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Joe Fortunato

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About Joe Fortunato

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 01/25/1947

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Westminster, Colorado
  • Interests:
    Metal Detecting... gold, coins, jewelry, relics. Prospecting... panning, sluicing, highbanking. Fishing.
  • Gear Used:
    GPZ7000, SDC2300, GB2, MXT, DFX/Bigfoot, Polaris 500 4X4

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468 profile views
  1. Denver Gem And Mineral Show

    Glenn, Thanks for posting the pics from the Denver Gem and Mineral Show. I have a story to tell about one of the pictures that you posted. It is about the wire gold specimen in photo #41. I am not absolutely sure this is the specimen but based on it's uniqueness and the area where it was found, I am fairly sure it is the one. If this is indeed that specimen, it was dug by my first nugget hunting mentor and his two detecting partners nearly 20 years ago. My friend and mentor, Ken, and his partners Larry and Jim had been granted permission to detect on Farncomb Hill, near Breckenridge. They had a great number of finds over a span of several years. As one might expect, they were very secretive about the location due to the success that they had. I did not know Ken at the time that he and his partners had found the specimen that they named "The Birds Nest". Ken told me the story in 2003, I had joined a local prospecting club, The Gold Prospectors of the Rockies. Ken was on their board of directors and one of the first people that I met ( I am the current vice president of the club ). Ken is living outside the US now, but does come back to visit family every few years. The last time he was in Denver, he offered to show me the place where he and his partners found their gold, so I picked him up at his daughters home and off to Breckenridge we went. The area is under claim and closed to prospecting, but were aware of that before hand.We walked the ground that had surrendered some of it's golden treasure. The area was given a name back in the 1800's, and based on photo #41, I would say they hit it right on the head. It is called "The Wire Patch". You may be surprised to know that they sold "The Birds Nest" not long after they discovered it !!! Again, thanks for posting I hope that our fellow forum members enjoy the story about this amazing Colorado gold specimen.
  2. Rye Patch Sweat ( Sweet ) Hunt!

    Rick, I hate to have to tell you this, but you might have a "Leprechaun Loyalty" issue. I am convinced that your little friends have helped me on several occasions while nugget hunting with you. Sounds to me like you are going to have to round those little guys up, then give them a good talking to about loyalty!! Kidding aside, your willingness to help others and your infectious enthusiasm are greatly appreciated. I have heard a lot of positive comments about Rudy from you and Ken P. Very happy for Rudy, he has got things figured out, that is plain to see. Plan to get out to Rye Patch in mid Oct., hope to see you there. Maybe finally get to meet Rudy. Best to Robin Joe
  3. Nugget Detecting At Nome, Alaska

    Hard to believe it has been 5 years since my mug was on the front page of the Nome Nugget newspaper. I still get goose bumps when I think about that day. The lure of that one great find is definitely one of the driving forces that keeps all of us motivated. Chances of finding that big one are slim, but they are still out there. That next target just might be the one that you have been hoping one day to find. I'd had a very disappointing day prior to the day I found that very rich pocket. I decided to give the area one more try for a couple of hours. If, in that time I didn't find any gold, I was going to put the detector down and run the high banker for the remainder of that day. I had worked the area for just a short time when I hit an iffy target. It was a one ounce nugget and was the "tip-off" piece that started what turned into an amazing day for me and my friends. By the end of the day, the four of us had recovered thirty-seven nuggets from that spot. Three additional nuggets were recovered from that same spot over the next two days. That brought the total to forty nuggets, and accounted for over half of the thirty ounces that we ended the trip with!!! If you are wondering what type of detector I was using on that trip........Whites MXT w/8x6 DD coil. Best of luck out there guys and gals!!! Joe
  4. More Rye Patch Fun!

    Rick, Just a few days ago I was thinking that it had been a while since I have seen any news from you on the forum. You sure put a smile on my face with this story about your recent Rye Patch adventure. I was taking a lunch break at my shop when I read about your very successful outing with Rudy and Steve. Let me tell you, it sure got me pumped about getting back to R-P in a few months!!! I was so jazzed that I almost ruined a couple of parts that I was machining on my lathe!!! I could not concentrate on the task at hand, just kept thinking about you guys digging up that big deep nugget that Rudy nailed!!! All the best to you, Robin, and the gang........ I would wish you luck, but skill and confidence seems to work for you guys. Well Done!!! Joe
  5. Like New White's Bigfoot Coil Only $525!

    That was some very educational reading, thanks for posting it. It seems that the Bigfoot coil and the DFX are the optimal pairing. I like the fact that the DFX acts in a predictable manner when using the Bigfoot coil. No large variations with VDI numbers or inaccurate depth readings, etc. Thanks again, Joe
  6. Like New White's Bigfoot Coil Only $525!

    Steve, Based on his post ( Jan. 8 ), this one has Deft Tones name written all over it !!!
  7. A Legend Passes

    Keith, I am deeply saddened to hear about Smokey. I know that you and Smokey were good friends, I am sorry for your loss. I had a great phone conversation with him last December. He sounded good and was very upbeat at the time. He told me that he had been working on a new poem, he read it to me. He told me that he would make a copy for me, and that he would give it to me in the spring when I returned to Lovelock. I have plans to be in Lovelock in a couple of weeks, so near, yet so far. This must be tough for Smokey's life long friend Don. The detecting adventures those two shared would make one heck of a book! I always looked forward to hearing about their exploits in gold country. Whether it was over breakfast at the C'Poke, or during dinner at the casino. Their stories always inspired me to get out there and find the gold. Speaking of dinner at the casino, I will always remember having dinner with you, Smokey, and my friend Ken. That was Easter Sunday 2015, entertaining and very educational! During the last six years, I have had the great good luck to learn from some very talented, generous, and even legendary detectorists. People who will teach you how to find gold, then take you to some of their favorite spots to find it!! During my last trip to Nevada, I was having a tough time. I just could not get my coil over a piece of gold. Several days had passed, and by the end of that day, I was tired and more frustrated than I would care to admit. My friend Bob and I met Smokey and Don for dinner that evening. As always, it was great to hear about their good times and amazing gold they found. I didn't realize it at the time, but Smokey could tell that I was still a bit frustrated. As things wound down for the evening, Don and Bob headed for the door. I was about to get up, when Smokey stopped me. He looked me straight in the eyes, and almost as if he was apologizing, told me that if he only felt better, that he would take me out to a couple of his spots the next day!! I hoped that one day, I would get to take Smokey up on his offer. It would have been, a truly great adventure to spend even part of a day with him, in his country. I would not have cared much at all about finding a nugget on that particular day. Just being there with Smokey, would have been.................Golden!!!!!!!
  8. 2016 Year Review

    Congratulations on a successful, and very impressive 2016!!! Your results speak volumes about how you approach what most of us call a "hobby" or a" pass time". In your case, I believe the word, "craft", would be more accurate!!! Setting goals can be a double edged sword. Been there, done that ...... Have a rewarding and fun 2017!!! Joe
  9. GB_Amateur, Wow!!! , small world!!! My business ( machine shop ) is located at 72nd and Lowell, which is about a mile west of Samuel Dr. . I was a member of the Eureka club for one year, I think that was in 2007. Great club, with some very skilled detectorists. The problem for me was, they have their meetings on Friday night. My wife and I have a cabin about 100 miles from our home. We like to leave home on Friday afternoon, when we go to the cabin for the weekend. So I missed a lot of Eureka club meetings, that is why I dropped out after one year. You probably remember that old line about Colorado weather, "if you don't like the weather, just wait a day, it will change" Speaking of the weather, folks. I mentioned that 62 degree Friday that I let get away in my prior post. I " waited a day" and by mid-day on Sunday it was 48 degrees. I grabbed the DFX/Bigfoot and headed to a local school, that happens to have some fairly steep south facing slopes. Got about 2 1/2 hours of detecting time before the sun started to set and my fingers started to tingle. I decided to call it a day, and just hunt my way back to the truck. I was about half way to the truck, but couldn't ignore a tot lot with two swing sets and wood chips ( I like wood chips ! ). Figured I would give it a quick pass, got a symphony of broken tones and a smear of bars on the meter. I brushed away an inch of loose stuff, but the next couple of inches was frozen solid. I broke a 10 inch piece free and pushed it away with my foot. The exposed wood chips were loose, dry, and laced with coins. It must have taken 15 minutes to get them all. I put them in my pocket to keep them separated from the coins in my pouch, and headed for my truck. The pouch, 50 coins ( one 1952 D wheat penny ), 1 ( kids ) necklace, 2 ( kids ) tokens. The pocket, 41 coins ( none of them notable but still fun ). Oh, and the weather. At 11:00 pm, it is 6 degrees and falling, 8 to 12 inches of snow by morning, with a daytime high of 8 degrees. Good news is, 60 degrees on Monday, bad news is, the ground will be covered with snow.
  10. What Steve just said, times two !!! Let a great opportunity to take my Bigfoot equipped DFX out for some fun today. Sunny and 62 degrees today here in Westminster, Colorado . Used up over over half the day working at my shop. Then decided that I really needed to wash my truck before I could go detecting. Truck looks good now, but I ran out of daylight. Not sure when I will have another chance to get out now. Cold front headed my way in a couple of days, daytime temps in the teens !!! Good luck out there folks ....
  11. The Gold Tour Via Las Vegas

    Lucky, always enjoy your stories and pics from gold country. I was feeling bad for Robin, thinking that sleeping in a tent out in the desert was not her idea of a good time. Then I read that it was because she had too much fun in Vegas the night before!!! Tell her that I'm not as sympathetic as I was earlier.....lol !?!? Joe
  12. The Aftermath

    Lucky, great to see you at RP. Wish we would have had more time to chase those elusive nuggets with you. Always a pleasure to hunt with you or Ken, and got to do just that on my last trip!!! Probably won't make it back to RP until early 2017, unless they have a very mild winter. All the best, to you and Robin. Joe
  13. Hot Time @ Rye Patch

    Rick, Rudy, And Condor ...... a just reward for working in some tough conditions!!!
  14. Like New White's Bigfoot Coil Only $525!

    Tom, I agree with you completely. I am very pleased to have a spare. It took a little time to get comfortable using the BigFoot. Odd as this may sound, it wasn't so much getting comfortable with how the BigFoot functioned as with how it looked!!! With the vast majority of coils being round or elliptical, that very long and very narrow coil looked quite strange for a while!! As for being reliable, I have used my original BigFoot for over ten years with no problems. I keep it clean and make a conscious effort not to abuse it and that seems to have worked so far. One feature of the BigFoot that I really appreciate is how accurately it pinpoints targets. I never use a pinpointer for nugget hunting with my gold machines but I have used a pinpointer for coins and jewelry since day one. In many instances the BigFoot so accurately pinpoints that I can quickly locate and recover targets without ever reaching for my pinpointer ........ very efficient!!!!
  15. Like New White's Bigfoot Coil Only $525!

    Hi Devilpookie ...... and thank you!! Kind of crazy how this thread has taken on a life of it's own. I have enjoyed reading the posts by various members since Steve got the ball rolling last February. We all have our personal preferences when it comes to our detecting gear and the BigFoot suits my style when it comes to coins and jewelry. I was out last Sunday afternoon for a short time with my DFX and my original BigFoot, got (39) coins and some good exercise!! That BigFoot sitting on the shelf is an insurance policy that guarantees I will have a lot more fun in the future if something goes wrong with my original BigFoot.
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