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2 days around OX wash no gold


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Spent 2 days around Ox wash near LSD no gold but some small targets. Nothing very deep at all seems like I couldn't keep the gmt quiet unless I ran her with sat maxed out and gain around 4 and still dug quite a few hot rocks. I think I see why so many people like the gmt in the tailings and the bed rock because of the depth lost when running at those settings. The wife and I worked mostly hillsides.Any one have any tricks for trying to decide if a target is a hot rock prior to digging? Also any tips on anything involving the gmt or mxt are very valuable to the both of us thanks for reading.


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Welcome to the forum and this great hobby. You can attend one of the "outtings" put on some weekends by local club, like the Road Runner Prospecting Club or the local chapter of GPAA in Phoenix. The majority of the peoples are really nice and can lend a hand in learning this great hobby. You can stopped by one of the local prospecting site and get your self a "test nugget" on a poker chip or something similiar. If you got your own property you can set up a test garden, where you bury assorted targets. Like old nails, new nails, coins, bullet, you test nugget. Praticed with your detective on this garden until you become failiar with the sound, different sound that your detector is making, but digging every target out in the field is the best learning experience. Put a hole in that poker chip and tied a shore string through it. Carry this test nugget with you out in the field too, by laying this on the ground or burying it and swinging your detector over it you will be reassure in your setting on the machine and what gold sound like at that time, for that area, ground condiction, and weather condiction, etc. Dig every target, lots of gold, big gold! Have been found by newbe like you in area that many seasoned gold seekers have past by.

Good luck, and more Au to you,


Mesa, AZ

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Unfortunately, hot rocks are a problem. Especially for VLF units... even for P.I. units. Most do make a different sound than gold does but some of those hot rocks sound too good and you just have to dig them. Seems like a lot of hot rock signals can be eliminated with a boot scrape across the top of the ground as they seem to be on the surface. Scrape, locate, identify(remember what it looks like as they tend to be the same make up in a given area then ignore them when they sound off). The test nugget suggestion in the previous post is a must do. I throw my test nugget down every time the ground changes and I have to rebalance. I do this because everything just changed... which will change the way the signal sounds on gold. Hot rocks are just a part of the game and a much bigger factor if you play the game with a VLF. Be persistant you will get better at dealing with them. They can drive you nuts to the point that you just can't hunt certain areas because of them. The soultion is to find a gold bearing area with less of them and frequent that area. Then call me and let me know where that is :rolleyes: . Seriously, LSD is known for its hot rocks. There are quieter areas.

Hunt shallow bedrock areas!!!! VLF units do not penetrate the ground very deep in the first place and as the ground becomes more mineralized the less they penetrate (as you found out). Seek out areas of exposed,craggy, cracked up bedrock...washes, hill sides, and benches where the bedrock is exposed in areas (so you know its close). VLFs shine in the tailing piles! Bring a rake and rake them down a couple of inches at a time and detect as you go down.

Herb and I were recently detecting an area that had huge amounts of tailing piles. We used P.I. units (thanks, Herb!) and hit the area pretty good for an entire day and got skunked. The next day a guy shows up with a GMT and a rake. He proceeds to rake down an area that we had covered pretty thoroughly and ends up finding a couple of small nuggets (bird shot sized). Of course, Herb and I, being the gentlemen that we are, purposely left those for him as they were a bit small for us to bother with :bang: . Anyway, the point is that VLFs can really shine in certain situations and you really have to stack the odds in your favor to be successful on a consistant basis... Think shallow. Look for tailing piles. Look for quiet ground.

Another thought... use a small coil (6") in hot ground. A smaller coil "sees" less ground and is more stable in hotter ground.

Hope this helps some.


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Great replies. While detecting we found a dike with some boot tacks and and old Levi button I'm hoping that means that that area wasn't hit to hard by detectors yet I'm going to bring a rake there and rake that down also. Another question how long do you spend in an are before moving on seems like i could work a small area for days and still have ground that hasn't been hit. We were working 3 to 4 hours and then moving on. Also is it better with two people to hit one area and then move to the next or do you split up and wander around. We got new picks today that is going to help a lot we got some jobes with magnets on the end (we have been using rock hammers for ever). Thanks guys and happy digging.

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When to move on? Good question. I would imagine it varies from person to person. As for me... when I get bored. If I'm bored or just not "feelin it" in that area I move. Mainly because if I'm bored or lost confidence in the area I don't hunt as carefully as I should. I go too fast, don't listen or concentrate as I should...I get lazy. A move brings a sense of new confidence and encourages me to hunt more carefully. Another time is when the ground is just too hot for a VLF. Sometimes it's just too hot in a very localized area and a move over the hill to the next gully will be an improvement.

The group of guys I hunt with usually tend to spread out. Sometimes in visual contact sometimes not.

The fact that there is "trash" in the area you are hunting is a good indicator that the area hasn't been hunted too hard by other detectorists. This is another spot where a good VLF like your GMT shines. Digging trash gets very tiresome. Most P.I. units do not discriminate, therefore, these trashy areas are usually abandoned pretty quickly. If you are willing to dig a lot of trash and you learn the discrimination feature of your machine (so you don't have to dig as much) you can be productive. Be careful though. Even though the graph on the GMT is usually pretty accurate and most gold will give a reading of 25 or less, some gold will give a reading of 50. I have a test nugget that reads 50 on the GMT. I guess it really means that it's a 50% chance of being gold.

Good Luck!


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