I finally broke down and bought my first metal detector. I caught the gold bug while working at my last job. I worked for a company that sat on huge piles of dredge tailings and it also had a creek that ran through the property. I used to pan the creek sometimes during the week and pick up some minor gold. The whole process was very enjoyable and it got me started on the path of researching old CA gold mines.
I bought the Minelab 800. So far it has been a bit of a learning curve, but this is the first detector I have ever used. Im sure it will probably get better with some practice.
Just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to those that have no idea who I am or what I'm up to.
I mainly metal detect for nuggets now (chased the gold in Alaska, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, north-central British Columbia, south-eastern British Columbia, Alberta, but now I spend almost all of my time chasing the gold in British Columbia, Canada), used to dredge, sluice, high-bank, snipe, etc., (still do a bit for fun) but for more than a few years now, I've been associated with a large-scale placer operation, one that has slapped on me the title of their mining consultant. Sounds grandiose, however in no way is it, but they like to have me do testing for them with my detectors after they've finished cleaning a section of bedrock with their massive, heavy equipment.
Why have me on site? To see what they're missing. Furthermore, after I've finished poking around, they've gone back and taken more bedrock (sometimes several feet) at times when I get a lot of gold in a hurry (or they've headed in another direction if there's a good line of pay shooting off under the overburden away from where they were trending), and other times when there's hardly any gold found with the detectors, they bury that bedrock right quick. It's a win, win situation for both of us as they value what I can do with my machines, and I value the privilege of the incredible opportunity. Their only caveat is that I can't tell the total weight of the gold I find to anyone outside of their crew (and I always must report it to them), but hey, who can't live with that, right? Oh, and they let me keep what I find, won't take a percentage (I've tried many times).
In addition, I know a lot of other claim and lease owners that have properties they're not currently working, ones with abandoned excavations and sites, or ones they haven't got to yet, and they love to have me snoop around with my detectors as well, and if I find anything promising, they set up and get after the gold. I've been doing that for quite a few years, but I still like to check out unfamiliar, un-staked ground too.
In addition, I like to write stories about my gold hunting outings, and oftentimes, I'll include information for any rookies out there that are trying to figure things out as they get started. Why? That's how I got started; a few good people (my original mentor is now 88) took me under their wing and taught me the ropes (a few clichés too many in that sentence, I know).
My one son is now a dedicated nugget shooter (the other one lives thousands of kms away), and I love training him, plus my wife is now onboard with chasing the gold (she used to love panning my dredge concentrates, always heavy with goodies and always a good time for her and my mother-in-law [yeah, I know, sometimes the word fun and mother-in-law don't get used together in the same sentence]), and I'm ordering my wife a shiny new detector this winter because she's seen what we're getting (she loves to pan down our scoops of quick finds from the detectors which we slap in the pans when they're target rich for her to have some fun with; we call that speed-panning as it saves us the downtime of isolating the positive signals out of the scoop each and every time, giving us bonus time swinging the coils).
Looking forward to get to know many of you, and some of you I already consider friends from associations on other forums . . .
All the best,
A couple years ago I got back into detecting. I retired my 1990's Bounty Hunter and snagged an AT Pro and last year picked up a Tesoro Tejon which quickly became my favorite machine. I stumbled on this site when I heard rumors of Tesoro possible shutdown as I was looking for a Sand Shark.
Nice forum, has some nice info here and people seem pleasant.
By Jean-Luc Lejoly
My name is Jean-Luc, my spouse and myself live in Arizona, we both work from home, and have been doing hobby prospecting in various locations in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico for the last couple years, on claims by the GPAA or the desert Gold diggers. We even had the chance to go to the Cripple river claims of the GPAA, for the last ever week it was offered via the GPAA. Because we are working from home both, we are contemplating of moving for a period of one year to Alaska, as long as we can work from there. We need the ability to get from there with ease to the remaining US once a month or so for a couple days for our jobs. We also need very good internet access to be able to do our jobs. Thus likely it would be in Anchorage that we would have to settle (unless some of you folks here know of other places in Alaska with very good direct connections to Chicago, Dallas or Atlanta and good internet).
We are in the early planning stages of our move. I am a very good 'McYver' and always have build my recirculating sluices myself. Of course as part of the move to Alaska we would like during the right season do some more serious gold prospecting on the weekends and even for a couple continuous weeks when I can take off.
I hope there are decent locations available not to far from Anchorage where this is possible. I am willing of course to lease or even buy a claim, All depends on the price and location. When I say not too far, I speak 3/4 hours away. I do have 4x4 vehicles (Jeep Wrangler and truck).( Hints are welcome)
We likely would build some kind of an all in one trailer containing the sluice or trommel setup and a portable pump with sufficient hoses. I do not know yet if that is the right way to go, but it likely would cur done on the setup time and so forth. (Any tips on this from you folks are welcome). No Tip is bad. Heck even remarks saying that is an awfull Idea would be taken into consideration. As I am used trucking in and out my water (an AZ thing), I would even be OK looking at claims that need that in ALASKA (higher up perhaps, or not along water).
This is our start of looking into this. We are OK with rent around $2500/month. We would need a fenced yard, (as we have some dogs). And of course storage place for our gear. Besides that another hobby of mine is skydiving, so if there is a skydive place in the area that definitely is a plus.
So here it is. I really hope t hear from some of you. Who knows a friendship may come from this.
Have a wonderful day, and may the bottom of your pan turn yellow.