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For several years now I have been dragging my buddy to new places that I thought would be good spots to detect.  We both have darn little to show for all our effort.

To make up for it, I got a well known nugget detectorist to take us into the field for some lessons.  Here are three important take-aways from that trip:

1)  High hills in old burn areas are great places to identify new nugget fields.

2)  He showed us such an area where there were  a great many very small-scale mining features that were invisible In Google Earth, yet the burn made them quite visible from a hilltop.  Our guide said that based on his detecting experience,  there were many more overlooked gold pieces to find here and in similar areas.

3)  It can be easy to recognize the presence of hidden pockets in old burns by the discolored downhill soil these pockets shed.  He said this was a common occurrence, and even if they have been mined historically, there were still gold pieces to be found in these places, but again I couldn't see a thing on Google Earth.

He's a great guy, he's very knowledgeable, and he's expensive.  I don't have his permission to list his name here, but he may added it at some time.

 

EDIT:  He said I can use his name.  It's Ray Mills of Redding, California.  His online name is AUTrinity.

Edited by oldmancoyote1
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Did you find anything, or just go look for a place to hunt at?

Please show some pictures of your finds if you have any to show.

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1)  High hills in old burn areas are great places to identify new nugget fields.

They have the advantage that they shallow and the heavy materials(gold) have not been washed away.  

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13 hours ago, oldmancoyote1 said:

For several years now I have been dragging my buddy to new places that I thought would be good spots to detect.  We both have darn little to show for all our effort.

What made you pick the spots you went to in the past?  Did any of them have previous mining activity?

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2 hours ago, mn90403 said:

What made you pick the spots you went to in the past?  Did any of them have previous mining activity?

The stream valley we were looking at had produced considerable gold in the past but was heavily forested and the ground was covered with a thick layer of pine needles and forest duff.  Mostly we were looking for traces of undiscovered Pocket Deposits near know pockets using metal detectors.  Some times we detected cracks in the very little bedrock that was exposed.  I have conclude the only way to successfully prospect that area is to do what the old timers did there:  dig lots of trenches looking for fine gold and following the trace up hill.  I'm too old for much of that.

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Depth to bedrock gold could be a big problem of course.  Those that dug down to pay layers would have an advantage over a metal detector but you have the advantage over the trenchers in finding a shallow source.  The maps I was suggesting would have been some sort of USGS (if you are in the states) or other maps of historical activity you could see on My Land Matters.

Where (geographical area) are you searching?

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:45 PM, oldmancoyote1 said:

He said I can use his name.  It's Ray Mills of Redding, California.  His online name is AUTrinity.

Readers of the ICMJ Prospecting and Mining Journal are quite familiar with him as he's a regular contributor (author).  He's written about the situation you describe -- recently exposed 'virgin' decting opportunites resulting from forest fires.  But not quite the same as the face-to-face instruction that you received.

 

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I've taken Ray's training in the area where he lives.

Is that the area where you are hunting your gold?  I mean the Redding, California area?

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