there where very nice. but I have to say I threw a lot money around at the small stores,restaurants and bars. In the small towns they shove the beer out a case size hole in the side of building and you drink it at tables on the street.
Hey, worked for me, better than a stuffy bar. best true Mexican food too (I love Mexican food) and very inexpensive to eat down there and they dont even know what hamburger is, all shredded beef.
The big ranchers where really in charge down there other than the federales before, but not so much anymore. 
they where the biggest land owners.
If you could get in tight with them you had carte blanche on prospecting almost anywhere.
Things have changed down there a lot. from the people Ive talked to down there lately. Its not a safe place to freelance prospect anymore.
Lanny If you look around on the forum you can find more stories I wrote about hunting down there. 
Enough about me I want to hear more about some of your adventures.
I know you have been mining for awhile doing pretty well.
AzNuggetBob

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Thanks for your reply as I now know how busy your life can sometimes get, much appreciated!

The information on Mexico is very interesting as I've never had the opportunity to chase any gold there, but it sounds like you had quite the time. As well, it sounds like you learned the value of connecting with people; that's sometimes a lot of nugget shooters miss, the solid-gold value of spending time developing relationships with the local population (wherever in the world a person chases the gold) and the payoff in return through how many doors it opens vs. the doors that are closed to nugget hunters that just rush, rush, rush and don't invest any time in sincerely getting to know the locals.

Thanks again for the post, and all the best,

Lanny

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So true Lanny, It opens a lot of doors. you also need to understand the culture and not offend them.

AzNuggetBob

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Golden Bonanza Days, Part 3: This section continues with the description of the cut and some of the detecting conditions.

(I have been stunned sometimes by the gold I’ve found doing this bedrock examination or scouring process; It was a learning curve to stop the temptation to follow my eyes, but relying on the detector’s brain instead has been a tactic that has paid well.

However, at other times when the bedrock was extremely hot or littered with highly reactive rocks, I’ve put the detectors away to rely on the slow process of sniping by using scrapers and crevicing tools to feel out the hidden gold traps. Of course, this tactic is used in areas where I’ve already been finding nice gold, and where all of a sudden with a bedrock composition/mineralization change or a sudden plague of hot-rocks tight on bedrock, I have to switch gears to look for the gold with the age-old, yet proven, process of sniping and panning. [I have a story about this as well for a later date.]

The area my son was working was not an easy spot to detect. He was swinging his coil on that aforementioned steeply rising iron-hard slope of bedrock-wall, all while trying to keep his footing secure in order to gather targets, and yes he slipped more than once [as I did when I checked it later after he’d finished], so it was definitely a sketchy place to work. We both had a few scares, but the gold was there for the getting, so we were game.

That wall of bedrock held all kinds of little traps [we even had to do hammer and chisel work to free nuggets], and those traps held wonderful gold. The hardness of the bedrock made trying to reduce it with machinery economically unfeasible for the placer miners as the damage to profit margin ratio would no support the cost of repairs involved; moreover, the miners recovered incredible gold regardless of what they had to leave behind as that ancient dinosaur channel that bedded the entire cut paid off exceptionally well.

So, in summary, the composition of the cut was undulating bedrock with a variety of low spots, crevices, water-filled traps, small yet intact areas of ancient stream-run, large gutters, warped and twisted bedrock, contact zones of bedrock with varying compositions of hardness, terraced ledges, etc., plus a steeply sloping wall of invincible bedrock riddled with small gold traps.)

To be continued:

All the best,

Lanny

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