Jump to content

Nugget Hunting With The Deus

Recommended Posts

I have a standard Deus with the 9.5 and 9 inch HF coils. There is gold in our area, though the pieces are generally quite small, under 1/10th of a gram for sure. Anyone have any experience or advice on hunting gold with the Deus? Most of our gold is in big rocks and cobble as well so it's hard to work around them and get the depth we need.

Your thoughts?





  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

A topic close to my heart. What I do is collect representative gold specimens from the area (via sluicing or panning - your methods may vary), then placing them in vials or baggies and salting in amongst the target area. Test various Deus programs and tweak the settings to find what works for you. I like the 9.5" elliptical for poking around boulders and cobble.


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the 9.5 as well, much better suited for poking around anything. I live in Central BC Canada so there is gold here, no doubt at all but where I am most of the gold is fine and generally deeper. 

I watch Aussie Gold and I see them pulling "rippers" only inches under the soil and I shake my head and only wish that I could have ground like that around me.

I pan regularly, and I do ok. Definitely not getting rich but fund nevertheless. Be really awesome If I could detect a nuggie someday and cross that off my bucket list lol.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Your Deus in Gold Field with the HF coils running 31 kHz or higher should have no problem hitting shallow .1 gram gold nuggets/pickers if your dirt is not too mineralized where you are prospecting.  Checking the mineralization bar in the horseshoe graph profile should tell you. On the surface you may get a numerical ID of 98 or 99 with the horseshoe graph showing non ferrous on small gold. Depending on mineralization you may get no numerical target ID and bouncing ferrous/non ferrous response from the horseshoe graph on .1 gram gold nuggets or pickers at 2 to 3 " depth. Deeper than that you may get nothing on such small gold. The default Gold Field program is a really good place to start with a few adjustments. You will need to do a pumping ground balance for sure, use an iron amplitude reject setting of 0 to 2, reactivity 2 or 2.5, audio response 2 or 3, threshold around 5 and sensitivity around 90 depending on ground noise. You can also try the XY graphic profile also if you are in an area with larger gold. The WS4 back phones are pretty useless for gold prospecting for tiny gold especially in the wind. If you don't have the WS5s, you might want to get the audio adapter for the WS4 and plug in some good quality over the ear headphones so you can hear any really faint small gold targets.

I think there was recently a Deus Youtube video on Western USA gold prospecting with the Deus by a member of this forum.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jeff McClendon said:

Checking the mineralization bar in the horseshoe graph profile should tell you.

To clarify, Jeff is talking about the profile setting that selects the screen with the horseshoe graph vs. the X-Y screen.  The mineralization bar graph runs vertically up the right side of that screen on the opposite side of the horseshoe graphic.  You need to be either swinging or pumping the coil (coil motion) to get a valid mineralization level reading.  Any peak readings 3/4 to full scale are considered severe mineralization.  Mineralization level on Deus is somewhat independent of the ground phase/ground balance numbers (i.e., you can have high mineralization without having higher than nominal ground phase numbers, in fact in heavily mineralized ground you may see a lot of variation in three ground phase number over a wide range above and below the nominal number).

Also be careful about running gold field Iron Audio Reject in heavily mineralized ground too high as it will react to the ferrous ground content and associated non-ferrous target down averaging and chop practically all target signal audio.  Use of none to low IAR settings as Jeff suggested is best.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Contraption said:

Here is a good video on tuning the Gold Field program. Note the DPR 600 uses the same program as found on the Deus and ORX.



Gary is not a gold nugget prospector and he is not using a Deus in this video. The Depar/ORX is similar but it does not have exactly the same display or features in its Gold programs.

Abenson from this forum very recently made a nice introductory Youtube video using a Deus with the 9" HF coil in typical Rocky Mountain dirt. Here it is......


  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no nugget hunting expert. But the Deus will pick up the small bits of gold about as well as any gold hunting VLF. Hot rocks in the area I was hunting were fairly common. But that's were the gold hides, in those areas other avoid.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Tometusns
      Does anyone have any advice on how to make the arm cuff wider.  I don't remember the orx being this tight. I don't have large forearms so I know there's guys having the same problem. Thanks!
    • By Duran
      Heading to low country in South Carolina looking for good custom programs to pick out those rev war buttons.
    • By Steve Herschbach
      Jan 29, 2021 by Relics & Rings - Quick video for those who are interested in setting up the Deus for gold nugget hunting.
    • By Tom_in_CA
      Hey guys, I'm gonna geek out on this debriefing report 🙂  
      A couple of friends were down in my area of CA @ early November to do some beach hunting.   At the conclusion of their stay, one was kind enough to loan me his Deus for a few weeks.   Which I will ship back to him when done.
      Over the years I've heard how this is supposed to be the "cat's meow" in nail/iron-riddled sites.   But never had my hands on one personally.  I've always just reached for my Tesoro Bandito in such situations.  Which, as you know, is wimpy on depth, has no TID, etc.
      Then a fellow I know gave me an hour's tutorial over the phone from Virginia a few days ago.  Walked me through all the settings, pros/cons, etc....
      Last night I was able to take it on a maiden test voyage to a certain adobe site.  An "adobe site" in CA, is our version of what the east coast guys would probably call a "cellar hole" site.  This site was the adobe home of a Mexican land grant recipient.  Granted in the early 1830s.   Although the dude might already have homesteaded the place earlier. This is just his formal grant date.    And since this was on the road between 2 mission era towns, it was a stopping spot in those days.  Ie.: hospitality to travelers, did trading, etc....  
      Today is nothing but a faint rectangle outline of adobe melt in a hilly cow pasture area.   After the gold rush and statehood, this was one of a myriad of the 800-ish land grants in CA, that just got taken over by the incoming settlers.   Either via bought out, or legal maneuvers , etc....    And apparently by the 1860s, was abandoned.    The *newest* coin we ever found there, was an 1860s IH.
      When we first researched it in about 1995, it was SO thick with targets, that we literally went into park mindset.  Eg.: going high disc, avoiding iron-ridden patches, and not bothering to dig anything that didn't ring the bells of Notre Dame.  Just so many targets to choose from.  I filled a box with 10 or 20 lbs with green copper, endless cool doohickeys (mankiller balls, gun parts, endless henry shells, lantern parts, buttons, etc....).   All told we've pulled about 20 to 25 period coins from here.  Many reales, many early seateds, etc....   And perhaps 15 phoenix buttons.     
      By the early 2000s, all the "easy gimmees" were picked off.  Leaving only the thicker iron zones to get more stuff.   Because go figure, when we started in 1995-ish, it was machines like XLT, 6000 Di pro, Whites Eagle, and Fisher CZ6.  None of which are known for ability in heavy iron.  
      Then eventually using creative arsenals to see through the iron, we got to where even the iron zone was getting stingy.
      So today, the site is nothing more than a test zone.  For testing machines for their iron-see-through ability.   Such that .... even if you only got some more camp lead or copper snippets you KNOW that your machine or method you're testing is competitive.   Ie.: a sport-unto-itself JUST to eek some more conductors from there (even if they're not turning out to be coins ).
      Thus this was the perfect test site for the Deus .   Started with the "basic" (#1) pre-set program, and modified from there.  Assume the basic pre-sets, unless listed here :
      1)  Disc :  negative 1
      2)  Full tones
      3)  sens :  90
      4)  Frequency :   17.6
      5)  Iron volume :  1
      6)  Reactivity :  4
      7)  Target volume 5
      8) Audio overload :  0
      9)  GB (ground balance):  85 
      10)  contrast :  10
      The results were astounding :  16 conductive targets.  See the pix.   And as you can see, several of them *could* have been coins.  I especially like the lock-dust cover.  That was deep !
      Of course , since I'm just learning, I got fooled by cast-iron.   There is a different sound, but nagging doubts sent me to dig a few "just to be sure".   More than I would have been fooled by the explorer, yet more conductive targets that the Explorer would have found last night.   And the ratio actually wasn't that punishing.  Like if I got 16 conductors, I don't think I got more than 5 or 6 iron .   And for several of those conductors, there was utterly no doubt.  So theoretically I could have been more picky, and dug zero iron.  But it's a trade off , since some targets could be fighting masking.  
      Hope y'all enjoyed the report.  Looks like I'll be looking to buy one of these, as soon as this loaner period is over 🙂

  • Create New...