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What do you look for?

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I know this is a hashed out topic for us that have been at this for years, but new folks are constantly joining the ranks of this forum to learn those few tricks that may get them over that first seemingly impossible to find nugget. Yeah you can find a buddy to take you to a spot where you may score a small bit or two, but it is not the same and you still have that burning desire to find your own spot and this is also the turning point for the new nugget shooter with a boost of confidence that will seem to change your luck.

I would quickly give up and go back to my drywasher when first starting out cause all I could find was tacks, BBs, and bits of tin or wire. Soon I would get frustrated, run the puffer, and never really believed I could find gold with a gold detector.

I always did check my header pile after running like I was told and that was what got me my first nugget. It was about a gram and flat so it slid right off the grisly. I immediately started hunting the 1000s of drywasher tailing piles in the San Domingo area as well as Quartsite areas and did amazingly well and never looked back.

I then began searching all available literature (had no PC back then) for placer areas in AZ where the old timers recovered gold by drywashing as well as joining a couple clubs to put me into gold bearing areas and using that knowledge I was soon finding gold nuggets most every trip. It was around this time I met Jim Straight and purchased his book Follow the Drywashers and as well as hunting the tailings I began working the hills and slopes in these same areas with again huge success. The old timers only could get the easy stuff and could now work whole hillsides processing huge amounts of material for a few ounces of nuggets.

We can with a metal detector...

Well you say everyone can read this stuff and the well known areas are beat to death and patches are rare these days with the norm being allot of hard work for a couple small bits.

Yes this can be true in some areas...

But the knowledge I gained in hunting these areas is the same knowledge that will lead you like it did me to understand placer areas in AZ and what to look for in areas not so well known.

So I began to fan out into new areas and areas bordering well know placers looking for evidence of the right geology as well as the tell tale drywash tailing piles. This is the method I still use and it still works....

I would simply rather get skunked in a new area prospecting than get skunked beating to death an old patch for a missed crumb most times. I do still revisit old places when short on time though and most are never really hunted out completely it seems.

Lets hear some of you other guys give up a usable tip or two in this thread aimed at our newer members.

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bill, thanks much for sharing your experence's with us and it gives guys like me a possitive outlook and

not giving up.i know there is a long hands on learning experence but just got to go through it.

again, thanks much bill, take care and stay safe out there. ron

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Good info Bill, one little tip that I discovered over the past couple of years was NOT to Ignore the bushes especially the larger older ones. Sometimes near impossible to get under untill you move some branches out of your way.

Since giving up my 2100 2 years ago because of shoulder injuries this one habit I developed of gettin down and getting under those bushes has produced for me. Taking into consideration I have been using a VLF for the past couple years the depth capabilities are limited, so adding this as a ritual to your detecting routine you stand a better chance of hitting a worthy target when armed with a VLF only.

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Good point Frank and I too have found my fair share of nuggets in bushes etc. Lot of folks are just to worried about snakes ar lazy and many nsuch areas are over looked.

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If a wash has been worked pretty hard over the years, I will spend some time high up the slopes looking for a missed bench gravel. The tell tail signs are water rounded cobbles of different origins with iron stained dirt.:arrowheadsmiley:

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I like to hunt by color, the last nugget I found was on a bright red hillside with alot of quartz, ironstone and greenstone. This hillside just looked different than others in the area with no signs of metal detector activity. We did find a couple recent dry wash piles but no old ones. This method works for me. Here is a pic.

Bunk

post-1609-056958700 1282576236_thumb.jpg

post-1609-008538200 1282576258_thumb.jpg

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Well here's a little trick I picked up. Just look under Bill's shoe. (sorry I could not pass that one up) ;)

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Well here's a little trick I picked up. Just look under Bill's shoe. (sorry I could not pass that one up) ;)

Still not sure where the "shoe" part came from since I never stepped on it? But I'll go with it.... :rolleyes: I do remember having to relocate it with the detector for you and putting you over it to see if you could hear it though. Which you easily did....

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Well Bill I know one thing. When you are prospecting there is gold under your feet or near them!

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Well Bill I know one thing. When you are prospecting there is gold under your feet or near them!

Under the coil is best... :brows:

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Bunk, your tip reminded me of one Montana passed on to us from an old prospector he met. It's rocks of 4 different colors. Red, black, green & white. As Bob said, the old timer didn't get excited until he saw at least 3 of the colors and when he saw all 4 colors he got out his pan.

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Slim, I know I have heard the four colors thing also. My grand father told me about visual anomalies, he was a hard rocker and was always looking at the vegitation that was growing.

Bunk

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Yep! Color says it all.

Red rocks, Green rocks, Quartz, Schist, Black sands all tell the tale.

Walk the washes and see what is to be seen.

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I like trumpet plant plus the 4 colors of rock,Also quartz crystals and large cubes of hemotite. That is pocket country.

also Bills footprints work.

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Remember Stan The Man? He really did find a nugget in my foot print. I had walked up a wash to hunt and he found a 3 gram nugget right in my boot print :arrowheadsmiley:

Sure miss him and he was a good hunting pard...RIP Stan The Man

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I look for old digs, lots of brush, I follow the quartz, and my mind. I just wonder and let my mind be the guide once I'm in a good gold area. My problem is most very good places around here, are a long walk either up hill or down, either way you still have to come back out. My body just won't do what I tell it anymore. But I still try. Grubstake

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But does the 4 colors of rock apply anywhere.?

For example , some of the San Domingo areas have lots of basalts, volcanics, Massive beds of conglomerate overlying bedrock. Yet gold seems to be scattered everywhere regardless of colors.

Or maybe the Rich hill where is seems there is alot of Granite...Are these 4 colors there?

I feel however, if I was just hiking around in the mountains , then that is when the 4 colors really become important when searching for new patches/ placers ???

Good topic Bill.....

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Here is a tip from a NShooter newbie for the other newbies. I know most of you old shits know this. For the last 10 years I've had my equipment set up for treasure hunting. Big coils looking for large deep targets. Now a total reverse. Little coils looking for tini to large nuggets. After finding that little nuggie under Bills foot I started thinking. Is my 2000GPM set up right for the tini stuff? Not being a total moronic idiot I think things over after the fact for future improvement. I decided to take that little nuggie outside to try some different settings on my unit. Keep in mind the 2000GPM has a zillion setting. I started with the general settings I was using that day. ZONK, wrong adjustments. After screwing about a bit I improved the units response to that little nuggie 1000%. Lesson learned. It does not matter what detector you are using, experiment with it using kind or size target you expect to find. Do this in the area you are going to search. Don't forget the basics. Don't assume you have it right because you have been doing this for years. That's my error.

Now I'm going to go think over some of Bill's other Nshooting lessons.

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SGT, you said...

After screwing about a bit I improved the units response to that little nuggie 1000%. Lesson learned. It does not matter what detector you are using, experiment with it using kind or size target you expect to find. Do this in the area you are going to search. Don't forget the basics. Don't assume you have it right because you have been doing this for years.

..................... Welcome to Arizona buddy. :thumbsupanim

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Lately we are using map Quest or some 3D satellite imagery site. Its like flying over an area in slow motion. You can follow the creeks and ravines from source to a given area you would like to hunt. easy to spot roads and trails and in some cases saves you from a long walk. You can see all the bends and drops in the creek bottoms. We just map-ed one out this morning and HANGTOWN is out early before it gets to hot. Might get above 100 deg today.To warm for me. Ill let you know if he gets lucky.

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Yo All...Looking for as many colors as you can find is a good prospecting tip...One classic area I've hunted (and found) has greenstone, schist, pyrite, ironstone as well as thin red and white quartz veins...There also is a good bit of chalcopyrite in the general area too...Found a fair amount of gold there...This nugget below illustrates the connection between colors and gold....It has greenstone, red and white quartz and just a tiny bit of schist on it...Weighed in at 4.4 DWT....Cheers, Unc

post-9-044972900 1282677389_thumb.jpg

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Hi Ron... Excellent picture thx, I'm always impressed by truly unique gold nuggets.

Keep Smiling... Fritz :cigar:

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Ron, That is a real nice one! Have you found many like that, with so much color?

Bunk

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Thanks Fritz & Bunk....I've found nuggets with black ironstone, red quartz and brownish red schist combined in them, but this is the only one I ever found with the greenstone...It was down in a crevasse in fractured greenstone bedrock ... Here's a couple more pix...The gold part is pretty solid ... Cheers, Unc

post-9-090609000 1282683201_thumb.jpg

post-9-029885100 1282683250_thumb.jpg

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Hi Ron

First time I've seen any like that! I would call that one

a rare specimen. Congrats on a special find!

Have a Good One

Herb

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