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Hitchinamerica24

Full time prospecting?

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Hello everybody. I have a few questions to pertain to full time prospecting. 

I have the opportunity to take the leap and hit the gravel hard prospecting full time. I have the time and I have some money saved up to survive and whatnot. I somehow convinced my wife this was a good idea. Please don’t ask me how that worked because I have no idea Hahahaha. But anyways. I’ll atart by asking.

Are the gpaa, the new 49’s, etc mining clubs a good idea to get into or does this more go for the recreation side of it. 

Should I be looking into getting my own claims instead? 

I guess these are my only two real questions. Either one of these ideas seem to be to the most daunting to me. 

I know there is a huge chance I fail horribly. But I’m sure my wife won’t leave me lol. But there is absolutely zero chance I won’t leave this part of my life without some good memories. And a little gold to keep for my daughters. 

This forum is a great help. Thanks to all who put in here.

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Short answer....don't do it, especially if you're married. Years ago it would have been possible but the goldfields have been worked hard since the good old days.

Others will chime in.

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lol I understand that one.  I know there is no way I’m about to get rich but we have a year to do whatever really.  

My wife and I both have the understanding that nothing is permanent. And I can always drop out and go back to what I normally do.  I am young now but I know that doesn’t last forever. 

since we have to don’t do it side  out of the way.

im not looking to do it as a career for the rest of my life.  I have my plans and money set side for that. 

I’m looking to go all out for the next year and trying to figure out the best way to do it.  My wife wants to help me. We know it’s going to be a rough task. And that’s the beautiful part. She is willing to do this with me even though it’s literally going to drag us through the dirt. 

So any info on how to ruin my life wonderfully would be greatly appreciated Hahahaha.

 

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33 minutes ago, Hitchinamerica24 said:

Hello everybody. I have a few questions to pertain to full time prospecting. 

I have the opportunity to take the leap and hit the gravel hard prospecting full time. I have the time and I have some money saved up to survive and whatnot. I somehow convinced my wife this was a good idea. Please don’t ask me how that worked because I have no idea Hahahaha. But anyways. I’ll atart by asking.

Are the gpaa, the new 49’s, etc mining clubs a good idea to get into or does this more go for the recreation side of it. 

Should I be looking into getting my own claims instead? 

I guess these are my only two real questions. Either one of these ideas seem to be to the most daunting to me. 

I know there is a huge chance I fail horribly. But I’m sure my wife won’t leave me lol. But there is absolutely zero chance I won’t leave this part of my life without some good memories. And a little gold to keep for my daughters. 

This forum is a great help. Thanks to all who put in here.

There are many who have tried, few, (to my knowledge) that have stayed with it over the long haul. Even the best gold hunters usually have a sideline, or other means of support. It generally takes quite awhile to get to know what you're doing as a beginner. An experienced full timer, knows when to get in and when to get out. And perhaps, most importantly, it can be a hit and miss, feast or famine existence. Yep, lots of (mostly good) experiences. The club associations can help you get started, and provide social interaction which most people find supportive, to some degree, at least. If you're hell bent, you will probably outgrow the clubs in time, although it's good to stay in touch and you can pick up good Intel this way. Somebody told me that filing a claim on a good gold site was like posting a Neon sign, "Dig Here!, in the BLM/Recorder's office. Finally, in making your decision, try to avoid the seduction of, "I can do it where others have failed" That's what makes the casinos and the lottery system rich.

Good luck!

 

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7 minutes ago, BMc said:

There are many who have tried, few, (to my knowledge) that have stayed with it over the long haul. Even the best gold hunters usually have a sideline, or other means of support. It generally takes quite awhile to get to know what you're doing as a beginner. An experienced full timer, knows when to get in and when to get out. And perhaps, most importantly, it can be a hit and miss, feast or famine existence. Yep, lots of (mostly good) experiences. The club associations can help you get started, and provide social interaction which most people find supportive, to some degree, at least. If you're hell bent, you will probably outgrow the clubs in time, although it's good to stay in touch and you can pick up good Intel this way. Somebody told me that filing a claim on a good gold site was like posting a Neon sign, "Dig Here!, in the BLM/Recorder's office. Finally, in making your decision, try to avoid the seduction of, "I can do it where others have failed" That's what makes the casinos and the lottery system rich.

Good luck!

 

Thanks for the advice BMc . 

Thankfully I do t have the outlook you speak of. And the lottery and casinos are not my thing. Even though looking for gold is kind of similar lol. 

 

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Yep, sometimes the same psychologically impulsive impetus at play.

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Welll, at least you're kinda in the right part of the Lower 48 to entertain the thought.. However, that you even ask about club claims tells me to tell you: Don't do it!
At least not yet..

If you do some checking around I believe you will find nearly all of the "full-time prospectors" have other sources of income / help, anything and everything from factory sponsorships to writing articles to speaking engagements to teaching seminars to part-time tec rep to simply being independently wealthy..

IMHO, one is much better off being a successful part-timer than a starving full-timer..

Since your wife is behind you to prospect full-time I'm sure she'll also support your starting your own business.. Get an on-line whatever up-and-running successfully.. Pray it becomes successful to the point you need to hire full time help.. But even if it doesn't grow that large yet is a successful Mom & Pop, remember why you started it to begin with: So you could take time off whenever you wished..

Believe me, customers will and do remain loyal, as long as they're given advanced notice no orders will be filled from - to.. The worst that can happen is you don't pick up a new customer you didn't have to begin with during that down-time.. And there's at least even odds you'll still pick 'em up at a later date, especially if you're one of the best at what you do.. We have examples of such right here on this forum..

Bottom line, especially in this day-and-age is: Ya don't need to be actual full-time-to be considered full-time.. It boils down to success ratio.. If you happen to be successful at two things, you're plenty full-time..

Swamp

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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I'm not sure I saw how you intend to be mining. Detector, drywasher etc ... how do you plan to harvest the gold?

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8 minutes ago, Mike Furness said:

I'm not sure I saw how you intend to be mining. Detector, drywasher etc ... how do you plan to harvest the gold?

If you can harvest gold, I'd sure like to buy some seeds from you.😉

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12 minutes ago, Mike Furness said:

I'm not sure I saw how you intend to be mining. Detector, drywasher etc ... how do you plan to harvest the gold?

I will be sluicing high banking and detecting. If I’m capable of pulling an ounce a month then I won’t really be losing to much money. I know to most people that doesn’t sound like much at all and it really isn’t. But we live off of around 500 dollars a month anyways. Without emergencies that is.

3 minutes ago, Morlock said:

If you can harvest gold, I'd sure like to buy some seeds from you.😉

Speaking of harvest it’s that time of year out here in these parts.  I get a kick out of reading some of the older post about this area and the pot growing. The good part about that for me though is I know a lot of the people doing the growing and they own wonderful plots of land and a lot of them hold gold. 

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life is a dream, follow your dreams and you will forever be young and happy.

whatever you do, never let negative thoughts enter your mine.

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Since you say you have money to live on- go ahead and give it a go, good luck!

A year full-time you might learn enough to succeed...it is hard ,hard work!

Trinity County has /had lots of gold...the 49ers might be a good idea...

be aware that the forest service and blm have a 14 day camping limit-if they choose to enforce it.

Living in  or camper  will make you love each other...or not!

That is a short list of suggestions...

don't burn your current employment bridges- hunting gold is a lot more fun when you don't have to find any.

fred

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Only way I would do it is if you can fall totally on your face and recover afterwards.  Need to know when to quit.  An example I'm thinking is a lottery winner, or you're very employable with some disposable income saved up, several months worth.  Then an adventure can be worth it, but it will be a story you'll tell someday around a fire about a point in your life when you tried your life's dream, but came up empty, and came back to the real world.  Maybe if you did your 20 in the military, you're pulling a pension, and you want to give it a go for a little, than OK, or maybe you've been banking money working in the oil fields and are doing a life change.

It is not very hard to make more money at a job than you would prospecting.  Will definitely live better also.  Know a guy who recovered 18 ounces of gold, with heavy equipment on a trip to Idaho.  Between working, planning, staking the claim, he spent about a year of his life on this.  18 ounces sounds good, but minimum wage would have got him more.  He may have broke even, but he never said if those 18 ounces were profit after putting hundreds of dollars a week or even a day into diesel for his equipment.  On the other hand, Chris Ralph tells a story in his book about a father son team who invested $250k in a summer mining a claim, and when it was over, they totaled 3 ounces.  I hope the $247k was worth the bonding time.  The latter is a much more likely scenario.

At best, you can count on 1 gram a day, or $40.  If that is worth it to you, go for it.

Not a club claim, your claim.  But this takes time to find the right spot.

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2 hours ago, fredmason said:

maybe get something newer than the broken gold-bug...

That’s a given lol. Payday is soon. I have the disposable income for this endeavor.  And as far as living in close quarters with the lady we live in a ten by twelve right now with out 2 daughters dog and cat lol.

my job as of now can be done while prospecting. Plants grow when you are there or not so long as you give them the love they need. Thanks for the good luck wishes.

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You need a mentor, someone who has done with success what your trying to do. It's extremely difficult to reinvent the wheel and all the sudden be good at finding gold. It usually takes a few years.

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Back in my younger days I did it full time for a few years. I sold my bigger gold to weekend prospectors for a whole lot more than spot price. I had "outings" on the weekends where I took guys out on the claim and showed them the ropes. I made drywashers and rocker boxes and sold them. I wrote gold stories and articles for a little paper. And I used my fine gold for a gold panning booth I set up at various fairs and gatherings. I could get more for it by creating a business around it than I could by selling it to a buyer.

I had a blast and I managed to make it for a few years. It was probably not the best financial decision I have made but I would not trade those experiences for a fortune. 

I saved most of the gold I recovered because it was worth more to me than I could sell it for. Back then gold was $250-350 per ounce. One day 25 years later I woke up and gold was $1700 per ounce. I cashed it all in for $1504 per ounce and it was a nice nest egg. I was able to use that to make a little more money. That in turn gave me a few more years of freedom.

So even if prospecting is not a viable career it isn't a complete waste of time. Pennies and nickels add up over time and so does the gold. if you get really creative about how you work it then it is not impossible.

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1 hour ago, chrisski said:

Only way I would do it is if you can fall totally on your face and recover afterwards.  Need to know when to quit.  An example I'm thinking is a lottery winner, or you're very employable with some disposable income saved up, several months worth.  Then an adventure can be worth it, but it will be a story you'll tell someday around a fire about a point in your life when you tried your life's dream, but came up empty, and came back to the real world.  Maybe if you did your 20 in the military, you're pulling a pension, and you want to give it a go for a little, than OK, or maybe you've been banking money working in the oil fields and are doing a life change.

It is not very hard to make more money at a job than you would prospecting.  Will definitely live better also.  Know a guy who recovered 18 ounces of gold, with heavy equipment on a trip to Idaho.  Between working, planning, staking the claim, he spent about a year of his life on this.  18 ounces sounds good, but minimum wage would have got him more.  He may have broke even, but he never said if those 18 ounces were profit after putting hundreds of dollars a week or even a day into diesel for his equipment.  On the other hand, Chris Ralph tells a story in his book about a father son team who invested $250k in a summer mining a claim, and when it was over, they totaled 3 ounces.  I hope the $247k was worth the bonding time.  The latter is a much more likely scenario.

At best, you can count on 1 gram a day, or $40.  If that is worth it to you, go for it.

Not a club claim, your claim.  But this takes time to find the right spot.

Falling totally on my face and recovering is completely possible at this point in my life. You get the idea.  I have not put 20 in the military and I’m not retired. I’m just fortunate enough to have met good people  in my travels and scored good jobs also. 

If all I come out with is some campfire stories that’s fine with me. I know I’ll have a little gold to show as well. Aside from what has to be spent obviously lol.

 

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3 minutes ago, Bedrock Bob said:

Back in my younger days I did it full time for a few years. I sold most of my bigger gold to weekend prospectors for a whole lot more than spot price. I had "outings" on the weekends where I took guys out on the claim and showed them the ropes. I made drywashers and rocker boxes and sold them. I wrote gold stories and articles for a little paper. And I used my fine gold for a gold panning booth I set up at various fairs and gatherings. I could get more for it by creating a business around it than I could by selling it to a buyer.

I had a blast and I managed to make it for a few years. It was probably not the best financial decision I have made but I would not trade those experiences for a fortune. 

I saved most of the gold I recovered because it was worth more to me than I could sell it for. Back then gold was $250-350 per ounce. One day 25 years later I woke up and gold was $1700 per ounce. I cashed it all in for $1504 per ounce and it was a nice nest egg. So even if prospecting is not a viable career it isn't a complete waste of time. Pennies and nickels add up over time and so does the gold.

I like the way you think. I believe I have seen you post something about this experience before. 

Do you mind me asking what made you just do it as opposed to just thinking about it and saying “oh that can’t be done “ 

I hitch hiked the country for 4 and a half years digging up gem stones. Wire wrapping them in silver and gold wire then catch a ride to the nearest city and cash in downtown at the bars scene. I would spread my stuff out and make a killing sometimes. And sometimes I would only sell one piece. I lived outside the entire time. Do you have any idea how many people told me I would fail horribly? When In reality I was living like a king out there under the stars.  

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14 minutes ago, boulder dash said:

You need a mentor, someone who has done with success what your trying to do. It's extremely difficult to reinvent the wheel and all the sudden be good at finding gold. It usually takes a few years.

I once had a mentor but he may be passed away by now as far as I know. I met him when I was 22 and ended up living with him for 3 months in his s10 and trailer. We dug in the consumnes river and this old man knew what he was doing. He showed me some epic places but I can’t for the life of me remember the exact locations now. I’ve been trying to find him on the internet as he was an author and I’ve found one picture of him on a website that is no longer active. I hope to one day find the area he showed me because it was his bank for most of his life According to him.

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18 minutes ago, Hitchinamerica24 said:

I like the way you think. I believe I have seen you post something about this experience before. 

Do you mind me asking what made you just do it as opposed to just thinking about it and saying “oh that can’t be done “ 

I hitch hiked the country for 4 and a half years digging up gem stones. Wire wrapping them in silver and gold wire then catch a ride to the nearest city and cash in downtown at the bars scene. I would spread my stuff out and make a killing sometimes. And sometimes I would only sell one piece. I lived outside the entire time. Do you have any idea how many people told me I would fail horribly? When In reality I was living like a king out there under the stars.  

My logic was simple. I wanted to search for the rare and beautiful and do the nearly impossible. The natural thing was to look for gold.

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Heck give it a try. As long as you can go back to doing what you were doing or have something to fall back on. I would try it. Its a year, so a lot can happen in that year. Good or bad. 

Have fun

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One year and as long as your family don't suffer I say go for it. If anything you will build great memories of your adventure as a gold prospector. Your best bet is to work private lands..forget the claims, and public lands. And don't forget to keep a daily log and take a lot of pictures of your quest for that yellow metal. 

 

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7 hours ago, Mike Furness said:

I'm not sure I saw how you intend to be mining. Detector, drywasher etc ... how do you plan to harvest the gold?

Mike just needs to upgrade the color of his appliances . . .  to bring them into this century! :)

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1 hour ago, Hitchinamerica24 said:

I like the way you think. I believe I have seen you post something about this experience before. 

Do you mind me asking what made you just do it as opposed to just thinking about it and saying “oh that can’t be done “ 

I hitch hiked the country for 4 and a half years digging up gem stones. Wire wrapping them in silver and gold wire then catch a ride to the nearest city and cash in downtown at the bars scene. I would spread my stuff out and make a killing sometimes. And sometimes I would only sell one piece. I lived outside the entire time. Do you have any idea how many people told me I would fail horribly? When In reality I was living like a king out there under the stars.  

Old timers and locals might remember the story I was told back in the '90's about a homeless man who rode a bicycle around Prescott for years and made a living through crevicing for gold with just basic tools he could carry on a bike. Apparently he did well enough to keep at it.

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