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Thanks for the Youtube videos

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Hi everyone..

First I really just wanted to post a very big THANK YOU to Bill for all the awesome videos on YouTube.. they have really helped me out a lot!

 I am a Phoenix native and just got into finding the yellow shiny stuff..  I have joined the GPAA just as a starting place.

I have been to a few claims,, brought back buckets and panned them in my backyard using a water filled wheel barrel to pan and have found some small flakes.

 I also picked a an Equinox 800 detector and also the 6in coil..   I have found a couple really tiny nuggets with it.. but it took a few days and many many many hours..   I wont be quitting my day job at this rate..


I am interested in finding my own place,.., FAR away from a road or trail ... I feel that GPAA claims have been worked over pretty hard and without a tractor or landslide, heavy rains or something to disturb the ground most of the easy stuff is gone..  (as far as a detector goes)   (tired of finding bailing wire, soup cans and everyone's garbage) I know that is part of the game,, but some spots are just ridiculous with trash..  I just want to hike farther away (most people are lazy and wont go more than a block from the road) and find more untouched areas

I am an avid hiker, dirt biker, quads, and big and small game hunter...    so getting away from publicly known areas is nothing new.

But how does one go about finding areas that are claim free?   i cant seem to find any MAPS that would list existing claims,,   so how does a person KNOW if it is okay to prospect?  besides the obvious claim markers,  signs and white poles,,

many of the GPAA claims i have been to don't even have any signs or markers,, and it not for my gps and map I wouldn't even know I was on the right claim.... or often the claim is so large that you cant see the claim markers..  I just don't want to be a claim jumper!

if it not marked is it safe to bust out my detector?     I heard that on Tonto National Forest there is no propecting allowed?   does that include detector?




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As a summary, Finding open land is harder than it should be.  The easiest way would be to look in something like mylandmatters.org.  In the mining claim section open up the maps.  This will show you how many claims are in the one mile by one mile area.  From there, pull up the individual claims in the online county records office to find exactly where its at, and do an online county records search to find if any recent claims have been filed.  Also need to open land status to make sure its not state trust land, and is either BLM or national Forest land.

As would be expected, the known gold areas are heavily claimed, and the areas without gold tend to be much more open, but many as you read posts on here, you see there is plenty of gold detected in areas not known as placers.

Can't just go off unmarked land is OK.  Corner Posts are notoriously unreliable.  No one ever takes them down when they are drop a claim, so there's a lot out there that have not been used for decades  Also since the land around here is also open grazing land, cows can knock those signs over.  Also in the one mile square I mentioned above, there's hundreds of possibilities to place a claim marker, and since a claim can be a couple thousand feet long, only the corners will be marked, so its nothing like a fence in a yard.  There should be paperwork left somewhere in a 160 acre claim, which is the location marker, but truth is, someone comes by and takes the paperwork, and it may not be there.

Once you get used to this, you'll notice things like people filing claims in the wrong county, people filing claims over areas they can't like state trust land, county land, patented mines, or private property. The first few places you try will probably feel every bit as empty as you feel the club claims are.

I also can't recommend a single good source on how to stake a claim, but this will give you a general idea.

Edited by chrisski
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