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Detector Prospector Magazine

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Everything posted by Lanny

  1. Many thanks Fred for saying so, truly appreciated. All the best, Lanny
  2. More Nuggets In The Bedrock TipsOne Saturday, June 14th, I got ready to head to the hills to try to find some gold. I grabbed my pulse machine, and I picked up my partner. We drove the four hours to get to the gold fields. The day was incredibly beautiful. We cached our equipment in the outfitters tent we always set up for the season and went out with the detectors to find some gold. The week before, I'd finally found a nugget on the slate cliffs.My buddy headed off to stomp some ground he'd been saving, and I went to a gully that had always intrigued me, but one that had consistently skunked me. The old-timers had done a massive amount of hand mining in this area, with stacks of rocks piled all over, and it's shallow to bedrock in quite a few places. There's massive old pines, and lots of guts, shallow little washes, with cast up boulders everywhere.Well, what I'd noticed on previous trips, was that someone had moved a lot of hand-stacks from places that were shallow to bedrock, lots of them. So, they must have moved them for a reason. However, I'd tried detecting those places with my Minelab pulse machine, and I'd never found anything but little steel and brass boot tacks, as well as the ubiquitous square nails from the 1800's gold rush.I started detecting along the exposed bedrock, generously uncovered by someone else. All at once, I got a whisper amplified by my enhancer. So, I kept scrubbing that coil over that faint bump in the threshold signal with the coil right tight on the bedrock. (To elaborate, the friable Slate bedrock is in up-faulted sheets, the tips broken in fractured finger-like projections.) With my pick, I worried out any loose bits of rock and soil, scanned again, and there was a sweet, mellow signal. With no soil or gravel to work, I started to pry out pieces of the bedrock but scanned after removing each piece. Having now exposed a small space in the bedrock, the tip of my small sniping coil fit it nicely, and the signal was coming right through one of those sheets of bedrock, the piece perpendicular to the surface.I kept carefully breaking the rock and scanning, and I noticed that the signal was moving, not getting any louder, but moving deeper. The target still had that soft, sweet sound, no harsh-edged tone. So, I removed a chunk of that sheet and the signal remained stationary, no drop. I looked and I saw a golden glow, a nice, flat nugget. I called my buddy over to see the nugget, and then I was ready to move to an adjacent spot, but my wiser buddy suggested that I scan the hole again--Duh! Sometimes I forget the basics, so I scanned again, and I got another signal! I retrieved another flat nugget, one lodged tightly between two sheets of bedrock, about an inch from where the other nugget was.Then I really went to work on that little area--about two foot square--but no more signals. But, the bedrock sloped away downhill, and I noticed two inches of small, gravelly overburden and clay covering it. I scanned it, but no signal. However, and this is important, I took my pick and cleaned off all the dirt, every bit, then scanned it again, another sweet whisper.I broke the sheets of bedrock, but the nuggets dropped quickly every time the bedrock was disturbed. Nevertheless, I got two more nice, flat nuggets that way, and one of them was bent on the end, as it was lodged in a perpendicular crack. So, I took out four nice small nuggets from a section of bedrock about ten feet long, a minor patch. I scraped around in the bedrock farther down the gulch, but got skunked.I went back to the Outfitters tent to get some grub, geared up again and went to another spot that's always looked good, a place also cleared by someone eager to get to the bedrock. I used the same slow, "scrubbing the bedrock" technique, but got blanked.It was getting dark, and I went up over a big sheet of bedrock that had a lot of slump on it, a spot loaded with square nails. I got a sharp signal, moved the dirt and a square nail flew to the super-magnet. Remembering my buddy's counsel, I scanned the spot again. Once again, that same soft, sweet tone I'd found earlier.Only this time, the bedrock was different, solid, no leaves or sheets, just solid, hard stuff. I worked hard with my pick, went down a couple of inches, and out popped a nice, flat, nugget. By this time, I was beginning to think that maybe this was my day, and I'd better scan the spot again. Perhaps there was something lucky or sound in that technique. I did, and there was another signal, but I could not break the rock anymore with my pick.So, I headed back to the tent for a masonry chisel and my small sledge, and a flashlight because it was dark! My buddy came back with me, and he made the bedrock chips fly. Every time he chipped out a chunk, I'd scan again, and the signal got louder. Yet, down four inches, the signal moved. Up on the side of the hole, in some bits and broken chunks of rock, the signal rang sharp and clear. Nestled in it was a little beauty with a pot belly and a very flat end.I rattled the gold around in my gold bottle, six sassy nuggets in one day! It seems when the gold finally comes, it does so with a rush. Update: I went back later to that solid bedrock with the Falcon MD 20 and got a couple more grams of gold from those cracks!All the best, Lanny
  3. Another tip, High up bedrock.I was out one day digging a whole bunch of old boot tacks from long since disintegrated miner's boots! The little nails were all over the place, including down in crevices, well rusted or (for the non-ferrous) green with patina. I was also finding the little tips from old square nails, so I knew there were still targets to be found.I found a few pieces of lead, from spent bullets, a steel button from an 1800's miner's shirt, a couple of pieces of wire, and many, many square nails, as well as a few more modern nails from the 1930's.After digging a palm full of nails, I went down to a spot on the river that has always intrigued me, but one I've been handcuffed from detecting. The old-timers washed lots of gravel over this notch in the cliff: it's an area of high slate cliffs, where the slate has been sluffing off eons. I've always looked up at those cliffs and thought, that with all the jagged protruding edges, some gold must have been trapped, especially with all the sluice runs sent over the edge, including the virgin material that had eroded over the cliff before the miners started their workings.Anyway, I've never been able to find anything but small flakes trapped in that jagged bedrock, and these discoveries were made by panning. However, I decided to walk along the base of that cliff to detect it.Well, I hit all kinds of square nails, and spent bullets (I found a nice old 44 caliber slug too, and a big bore rifle slug with grease grooves), as well as bits of copper and brass wire. Being somewhat frustrated, I decided to cut some footholds up the slump at the base of the cliff, enabling me to reach higher up the cliff with my detector.Almost instantly, I got a signal. I pinpointed it easily, cut some more steps with my pick so I could get up to the signal, and then I trapped it in the scoop. The target was the rusted tip of a square nail.I rested the coil as I stepped back down and the coil swept through an arc over a new spot and gave a crisp signal. I stayed put on the cliffside and scanned the spot again. Of course, my brain was saying, "It's another piece of trash."I reached up gingerly with my super-magnet to see if a nail would jump out, but none did. I say I reached up gingerly because the whole area of dirt holding the signal would have gone scurrying down the cliff, and you know what a nightmare it is to try to find a target after that happens.No metal jumped to the super magnet, but the target could easily be copper, or a sliver of lead, or another non-ferrous boot tack!I carefully inserted the tip of my scoop where the coil had pinpointed the signal. I saw a golden flash as the dirt poured into the scoop! I worked my way back down the slump to a level spot, scanned the scoop, and there was a nice crisp, mellow growl. I sifted the material onto the coil and heard a whap!, then a scream from the coil. I gently moved the particles around and there grinning up at me was a sassy nugget.I now have lots of new area to search, difficult though it will be.All the best, Lanny
  4. Checking old hand-stacks of rock and old bedrock workings I ran into a guy from the Yukon a few years ago while I was up in north-central British Columbia, and he was running a big placer operation in the Yukon. He told me that they always pushed off the piles of hand stacked rocks from the old-timers and then they carefully checked the bedrock underneath with detectors for gold. Not only were there nuggets the old-timers had missed, there were sometimes virgin strips of ground that he said were incredibly rich. He explained it this way: in the rush to mine the bedrock, the old-timers had stacked their rock piles over virgin ground, and then got too busy, or rushed on to new diggings, etc., and they never got back to the virgin dirt they'd buried in the first place.I know of a nugget shooter that found an incredibly rich patch under such a pile of rocks. He took out hundreds of small nuggets, and some nice fat ones too, and the strip was only about three feet wide at its widest point!This makes me think of tales some old-timers up north told me of how mining companies were in a hurry to get to the bedrock, and to quickly get the chunky gold, kind of like skimming thick cream off of milk and not really caring about the milk underneath, and that some of those companies were very sloppy in their recovery. As well, there were always other rushes going on that lured them away to "better" ground.There are countless piles of hand-stacked rocks where I'm working, and I've winched rocks off before and found good gold. In fact, in the area I'm referring to, for years nugget shooters have been winching the boulders off the bedrock, and they've recovered a lot of nice nuggets as the detectors can see what the old-timers could not possibly visualize in that bedrock. All the best, Lanny
  5. Now, for a few things I've learned about working bedrock.When checking bedrock, always look very closely at the surface. Clear all of the material off of it first. Moreover, any clay, and associated material, that is sticking close to the bedrock, carefully save it, so you can pan it out. This means that you'll need some sniping instruments to clean out all the visible cracks and crevices as well.Go to a wholesale supply store, a place that sells lots of various hardware/automotive items, to get some things. Several screwdrivers of various sizes is a place to start. Take a slot screwdriver, place it in a vice then bend a couple of inches of the end into an "L". This will make the screwdriver into a little digging/scraping tool, very handy for cleaning out crevices. You might buy an awl as well to use for probing. Also, if you can find them, you can buy dental-type instruments--they come in all kinds of hook and scraping conformations, making them excellent for working narrow crevices, and they're made of stainless steel, making them robust and not prone to rust.As well, buy several sizes of wire brushes, from the small, almost toothbrush sized ones to the larger ones that you'd scrape a wall for painting preparation. You'll need a variety of chisel sizes as well to break open crevices: the good gold goes down deep, and even if the crevice is narrow, it wasn't always that way. I've taken nice nuggets out of crevices that were far too narrow at the top to let in the nuggets they held.This opens up all kinds of theories as to how the nuggets got there, but regardless, they are there, so it's irrelevant how they got there. Bust open those crevices until you're sure you're at the bottom, and rip up the bedrock bottom--a note on this later.A note on chisels: you can buy ones that have a protective shield on them so you don't smash you hands and fingers. To run the chisels, you'll need a small sledge. Buy a fibreglass handled one as they're much tougher than the wooden ones, and the water doesn't affect them. As well, paint your sniping tools fluorescent orange--trust me, you'll leave things laying around and it's much easier to spot them later.You'll need a variety of brushes, from stiff bristles to softer ones as well. Also, you'll need something to sweep your sniping concentrates into. Those little plastic shovels that kids take to the beach work well for tight places, and plastic dust pans work great in larger areas. A plastic gardening/planting scoop works wonders too. It's also a good idea to have to have a steel one as well; they're a lot tougher for digging.Stainless steel spoons of various sizes are handy for digging and for collecting, and sometimes a tough, small plastic spoon will work in a pinch. An important point, that I'll now address, is that after you've cleared all the visible cracks and crevices, and cleared and or washed the bedrock down, take a very close look at the bedrock to see if you can notice any subtle differences (colour, texture, folding, etc.). Also, watch out for a purple stain with any adhering clay as for whatever the reason, this purple colour sometimes indicates hidden crevices and gold.To elaborate a bit on the bedrock's subtle differences, the reason for this is that sometimes, eons ago, the stream was running little bits of material the exact same colour as the bedrock. This material, in combination with binding minerals, formed a matrix that cemented in cracks and crevices, and often, gold was already trapped in those crevices. The cemented material makes the crevices virtually invisible, but if you look very closely, and if you chip away at any suspicious looking spots, you may discover a hidden, once invisible crevice. Furthermore, any cemented material should be carefully crushed and panned as I've found a lot of nice gold this way.Now, the best way to find these obscure crevices is with a detector if the nuggets are big enough. I've found many a sassy nugget completely hidden in camouflaged crevices. Moreover, the matrix is as strong as the host bedrock, and the bedrock will break off with the matrix while chiseling the nuggets out. Always work well to the sides, and above or below the target signal, so you don't damage the nugget as you chisel it out.This is where it's critical that you have the right detector for the temperature of the bedrock--by temperature I mean that a cool temperature would be a low mineralized bedrock that a VLF would run smoothly on; and by hot I mean bedrock that only a premium pulse or GPZ type machine will operate on. If your current detector just screams and gives up on hot bedrock, go borrow or buy one that will run on that bad bedrock just to be sure you're not missing gold. Moreover, if any of you have further tips on sniping, I'd love to hear them as well. I know there's always more I need to learn.All the best,Lanny in AB
  6. No idea either, but perhaps you should get on YouTube and post a picture and ask MeMiner about it. He knows a lot about rocks plus he's from your eastern neck of the woods. All the best, Lanny
  7. Great post, love the pictures. All the best, Lanny
  8. The things that make us stop . . . . This is a very interesting read, and I enjoyed reading it. Nicely done, and all the best, Lanny
  9. Yes, all is well, just been travelling a lot lately so not on the forums while doing that. (Home for a bit now.) When the big freeze up here ends, I'll be out chasing the gold again. All the best, Lanny
  10. JW, I love your response and your insight to how we get burned out by weather, tiredness, etc. and start to convince ourselves not to dig. Your response is right on the money, or should I say, right on the nugget? Regardless, great response full of wisdom for those willing to pay attention. All the best, Lanny
  11. Truer words were never spoken . . . . All the best, Lanny
  12. This is a solid gold post that needs to be internalized by every serious nugget shooter. Nicely stated!! All the best, Lanny
  13. Steve, your pictures of your non-nugget finds sure brings back a lot of fond and sometimes not so fond detecting memories. All the best, Lanny
  14. Gary, I just wrote a piece about this very topic for all those that get discouraged early in the game . . . . All the best, and thanks for your insight, Lanny
  15. Discouraged at not finding a nugget?I've been doing some reflecting lately on the topic of finding that first nugget.I've read many posts on this forum over the years of people that buy a nugget machine, but then they're quickly discouraged after a few trips to the gold fields, and then they get discouraged and either sell their machines or let them die a slow death in a dark, claustrophobic space somewhere.I keenly remember how many targets I dug before I ever found my first nugget.I started off chasing gold nuggets with a Garret Scorpion Gold Stinger way back when, and I actually got some good signals on a river bank way up north one day, but all I recovered were square nails. Now, the reason I bring this up is that the next year, I went back to the same spot, but Mother Nature had torn up that bank and exposed nuggets and square nails a plenty!If I'd have stuck with the Stinger, I'd have likely found the nuggets among the square nails from the 1800's, but I simply got discouraged with digging so many square nails. However, now that I reflect back on that river bank, many things make a lot of sense today that made no sense then.For instance, the square nails were there because they were heavies that were being drawn out of the current by a big suction eddy, the bedrock on that bank being shallow underneath the river run. The abundance of nails should have been my first clue that I should have slowed down and investigated throughly, but I didn't do so as I was a green rookie. Nevertheless, the next year when I returned, I was running a sluice and running the bank material through it, and that's when I hit the nuggets (along with lots of square nails). In fact, that bedrock was such a good trap, I actually found nuggets by eyeballing them as I cleared off the overburden!However, I've wandered from my original topic, and I'll now address it by telling about all of the junk I dug before I ever found a nugget with my detector. That second year, as mentioned above, I went back to the gold country with a shiny new Minelab SD 2100. (The previous year, my prospecting buddy had found nuggets with his Minelab 1700 while all I found was trash. I actually put the trash I found in 4-litre ice cream pails, so I had a record of what I was recovering.)In the pails I've mentioned, I had bits of copper wire, spent rifle and pistol cartridges (which always sound sweet), musket balls of various calibers (which also sound sweet), pistol rounds of various calibers (lead sure makes a sweet sound!), bits of blasting caps, many ends of square nails, lots of intact square nails of various sizes, lead sealing portions from tinned food, lead keys from meat tins, bits of rusted tin cans, steel wire of various gauges, lids from small tinned goods, bottle caps going back to the birth of bottled goods, bits of harmonica reeds, gears and parts of old watches, shotgun bb's and cartridge ends of various calibers and sizes, wire mesh bits, boot tacks (steel and non-ferrous), bits of aluminum, chunks of copper sheeting, as well as other junk I can't recall right now. The point is, I kept on digging and collecting because there was no discrimination on the SD 2100, so I dug everything, but with detectors that had discrimination (my buddy had the Gold Bug, the Minelab 1700, a friend had a Whites with discrimination), they would not handle the extreme mineralization where the best gold was. Therefore, I had to slug it out with the 2100 day after day.The buckets kept filling up, but no nuggets . . . .That is, until one day, when I'd been detecting a spot with lots of hand-mining test holes from the 1930's, my fortunes changed. As the spot was littered with round nails, I'd been digging a lot of them that day, plus I was recovering lots of bits of rusted tin from cans as well as bits of wire and screen. Nevertheless, on the rim of a test pit, I hit signals all the way around the top and sides of the excavation. I recovered round nail, round nail, round nail, round nail, but then something heavy hit my palm that was just under the moss. It didn't feel like a nail at all. It was my first nugget and a multi-pennyweight/multi-gram beauty. I still have it and will likely always have it for sentimental reasons as it represented when the dam broke, so to speak.For after that find, on the same trip, I recovered a slew of multi-pennyweight/multi-gram nuggets. It was like there was some kind of invisible barrier that I'd finally breached, and the nuggets have kept on coming ever since.So, to those of you that are discouraged, that are thinking of hanging up or banishing your detector after a few outings, you have the right to do so, but there seems to be an up-front price to pay for nugget hunting, one that can't be substituted with any other option.On a related note, my son has found many nuggets, but right now he's been tuning his brain for finding coins and rings, and he's doing very well. I gave him a detector and told him to put in at least 200 hours to learn his detector, and he's done so, and is now finding silver and gold rings. For any of you that hunt rings, you know how challenging that can be, but the reason he really knows his detector is because he's invested the time, along with good techniques, to go find the kind of targets he wants to keep. Does he still find trash? Yes, lots. Do I still find trash, of course, all kinds.The message I'm broadcasting is to go put in the time, to use proper techniques, to go to the places where gold has been found, and eventually you'll get your coil over a nugget.Point in case, I have a nephew that's chased the gold for a few years with a detector I gave him. He's found a lot of trash, but he'd never found a nugget, that is, until last winter down in Arizona. He finally got his coil over a beauty. He's off to Arizona again to try his luck this winter, and I'm betting he'll get his coil over some gold again . . . .All the best,Lanny
  16. I would love the same, nicely stated. All the best, Lanny
  17. Warning! Annual Prospecting Poetry. The New Year’s ShiftNow Blackjack Bill rode the outlaw trailBut he somehow dodged the marshal’s jail.He’d rustle cows when his poke was slim,Then rob a stage if the mood hit him.He tried his hand at the minin’ gameThen dreamt up ways to improve his claim!He’d salt it hard, and he’d salt it good.Just to fleece big shots because he could.But Blackjack Bill wasn’t rotten throughDeep down inside were his good points too.With lines right clear in his brain defined,They formed a gulf from his outlaw mind.Now women folks was a point in case,He’d see no harm nor cause disgrace.Well, killin’ folks was a big no, no.Would he rob the poor? That weren’t a go.The rotten rich and the proud were game,And anyone else of haughty fame.***********************************In the minin’ camp one winter’s day,A gang of scum cast their lot to stay.Some deeds were done in the dark of nightAnd the camp soon knew an awful plight.A widowed gal who had lost her manGot her nest egg stole from her coffee can!A peg-legged man with a humble storeHad the windows smashed on his new front door.The camp’s new church, with its copper spireWas set ablaze by an arson’s fire.Two guards was shot, at the mine payroll,That gang of trash took a fearsome toll.They roughshod rode every night and day;The marshal shot when he made his play.So, Blackjack Bill of the outlaw breedRenounced his past with a brand-new deed.The shiny star which the marshal’d wore,Was pinned on Bill ‘cause he was sore! With Bill as boss, he could choose his crew,At the mines he’d find the right type too.His posse new was the perfect thingTo rout that gang, and to make them swing.On New Year’s Eve, with his worthy menHe cleaned them out at their bandit den.Well, Blackjack’s shift was a thing to stay.It stuck with him to his dyin’ day.All the best,Lanny
  18. Warning! Annual prospecting poetry!! The Ballad of Shifty Eye and Curly Sue:A handsome thing, named Shifty Eye,Just never worked, nor would he try.Yet he was always flush with dough.Well, this set folks to wonder soJust where that Shifty got his cash.Was Shifty doin’ something brash?Like robbin’ sluices in the dark?At night the dogs would often bark . . .Some clean-ups seemed a little thin.Was this that Shifty’s sure-fire win?So, guards was set at every claimTo see if this were Shifty’s aim.In spite of this, they never foundIf Shifty had been sniffin’ ‘roundThat sluiced up gold of Montanny,Fer Shifty, he was right canny.All dressed in black on darkest night,He’d rob a sluice and do it right.He never took the total take,As that would be a huge mistake.A bit from here, a pinch from there,He’d do his shopping everywhere!Yes, equal opportunityDescribed his actions perfectly.He wasn’t dumb, nor was he thickHis brain was rather quick and slickIt helped him tune his robber’s game,That is, till trouble one night came.T’was New Year’s Eve, when he got caught,Plumb lucky that he wasn’t shot.A doe-eyed gal named Curly SueDrew down on Shifty, froze him true.But Sue was lookin’ for some fun,‘Cause shootin’ someone with a gunCreates a sort of end to things,And Sue was thinkin’ wedding things! She’d loved that Shifty from the start;The love got rooted in her heartWhen first she’d spied him on the street.Since then, Sue’d thought him mighty sweet.She yelled fer Pa up in their shackA ten-gauge shotgun he did pack!“Now look-ee here” her pa declared,“A sluice box robber, mighty scared.”A miner’s court was called right quickWith Shifty lookin’ mighty sick.They had that Shifty dead to rightsFer robbin’ sluices all those nights.A necktie party soon would beThe thing to stop his robbery.But Sue declared, she loved the sotThe miner’s court devised a plot . . .A shotgun wedding was the plan,They all agreed, down to a man,To hold a spree that New Year’s Eve.(They had no will fer Sue to grieve.)A priest was brung—some duds was found.The miners gathered all aroundWhile Shifty married up with Sue,On New Year’s Eve of ’62.A handsome thing named Shifty EyeLearned how to work and even try.And Curly Sue was sure happyShe’d found a way to wed Shifty.Happy New Year, and all the best,Lanny
  19. Interesting story and finds, nicely done! All the best, and thanks for posting, Lanny
  20. That is correct. The first one dollar coins after the large, traditional silvers or the follow-up same-size large mostly steel coins, had a loon on one side, thus the "loonie", then when the two dollar coin came out, they had a contest, and the name "toonie" won it. On a side note, when compared to the cartoons "Loonie Toones" it's a rather funny pun for the two coins. All the best from the current land of the chosen frozen, Lanny
  21. Thanks for the coinage tutorial, much appreciated that you took the time to put it all together. All the best, Lanny
  22. Great looking chunk of niceness! All the best, Lanny
  23. Ever heard of the song lyrics, "Nothing from nothing leaves nothing"? Could have been the tune you were humming as you left . . . All the best, Lanny
  24. Phrunt, do you mean gold-coloured 1 and 2 dollar coins? Surely not solid gold? We have one and two dollar coins, and my son is finding lots of them with a detector I gave him this summer--quick way to grab some cash, better than chasing dimes and quarters . . . All the best, Lanny
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