By Gerry in Idaho
I finished my 2020 Field Training of customers a couple weeks ago at Rye Patch and was able to run the 7000 without interruption for 6 days. My best day was 12 nuggets but I also have to admit that on 2 days, I was skunked (the 2 days I was swinging new ground looking for a patch. ). Almost all the gold were whisper signals most folks are not good at and in a particular wash near the burn barrel, I pulled 7 in a day. I even called over some customers who were hanging around to let them listen, watch and learn. It just amazes me this detector can pick up nuggets at 14 to 18" deep and they are less than 2 grams. Now I would never expect these kind of results in the Spring though so make sure you know your ground and timings.
I was able to also watch Lunk dig his 1 ouncer and it blew me silly how it had been missed by the older machines.
Anyway, we had a great trip, fabulous customers/camaraderie, some delicious meals (Thanks Chef Rusty) and good gold. I'm starting to see a pattern when training though. The lady customers seem to pay more attention and their proper coil control gets them more gold.
By Jonathan Porter
This thread is a place were I can share and continually update pictures of any of my current gold finds, kind of like a gold diary of sorts. Sometimes I’ll include narrative other times it will be just pictures of what I found for the day. I get out detecting regularly and I use a lot of different equipment some of which is not open for discussion. This thread is NOT about equipment but about the gold I find as I find it. I will try to include pictures of the terrain so people can visualise what the areas look like where I‘m detecting.
I would prefer if others do not post up pictures to this thread but ALL DP members are more than welcome to comment and ask questions about detecting related subjects, especially about targeting locations and mind sets and approach. It’s OK to relate to a post and talk about your own experiences, in fact I insist on it. That’s the whole point of a gold thread, to share my daily gold finds and talk with like minded people about how much fun it is to find gold.
The Last couple of days detecting things have been a little slow as I revisit old haunts not visited for years. I’m targeting areas associated with old gold finds looking for indications of other nearby locations that are conducive to nuggets being present. The signs I’m looking for are gravels that are exposed at the surface, especially with pieces of ironstone in the mix, then working off the edges into the soil covered zones. Clermont does not have channeled gravels that were originally associated with creeks and rivers but instead has deltas of wash that spread away from the source becoming water worn in the process, this means you can have quiet large areas of deco clays with very little gravels then hit an area the size of a kitchen with good wash that contains gold, sometimes it can be associated with a weathered down localised quartz reef which has acted as a trap for mobile gravels or it will be made up entirely of gravelly wash that has moved on-mass and delta’d out in a fan shape. The trick is to find these areas hidden amongst the tree cover and fine surface soils that hide them. Quite often you will head downslope following the gold then hit a blank of deco that goes for 30 meters then the gravels will start up again. The trick is to try and push the boundaries until either a major drainage gobbles up the contents of the slope or the ground becomes barren. The hard part is to try and decide if the surface soils are laying over gold gravel or just deco with nothing underneath.
Pics are of the last couple of days in two different locations.
I always look forward to the winter months when I can freely swing the mighty Zed in the vast stretches of the desert southwest, uninhibited by the dense vegetation I typically have to deal with in the forested regions of Idaho. Searching new areas for a nugget patch is never easy, and long, fruitless days can really test your stamina and forbearance. Thankfully, the odd scattered nugget encountered here and there can spur one on to continue the magnificent quest. Such have been my days of late, patiently covering ground with the large GPZ 19 coil and anticipating that sweet sound of gold. Having been awhile since using it, I had forgotten how extremely sensitive the 19-inch coil is; pictured below are two recent sub-gram finds. The small one weighs a mere 0.12 of a gram, and the larger, thin bit, 0.18:
As beautiful as it is, the desert presents a daunting and endless expanse of landscapes to explore in search of the elusive yellow metal:
Of course, researching productive sites and following the geologic clues as well as old workings left behind by the prospectors of days gone by, like these coarse dryblower piles, can narrow down the search area:
Discovering a new nugget patch is the holy grail that every nugget shooter dreams about, and though few and far between, they are still out there. So persevere and always keep in mind these words from one of the greats: “Put the sound to the ground and leave tracks all around, because that's the way gold gets found!”
A small, undiscovered patch of nuggets I stumbled upon in the Nevada desert last spring:
I went for a gold hunt with JW yesterday, he has a sore foot as he was prospecting last weekend and walking up a steep bit of hillside and heard a pop in his foot then very bad pain and could hardly walk. He's still not sure what the problem is, he had 3 x-rays and no sign of a bone break so he is just taking it easy. I'm suffering from Vertigo and have been for the past week or two, it came on from nowhere about 2 months ago when I was skiing and come right in about a week but now I'm having a second run of it, the doctors know what it is and it has a huge name which I've forgotten now but it should pass in another week or two, I just have random dizzy spells that last for about 10 to 30 seconds, and when I lay down it's a lot worse than when I'm upright. For this reason we went to a very close spot where there was little walking required for JW's foot and my dizziness. It's right near as residential area, for example most of the time I was detecting I was looking at a row of houses.
I'd never detected this bedrock before, I've been past it a zillion times though and JW hadn't done it since his GP3000 days I think it was.
We're both using our 15x10" X-coils lately, we are both a bit surprised how sensitive they are as we were always using the 10" for maximum sensitivity then JW put on his 15x10" and was finding absolutely tiny gold so I too did it too and haven't looked back, more ground coverage while maintaining the sensitivity of the 10" due to it's spiral windings when the 10" is bundle wound. I got the 15x10" as I thought it'd be good for ground coverage and finding slightly bigger gold so to find it's more than capable of finding the tiny stuff was a pleasant surprise. Some of the gold I've been finding with it could probably have been found with the Gold Bug 2 and it's little 6.5" coil ,Nox with 6" coil or the GM with it's 5" coil but to cover the amount of ground with those tiny coils vs using a 15x10" coil would just take so long, with the 15x10" you can cover ground very quickly in comparison while maintaining similar sensitivity to these high frequency VLF's so you do have more chance of finding gold in far less time. Obviously the smaller coils are MUCH better in locations where their size benefits you greatly being able to poke and prod in among rocks and lumpy bedrock, in these more flat locations the bigger coils are better for ground coverage.
The ground around these areas is full of shot gun pellets as there is a big rabbit problem, we saw hundreds of rabbits bouncing around on the small walk in, most were little babies too that the parents had sent off to play for the day while they get much needed mating time I guess 🙂
This rabbit hole was quite funny, the little guy spent a lot of time digging a nice hole out, only to find its a short little trip into a dead end of bedrock 😁
As there are so many shot gun pellets the GPZ can actually be a bit easier than using a detector like the Equinox, the Equinox will give you a nice 1-2 target ID on a pellet, the exact same as small gold nuggets, the GPZ will do a double blip on the surface and near surface pellets as the separate windings pass over them so it's a good indication it's a shallow target, you start to learn after passing over and digging hundreds of pellets what they sound like, they all have the double blip but you also get used to their volume level and sound so you can gradually start to ignore them, with the small gold coming in various shapes and weights the noise and double blip of shallow gold isn't as consistent as the pellet noise, especially after a scrape if they move you can mostly ignore them. It is a gamble but it's necessary in places with so many pellets. Shallow gold can do the double blip too but it's volume/sound can often sound a fair bit different to pellets. Any out of the ordinary double blips are certainly worth investigating.
It was only about 20 minutes after arriving and I had a good target sound it wasn't a double blip but it did have a nice target sound, wasn't a booming target that's usually a bullet shell or something, just a nice gold sound. I scraped the grass off the bedrock and the target was still there, very positive sign.
You'll see in the photo above where I scraped the grass away.
Sitting on the bedrock was a bit of gold.
You can see there the cleaned out crack where I got it in the middle of the photo.
And the location above where it was found on some bedrock up quite high off the ground.
0.124 of a gram, a decent size for me.
I was finding a lot of pellets, not necessarily digging a lot of pellets, about 20 fooled me in the 2 or so hours we were detecting, we cut the trip pretty short due to our health issues.
Not much further along the same bedrock I had another good signal,
I had to scrape out the crack and smash away at the bedrock to break it out, this one took me about half an hour to recover as I'm always very careful smashing out the bedrock as I've lost gold before when smashing the bedrock and then the gold goes flying off into the air never to be found again.
It ended up being quite deep, at least 10cm, I had to smash a fair bit of rock out. I was breaking a bit out, cleaning out the crack, checking it's still there, then repeating the process over and over again, slowly and cautiously as it just had to be gold.
This is the depth it ended up being, hard to see in a photo.
It was a tiny little nugget in the end. 0.074 of a gram, it's sitting just above the X-coils branding on the coil in the photo above. I was very confident I had a nugget so I took a short video showing the target noise prior to smashing out the bedrock.
You'll see it was a pretty unmissable target.
And this was it's location on the bedrock, you'll see the dug out crack in front of the coil.
0.074 of a gram.
Not long after this I decided I couldn't keep going, the bending over digging all the time was affecting my dizziness, and JW was sitting down having a rest due to his sore foot I guess so we decided to call it quits for the day. He also found two nuggets, his bigger one was probably .4 of a gram and a smaller one similar to my 0.074, possibly even smaller.
Some more seasoned guys finding big nuggets in OZ may wonder why I even do a post about two little nuggets, I get a lot of feedback from people learning like myself who enjoy the posts as they find them educational, If I help one person with a story like this then it's been worth it, it's not easy learning to find gold, and any help is good help.
First off, hello all! Great reads here, and a big thanks to Steve for all of the generous work put in for the lay-detectorists.
I have gold fever. I’ve had it since I first dug up my own gold in 2013 and I’ve learned that it never goes away. It just gets worse as it sinks it’s claws deeper into its poor host.
My summer job this year really hasn’t left me much free time for prospecting. Mostly a very brief opportunity to pan some gravel in the Feather River for flood gold. Much of the time for prospecting it has actually allowed me has been in the form of Google Earth prospecting the reminiscent values found in old patches and pure fantasy of what’s left to be found elsewhere. All of this imagination mixed with the ungodly lack of personal time has really flared my case of gold fever to a boiling point... no, something more closely resembling a nuclear reactor nearing criticality... yes.
But, ah! Finally! After 3 months of work with only 10 days at home to take care of personal matters, another 2 days off without the chance of being bothered. An opportunity to go prospecting!
In all the time I’ve had locked inside of my own head with my thoughts and stupendous ideas. There was one idea I had been diligently working to manifest into reality; I was going to use a mountain bike to subtract the amount of physical exertion it normally takes me to hike in and out of an old, arduously located patch!
Well, my imagination is quite the steadfast optimist! And it kept being so, no matter how hard each and every contour line of this rugged desert terrain attempted to beat it into accepting the reality of the situation. Until finally, I submitted. My idea did not work. It was not smart, to try riding a mountain bike for my first time on the equivalent of an advanced, single track, rocky bike trail, with a backpack full of sustenance, plus a detector on my back. I had travelled 2 miles from where I parked and ridden the bike for maybe 500 feet... That translates to pushing the bike along in front of me with its front tire in the air for over 10,000 feet, not to mention the elevation gain involved!
It was 8 o’clock in the morning, and I looked like I just got out of the shower fully clothed in Georgia during an August heat wave at 3 in the afternoon! Without shame, I laid the bike on its side next to the trail and proceeded on foot without looking back. I dried off quickly and was pleasantly relieved at how much easier it was to just hike after the whole bike ordeal.
Eventually I made it to the old patch, where I had another plan thought up to explore the ground conditions for some future drywashing. This plan however was much safer, much less chance of failure. And I pulled it off without a hitch! It simply involved digging up a 5x5 foot area to see how deep the residual deposit laying over the area was. Of course more future exploration is planned, the purpose of today was just to have little teaspoon of medication for my fever.
But I didn’t bring that detector for nothing!!! After dreaming of nuggets all summer, you bet I was gonna listen to what the dirt had to say today! I threw my old SD together with my trusty stock 11” DD and in two minutes I had a beautifully screaming target that stayed faithful after scraping away the surface. I couldn’t believe it happened so quickly! Soon I was looking at my first nugget after a 2 year skunk streak. A beautiful little half grammer! In another 20 minutes I found its little sister about 20 feet side slope to the left at a quarter gram.
After exploring another one of my ideas without anything to show for it, I decided my day had been good enough and I’d head home and continue enjoying my short amount of time off. Plus I still had to push that dang failed plan from earlier back as far as I had pushed it in... but now with a Whopping .75 grams of extra weight of gold in my pocket