Sunday dawned a beautiful stunning cloudless sky day. Mrs JW said, "What do you want to do for fathers day?" I'm easy I said. What would you like to do. I wouldn't mind getting out of here & up into the hills some where. Is there somewhere you haven't tried the Zed that isn't too much of a walk? She replied. Oh....yer.... You sure you dont mind me detecting. I said. No, I will just enjoy the sun, scenery & read a magazine. She said. Oh...ok....I will make up a thermos & a bit of a picnic lunch. I know just the spot. I said.
It was where I went with the Zed on my very first time out with it. I had got a few bits of gold & I was keen to try these hot settings there. So all packed up we headed off. Two hours drive later we parked up. I shouldered the pack & carried the Zed & GM 1000. We had about a half hour walk but first we had to cross a creek. Mrs JW didn't bring her gumboots so I crossed first & dropped my gear & went back to piggy back her across the creek. With the snow melt the creek was running rather briskly but we got across with no mishaps. 20 minutes later we were at these old workings.
Mrs JW said, "I am having a cup of tea, would you liike a coffee? Ok I said. So she got that happening while I rigged up.
Coffee done I was into it. I went straight to a few hot spots & also where I had got a few bits with the Zed on my first time here with it. Nothing. Three hours later & still nothing. A bit of rubbish but no gold. Time for a lunch & coffee break & then try further up & out of these old turned over ancient old river channel workings that wouldn't have been a flowing river for tens of thousands of years. Hoping to do better in some deeper ground. Another couple of hours later & still no gold. I combed over a small patch area where I got numerous nice size pieces in the past. My tell tale back filled holes were still apparent. But NOTHING.
Not liking the feeling that I was going to be skunked on Fathers day I headed higher up to some ground sluiced slopes that the old timers had washed the surface off down to the schist bed rock. The schist was very flat & smooth but did have many fractures & cracks through it. Not like the schist I usually detect in that is up on edge & a great trap for gold. The old timers had barred up a lot of this flat platy schist slabs so obviously they wouldn't have done that for nothing. I stopped to check my settings & discovered that the Zed had gone back into the default setting of Difficult & that I wasnt in normal. Oh no......So into normal I went & 5 minutes later I got a signal up against a step up in the slab of schist bedrock. It was very faint but unmistakable. I ended up raking the pointy end of the pick under that wee overhang to the left of the coil. Target out & oh so small. It is on the coil there.
.06 of a gram
But at least it was gold & the skunk had been avoided. I will have to go back over the ground I hit earlier in normal...but that will be another day. I carried on combing around these edges of the schist & got another sweet hit. This one sounded a bit better than that first one, again it was in the edge of this platy schist.
Another small piece at .13 of a gram. But no catch & release.
Half an hour later another mellow signal. This one had a bit more depth to it. I did in fact use the GM 1000 to pinpoint it in a tight crevice & to see if it was ferrous or non ferrous. Non ferrous was the reading so I smashed it out.
.22 of a gram. No record breakers. That is for sure.
The sun was getting low & Mrs JW was making noises about heading home as it was starting to cool down. I was happy to have bet the skunk & was happy to call it quits. I was just peeved at not picking up a lot sooner on the Default setting of difficult getting activated.
So three tiddlers for Fathers Day. Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.
Best of luck out there
By Steve Herschbach
So where are the posts from people using Fisher, Garrett, Makro, Nokta, Tesoro, White's, XP, and other brands of detectors other than Minelab?
According to my last detector survey there are lots of Gold Bug 2, Gold Bug Pro, TDI/TDIPro/TDISL/SPP, and GMT/GM3/VSAT out there in particular.
Yet when I review any metal detecting forums anywhere nugget finds posted with these machines are few and far between. Do people own these machines but don't use them much? Too shy to post? Intimidated by the "Minelab Mafia"?
You people that do outings. What do you observe as far as detector ownership and people finding gold? How much success are people having with non-Minelab detectors?
So where are you guys and gals? Do you exist and do you find gold?
I live in the Southern California just north of Los Angeles. Its been HOT, real hot the last few weeks and I wanted to get out detecting but the idea of hunting new patches in air temps of 100 degrees or more just did not seem appealing until this morning. We have had a few wild fires spreading around the Los Angeles area and even thou they are many miles from me, the wind was blowing the smoke in my direction. That was enough to get me driving out to the gold fields. I arrived at the area I wanted to start swinging my zed and decided to change up my settings. Im a smooth threshold person, cant stand a chattery threshold, but since I was going to be covering old ground I decided to turn up the settings as far as I could and see what happens Sometimes it pays to step out of your comfort zone, 2.26g .56g .05g
By Steve Herschbach
It's been a slow go this year as I explore completely new locations off the beaten track (which usually means a skunk) or finding the last few nuggets in well pounded patches. Get them fast or get them slow however - they still add up.
This hunt was almost entirely with the GPZ19 as I had a large area to grid with minimal chances of gold plus I wanted to get more hours in with the large coil. It has gone from a coil I thought I basically would never use to one that I will be using more often going forward. The coil seems to run slightly smoother with my Insanely Hot Settings as it reacts a bit less to near surface mineralization and hot rocks. The coil does have more issues with alkali ground than the stock coil, but the new Patch Mode (Locate Patch) seems just right for the 19" coil at a lot of places I hunt. The GPZ19 is great for covering large open areas where I think nuggets will be few and far between. In other words, I am looking more for ground coverage than depth - extra depth is a bonus.
The Gold Monster 1000 was a great aid in pinpointing. Not so much for when digging a deep nugget (though it is helpful for that) as for making short work of the ever present surface ferrous trash. Nothing like a 19" DOD coil for chasing tiny brown ferrous bits in brown dirt, and that GPZ19 coil will hit little trash far better than one might think!
Anyway, just a few nuggets adding up to almost 3 pennyweight (4.4 grams) this outing. Largest nugget 2 grams. The four on right were found with GPZ 7000 and two on left with Gold Monster 1000 (10" coil). Click photos for larger versions.
The larger Gold Monster nugget has some nice character in closeup....