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Nugget Hunting Nevada With Steve And Steve


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47 minutes ago, Condor said:

A good time for all despite the ever present Nevada desert winds.  Andy has the patience to hunt the trash zones and squeeze out the golden stuff.  I lose my enthusiasm after a couple dozen pieces of wire and steel shards so I tend to hunt the more virgin spots.  The difference shows, Andy pulled 13 nuggets and I pulled 3.  Still a satisfying weekend, fresh air, lots of walking and good company.  

Steve it was good time for sure. Yea the winds were strong at times. I guess my relic hunting with a GPX has made me patient when it comes to trash. I'm used to digging lots of it. my trash to good target ratio was about 50/50 and that's doable for me.

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my average bad to good target ratio is about 30 to 1 and most of it is made up of shotgun pellets, so I'd find your trash a breeze 🙂

 

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2 minutes ago, phrunt said:

my average bad to good target ratio is about 30 to 1 and most of it is made up of shotgun pellets, so I'd find your trash a breeze 🙂

 

When I say trash I'm referring to iron trash. If it's bird shot, small lead and brass I'm digging those targets anyway. This place we were hunting had lots of nails, wire, flat tin and cans. The flat tin and wire were troublesome, most of the nails and cans I could tell for the most part. Still dangerous not digging it all but when time is limited you have to past some of the obvious stuff up.

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So Andy, I know you did a little messing around with the latest VLF detectors. I was so focused on finding gold that I really did not show much interest at the time, but am curious now if you came to any conclusions worth sharing?

Looks like I ended up with 5.1 grams that outing. I have to admit it was fun running a GPZ 7000 again. Thanks Condor.

gold-found-steve-herschbach-april-2022-nevada.jpg

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21 hours ago, abenson said:

my trash to good target ratio was about 50/50 and that's doable for me.

Wow, every other target gold. Never had anything close. I am there with Phrunt. If I am super lucky it's more like 1/10 to 1/15. 

GC

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52 minutes ago, Gold Catcher said:

Wow, every other target gold. Never had anything close. I am there with Phrunt. If I am super lucky it's more like 1/10 to 1/15. 

GC

Andy has a good ear, and is a natural at nugget detecting. I’m more like 20 or more trash to one nugget, but I am counting lead, brass, aluminum also as part of that. Like Andy though every non-ferrous target I do also consider a good target - “could have been a nugget.” :smile:

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1 hour ago, Steve Herschbach said:

So Andy, I know you did a little messing around with the latest VLF detectors. I was so focused on finding gold that I really did not show much interest at the time, but am curious now if you came to any conclusions worth sharing?

Looks like I ended up with 5.1 grams that outing. I have to admit it was fun running a GPZ 7000 again. Thanks Condor.

gold-found-steve-herschbach-april-2022-nevada.jpg

Those are some nice looking nuggets Steve. I especially like that one with the white quartz attached.

I ran a few different VLF's while there, including the Deus 2, Equinox and Legend. From what I could tell non of them did all that well in that soil. It is both mineralized and alkaline which presents two issues you need to deal with. All the detectors running their gold modes experienced coil knock issues which was the result of the alkaline soil not allowing the VLF's to ground balance correctly. I would say the Legend was the most stable but it also had the smallest coil on it, 6" The Dues 2 with the 9" and Equinox with the 5 x 10 were worse. Small nuggets at just an inch deep were IDing in the iron range so you really need to dig everything with a VLF. Now Condor ran the Deus 2 in Sensitive I believe, and it was able to handle the soil much better in that mode. Not sure how sensitive it would be to the really small stuff. But that may be the ticket when using a VLF, trying different high weighted frequency modes may produce better results.

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1 hour ago, Gold Catcher said:

Wow, every other target gold. Never had anything close. I am there with Phrunt. If I am super lucky it's more like 1/10 to 1/15. 

GC

I'm only counting iron as trash because any piece of lead or brass could have just as easily been a piece of gold. If you want to count all the lead I dug as trash then on that particular trip it was more like 1 out of every 5 targets were gold. That area is pretty clean as far as lead goes. Thankfully the hunters and target shooters didn't use that area much. I dug 3 #8 bird shot, about 4 pieces of copper jackets bullets, 2 .22 lead, 1 piece of copper wire, 1 .22 brass, and 5 or 6 slivers of lead probably from bullets. The rest of the trash was flat tin, wire, nails and few bolts.

Now compare that to some of the AZ trips I've been on and the trash to good target ratio is like 1/100. That's of course counting everything because those areas are closer to populated cities. Digging 30 #8 bird shot in a day is common, then you have .22 brass and lead, rifle cartridges, bullet fragments, pull tabs and the grader blade shades are everywhere as well. So in that scenario only counting iron as trash it's still like 50/50 iron to lead/brass ratio. So I guess the things I count as trash are different than most peoples. Another relic hunting attribute I guess, and even some iron I dig relic hunting is considered good to me.

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On 4/20/2022 at 7:04 AM, abenson said:

Small nuggets at just an inch deep were IDing in the iron range so you really need to dig everything with a VLF.

I try and try and try to find a VLF that would make me happy. But no depth compared to the serious machines. The idea is to hunt trashy areas, but they call too many nuggets ferrous. The Nevada ground is actually pretty mild. I've seen places where a VLF will call a nugget on the surface in plain sight as a ferrous target! You really can do about as well or better using a PI and simply digging sweet tones instead. At least you still get the depth. It used to be a VLF was for the small stuff, but a 6000 hits most small stuff even better than a VLF. It’s only pinhead style Gold Bug 2 type gold where a VLF still has an edge. But one decent nugget replaces hundreds of pinheads, so hunting larger half gram or better nuggets generally is the better strategy. Long story short I really don’t use a VLF anymore for nugget detecting, even in trashy areas. Every time I’ve tried a VLF in a trashy site, I’ve gone back with a PI and done even better. So why bother… just start with the PI. Now when a new VLF comes along that purports to be able to find gold, my attitude is very much “yeah, right, whatever.”

I’m not saying there is not a place for VLF nugget hunting, especially for those on a tight budget, or with nothing but pinhead gold. Mainly it’s that the debate over this VLF vs that VLF is splitting hairs, when the big guns can get literally twice the depth, or even more.

gold-nugget-found-steve-herschbach-april-2022-nevada.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

I try and try and try to find a VLF that would make me happy. But no depth compared to the big guns. The idea is to hunt trashy areas, but they call too many nuggets ferrous. The Nevada ground is actually pretty mild. I've seen places where a VLF will call a nugget on the surface in plain sight as a ferrous target! You really can do about as well or better using a PI and simply digging sweet tones instead. At least you still get the depth. It used to be a VLF was for the small stuff, but a 6000 hits most small stuff even better than a VLF. It’s only pinhead style Gold Bug 2 type stuff where a VLF still has an edge. But one decent nugget replaces a hundred pinheads, so hunting larger half gram or better nuggets generally is the better strategy. Long story short I really don’t use a VLF anymore for nugget detecting, even in trashy areas. Every time I’ve tried a VLF in a trashy site, I’ve gone back with a PI and done even better. So why bother… just start with the PI. So now when a new VLF comes along that purports to be able to find gold, my attitude is very much “yeah, right, whatever.”

I’m not saying there is not a place for VLF nugget hunting, especially for those on a tight budget, or with nothing but pinhead gold. Mainly it’s that the debate over this VLF vs that VLF is splitting hairs, when the big guns can get literally twice the depth, or even more.

Steve and I talked about this while we were at the site. But I thought I would post this on the forum.

I hunted part of the trashy area with the Legend running Gold multi with ID's 1 and 2 knocked out (which is the ground numbers) for about an hour and recovered one small nugget that ID'd 11-12 just out of the ferrous range. That nugget was probably on top of the ground. I passed on at least 5 others signals that read between 3 and 10. Then I went back to using the 6000 a short distance away. After a while I got to thinking that maybe some of those targets I passed on could have been gold. So I marked 3 targets in the area I was hunting that I found with the 6000. One I was sure was ferrous junk because it was so loud, the other 2 I figured could be gold. Target 1 (the loud one) Legend ID'd at solid 6 and yes it was part of a can the size of a quarter. Target 2 was jumping between 3 and 4 so I didn't even dig it. Target 3 gave no signal or ID on the Legend and I thought that was strange because it sounded the best out of the 3 on the 6000. So I grabbed the 6000 again and yes there was definitely a target there. Grabbed the Legend again and opened up the horse shoe to accept everything, now I was getting a 1-2 ID. OK, hot rock I thought. Scrapped a little dirt off this hump next to some grass and the target is now in the pile. Took no more than 2 inches off the surface. Turns out it's a small nugget. So I go back to target 2 that I skipped and dig it, that one was wire. So the Legend got it right. But now I'm thinking how many targets did I skip over earlier that ID'd too low or didn't ID at all on the Legend. That proved to me the 6000 is the way to go for all the sizes of gold I'm interested in.

I do have some of the above on video. Day 2 of our hunt that I will try and finish up later this week.

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