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Looking For Tips And Info About Crow Creek And Hatcher Pass

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I am planning on bringing my SDC 2300 or my gold bug pro with 5” coil to one of these places. I am looking for any kind of info or tips on the likelihood of finding anything in each of these places since I’m pretty well new to detecting and have had no luck in past outings. Never been to crow creek before and spent only a little time in Hatcher Pass. Every time I’ve gone out with the GBP I was overwhelmed with hotrocks, which made me purchase the 2300 in hopes of seeing through them without trouble. I still find hotrocks with the 2300 but not as bad as the GBP. 

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Went to crow creek and only brought the 2300 alone. I wish I had also brought the GBP so that I could follow a signal with iron discrimination to save lots of time. When I walked down there from the parking lot and started swinging I was finding nothing but bits and pieces of tiny rusted metal that fell off of all the trash metal in the area. I did find a couple spike looking things that were like small railroad spikes. They were deep and under big rocks so when the signal was faint I got excited until digging and scraping to get under the rocks. 30-45 minutes later the sound was screaming, dang big let down but I pulled the targets out anyways and checked the holes to see if there were anymore signals, nothing but trash. I was really hoping after clawing and digging so much for a good outcome. Next time I go there I will be bringing both machines to check for ferrous and non ferrous metals. That will save so much time and energy deciding whether to dig or not dig. 

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The GBP can be very helpful identifying hotrocks and you can quickly move past them once you get the hang of it.  What I've found with the GBP is the Fe3O4 bars shoot right up on positive hot rocks, mostly to full bars.  If the Fe3O4 bars are low, 0 to 2 bars I would think it is less likely to be a hot rock.  You can also take the Target ID as an indicator.  In the 25 to 55 range (some say gold can go right up to 75, I would think that must be big bits of gold) combined with low Fe3O4 reading is looking promising, combine that with a big drop in ground phase and I would be getting a bit excited.  The ZIP ZIP sound on the GBP is different on a hot rock to a bit of gold usually too, the ZIP ZIP won't be as crisp on a positive hotrock.  Negative hotrocks make a definite BOING sound and are easy to identify.  Don't be afraid to flick to discriminate mode to try identify a hotrock, if the target is still showing good when in discriminate it's time to dig!!!   The ground phase is very handy for hotrock identification too, if it drops on a target to between 0 and around 20 it's likely to be some form of metal, if it just drops a little bit or goes up above the ground balance number, it's likely to be a hotrock.  Make sure you ground balance it often.

I was in an area with a lot of hotrocks and found this worked for me, unfortunately there was no gold there, but plenty of shotgun pellets 🙂  I hope this helps you, it's certainly worth taking your GBP along as well as your SDC on all prospecting trips.   Take note of the magnet bit in the manual below.

1268867832_gbpscreen.jpg.a44db1beb0ba8ad424d30fc4beba7308.jpg

This may be useful from the GBP manual on hotrocks for you too

HOT ROCKS

A hot rock is a rock which causes the metal detector to sound off because the
rock contains iron minerals. They come in two basic types.
Negative hot rocks (also called cold rocks) are usually magnetite or
contain magnetite, and give a negative response because their ground
balance value is a higher number than the soil they are found in. They
tend to be dark in color, usually black, and usually heavy. In some cases
they will have rust stains. They are usually attracted to a magnet, and for
this reason gold prospectors always carry a magnet -- the ultimate
ferrous/nonferrous discriminator. In All Metal mode, negative hot rocks
produce a boing sound rather than the zip sound of a metallic target;
recognize the difference and you will learn to ignore them. As the
searchcoil passes over a hot rock, this boing sound, or negative response,
is quite distinctive. To hear this response, you must be properly Ground
Balanced and in All-Metal mode with an audible threshold hum. First, as
the center of the searchcoil passes over the negative hot rock, the
detector will go quite; the threshold hum momentarily silences. Then,
passing beyond the negative hot rock, you hear the boing sound. As you
pass the searchcoil back and forth over a negative hot rock, it will be
impossible to pinpioint and will seem as if it moves around.
Positive hot rocks are iron-bearing rocks which have been oxidized by
natural weathering processes so that their GRND BAL value is a number
lower than the soil they are found in. They are often small, right on the
surface, sound just like a gold nugget, and are common in many gold
prospecting areas. They are usually, but not always, drawn to a magnet.
They are most often reddish in color but are often black, brown, or yellow.
On relic hunting sites, red clay bricks and rocks which have lined a fireplace
or a campfire will often be hot rocks. The discriminator will usually eliminate
them without difficulty if widely scattered, but if there is a large concentration
of them, the discriminator may not quiet them all. In that case, you can
revert to the rule of thumb -- “don’t dig non-repeatable signals.”
Remember to always carry a magnet to help discriminate gold from hot rocks
and iron.

• Gold will not be attracted to a magnet.
• Pieces of iron will always be attracted to a magnet.
• Negative hot rocks will almost always be attracted to a magnet.
• Positive hot rocks will usually be attracted to a magnet.

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Thanks phrunt, I have been reading some of your content with your GBP and was excited to read about your trips because I have the same detector, only the small coil though. I know you have luck in actually finding gold with yours and would love to learn more about this machine. I’m trying to keep that nagging feeling at bay of wanting to get a GM1000 or EQ800 before I have luck with the GBP. I want to at least someday let the machine pay for itself before I get one of those beasts, and don’t get me started on the P.I. Side of wants. Haha

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The GBP is a very good detector, I've been up and down on it at times but that's because I really struggled to find a nugget with it, Now I have more of an understanding of how hard a nugget is to find in our area in the first place I can't blame the GBP for my poor results with it, there just isn't much gold to be found and I was looking in all the wrong places with it and to find it you need to put in far more effort than I was at the time.   It is more than capable of finding a lot of the gold I've found so far.  Kiwijw proved that to me one day when he had found a tiny little nugget with his GPZ and was yet to dig it but had the signal, he got me to come over with my GBP and see if it could see the signal, and it could, the signal was quite defined, the Target ID was showing in the gold range.  The great thing about the GBP is all the indicators it gives you on your target.  Ground phase, Target ID and Fe3O4 are all handy.  He dug it up after that and we used the GBP to pinpoint to find the little bit and it was quite deep, a fair few inches, I don't remember exact facts on it but I was impressed.

It can find very small gold, most of the tiny stuff I've found with the GM1000 and Equinox I have no doubt the GBP would find, the difference is the GM1000 makes a loud booming sound on the really tiny stuff, the GBP does loud zip zips on bigger stuff and small stuff to about .01 of a gram but under that doesn't even register on the Target ID at any depth over an inch or two and will just be a change in the threshold, not a loud zip zip so you have to be paying attention.

It ground balances very well and so easy to do.  I must say I prefer the 10" elliptical coil for it over the 5", it's just as hot as the 5" but covers more ground and the nose on it is super hot, great for getting into tight places.  The Nel Snake and Sharpshooter are also VERY good coils for it.  The Sharpshooter I think could possibly be better than the 10x5 and about the same size or 9.5 x 5.5.

The only reason you've not seeing me have more gold finds with it is because I don't use it much as the GM1000 is easier to find the tiny gold with it's louder boosted audio on the targets.   If I didn't own the GM and just used the GBP in those situations I doubt my finds tally would change much.

This chart says a fair bit even though I think it's skewed in shape to make the benefits look a lot better in favour of the GM1000

gold-monster-1000-performance-graph.jpg

Left is detectors such as the GBP in Green, far right is obviously the GB2 they're talking about and center being the Monster.  The GBP is slightly BETTER than the Monster in finding the larger nuggets around a gram and the GB2 slightly better at finding the tiny nuggets around .01g and lower.  The Monster is a happy medium detecting all sizes in that range reasonably well.   It all comes down to nugget sizes in your area, a GB2 going by that chart is not as good if your area has 1g nuggets, and a GBP is as not good if your area only has really really tiny fly poo nuggets.

Don't write your GBP off yet, if you persevere with it I'm sure you'll do fine, remember the gold has to be there for you to find it. Steve has done very well with his GBP in Alaska, whenever I was down on it I read this. 

and this

http://raregoldnuggets.com/?p=2420

It's all about time swinging and being in the right location.  I wish you luck.

 

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Very well said, after I had gotten back I read a very descriptive post from Steve about that place I went to and was able to paint a picture with my mind with what he was explaining. Now that I have a better understanding of what to look for I think when I go back I will have better luck. 😁 unfortunately most of the gold up here that I can think of is tiny stuff more suited for the GB2 or dredges with the rare nuggets around, don’t get me wrong because I’m sure there are still plenty of big ones out there. The GM1000 has me drooling though. I know better than to go straight out and get one even though I could get one without a second thought if I didn’t want to give my current ones a fair go first.  I didn’t research the machines before buying them just to put them on the shelf and get a different detector after not having luck. Oh man how I would enjoy having at least one friend that had an interest in this same hobby. I’d be having more outings and gaining experience much quicker than my current rate. As for the GBP I think I will be getting the 10x5 coil soon but I haven’t heard of the sharpshooter so that’s sparked my interest. It’s gotta be an online order so it could be some time before I could put it into use because my work schedule has me working 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. Thanks again phrunt

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I understand you wishing you knew someone else in the area with an interest in the hobby, if it wasn't for kiwijw helping me out I doubt I'd be doing very well at all, he's taught me a lot and shown me the way, once you start finding nuggets it becomes a bit easier to do it yourself though.  The first one is the hardest and once you get the confidence you'll be off!  Having someone there seems to give me confidence too for some reason, If I go alone I rarely find anything at all, if I go with kiwijw I rarely find nothing, bit of a puzzle that one.  I think it's the competition, he's always finding nuggets throughout the day, so I work my butt off to at least try find one and the added confidence he gives me as he's finding them so they must be there. 🙂  Nugget hunting isn't easy but it's a whole lot of fun, and when you find one the excitement is unbeatable.

The SDC should find you tiny gold well but I believe it excels more in highly mineralised ground finding the small stuff other detectors struggle with due to the mineralisation.  In already mild ground it's advantages aren't so pronounced.  My understanding is Alaska has pretty mild soils.

It's worth looking into the Sharpshooter, it's not a huge amount better than the stock 10" but I think it is slightly better, it's not a closed coil design though.

http://nel-coils.com/index.php/en/production/nel-big?layout=edit&id=416

I wouldn't overly worry about buying a coil though, the 5" is already the most sensitive to small gold other than the Nel Snake but it's not a huge amount more sensitive than the 5".  It's just small so harder to cover ground, try find some bedrock and search the cracks.

As I said before, there isn't very much my Monster has found me that my GBP wouldn't of.  The Monster just gets a bit more depth on the really tiny stuff.  I made the mistake of buying a heap of detectors when all it was is I didn't know how to use what I had already.  I needed to spend time on them before deciding they weren't doing the job. :laugh:  A lot of people have done really well in NZ with the GBP.

20180603_152734.jpg.1fa9fccedade4d3f883d

0.021 of a gram with my GBP.  Very small.....

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Greetings; I'm just outside of Wasilla. I have been to Crow Creek but not with detectors, so can't help you there. As for Hatcher, may I ask whereabouts did you detect in Hatcher? Most of the Hatcher zone is off limits unless you own/ have access to a claim; and pretty much the whole region is claimed, and for some time now the lands the claims are located on is private property -- the owners of the claim own the land and own the mineral rights too, not just a state or federal claim on state or federal lands, but is their patented claim, which simply means private property including private ownership of the land and its surface/ subsurface minerals. All of those old mines are patented claims and privately owned lands now; and some of those old mines are active mines. Venture onto that land without written permission and you're at extreme high risk for liabilities -- it's considered not just trespassing but the intent to commit theft of minerals locatable on those patented claims.

As for Independence Mine, not just the mine itself but the entire perimeter of the historical site -- which covers a large area; extends down to the road thru the pass; includes most of Skyscraper mountain, etc -- forbids detectors. All historical sites in the state have this law; and laws actually state it's illegal to have a detector in your possession. It doesn't even need to be in your hands; need not even be in use! If you are driving through or parked within the zone (Independence Mine State Historical Area), and have a detector in your vehicle, you're violating State statutes and can be fined rather substantially/ put on courtview and facebook. And I suspect they're fine-happy rather than prone to give warnings, same as ADFG/ AST, are likely intolerant of non-awareness and instead, giving of fines and court dates.

Summit Lake is an AK State Park/ Recreational Area and those lands are also off limits; cannot do any digging nor defacing of vegatation in any Alaska State Park/ Recreational Area/ Wild & Scenic River, etc. The Hatcher Public Use area may allow detectors but I'd advise verifiying it via a call to the DNR or visiting their Anchorage office for info. I have only panned there. I have access to claims in Hatcher on upper Willow Creek but haven't detected there yet, just dredging and sluicing in the past. Unrelated to detecting, for a business project underway, I'm in the process of gaining permission to access old lode gold mines; wish to climb to the tailings and inspect/ photograph certain things. However, not even that is easily gained. Miners here by and large are wary and guarded and rightly so, the commercial mine owners and patented claim owners especially due to liabilities. So my advice before heading out is checking DNR online mapping system so you know what coordinates are off limits and plug these into your GPS/ cell phone so as to avoid risk of inadvertant trespass and/or claim jumping, or detecting in state/ federal areas that prohibit it. 

What I repeatedly find -- and find extremely frustrating -- is in much of the state, detecting is allowed yet searching for what is detected is prohibited; you can use a detector, but you cannot disturb the ground, nor disturb nor deface any vegetation, nor break a root, etc. So basically, detector use in the way a detector is meant to be used, is forbidden. No one uses a detector just to get a signal then move on to the next signal, never doing any digging to find the target. Yet the state laws and municipal and borough codes expect this and issue fines and court dates if you violate it. Thus, no City of Wasilla property including but not limited to parks allows you to use a detector and dig for a target. Since becoming a detectorist last summer I have discovered more restrictions for detecting, than restrictions/ regs for fishing and hunting combined, which is quite the statement but accurate. It's ridiculous and frustrating ... detecting/ digging targets is no more destructive to riparian habitat than digging to feed a sluice and dredging over cobbles where salmon fry thrive. But convince the state employees of that and don't hold your breath.

All of this nonsense is largely why I opted to buy a mining claim for my own exclusive use and now own claims in different gold bearing districts just so that I have unrestricted access to detect at will. Problem with that, however, is the state demands a percent of your gold! So it's best to not go the claims route unless you're really heavily centered on full scale mining with excavators and dozers in addition to detectors, and that's where I am likely headed. 

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Hello Mac,

I have only detected in the public use area along the little sue river with no luck other than hitting hot rocks. Before I went swinging out there I was aware of the consequences and was kind of worried. I called a number and was able to talk to a park trooper I think? He told me I can use a detector as long as I stayed by the streams where the soil is not vegetative and not to venture away from the streams. He said I can get into trouble if I were to detect away from streams and were to disturb the soil in its natural state. Lots of rules to abide by and thanks for the reminder that I should call again before checking out different spots to be sure I’m not breaking any rules by accident and suffer the consequences. Definitely steer clear of the independence mine because that is illegal. Ahhh a fellow detectorist around my neck of the woods? I just recently got into it myself and don’t know anybody with the same hobby. Maybe in the future we could meet up somewhere and have a go with our detectors? Just a thought and a hope anyways.😁

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Good post Mac, lots of valuable information for anyone in your area.  The rules seem a bit tough.

Here is a good video of an SDC2300 finding a little nugget in a creek in NZ Boogness.... this is the sort of thing you need to get doing with it 🙂

 

I had my best day ever with my Gold monster in a similar situation so I can really relate to this video.  Creeks are too cold at the moment though, last time I had a creek a few weeks ago I came out purple 🙂  I can't wait to take the Nox with 6" coil there for another try.  I'm going to take the GBP with the little snake coil there in summer too to give it a run as that coil is so small it will get up into lots of the crevices nothing else can.

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