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Making a Choice


moedecker

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I'm about to enter a new direction in my gold hunting. I have panned and that is all. I now want to decide between using a drywasher or metal detector. If you had one choice between the two which one would you choose? I'm leaning towards drywashing and don't know that much at all about metal detecting. Any suggestions? Thanks- :shrug:

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From my experience, A detector is one hell of an invention.

The best way I describe it is your'e either grinding it out on a poker table (DRYWASHING) or walking by a slot machine and drawn into dropping a bill in it and to your surprise you make a hit (DETECTING).

Instant Gratification, on the slot. Time consuming grind at live poker building your stack o chips.

Drywashing is the beans an bacon that gets you gold to build yer poke, Detecting can be Extremely Rewarding "when" it produces for you. There is No other experience I can compare to "detecting a nugget or specimin" it is the "cats butt"

As most people seriously progress into hunting gold they do agree both are a necessary route to building yer poke. They both have their time and season where they complement each other.

Stick with prospecting and you'll see what I mean.

Hapy Huntn

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Detecting is the absolute best use of time/money/ equipment. Where else can you spend $400 or so and get equipment that processes a cubic foot of dirt a second wet or dry??? Mining is based on economic viability and the fiqures,and results,do not lie. You must first spend many 100's a hours learning the ins and out of nuggetshooting and thats why only 1 or 2 in a 100 keep it up. Toughest form of detecting but the peace and quiet is the treasure a good part of the time :twocents: and them righteously gnarly rough nuggets do help a mite-John :whoope:

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I would have to agree with all the others about obtaining a detector. Pending your desire, the detector can provide many more opportunities other than looking for gold. It can find relics, meteorites, coins, and many more items lost in the vast area we call earth. I'd go with the most expensive (for your budget, that you can afford) detector and seriously consider the type of detecting you want to do. Good luck, Jason. ;)

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Why not do both? Thats if you want to flip the money for all the equipment.

Drywashing is a lot of hard work and back breaking labor. It's dirty and dusty and you have to swing heavy picks into hard ground and shovel dirt into the hopper all day long to get some decent color. Sometimes you'll hit a nice pay streak and have fun running it, but eventually it runs out.

Metal detecting isn't the most strenuous activity but it could be weeks or months before you find something. You'll find gold nuggets and patches and when your popping them out it's an absolute blast. However when your not finding the gold, it can be rather boring and frustrating. Metal detecting certainly requires a lot of patience and persistance.

I say do both metal detecting and drywashing because with prospecting there are a lot of highs and lows and when you hit the low spots that's when you go to the other. If you've spent weeks looking for nuggets and are about to puke excorcist style at the site of another bullet go shovel the drywasher for a while. On the other hand, if you're back is to stiff from shoveling the drywasher and your finding no color and you want to take a break, pick up the detector and go swing it for a little bit.

My point is, there's highs and lows in this hobby and it's good to find a filler for the low points. Having both a drywasher and a detector you'll always be able to go back back and forth between the two and have fun doing it without getting burned out on one single activity.

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Why not do both?

Back when I was gold only and was getting skunked more than I liked I would get temporarily burned out on detecting and this is when I'd go shovel my drywasher. I'd score some color and it was enough to keep me interested. Eventually I'd get burned out on drywashing and then go back to detecting.

Detecting is an abosolute blast WHEN your consistently scoring finds but it's easy to get burned out when you haven't scored something in a while. There's highs and lows in this hobby and sometimes it helps to do something other than detecting for the low points.

Well put. Drywashing breaks the monotony and gives excellent prospecting experience. You can learn prospecting much faster by drywashing than detecting. And in many areas there is excelent gold but very few pieces large enough to detect. While I have had great luck with the detectors I probably have recovered more gold from our fine New Mexico placers with a drywasher than with a detector.

The machine you use to recover the gold depends entirely on the deposit and very little on your preferences. You cant drywash a California river, you cant dredge in the high desert, and you cant find nuggets with a detector if the largest gold is flour sized. But if you match the machine to the deposit you can do well with all three machines.

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Well put. Drywashing breaks the monotony and gives excellent prospecting experience. You can learn prospecting much faster by drywashing than detecting. And in many areas there is excelent gold but very few pieces large enough to detect. While I have had great luck with the detectors I probably have recovered more gold from our fine New Mexico placers with a drywasher than with a detector.

The machine you use to recover the gold depends entirely on the deposit and very little on your preferences. You cant drywash a California river, you cant dredge in the high desert, and you cant find nuggets with a detector if the largest gold is flour sized. But if you match the machine to the deposit you can do well with all three machines.

Bob thats funny, you quoted my old post. I rewrote my original post.

One thing I can almost gurantee- Even if you get into drywashing you will probably eventually buy a detector anyway because anytime dirt is moved it's a very good idea to metal detect it for nuggets.

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This question seems to be one that confounds prospectors.

For me it is quite simple to answer. BOTH.

For a new person starting out, unless a good deal can be found on a gold detector, I personally would start with a drywasher.

A good puffer drywasher can be bought used for a good price and is a consistent all day producer. The metal detector is a very good tool for relaxing. When you take your morning stroll or you evening walk, take your detector.

As for me, due to a few limitations, I have found in the last 4 days what will work for me and that is both.

The metal detector is my number 2 prospecting tool. I use for for checking bedrock at the end of the clean up day, test my header and tailing piles.

One can afford to do both if you research costs. You can always move up the scale in detectors.

Bob

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The two go together. Can't tell you how many nuggets I've recovered from someone's old tailings, but a lot. I like occasional drywashing just for the workout. Really keeps you in shape plus it informs you of how the gold is running deeper down. No pain, no gain as they say.

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Guest Gripper

Read the November ICMJ'S Prospecting and Mining Journal article on Detectors Versus Pans, page 43. Detectors win. I agree. Then subscribe to this great resource.

Brian

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Depends where you're located, but if you can only pick one, and if it's anywhere near where there are nuggets, then a metal detector is the way to go. Both is even better though.

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Hi moedecker,

From your post i am not sure if you have been a solo panner, or belong to a club. If I was just starting out I would go and attend a club outting. If you see a method , or piece of equipment that interest you, go ask the operator some questions. Most individuals will be glad to explained their methods. You may even get some hand on experience, and you may find a method that you really like, before spending your hard cash! You may even find some good use equipment to buy, saving you even more money.

Like most of the prior posts, detecting and dry washing goes hand in hand. For dry washing to be really good! The soil material that you are processing must be really DRY!

More Au to you,

Robert

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you can set up a jobe re circulating sluice for about 200 dollars. youll need a few 5 gallon buckets for putting dirt in youll need 2 three eighth classifier screens. a shovel /pick

a 12 volt battery and a 55 gallon plastic drum for water to be able to sluice for gold total 400 dollars. plus a gold pan to pan out concentrates.

a small puffer type drywsher/ a good 12 volt battery/ shovel /pick/gold pan /5 gallon buckets/container of water for panning out concentrates. thatll cost about 500 dollars.

prospecting in gold basin i have a 700 dollar metal detector and all it seems good for is picking up tim cans/ bullet casings/ small lead bbs. BUT WHERE I HAVE METAL DETECTED is on club claims where many people have gone over the ground before me. so if one was on new fresh ground one would stand a chance of finding a nugget.

in gold basin i have spoke to 2 people who have found nuggets/ but strangely you see them one day and never again, so in fact i wonder if they ever found anything/ from personal experience if i were finding gold in an area i would be back the following weekends to get more.

again in gold basin a have met at least 20 people with metal detectors in the 700 dollar range and all they seem to get is pocket fulls of thrash,wire,bullet casings,iron nails, bean cans etc.

the people who seem to be getting good nuggets are those using the latest and from the 2200 up minelab detectors. most of these people have been detecting for years and know the areas to go to and most of them have an atv to get to the places they need to go. they have done a lot of research, they have local knowledge usually from old timers info which i would value highly. they have the best of equipment and great patience for metal detecting.

i will start out detecting and after digging up several thrash targets i usually look for heavy black sand deposits and when i find some i get my dry washer out and start dry washing and if i find gold i keep digging if not i will keep moving around until i get something/ lately i keep going back to places where i found gold before and usually i get some about a gramme for about a day and a half which isint great but its better than going home with nothing and there is always the hope of finding a small nugget which happens on occasion.

i am very limited to where i can go i stick to the gravel roads where i wont get stuck as i work alone. i have a large dry washer so i can only work within walking distance of where i park. thats why i recommend a small puffer type dry washer that is easy to carry along with a battery for prospecting where one can easily move around from place to place to find pay dirt.

wishes are for fishes. i wish i had a small rv i wish i had an atv, i wish i had a good mine lab detector, i wish i had access to good virgin ground to where nobody has been. But in this harsh economic climate its a battle just to make it out to do a bit of prospecting and enjoy the hunt for gold and to be out there doing a bit of metal detecting or sluicing/ drywashing is a lot better than being at home dreaming about the large fist sized nuggets i might find lol.

to be honest im at it almost a year now and the gold i have wont cover the $60 a trip for gas but if i were at home stuck indoors every weekend i would go nuts lol.

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