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There use to be gold here but ...


mn90403

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I believe that there is ground and there are patches that have from all practical stand points been hunted out.  Look at all the abandoned mines, closed claims and placer operations.  Some of them stopped producing in a way that was 'worth it' to the owners and the men and women who worked these areas.  When is it time to abandon your claim or stop going to an area that doesn't produce?

Who wants to go slow and just get the crumbs?  That doesn't pay many bills or buy many new detectors!  I want some ouncers (from the good ol US of A) ... a few of them are still there but not as many as Australia.  I'll have to hunt there one of these days before all the big gold is gone.

Better research and new spots are going to get me more gold now than to go back again and again to a skunk patch.  If I didn't believe this then I would find one or two patches and never leave and just wait for the next new detector.  (There STILL has to be ONE nugget someone missed!  That is crazy ... doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.)  

Quartzsite Metal Detecting Club does a push every year on nearly the same ground.  It produces good just after the push and then goes down, down, down ... there are better places to detect in Quartzsite than that re-hammered patch, right?

My trips up north have produced more skunks than nuggets.  I know how to use my detectors but the gold once in places where I found it is gone now.  These are not active washes or the beach where targets reappear.

Let's face it.  In some areas all of the gold has been found from a practical point of view.  I can't find it and my friends can't find it.  If I go back again and again to the same place and get a skunk then it is time for ME to go to another place where there is still an easy nugget or two.

I think all of us have a few spots we have hit 5-6 times where gold 'was' but didn't produce any more that we now won't go back to, right?

Mitchel

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LOL !  Maybe for a Commercial Venture things weren't so Rosie?  Some of those ol mine were closed for reasons other then running out of gold.  Some were closed because producing payable gold at $16.00 a Oz couldn't be done.   Emmmm $16.00 ?  Some claim got lost simply due to lack of Gumption.  Lack of know how killed more then a few payable mines for sure. I've  gone into so called worked out mines and found decent gold in the tailing  the miners chucked aside being to little to mess with.  If the place was being worked as a Gold Mine you can bet there is still Gold to be had.  Just maybe a BUTT LOAD of Gold were the old miners did their morning Constitution and didn't look.

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IMO if you're looking at mining for a living around where I live at Phoenix or probably Santa Monica, too many people out there looking.  The thing I'm thinking of is the areas that had gold, but are not a days trip from a major metropolitan area, that's where I'd hope to find a new profitable patch.

Homie--

The price of gold has been fairly steady when adjusted for inflation.  When gold was $30 an ounce a miner could convert an ounce to getting a good set of new clothes, going out to eat, having some drinks and having a grand old time, outside the boom towns that had the prices jacked up.  If I go out and do the same today, I'm spending close to an ounce of gold, so the motivation to work that area was there.  Most of the times they stopped working the ground because it was played out and won't produce then, and probably not at today's prices either.

Mitchell--

I'm with you about the ground has been worked out.  When I say that, I mean I know I can't earn a living doing it as a small or medium scale miner.  I probably could, but I would not be able to live like I am now, and where I work my salary is well below the national median salary.  When you look at things put out by the state mining bureau and it says no commercial placer operations, probably means your odds are not good at making it.  Even in the 1800's gold rush in the Klondike, so very few people made it off mining, somewhere around 150 struck it rich and thousands upon thousands went home destitute.

Even with that being said, I will go back to the same place over and over because I do this basically for "GOld Fever."  I like to get out of the house hoping someday to get something, but if I don't strike it rich, it beats surfing the web and watching TV.  A little bit of adventure involved also with getting out to see nature.

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""Homie--

The price of gold has been fairly steady when adjusted for inflation.  When gold was $30 an ounce a miner could convert an ounce to getting a good set of new clothes, going out to eat, having some drinks and having a grand old time, outside the boom towns that had the prices jacked up.  If I go out and do the same today, I'm spending close to an ounce of gold, so the motivation to work that area was there.  Most of the times they stopped working the ground because it was played out and won't produce then, and probably not at today's prices either.""

 

 

 

Even at $30.00 a Oz gold got left behind not worth the messing.  That same $30.00 Oz of Gold  that just wasn't worth messing with back then is worth a butt load more today then it was then.  You saying your not up to finding it ?  Maybe not as a Commercial Venture but it sure to ell is worth it to a crumb snatcher like me and others on the forums.  

Finding even a few nice specimens would make the day for me.

Edited by homefire
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I guess me and many others SUCK because Ive been hitting many old patches for over 20 years now and I still squeek out a few here and there-:head: for me its a challenge to be able to pull more out behind myself and others that makes me even better-yes Im a crumb cruncher -its not about the money its all about the Hunt and conquer thing for me-be it 1 little crumb or 7 little crumbs :arrowheadsmiley: Good Luck different strokes for different folks :tisk-tisk:-Mike C...:200:

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Chrisski,

I hear what your saying about getting away from Phoenix. I used the think the same way and would travel all over AZ, CA and NV thinking I'd have a better chance at finding a spot that had not been hammered. I eventually discovered what was far from phoenix is less than a hour's drive for someone else. There are people with detectors all over the southwest.  It wasn't until I decided to learn geology and the mining history of my local area, I then started to become successful with finding some nice gold with a detector. I spent the last two years hiking and sampling around where I live to learn the local geology and how gold, silver and copper was deposited. I learned for my local area if I can find a quartz latite deposit associated with a copper deposit I can usually do good detecting or drywashing. 

I grew up hiking and off roading in the Bradshaws and I know of quite a few places that would be awesome to swing a detector and is off the beaten path. Im not sure what kind of vehicle you drive? But Ive hiked through some really good looking ground in the mountains north west of Tip Top all the way up into the wilderness.    

 

DP

Edited by Desertpilot
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My old mining partner used to say that it always takes the same amount of gold for a certain amount of beer...It's always been true and is today!  Cheers, Unc

 

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Let me try and make this more simple.

There are 'good' patches (potential of greater than 3g in a day) and there are 'bad' patches.  Which one will you go to if you have a choice? 

When does a good patch turn bad and you start going to another one?

Not all patches are equal and we know it.  Let's not stick our heads in the sand and say all patches are equal.  If I can be more productive I want to do it and not just go back to the same ol place.

Mitchel

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I have one patch that I've hunted for years...Over time the nuggets got smaller and smaller and I finally quit hunting it and went on to other grounds...Then, one day I decided to go back but went in from a different direction with a little Joey mono coil on my 4500 ... Almost immediately I got a little half gram dink then about 15 minutes later, hunting uphill from the dink I got a screaming signal in the middle of a bush hog cactus and a small cats claw and a devils thorn ... ..Turned out to be a half ouncer!!!!  Use your imagination and knowledge and you'll turn a "hunted out" patch into a productive one!  Cheers, Unc

Half ozer Happy Ridge1.jpg

Half ozer Happy RidgeRon.jpg

Happy Ridge 2-5-13 studio.jpg

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10 hours ago, mn90403 said:

  ...When is it time to abandon your claim or stop going to an area that doesn't produce?...
Mitchel

There are situations where/when I can't help but wonder if the better question would be:
When is it time to abandon your claim or stop going to an area that doesn't produce
for your metal detector while looking like it would keep your dry-washer non-stop busy..?

Sure, everyone wants to bag large nuggets.. I just have a bit of a problem envisioning anyone walking away
from potentially rich gold-bearing ground simply due to the Au not being in the hunter's preferred form..

Swamp

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The bottom line is  IF THERE WAS GOLD, THERE IS STILL GOING TO BE GOLD.  Da End!  I've seen coin chasers fall for the same thing.  Give up on a park thinking it's was hunted out.  Along comes some little kid and his $40.00 machine and finds a nice silver quarter.   Guess the kid didn't read the book about hunted out parks ?

If you think the patch is plumb hunted out move on to greener grasses.   Someone's going to go to that patch and find gold.

Edited by homefire
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14 minutes ago, homefire said:

If you think the patch is plumb hunted out move on to greener grasses.   Someone's going to go to that patch and find gold.

Exactly. There is no doubt that once someone snags a nugget it is gone. Is there more? Most likely there is but if you don't think you are going to find gold at a particular place, don't go out. Go somewhere where you think you will find gold. Confidence is a big factor.

Edited by Dakota Slim
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What Slim quoted, I do very well every year and plan to continue to do so whether folks say places are hunted out or not. I have been at this 27 years or better now and have learned no area is ever totally hunted out. The key to finding new areas that produce is research, real research, learn to do that and you will see a change in your yearly take. Oh and learn to keep quiet :old: 

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There's thousands and thousands of acres on the periphery of some of the old mining districts that have never seen a detector. Rather then keep hunting the crumbs from known patches, or main districts, I would prefer to hunt for a new one, even if it means you might get the skunk. But the payoff could be substantial. Another thing to keep in mind...not all gold producing operations were known and therefore not recorded. It takes someone to stumble upon them... and yes..I believe there's still a few out there yet.

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Like Bill says, learn to keep quiet !!!! :200:There are more places to hunt than I will be able to cover in my lifetime.... Your a determined hunter Mitchel..... that is 90% to finding anything. Hope you get another Goosegg one of these days. 

Dave

Edited by DolanDave
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If y'all would like to have a better understanding of what "hunted out" really looks like I suggest stopping by Steve's to read and look at some of what kiwijw shows on the subject.. You'll never look at the 'hunted out' areas within the extended Tucson-Quartzsite-Prescott-Payson loop the same again after doing so.. As a matter of fact you'll be embarrassed by the ease and frequency boulders are still being pulled out of our locations in comparison.. :Diggin_a_hole:

Swamp
 

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I would just like to add that there are many places I have been at where you can't turn on your detector and move more than a few feet without finding trash. This gets old real fast and that is why the trash is still there. :idea:

If the trash is still there, there has to be gold. Now, with the Minelab Gold Monster 1000's discrimination, those trashy areas will produce. 

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We have a problem with definitions here.  What do you call a patch?

Everyone on this forum has seen gullies worked by the dry washers. (I don't dry wash.)  Many of them have been worked more than once.  Could I take one of my precious weekends and go to one of those gullies and still find a little color dry washing?  Probably.  No doubt you can't get it all.  Would I be better off sampling and finding a better gully? Probably.  How many times can you dry wash the same stagnant, ancient gully?  How does a dry washer select new ground rather than rewash the same stuff?

The old timers didn't stop on just color.  They wanted good color.  They had to make a living off of their finds.  We don't.  They sampled and sampled.  Times are slimmer.  That is my point.  We have lost much of what they knew.

I belong to some clubs.  We add a new claim once in a while.  A couple of years ago dozens of us hit a new claim hard.  We raked it, we dry washed it and we found fun and good color along with the nuggets.  Two years later the grass has grown back.  I haven't gotten a nugget off of one hillside (100 yards x 100 yards) in over a year or has anyone else.  Will someone remember there use to be gold there and go back with a monster and find a couple of specs? Probably.  Should I go back with my 7000/14/19 one more time and seek a stray nugget?  Probably not.

If I grid a 10x10 and get all the targets off of it including meteorites I'll log this in to my GPS.  If I am trying to grid or chain a much bigger patch then I should not go back to the 10x10 if I want to use my time wisely.  How many times do I have to grid a 5x5, 10x10 or 20x20 when I get no results?  (You pick the size of an area you can 'hunt out.')

I agree that everyone has a choice of where to go.  Lately we have been breaking up our time when we go out.  We hit the old producing area a bit (if you found a nugget there in the last 5 trips) and then go on and look for new areas.  We have hunted some of these areas out!  If I wanted to be mean I could take you to one of my hunted out areas and drop you off there and 'hope' you prove me wrong but I know after dozens of us have been there you might get a missed 'bush or cactus' nugget but the patch has been HUNTED OUT.  I'll miss that patch but I SHOULD NOT be going back to it.  I have a good friend who doesn't take me to these old hunted patches and he wants me to hunt with him on the best possible patch or potential claim.

Swamp, JW hunts in areas that has been depleted but not 'hunted out' by my definition.  If you can continue to get nuggets it is not hunted out.  The metal detecting pressure where he is is not like we experience.

What I am talking about here is how many times do you go to the same place and get skunked before you stop going?  Maybe I have just picked out a place that never had gold in the first place?  Some of the hunted out patches look like they should or could have gold but 90% ... 95% maybe 99% of the gold has been found.  

All of us should have a place (if our life depended on it) that we KNOW there is still gold (or meteorites) there we can find with a METAL DETECTOR.  My point here is that not all places are equal so let's not say we never get it all.  We do sometimes get it ALL from a practical point of view.  Time for the next patch or move over out of that gully and check the sides of the gully.

There is a time for new gully, hill or ridge.  I've found them.  I will continue to find them.  Don't weep for me.  I'm seeking some practical advice.

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The American philosopher, John Dewey, once famously said around a 120 years ago: "A problem does not exist until it is recognized as a problem."  I suppose the same could be said of a patch: A patch does not exist for any of us until it is recognized as a patch.  At what point does that patch cease to exist as a patch?  By my lights a different interpretation will be given by every interpreter.  It often is a relativistic rather than an absolute answer.  There is always so much more to learn.  Meanwhile, let's face it: there is steadily diminishing time for each of us to do it.

At some point returning to the same ground and simply repeating the same strategies and mechanical motions that used to work, but don't anymore, calls for a different strategy, not necessarily an abandonment of the ground.  Sometimes elbow grease needs to be applied to sample deeper strata.  Sometimes different tools can make the difference.

I like to follow my own compass and solve my own riddles.  The bottom line for me is it's all about enjoying life and liberty and pursuing that which makes me happy.

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2 hours ago, Bill Southern said:

Dang ya nailed that Slim and getting tuckered is easier as well making those 8 hour days 15 years back int 5 or 6 with breaks now :m2c:

Are you trying to tell us that you are now getting 5 or 6 hours  in a day without getting tuckered out???  "OH YEA", I forgot you are 9-years younger then me.  I consider myself lucky to get 4-hard-working-hours out in the hills.....  then I'm ready for a nap:zzzzz:.  Then again considering this unrelenting summer -heat and humidity I am lucky to get an hour and a half in before I start baking and throw in the towel.:2mo5pow:   I never liked taking a nap even when I was very young; I had too much energy and "spit and vinegar" to slow down for that.  Things do change with age.

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I think Micro Nugget summed it up very well.

I'm, also, not much in to the crumbing thing but there are times when it scratches the itch especially (hell, only) if I'm with good company. Crumbing can be more of a " team sport" in the rather solitary past time of nugget shooting. Otherwise, I'm in to cruising for a new patch looking for more significant nugs at this particular time in my detecting.

 

Dean

Edited by Dbado1
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