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brownb56

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So I was reading the article "gold is not where you find it". And got to the part about needing someone to train you. The description of a guy who does a lot of research. Watched a bunch of videos. Bought a new metal detector and headed for the hills could easily describe me. I did not get into metal detecting or prospecting with any expectations of getting rich or even making it profitable. Just another way to get out in the hills, no different than going fishing or hunting. If a person goes fishing or hunting to save money on dinner they are in it for the wrong reason too. Still doesn't mean they can't look for a trophy or two to show off.

Problem is I don't know anyone that can teach me. People keep their secrets guarded and understandably so. But that leaves a guy like me out in the cold stumbling through trying to figure things out. Did join a local prospecting club, and attended a meeting followed by a visit to a claim. But even they all seemed a little standoffish to a new guy. I consider myself pretty meticulous and analytical when it comes to figuring stuff out. Hoping it doesn't take two years or more to find some color. I've found bird shot and pieces of trash as small as the tiniest nugget I've seen on youtube. So feel like I know what I am doing with my detector. Now to just swing it over some gold.

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I learned prospecting by finding placer with a rocker box and drywasher. Then I applied what I had learned to detecting. 

It's going to be tough learning placer with a detector because so much of it is too small or too deep to hear. 

Lots of guys get on a good spot with a detector and find some gold. But sooner or later they need to find a new spot. And unless they know how to find one by sampling and observation they are right back where they started.

Research gold producing areas and visit them. Spend some time working placer gold with a drywasher and learning the basics. It will make your detecting a LOT more successful.

A club is a great idea. You will outgrow the club fast but it is a stepping stone. And you will meet others that will share their "secrets" with you. Very few have any "secrets" to share even if they believe they do.

It takes a couple years to learn the basics. It is a big field and encompasses a lot of knowledge across many disciplines. But it will come in time. 

Start by getting on gold with a drywasher. Find a spot where the gold is a bit coarser than the average area and then hit it with a detector. Don't be afraid to use a rake and a shovel to prepare your area for detecting. Get down on your hands and knees over an area you know has detectable gold and make it work. Then once you find a couple pieces stand up and go walking. Slowly. You will gain proficiency and speed as long as you are over detectable gold. If you aren't over detectable gold you will find squat. And that is most people's biggest problem.

There are lots of good prospectors here that will help. But you have to have some experience to be able to ask the right questions. It just takes time. Gold is not easy to find for most of us.

It took me many days to find my first nugget with a detector. Even after many years of placer gold experience. Even though I KNEW I was over detectable gold. So keep at it and be patient. You will prevail.

It took me a year and over 1000 hours in the field to find my first meteorite with a detector. And I had been detecting for 20 years. So perseverance is key to this game. And you learn much more from failure than success because you have so much more of it at first.

Hope that helps!  And don't be afraid to ask here. This is a great forum and many guys here have plenty of knowledge to share.

Bob

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A dry washer is exactly what I had it mind to get next. Hopefully will be visiting Idaho Jim this Sunday and picking one up from him. But I had the impression that I was going to use the metal detector to find a small piece of gold or two to identify a spot worth running the dry washer.

The place that has most of my interest is an eluvial deposit, that according to published data has a significant amount of gold and relatively little work done to recover it. From the data I have found it should be fairly rough gold. The old workings I have found were in washes. But they only have a trickle of water moving through in the spring. I'll definitely keep at it and hopefully can find some of the right questions to ask.

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14 minutes ago, brownb56 said:

A dry washer is exactly what I had it mind to get next. Hopefully will be visiting Idaho Jim this Sunday and picking one up from him. But I had the impression that I was going to use the metal detector to find a small piece of gold or two to identify a spot worth running the dry washer.

The place that has most of my interest is an eluvial deposit, that according to published data has a significant amount of gold and relatively little work done to recover it. From the data I have found it should be fairly rough gold. The old workings I have found were in washes. But they only have a trickle of water moving through in the spring. I'll definitely keep at it and hopefully can find some of the right questions to ask.

IMHO it is best to use a drywasher to locate a detecting area and not the other way around.

There are plenty of areas you can find gold. Very few with gold big enough to detect. So find gold first with a drywasher. Then when you know you are over gold whip out the detector. Otherwise you can stumble around for weeks over ground that will never produce anything and still not know if there is gold there.

Around my area there is a lot of fine gold. You can get a few specks almost anywhere. But there are only 3 areas where you could find it with a detector. And only a couple spots in each area that are worth wasting time on.

You will get a BUNCH more gold with a drywasher than a detector in most placer areas. Detectors are great if you live near big gold or travel to a nugget producing area. But they are nothing but a recipe for frustration in most places. 

 

 

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Hello Brownb56,  Welcome to the forum!!  Really good bunch of Guys -n- Gals on here.  Over the years they have helped me out quite a bit.  I don't post all that often. But I read a lot of the posts and learn.  

You didn't mention what detector you're using..  but I guess it doesn't really matter.. I knew a guy that found a half/oz nugget using a Bounty Hunter detector.  The only thing I would suggest is to learn your detector.  Ground balancing the unit is very important.  Some people like to run their detector real chatty with the sensitivity cranked up.  I'm more willing to turn down the sensitivity down and run a smoother noise level.  Don't listen and wait for the boomer signal (of course those will be obvious) but instead listen for the very very faint change in your threshold.  Boot scrape the top off a couple times and if the signal gets better ... you could be on to something.  Listen for the repeatable signals.  If you like to hunt eluvial deposits. . . Look down-n-out..     AND Ground Balance and re-ground balance often.  The mineralization will change as you walk around from creek to bank and so forth.

Best of luck...

Doug

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You came to the right forum to learn brownb. If you want to find detectable gold with a detector, my advice is go where it has been found before. You don't say where you are but joining a club with active producing claims will take months or even years off the time it takes you to detect a nugget. I found my first gold on club claims at Rich Hill near Stanton, AZ with a Gold Bug 2. First I found a tiny specimen, then BINGO, a solid 57 gram whopper. 
Detecting nuggets gets harder every time someone digs one up but you will find some if you keep at it. Think positive and listen to your detector. Dig everything that beeps. 

nugget2.jpg

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Already picked up on a few things. I'm in southwest Wyoming. Been running around up by South Pass in that gold district. There is a place near there that the description is very similar to Australia. Weathered in place deposits with very little water movement. That's why I was hoping a metal detector would be useful. But I'll definitely give a dry washer a go. Think I have an idea on a couple places to start.

Took me a few years but that old saying about having two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as I speak is finally sinking in.

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13 hours ago, brownb56 said:

So I was reading the article "gold is not where you find it". And got to the part about needing someone to train you. The description of a guy who does a lot of research. Watched a bunch of videos. Bought a new metal detector and headed for the hills could easily describe me. I did not get into metal detecting or prospecting with any expectations of getting rich or even making it profitable. Just another way to get out in the hills, no different than going fishing or hunting. If a person goes fishing or hunting to save money on dinner they are in it for the wrong reason too. Still doesn't mean they can't look for a trophy or two to show off.

Problem is I don't know anyone that can teach me. People keep their secrets guarded and understandably so. But that leaves a guy like me out in the cold stumbling through trying to figure things out. Did join a local prospecting club, and attended a meeting followed by a visit to a claim. But even they all seemed a little standoffish to a new guy. I consider myself pretty meticulous and analytical when it comes to figuring stuff out. Hoping it doesn't take two years or more to find some color. I've found bird shot and pieces of trash as small as the tiniest nugget I've seen on youtube. So feel like I know what I am doing with my detector. Now to just swing it over some gold.

Take a class with Bill or one of the other well-known dealers out there or join a local prospecting club. I got lucky and bought my drywasher from a guy with a claim and a generous heart, invited me to go out with him and his partner one weekend on their claim and they taught me the ins and outs of drywashing and detecting- that was a great weekend and we’ve been friends ever since. I hope to return the favor to someone else who is as green as I was some day.

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No matter "who" takes the time to possibly teach you a thing or 3, your already headed down the right trail from what you've said.

You have the desire, and perserverance to take you to the next level. Remember there is NO substitute for boots on the ground !

Keep at it and most important is you must "believe" you can do it and you must believe there's a nugget out there in the dirt with your name on it.

🤠

Happy Huntn.

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On 9/22/2021 at 6:15 PM, brownb56 said:

Already picked up on a few things. I'm in southwest Wyoming. Been running around up by South Pass in that gold district. There is a place near there that the description is very similar to Australia. Weathered in place deposits with very little water movement. That's why I was hoping a metal detector would be useful. But I'll definitely give a dry washer a go. Think I have an idea on a couple places to start.

Took me a few years but that old saying about having two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as I speak is finally sinking in.

      Hey Brown, As you may already know, a few of the guys in the WPA club has found some good gold on the club claims, and in the general vicinity.  I was a club member and last up there several months ago for a few days. I was hunting with a guy who found a half oz specie about 4" deep on the top of a 10-15 ft tall pile at a dredge tailing pile in Big Atlantic Gulch. If you have the club claim maps it's the Bridge Buster claim. There's a lot of tailing piles from that point North that look unworked and somewhat difficult to access due to thick brush and beaver ponds, but I'm told that they have been relatively untouched since the time of the war order shut down in 1942. Might be worth checking out. Here's a pic of a nugget I found at 6" in a smaller tailing pile a few years back in Crow's Nest Gulch (GPS Coords: 42.5032901-108.6356649) When I was there more recently, a few tailings piles still hadn't been worked or not raked down at least. You might want to take a look and give it a try. Also attached is a pic of some glacer nuggets taken off of a ranch property East of Crows Nest in a non-mineralized area.

Mac

 

-

 

5.3 gram GOLD.JPG

WY GLACIER GOLD.PNG

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The above statement by BMc is sound advice to get you that first nugget.  Been there and done that same thing.

I had passed a pile high on a hill multiple times, always just looking at it. After another day of the skunk I decided to go up to it and try my luck.  It was right off a well traveled road so I thought somebody had hit it.  Passing several other piles with dig holes and raked down areas, I thought somebody must have hit my pile of interest.  I got to the pile and low-n-behold..... The angle of repose was still in tact... no dig holes.... no raked down areas.   After several bullets I found my first piece of detected gold... a solid quarter oz.

We...(wife and son) worked that pile all summer long from top to bottom.  We picked up just a tad over 2oz's.   Just because a pile is in an obvious spot... don't assume it's been checked. 

Best of luck.... Stay Safe

 

Crappy photo!!

IMG_2476.JPG

Edited by NvAuMiner
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6 hours ago, BMc said:

      Hey Brown, As you may already know, a few of the guys in the WPA club has found some good gold on the club claims, and in the general vicinity.  I was a club member and last up there several months ago for a few days. I was hunting with a guy who found a half oz specie about 4" deep on the top of a 10-15 ft tall pile at a dredge tailing pile in Big Atlantic Gulch.

Thank you for the info, heard a few second hand stories but you know how that goes. From what I understood at the last meeting they traded that claim away. But are supposed to be getting it back. I've been told if a person wants to find a lot of gold they would be better off going to Nevada or California. But we have a decent amount for the amount of people picking over it. Trying to squeeze in a couple more trips before hunting season kicks off, then the ground freezes up shortly after.

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2 hours ago, brownb56 said:

Thank you for the info, heard a few second hand stories but you know how that goes. From what I understood at the last meeting they traded that claim away. But are supposed to be getting it back. I've been told if a person wants to find a lot of gold they would be better off going to Nevada or California. But we have a decent amount for the amount of people picking over it. Trying to squeeze in a couple more trips before hunting season kicks off, then the ground freezes up shortly after.

Well, of course when you are new at the game, "The Grass is always Greener" and at some time or another, most of us have "Left Gold to Find Gold" but eventually learned better. That frozen ground thing however, is a good reason to try other places . . . Nevada for sure, and don't forget Arizona.

If you are not yet into Geology of the Origination and Deposition of Gold, you might consider learning as much as you can about gold indicators. I found it to be a big confidence builder that helps keep you motivated in your search, and believing in your ability to find gold.  Like in the words of the old folk song from the 60's, " You've got to Prime the Pump, You must have Faith and Believe"  If you keep at it, the learning curve will ultimately cross paths with your persistent efforts and you will see results.

I have no doubts about it.

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Wouldn't mind going down to Arizona or Nevada one of these days. Vacation time is limited so I am just a weekend warrior for now. South Pass being only 2 hours away makes it easy for day trips though. The origins of gold was one of the questions I started looking for answers pretty quickly. Been reading anything I can find on reliable sources and looking at usgs maps trying to understand how it all comes together.

I find spots I want to explore on a map. But when I stand there in person it all seems overwhelming. And feel like searching for that proverbial needle in a haystack. Feel like I am not too far off on approaching it like fishing or hunting. My dad always said they call it fishing not catching. Figure it is somewhat similar with prospecting. I got used to getting skunked fishing before I got decent at catching.

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You are so right! Fishing and Hunting teaches patience for sure, and technique.  Prospecting is a lot like that. Trying to figure out where to go, what to look for. The "signs" that you learn to read, gradually reduces that feeling of being overwhelmed. I went out nugget hunting with a newby guy not too long ago and after we got to a good spot with geological indicators all over the place he looked around and said, "Gee it's all so random"  We were standing in in the middle of a contact zone with small pieces of gnarly rusty quartz laying on top of a red soil layer 20 feet across, and a few feet away in the side of a wash was a foot wide vertical igneous slab of intrusive rock with triangular shaped rock pieces scattered around the base. I finally spotted the claim marker high up on the side of the ridge so we didn't detect but it was a good place to discuss gold indicators and to stress the importance of being able to read "sign" 

As a kid,  while out with my Dad deer hunting, he would stress looking for fresh sign; mostly tracks and pellets. He would say, "If the signs are there, the deer are there, so don't just look for a deer, closely observe and study each bush and hiding place for an ear twitch or a slight color pattern that may faintly stand out, and other subtleties which can give away a deer's hiding place. He also insisted, If the signs are there and you are not seeing any, you're missing them. Believe in the fact that they are there, SLOW DOWN AND HUNT"

Once you start picking up the "signs" you should notice a big boost in confidence. Then it becomes much less overwhelming, and more of a matter of finding the hiding places. :)

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I didn't have anyone to teach me either, but I read and learned, practiced out in the field and gradually my skills increased. Prospecting is a skill like being a plumber or an electrician. Owning a pipe wrench does not make one a plumber. The journeyman plumber is what he is because he knows plumbing. He has learned a skill. His knowledge makes him a plumber.  He worked to gain that knowledge. Owning a metal detector does not make one a skilled prospector, but learning and experience do.
Clubs are made of folks like you and me. A new guy comes in and it takes a while to get to know folks.  Very rarely will someone rush over to greet you. You have to go out of your way to be friendly and become a part of the group. Volunteer to help with anything you can to get to know people - clubs are always looking for volunteers. Relationships take time to establish. One or two meetings aint going to cut it. Make some friends by reaching out yourself repeatedly.
Lots of guys give up quickly when they learn its work learn how to become a successful prospector. Hang in there, have patience and persevere.
You will get out of it what you put into it.

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10 hours ago, Reno Chris said:

I didn't have anyone to teach me either, but I read and learned, practiced out in the field and gradually my skills increased. Prospecting is a skill like being a plumber or an electrician. Owning a pipe wrench does not make one a plumber. The journeyman plumber is what he is because he knows plumbing. He has learned a skill. His knowledge makes him a plumber.  He worked to gain that knowledge. Owning a metal detector does not make one a skilled prospector, but learning and experience do.
Clubs are made of folks like you and me. A new guy comes in and it takes a while to get to know folks.  Very rarely will someone rush over to greet you. You have to go out of your way to be friendly and become a part of the group. Volunteer to help with anything you can to get to know people - clubs are always looking for volunteers. Relationships take time to establish. One or two meetings aint going to cut it. Make some friends by reaching out yourself repeatedly.
Lots of guys give up quickly when they learn its work learn how to become a successful prospector. Hang in there, have patience and persevere.
You will get out of it what you put into it.

Yes sir, very understandable and hopefully it didn't sound like complaining. Thankful for people like yourself and Bill among others who create the content they do. And currently enjoying your book.

Reading the article and how it described a rookie hitting the ground running almost described my situation to a tee. Was mostly curious to see how many people shared similar stories. And maybe how someone helped them or how they helped someone along the way.

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1 hour ago, brownb56 said:

Yes sir, very understandable and hopefully it didn't sound like complaining. Thankful for people like yourself and Bill among others who create the content they do. And currently enjoying your book.

Reading the article and how it described a rookie hitting the ground running almost described my situation to a tee. Was mostly curious to see how many people shared similar stories. And maybe how someone helped them or how they helped someone along the way.

It didn't sound like complaining to me. It reminded me of what just about every newcomer to metal detecting for gold goes through, one way or another. As has been repeatedly stated, it is common for one of the biggest hurdles that everyone faces is in someway related to lack of confidence. Am I doing this right? Do I have the right detector? Am I looking in the right places? The list of doubts can be almost endless. Self doubt is the worst. Disappointment is one thing but discouragement is quite another. Being discouraged is one of the major walls you may hit. And it can be a nose dive that many don't pull out of. So rest assured, your circumstances don't seem to differ much from most of the rest of us when we first started. It's also common to not have much if any, guidance or assistance in showing you the ropes. There are ways to overcome that. I would highly recommend that you read and study the archival posts on this forum and the other main gold prospecting forums and also find one in your area where you might be able to connect with a hunting buddy who has some experience. After you do your research and scouting of a promising area, for example:  (old inactive, unclaimed mining areas or diggings where gold has been found in the past) you might consider contacting a club or forum member who has some experience and propose an outing. You can learn a lot by watching other nugget hunters work.

 

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The Wyoming prospector association has meeting and outings every month when the weather is nice. Hopefully will be attending on a regular basis and getting to know the other members. Just picked up a dry washer from Idaho Jim. Plan to put that to good use next summer. Been scouting areas where the old timers did alot of dry washing. And the club has a claim right in the middle of that area.

The next six months will be a whole lot more reading and waiting for warm weather to come back around.

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