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  1. Last Thursday/Friday we had some very consistent rain. Two days & two nights of pretty heavy rain. That is very unusual for the Queenstown area. It didnt seem that cold but when it cleared snow was low down in the hills. This from our front door. Still a bit cloudy. By late afternoon it had stopped raining so I decided to get out for a local detect. I ended up going back to the last little spot where I got 3 bits for .76 of a gram . With the wet ground I liked my chances of getting more off the same ground. I E-Biked in there & there was snow on the tops. This looking across to a lateral glacial moraine that has been cut through by that trickle of water over time. This trickle is usually dry & only flows with snow melt or heavy rain. Looking in the opposite direction more snow on the tops & schist bedrock in the foreground that has had gold in it. Despite my confidence the signals were not coming. I finally got a signal over some bedrock that I had detected the time before & had got nothing. This time it was a definite signal. The damp ground had brought it to life. Hacking into the schist bedrock & peeling it out before the signal finally had moved. It still took a bit to isolate it & get it in my hand. But gold it was. .22 of a gram. But that was it. Oh well....at least I beat the skunk. The next day Mrs JW was keen to go out somewhere. She had twisted her ankle badly & has been two weeks on crutches. She was sick of being cooped up inside & not able to get around very easily. She wanted a change of scenery & was content to just head off up into the hills. Even if it still meant just sitting in my truck. So off we went. I hadn't been detecting over this way for quite a while & the last two months has been lambing time so I had not really even considered it. I called in to see the farmer & to ask which paddocks to keep out of. He said the lambs were far enough advanced & I could go anywhere. So that was good. I was amazed to see how much snow they had over this way up in the hills. He told me that they had had 58mm of rain in the last two days. That is close to two & a half inches. The grass had gone mental so that wasn't going to be too good for my detecting. Good for the farmer though as this time of the year it can be pretty dry. I decided to go higher up in the hills where hopefully the grass growth hadn't gone too crazy. I got over to Doug's Gully, as l call it, & dropped down into it. Mrs JW had no phone signal down in the gully so I drove up to the top of the spur for her. Meant I had to walk back down. A few days earlier that snow in the background was all gone. Oh well.....down to the gully & the old turned over gully floor piles. I have detected this gully countless times with all my gold detectors & I usually always still come away with some gold. Albeit small bits these days. What would today hold? I was backing the wet conditions & damp ground to really help me out here. I took down the Zed & the GB2. I still have a soft spot for the GB2. It has found me numerous small bits down there but so to has the Gold Monster. But I chose the GB2 today. In fact I started with the GB2 as I wasn't feeling very confident with the Zed. On getting down to the gully floor & in all the times I have been down here I have never ever seen any water in this gully. Let alone any flowing water. There is a first time for everything. 5 minutes into it I had my very first signal. Could have been a shogun pellet. But it wasn't .03 of a gram. 10 feet away another signal. Purple flowers are wild thyme bush flowers. It is that time of the year. Another small bit of gold. Looking up the gully & the old turned over piles. Looking down gully I decided to detect down the gully. Nothing for an hour & a half but shot gun pellets. I worked my way back up to the Zed with no more gold to show. So I swapped over to the Zed & retired the GB2. It had saved a skunk any way. I wasnt too long in getting a nice mellow signal with the Zed. The photo doesn't do justice to the depth of the dig but it was a bit of gold. I was just detecting the old timer piles as I have done countless times before. The damp conditions were certainly giving me an edge today. Another signal. This looking up the gully & over a few of the old piles. Another bit of the good stuff. But small. .03 of a gram with the Zed & its 14" coil. I was on fire. The signals & gold kept coming off these piles And the signals kept coming As did the gold Looking down gully. The back filled hole to the right of the GB2 was the last piece. This the next piece & ended up being my last before heading out. All up 7 pieces for just .89 of a gram. 2 for the GB2 & 5 for the mighty Zed. The damp conditions helping me out again. The next day was my E-Bike mission with Simon of which you have had that story from Simon, Phrunt. These are the two bits that I ended up with. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  2. Hi all just like to share a pic of my hunt over the Melbourne Cup long week end. All found with the 7000. Hope everyone is getting yellow.
  3. phrunt

    Skunk Breaker

    I was excited about getting my Nox 12x15" coil and was hoping it would arrive in time for a trip up to the ski fields to do a detect for some jewellery, I've found the odd bit at the ski fields in the past and end up with a fair collection of coins at the same time so it's an easy day detecting and can be a bit of fun pulling up coins every 20 minutes or so. I'd already planned to do it and then it started raining but because I made the plan, I stuck with it. The drive up to the ski field I saw a weird rainbow, it was a tiny one, it struggled to get up off the ground 🙂 I didn't find anything amazing on the day, which is a bit disappointing as I may as well of been swimming as the rain ended up being heavy the entire day, much worse higher up on the mountain than it was down on ground level, when I drove back down the rain stopped halfway down! Lucky the Nox is waterproof. I did find someones bank card, an old Cardrona Ski Area badge which is a competing ski field and a free Breakfast at Snowy Valley Resort, I had to look up what that was and it's in Australia and the food has a reputation of being awful which is why someone probably threw the free meal away 🙂 I've taken a more dig it all between VDI 5 and 25 approach lately as I'm trying to find more rings, I was originally just digging coin VDI's and the method is working, I did find a ring that was a very solid 18 on the VDI's, I'm not sure it's of any value, it's not magnetic and has some numbers on the inside that don't mean anything to me, it was about 20cm deep so it's been there quite a while. Other than the ring I got my usual coins and something that I think is an ear ring. I'm pretty sure the ring is a junker. Before the next weekend my 12x15" coil arrived for my Nox so I was itching for another ski field detect to compare it to the 11" I usually use. I found it decent, the extra ground coverage was great and sped up the mission, I was able to cover an area in what felt like half the time I took with the 11" I didn't notice any depth advantage and I honestly don't know how I could judge if there was without doing some "testing" burying targets but that doesn't seem viable as I've found coins buried for a long time react differently. It did have a bit more trouble with EMI than the 11", but I guess that's to be expected with a bigger coil. Dropping the sensitivity back two or three notches fixed that up. The ski field is bad for EMI as it has high voltage power for the lifts and Wifi all over the mountain with powerful boosters and a mobile phone tower all right near each other. The other big difference with the new coil is NZ $1 and $2 coins both came up as VDI 21 on the 11", sometimes flicking to 22 on the $2 coins but mostly 21, with the 12x15" the $2 coins are consistently 22 on the VDI's with the $1 being solid 21, I can now tell which coin I'm about to dig with some confidence. My dealer, DredgeNZ threw in a snuffer bottle and gold pan with my purchase, he's a good guy and trustworthy, certainly not a "used car salesman" dealer 🙂 I did the dig it all approach with the 12x15" also, and recovered a number of coins and a reasonable amount of the usual ski field junk After my ski field mission I drove down into town to buy dinner and saw a message from KiwiJW asking if I wanted to go for a detecting mission the next day using his EBIKES!!!!! that of course was an excited YES! I have ordered a Steelphase SP01 audio enhancer and it had arrived at my local post depot but as I got home so late at night and was leaving early the next morning for the gold mission I was unable to get it in time for the trip. It arrived this morning, just too late for this mission 🙂 Can't wait to test this puppy out, although I might let John take it's maiden voyage as he'll be better at testing it and also he'll be able to compare it to his B&Z Booster so that will be interesting. It's on charge right now! I arrived at John's and we threw the Ebikes on the back of his truck and off we went, We went to a place we've done quite a number of times, rarely do we come away with nothing. John mostly does pretty well here, I sometimes get the odd nugget. The Ebikes made the ride up the hillside much easier, it's still a workout for a guy who hasn't ridden a bike in 10 or so years but I think if I wasn't on an Ebike I would of been pushing the bike up the hill rather than riding. Once you get into more level terrain they really show their ability, you can cruise along with almost no effort at all. They even had a little throttle trigger that you can press and it behalves then like an electric motorbike, driving along without you even needing to peddle, but of course this drains the battery more so you only use it when necessary. I often used it to take off, you know how when you ride a bike the initial takeoff requires a powerful peddle, not so with this nifty little trigger. A BIG thanks to Mrs JW for allowing me to use her Ebike!!!!!! I was silly and forgot to get a photo of the Ebikes! We started off detecting by going to some old throw out piles I'd never been to before, I don't think John had been to them either, the beauty of the Ebikes is you can go further than you could ever do walking. These piles had powerlines directly above them, I was thinking this maybe to our advantage as it keeps people with their detectors away, John's GPZ handles powerlines reasonably well, my GPX on the other hand doesn't with my coil configuration so I had my Monster with me just in case, and I was glad I did. The Monster doesn't care about power lines, worst case scenario I had to drop it back to Manual 9 instead of my usual highest setting of Manual 10, but even still that was to make it operate completely quietly, if on Manual 10 I got a bit of broken pulsing noise occasionally from the power lines and wasn't sure if that was causing any harm so I knocked back to Manual 9 just in case, both Auto and Auto+ were completely silent so I assume they were dropping back to Manual 8 and 9. John's GPZ was having a little more trouble than usual with the power lines but it may of been the wind, there was a warm breeze and we've both noticed sometimes wind direction seems to effect the EMI. The Monster performed well for me, I had found a signal, it was a very faint one so I scraped a bit, the signal then went all the way to the ferrous side so I scraped a bit more and it started to get random readings, a much more positive sign, the more I dug the more erratic the signal became until I got right down to the bedrock when then the signal went all the way to non-ferrous and I was now very hopeful of breaking my skunk. I've had about 6 weeks I think it would be with no gold. After a lot of messing around trying to recover the target and dropping it in the separation process I eventually found it, a tiny little bee poo bit of gold. It's to the left of the Minelab Logo on the coil, tiny little thing, you'll also notice a spider took up residence on my coil, not one of the life threatening touch me and you die spiders I'm used to from Australia, a friendly little chap who moved on doing his business when I took my gold off the coil. The depth was pretty amazing, It was at a depth where my scoop changed to it's handle, hard to see in that blurry photo but it's the only one I got. All 0.035 grams of it 🙂 but it's official, my skunk was broken! Another thing we both wanted to do on this mission is find a secret cave, there is one here but it's not easy to find and not marked on any maps or anything, we rode around for a while trying to find it, and then we parked up the Ebikes and went for a walk using John's google maps photo of the area, exploring around trying to find it. There was a cool looking rock formation in the area I call it the hotel rock, the old timer gold miners used to use rocks with hollowed out bits for accommodation, well this one was a multi level hotel, with hollowed out bit's all over the place. We even saw a rock that looked like someone had decided to cut in half with a giant saw I have no idea how that can naturally happen. We were wandering around for some time trying to find this cave, comparing where we thought we were with the google earth satellite photo and the location John thought the cave was but with no luck so we headed back to where we parked the bikes and you wouldn't believe it, the cave was right next to where we parked up, within 30 feet there were two cave entrances. We rode right past them both to park the bikes! unbelievable!!! John's navigational skills were better than he thought, he stopped right at the cave 🙂 The entrance is well hidden, that's it below me, the little dark hole! We didn't go down in there this time, it was a bit muddy from a massive rain storm we had a few days earlier, the most rain I've had at my place in years. A job for another day, maybe detect the walls of it with the GM 1000 🙂 Next we rode off to find somewhere else to detect, and stumbled across some old chinese workings and some nice terraced walls they had made to get their wheelbarrows up and down into a gully We started detecting again and John was trying to break his skunk (at this location), the last time he came here he was skunked and spent most of his day exploring, this time I was ahead with my little bee poo so the competition was on 🙂 We spent an hour or two detecting and found nothing then all the sudden John yells out he got one... uh oh, his is no doubt bigger than mine as the Zed can't find bee poo so I was in trouble, he was going to win again!! I've never won in gold tally, it's usually 10 to 1 if I'm lucky but this day I thought I had it in the bag. John had a forgetful day, it happens to the best of us but his was out of control He forgot to bring his gumboots he usually detects in so he has no metal on his feet, but to make it worse he had steel capped shoes on!!! I often found his shoes laying around where we were detecting as he ended up having to detect in his socks Lucky the ground wasn't wet. He also forgot his phone so I was chief photographer, Not a role I excel at as I always forget to take photos. He also forgot his scoop so he had to separate out his targets the old fashioned way. It wasn't 2 minutes after John yelled out he got his nugget and I was yelling back, I GOT ONE. I was getting desperate to find another one and scanning the ground wasn't working for me so I started kicking over rocks. This has worked in the past and it worked again. I put a red circle around my little nugget so it can be seen, tiny little thing for such a big coil. My biggest of the day, 0.162 grams! Now this brings up a question, this nugget was an absolute screamer, a nice loud "wee woo" even with the coil 10cm above the nugget I get a nice "wee woo" yet this area has bucket loads of shotgun pellets, if I use my Monster I can find one every square meter, yet the GPX wasn't seeing them, yet it screams out loud on this bit of gold which incidently weighs less than a pellet. An example, here is a pellet I found with the GM at the same place It's bigger, and weighs more yet the GPX with NF 14x9" Evo coil completely ignores it, yet it will find a nugget than weighs less and is smaller in size with a loud screaming signal, so loud I thought I had a 22 shell. I completely don't understand this so if anyone has an idea why, please do tell. Now it was game on again, I had two nuggets and John had one, we were walking along finding piles to detect on and our detectors had an argument, his was making noises at mine, mine was making noises back at his, then all the sudden mine makes a police siren noise, scaring his detector off... my detector feels a little intimidated by his superior detector so it faked a police siren to scare his off. It wouldn't even be ten minutes later and John's yelling out he's got another one, 2 for 2... I knew he had won as I had a bee poo, and his would have to be bigger and of course they were. His were .12 & .22 of a gram so he won again 🙂 We called it a day and jumped on the Ebikes and headed back to the car, fastest trip back I've ever had, often we are walking out and it gets dark as it's an hour or so to walk back, we were back in under 10 minutes thanks to the bikes... best time of the day for an easy trip down as we were both pretty exhausted. To top off John's forgetful day he even left his sunglasses in the toilets at KFC at dinner time A big thanks again to Mrs JW for the use of her Ebike! Sure made the day a lot easier and more fun and of course to JW for taking me along 🙂
  4. Snow trying to stick down low and drove thru snow to the gold fields a couple days ago so days are numbered!!!!! Might be able to get in 1-2 more days depending? Here's my total nuggs for my 1st year chasing with a detector. I'm happy with results and thank ALL on here who helped me general info and "secret" info (lol)...they know who they are. The New Zealand boys post up great info and I think we all appreciate the scenic so I thought I'd sprinkle in some scenic for them so they can see my area in particular which is typical in many areas of the western U.S. All the nuggs were got with the Gold Monster in 2 locations in Idaho and 2 in Montana. Sluiced gold came from Montana claim from 2 trips mid winter in butthole deep snow (FS don't allow sluicing in river but they ain't up there mid winter...lol). My other hobby is chasing predators with trail cams so I sprinkled in a couple to show you guys, and the New Zealand boys what you could see at any time out in the western states. Hope you guys enjoy the pics...... Weight wise...this was my best day below
  5. I had not been able to get out for a detect the last couple of weekends due to crap weather so I was really hanging out to go. I ended up going out for a couple of hours after work tonight. Prior to that I had gone to a local spot with Simon that I hadn't done a post on. I think it was when Simon was camping here during the school holidays & the ski fields had closed or was closed that day due to bad weather. Simon's wife had a friend coming to visit & I think Simon was keen to escape so he came over to my place. The weather sort of came right in the afternoon although we were getting the odd sleet showers coming through. We ended up going for a detect & putting up with the sleet showers. They were actually better than detecting in the rain as it wasn't very wet at all. We got to the spot & Simon went off with his 4500 & Evo coil & I with the Zed. I was amazed at how stunted the bush growth was & I noticed that Simon had got into areas that I had never been into. I thought that was good for him & I was expecting good things for him. He seems to struggle detecting ground that I have hammered with my 4500 & now the Zed. I didn't like my chances where I was detecting as I have been through it with the Zed but due to the very stunted bush growth I decided to crash into places I haven't been able to get into before. A lot of the broom bushes had actually died & I was able to just stomp on them breaking them off at ground level & then tossing them aside. I got into an area where there was a large slab of schist. I scanned over the schist & got nothing. I then decided I would try to tip the slab over & detect under it. It was a bit of a struggle but I managed to tip it over.....just. Notice some of the dead broom bushes. Well...bugger me....I got a sweet little signal. A sassy bit of gold This was the only one I took a pic of as I am in the habit of turning my phone off because it interferes with the detector. That & with the sleet showers & the phone taking a bit of time to come to life when I turn it on to take a photo I end up giving the photos a miss. I ended up doing quite a bit of bush bashing due to the stunted growth getting into spots I hadn't been able to get into before. I actually surprised myself & ended up with 7 bits of gold for 1.24 grams. Unfortunately for Simon he came away with a skunk. He had a field day with hot rocks. I got a few but no where the amount that Simon was getting. So after work tonight I loaded up the E-mountain bike & drove to my parking spot. Got the backpack on & road off to my location. Was there in 10 minutes. Certainly beats walking. It took me a while to get my first signal. Down into the rotten schist bedrock & the signal was out. A little bit of gold. Wasn't too long before the 2nd signal came. This one took a bit more to get out. Having to smash into the schist bedrock to peel it out. The piece of gold at the tip of the pick sitting in that crevice that I had to smash open. This is looking back up the slope of schist bedrock. Things dried up for a bit but I finally got another signal on the top edge of a tailing race drop off. It was the best signal of the evening & I thought it was going to be a reasonable piece. It was even quite a way down in the bedrock by the time I got it out. I was gobsmacked to find it was the smallest bit for the evening. I thought. no....there has to be another piece, but no....that was it. I called it quits at that piece & headed back out. Three bits for .76 of a gram. But no catch & release. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  6. For those that don’t follow me on Facebook this is the end result of 3-days behind my GPZ at Rye Patch. Robin and I, just got home from a big group hunt at Rye Patch and a few days later one of my partners said, he was heading back up. I already had three other buddies there that didn’t make it to the outing and his call got me off the fence to pack my truck up with my gear. Surprised my new Super Ice Chest still had some ice in it too! If you followed my last posting we all had a great trip, but the wind was doing what wind does...keeps nuggets out of your poke. It creates all kinds of noise to fight to hear a faint signal or tones while metal detecting. I knew we left nuggets behind on this hot little patch. Not a puff of wind and the area produced like I was hoping. We took advantage of the warm calm Autumn Desert on a handful of other old huants and if you listened close, you could hear the whispers and cheers of times past while adding to the poke of memories of the present! Leave no nugget behind...I always leave them behind, it’s what keeps me motivated to come back! 5 of us added nuggets and good times to our pokes. Below is my harvest (keeping it in season) of the Great Pumkin Patches of Rye Patch! LuckyLundy
  7. Tom(CA) and I have been working a site that we researched that's produced several 1850's - 1860's seated coins, and some rogue early 1900's coins, as well as a variety of period relics. We tried to get one more trip in before Old Man Winter completely shut us down, and it did in fact shut us down, but not before I finally, got something I've been looking for for a long time, and after watching others find them over the years (I saw Tom dig three!!!), I was starting to think it would never happen. Well it finally happened, and it turned out to be a good one, an 1865 San Francisco minted Liberty Half Eagle!! Here she is out of the hole: Here she is rinsed off: Here's a video of the hunt: Less than 100 known, Mintage: 27,612 Although the mintage of the 1865-S is quite a bit higher than the mintages of the S Mint Half Eagles from 1858 to 1864, it compares in overall rarity to the 1858-S, 1860-S and 1863-S and is only slightly less rare than the others. Almost all known examples of this date are well worn with VF and lower being all one can expect to find. The 1865-S ranks second in the entire $5 series according to average grade and I do not know of a specimen that would grade better than EF. The very few specimens that I have seen were rather softly struck and the mintmark was always quite weak. Thanks for looking, hopefully the next one comes easier
  8. ...back in the early beepin days, sure wish I’d had the bug back then. Returned yesterday from wandering the sage and gravel of northern Nevada and happy to come home with wonderful memories and just a few hard fought little pieces of sunshine found the last two day of hunting. First 3 days hunted the usual spots with only tiny bits of rust and lead, some faint deep signals I thought sure were gold only to disappoint me. Finally near the end of the 4th day of hunting I drove off looking for some old small workings off the beaten path and after stopping to check and interesting spot was rewarded with a few small pieces for a total of a little over 2 grams. Also stumbled on some cinnabar float and some of it had tiny blood red clear crystals on the surface, eventually found what looks to be the outcrop it came from and dug around it a little just to see if any crystals might be obvious in the surrounding soil. Didn’t see any and not really sure what I’d be looking for or where crystals would tend to form within the structure? Found another interesting piece in a completely different location and kept it for yard art, according to everything I can find about cinnabar it should not be a toxic hazard as long as hands are washed before eating food if the material has been reciently handled?
  9. Hit a really hard worked out area in the Mojave this last weekend. With a little know how from watching Bill Southern's videos on the Gold Monster, reading Steve Herschbach's literature on the Monster and a lot of persistence I managed to beep up some good gold! Bedrock and tailing piles were the cats meow in this situation. I also wanted to mention that I picked up an old pair of Koss TD/80's with the 1/8" inch plug and adjustable volume that work flawlessly. -Mike
  10. Got out for a couple hours yesterday morning. An old haunt that gives 1 up here an there. Some fresh erosion from the last couple rains gave up a 2/10ths grammer with the ML 4500 and 13x17 Evo at a few inches of depth. Check the O out in Evo ! Still swinging lookin fer that "retirement" nugget. Hapy Huntn.
  11. Years ago, when I started to hunt Rye Patch I knew it was well past it’s hey days! Yet, I continued to see nuggets being found there by others Prospectors! Our group, finally started to pop some gold after wearing out several sets of boots and skid plates on our old trusty GPX’s. With the new generation of Minelab Detectors, SDC 2300 and the GPZ 7000, it was a new game. Having cut our teeth on the learning curve of both new detectors on the California side of the hill, we set our sites to Northern Nevada. Multitude of hours by our group to establish productive ground and techniques with our GPX’s, lead our new detectors to what seemed like brand new patches of gold. This last outing was no different! One of our hunting members had a moment of Total Recall and remembered a few years back that we found a few nuggets in a spot with our old GPX’s. Well we hit the spot swinging and soon our detector’s started to sing back to us! Now remember, I was out there a couple weeks ago, trying to track down a couple new spots for this group hunt trip. I didn’t find any new spots on that trip and we didn’t even hunt the old spots on this trip, which I did good on. Now, there is only one way to run the SDC and that’s turn it on, it’s and incredible detector and the operators of it on this trip pulled teens of nuggets with it. But, you have to know the variable sounds of the SDC when you run the coil over a target that set you apart from others swinging the same machine over the same dirt. It’s the same with the GPZ 7000, you really can’t run it wrong, just turn it on! You make it run for you and your inner self. Sure I have settings, I like and so does everyone in our group of Prospectors. You have to know what it’s telling you if it’s a target or not, there isn’t many Duck nuggets left in any old gold field(s). Air testing or burying a test nugget does not reproduce any of these nugget signals (tones). I’m still learning tones of the GPZ and will never be and expert of them. The sweet tones of a nugget, I do have lock in my mind is what keeps me and boot makers happy! Lucky...No - spend the time in your local gold field, might take a few pairs of boots, skid plates and multitudes of digging holes in hot ground and rocks to learn the tones of your settings of your detector. We had a great time, even though the wind was crazy windy and made Detecting a challenge - Persevere, press on regardless! Until the next hunt Here’s Robin’s and my 2 1/4 day hunt total in dwts
  12. Hi guys, Dave and I had time for a short hunt Sunday. Dave had scoped out a new area that when we got there looked promising. Unfortunately no luck at all. One of these days we will find a new area. I then suggested we head back to a spot that had a bunch of trash, but a lit of mining done in the past. I got lucky and found a couple small pieces in some old drywash tailings. Another piece on a slope, and a 1.2 g nugget in an old hole. Dave went of in a different direction and had no luck...he really needs to pick up his game, he's been slacking lol I've been on the no luck side many times when he has scored. Hunting with Dave is great because if one of us happens on a patch, we'll radio each other to join in on the fun. It all even out in the end. Good karma lol. When I got home I soaked the 4 nuggets in some CLR, and when I took them out there were 5. One was a perfectly formed BB of gold... weird!! I posted before about a quartz specimen I found detecting, decided it wasn't worth keeping as a specimen so I crushed it up, and panned it. It was better than I thought. 7.7 grams. Cheers, Chris
  13. Hi Guys, I have been a bit slack in coughing up posts of my adventures & finds over the last couple of weekends. So I will go back a couple of weekends to my first mountain E-bike mission up into the hills chasing gold. The challenge was always going to be just how do I carry everything on me on the bike. My only choice was to put it all into my backpack. Pro swing harness with WM12 & B&Z booster & twin speakers clipped onto it. Pick, pick holder & belt. Smoko bag & coffee thermos. The Zed with coil & shaft sticking out the top of the pack. That was going to be the biggest obstacle negotiating through bush & past rocky outcrops without getting the detector caught up on something & getting thrown off the bike, hopefully not down a ravine, or worse...breaking the detector shaft. Oh well....we will find out. So I was all packed up ready to go. Bike on the bike rack & I was off. Simon has committed himself to skiing every weekend day until the end of the ski season. So no Simon. He was up there somewhere on Coronet Peak. I got to as far as I could drive & got the bike all set up ready to go. It was all uphill from here. Having the backpack on certainly didn't help too much with balance & poise on the bike. I need to centralise the detector & tie it tight so it doesn't flop about. Lesson one. While it certainly was a lot quicker getting up the hill than walking, it was still bloody hard work & I was pretty knackered when I got to as far as I could ride. I then had to ditch the bike & carry on with backpack on & climb higher. Tee shirt was soaking wet. Still had a fair way to go Still a bit of snow in the shadows. Note the high sluiced gully center top of pic & the material "flowing" into the creek. Heading on up. That horizontal line cutting across the browe of the hill is a water race that would have feed the sluicing of that gully in the above pic. Up & up & time for a breather. Absolutely stunning country. I love it. Looking back down to the gully floor & the whole floor of the gully has been turned over by the old timers. All done by hand. After having a look around & a bit of a reconoscience I started detecting. I chose some exposed schist bedrock. I got a sweet sounding signal. Bingo. On the same run of bedrock another signal. I am way up from the gully floor but in a bit of a natural run off. Another small bit of gold. I noticed some rotten crumbling looking schist bedrock on a steep slope that looked promising. Got another signal. looking down the gully. A nice slug it was. There were a few finds that I didn't bother taking any pics as it was pretty steep & I always turn my phone off as it interferes with the detector. So sometimes it is a bit of a pain turning it on to take photos, so on some I didn't bother. I had to start thinking about heading out so I started my walk back down. Detecting as I went. I got to some alluvial/glacial gravels that were just above some old workings. I got a nice sounding signal. Looking down on the same dig Another sassy bit of gold. On the same gravels I got another nice hit. This one went down to a bit of depth. My biggest bit of the day. Then on the edge of some bedrock & these gravels, another signal. Another small bit of the good stuff. That was my lot, I had to get a wriggle on to get out before dark. Still had a bit of a walk back to the bike & then a bit of an uphill grind to get up out of this gully for the big downhill back to my wagon. I had seen quite a few broken glass bottles & on my walk back to the bike I saw a bit of green glass only just visible in the dirt. I carefully scraped around it with my pick. Expecting it to be just another broken bottle. But it wasn't. Gosh...that is a first. They are always broken. That one came home. On my walk back to the bike I came across three of my mates, & the only other life I saw all day apart from a few rabbits, which sums up the type of country I was in. Mountain goats. Had a close call riding the bike back down. I got a bit over confident coming down a very narrow part of the track with some over hanging brush. Sort of forgot about the detector sticking up out as much as it was. It clipped a bush & very nearly threw me off & over a bluff. Don't tell Mrs JW, ok Simon.....It tore the skid plate off the coil & I was so thankful it didn't break the shaft. Whew....& the skid plate did not sail off over the bluff. Sure was fun coming down, apart from that close call. WAY quicker & easier than walking. End result on the gold front was 12 pieces for 3.54 grams & believe it or not. Not one piece of rubbish. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  14. A few days after my last little assault on that hot little slope I thought I would give it another going over. I took in some pruning loppers to clear away some of the briar rose & broom bushes to get access to more promising looking ground on the edges of this spot. No luck. Bugger. Oh well, I won't die wondering. For no reason I went over the same old slope again but on a different angle. To my surprise l got a very faint signal. Note the powerline pole in the top right corner. More on this later. Smashing into the schist bedrock & peeling it out. A small bit of gold. That was it from this slope today. Nothing more but who knows what a future time might bring. So I dropped off this raised slope of bedrock & down the wall of a tail race. Detecting all the nooks & crannies in the sidewall as I dropped down. Got a faint but positive little hit. It took a bit of getting out but I just knew it was going to be gold. It was the only piece giving itself up to me in this tailrace wall. Nothing more on the floor or the face on the opposite wall. Here is looking back from the other side of the tail race to where I got the bit of gold. The slope above was my little "patch" slope & you will see the briar rose & broom bushes over the other side. This was where I pruned back but lucked out. Things dried up for a little bit on the gold take until I hit some more exposed bedrock that the old timers had uncovered with their ground sluicing. I had got a few pieces here back in my GP 3000 days & got a faint hit with the Zed. This appears to be as high as the old timers washed to, leaving that glacial silt for the rabbits to make their homes. A couple of scrapes with the pick & the signal had moved. Look how small that is for that 14" coil. I really thought I would get more among that bedrock....but no. So I dropped down into the the old timers sluicings rubble & rock piles that they had stacked on the bedrock. The piles were not very deep & I knew the bedrock was not far down. There was also just shallow rubble piles that still had a lot of dirt & good looking material among it. The bush growth was really stunted & I was able to poke the coil in place that I hadn't been able to with the Zed before. Going real slow I got a faint hit in some of this rubbly material. I knew there was a good chance here that it could just be some old timer rubbish. I got down to the bedrock & the signal improved a lot but was still in the bedrock. Raking out that small crevice the signal popped out. Before backfilling I scanned the scrape & the dug out dirt. Another signal. Another small bit of gold. I looked up above me & directly overhead from these two bits of gold. Powerlines. High Yield/Normal, 18 sensitivity & not a murmur of interference. I wandered along what looked like a small dry water ditch & just where it started to rise up from the flat ground to the raised bedrock that it was cut into the slope of, I got an ugly signal. You can make out the little gutter in the pic. Same powerline as the above pic. As I dug down on it the signal kept getting better & not so ugly. Right down in that crevice. Out popped this. 1.17 grams. I then went up on the bedrock above that little gutter. Getting a couple of small ones that I didn't take any pics of. But then I got a signal that had me smashing out blocks of bedrock. Getting down quite deep I just knew it was going to be gold. I called it quits on that one as it was starting to get dark. All up 8 bits for 3.31 grams. I was pretty happy with that. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  15. Hi guys, I have been slack again at keeping up with my adventures & finds. Since my last one where I went back to an old haunt were I did no good with the Zed back in my early days using JP's conservative settings but on going back recently with Steves Insanely Hot Settings, which I use all the time now, I came up trumps with 6 pieces one afternoon & the next afternoon 10 pieces. After my last post from finding these I received some tragic news. A very close friend of mine, who I was building a big extension on his house when my first marriage of 14 years feel over. Said for me to come & stay with him & his daughter Rubi. Which I ended up doing. That was 16 years ago. Ralph, my friend was a solo dad with his daughter Rubi who was 10 at the time. Long story short, Rubi had just turned 26 a few weeks ago & a few days later passed away in her sleep. She did have a heart condition which it turns out was the reason. Absolutely tragic. Rubi was the reason Mrs JW & I met. So she will always have a special place in our hearts. When Mrs JW, who of course wasn't Mrs JW back then, had moved to this area & her daughter Charlotte was the new kid at the local school. Rubi made an instant friend of Charlotte & often Charlotte would jump off the school bus with Rubi & play for a few hours at Rubi's place where I was working & staying. Mrs JW, Robyn, who wasn't Mrs JW then, would come up to pick Charlotte up. So we met but nothing was in the making with Robyn & I at that very early stage. It all developed quite a bit later. But we had met & the contact had been made. Rubi & Charlotte remained friends all through their schooling years. Unfortunately due to work commitments I could not make the funeral. Mrs JW did & she videoed it for Ralph & people from overseas who also couldn't make it. I went up a couple of days later to spend some time with Ralph. Poor Ralph, Rubi was his life. She was all he had. Gosh...people came from as far as Canada, Australia & the UK. Poor beautiful Rubi, gone way to soon, but never forgotten. So sad. Any way....sorry about that babble. On flying back home to Queenstown I had an afternoon up my sleeve. So I decided to go back to this same spot & go over it again. There had been some heavy rain since I was away & damp ground always seems to give an edge with my detecting. Would today be any different? I decided to E-bike into the spot. Again I approached the spot from the bottom end, working my way up the slight slope. The ground did not appear too damp on the surface but on my first faint signal & digging down I noticed the moisture was down deep. Down into the bedrock schist & into a crevice. Out popped a bit of gold. Going very slowly & listening for the faintest of threshold change....that change came. Again down in the schist bedrock. This just kept happening. No junk...just gold. And again 👍 Look how small. That was four. I was thinking of calling it quits as I wasn't far from the top of the slope where I didnt think I would have any luck. But I decided to finish the slope. Glad I did as I got another faint whisper. This one went down to a bit more depth than the other digs. Smashing into the bedrock schist. Gold it was, & on that one I was done with the slope. I got no more. The moist conditions gave me the edge....again. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  16. I took the new GM24K into the hills this past weekend for its maiden nugget hunt. Although my first time out with it was actually a week prior, it really wasn’t a hunt since I was mainly just familiarizing myself with the features and functionality of the machine and trying out different settings on a small buried test nugget. But after finally getting the 24k dialed in, I did happen to find a subgrainer a mere foot away from the test nugget that day; an obvious zippy target at an inch and a half deep.👍 This little yellow speck won’t even register on my grain scale! So fast forward to Saturday: I was digging every target or nuance of a target and noting the VID numbers. The occasional hot rocks in the area seemed to lock in at a solid 1 or 2 on the display screen, without deviation, but even the smallest of the subgrain nuggets I found would bounce around into higher registers, sometimes in the 70s or 80s, making it easy to differentiate the gold from the hot rocks. Slow and careful searching yielded 5 of the little yellow blighters. Sunday I continued on where I left off on Saturday, and although I was finding tiny bits of foil and lead, the gold eluded me all day until just an hour before quitting time. I was in a trashy area littered with small remnants of old timers boot tacks that just screamed on the 24k; they were shallow enough so that a quick dig and poke with the super magnet took care of them. One of the screamers however stood out from the others because it was reading much higher on the VID. First thought was something sizeable like a 22 bullet or casing, but it turned out to be a chunk of bedrock. A quick rinse with water revealed it was actually lithified ancient riverbed sediment containing a partially exposed nugget.😃 Definitely a nice surprise. The 24k sniffed out a couple of subgrainers nearby to round out the day. I’m really liking the new Goldmaster 24k, a very versatile VLF gold machine with innovative ground balancing technology. It’s lightweight, well balanced, very stable at high sensitivity with minimal coil bump falsing, has a pleasant tone, and won’t easily tip over when sitting on the ground. Good work, White’s! 😉
  17. - - - over an hour from the Nineties. I haven't successfully transposed it to digital format yet but I'm still working on it. The sound is present but my capture device isn't yet picking it up. I'm a bit over the moon about it really, some welcome good news following a tough week shooting drought weakened sheep - - Starring are some memorable characters from the earlier years of gold detecting, as well as some nice gold. Here's some early screen grabs, hopefully the final MPEG's will be of higher quality. 5 oz from Guys Rush, Rheola VIC. found at depth with Jimmy Stewarts 36" "Bismarck": 30 oz from Guy's Rush, Rheola VIC, found at depth with Jimmy Stewarts 36" "Bismarck":
  18. Hi Guys, The weekend after my E-Bike mission I just went for a quick afternoon detect on the saturday to more just continue hacking into a solid schist rock that I had got a nice signal in with the Zed but I had to abandon it as I felt sorry for my pick & needed to attack it with a cold chisel & hammer. Check out that post here. So I arrived with my cold chisel & hammer & hacked into the schist rock. Signal still there. When suddenly I saw it. @%*#🤬 Two bloody wires, one yellow & one white. Looks like a drill hole & possibly electrical detonator wires. 🤬 Bugger. So nothing else for it but to carry on detecting. I did my mountain goat thing scrambling down & around cliff faces. Poking & proding the coil where I could. Got a sweet little signal. You will see the scrape about half way between the coil & just below that rabbit hole in that glacial material. A nice little slug. That was my lot though & being pissed of with those wires I headed home. Sunday was a beautiful spring day & was spent tidying up the section, weed eating & mowing the lawns. Mrs JW tidied up the gardens & planted some sunflower seeds. So no detecting. The next day monday we woke up to SNOW. WTF...I know I have already put some pics up of this but I will show some again just for this post. Crazy. Somewhere under there are the lawns I mowed on a beautiful bammy spring day the day before. It was all gone in a couple of days. So the weekend just gone I went out for a late afternoon detect to a local spot on the Saturday. I wasn't holding my breath on getting anything as I have thrashed this area over the years with my Gp 3000, GPX 4500 & the Zed. Getting gold with all of them but I had come up dry on the last couple of time in passing through this spot with the Zed. Well...I was pleasantly surprised. I got a faint but very positive hit at the base of a run of some schist bedrock. Was on the edge of deeper ground from the run of schist bedrock. But the bedrock wasnt too far down before I was smashing into it & peeling it out. Signal was still in there so I knew it was going to be gold. Getting down into a bit of a crevice & then the signal was out. Then directly up from that dig & up on top of that run of schist bedrock I got the faintest of whispers in among the folds of schist. So I hacked into it ripping the schist open. The Zed can be a devil to pinpoint, especially when the gold is small. So I wasnt sure which of those crevices I had opened up that the signal was coming from. Ended up being that one in the middle with the rusty looking material in it. I then got a faint signal directly on top of the schist & there was no crevice or opening of loamy material. Just solid schist with lichen all over it. One scrape & it had moved. Ah....shotgun pellet. But no it was a small bit of gold. Things then dried up for a bit so I wondered on to another old spot of mine where I had got nothing since my GP 3000 days. Not even with the 4500 or the Zed in the conservative settings. But this time I was in 18 sensitivity. Got a good hit. It went to a bit of depth & the signal was still in there. Got down to the schist bedrock & it was still there. Hacking into the schist & still there. I now knew it was going to be gold. It was. Then only a foot away another another signal. Again down to the schist bedrock. And....Bingo I had to call it quits on that one, but tomorrow was another day....& I would be back to finish off this old haunt...again So end result for the afternoon was 6 little bits for 2.59 grams. I was rapt with that. Sunday to be continued..... Good luck out there. JW
  19. The Saturdays afternoon detect had ended successfully with 6 little finds. This is the end of that post. I had to call it quits on that one, but tomorrow was another day....& I would be back to finish off this old haunt...again So end result for the afternoon was 6 little bits for 2.59 grams. I was rapt with that. Sunday to be continued..... Ok... so here we go. I didn't get back until the sunday afternoon. I approached this slope from a different direction, coming in from the bottom end. Which is how I came on to it back in my GP 3000 days when I first discovered it. On that day it was late in the day when I came upon it & I did not complete the slope then either on that first day. But I got 13 bits with the GP 3000 on that first assault with the Coiltek 10 x 5 Joey mono coil. The day before, Saturday, I came onto it from the top end as I had approached it from a totally different direction. I got 3 bits with the Zed at the top end but knew I would not have time to do the whole slope before dark so decided to come back on the sunday. The beauty of having been successful here with the GP 3000 I knew where the hot spots were & knew where the deeper ground was & of course the shallow ground. I was going to go very carefully over the whole lot with the Zed any way. I was only into it 5 minutes when I got my first faint signal beside an exposed raised run of glacial ground schist bedrock, but on the deeper ground side of it. The pick marks the spot. You will notice the direction run of the schist, which is up on edge & how it has been ground smooth by the glacial ice. The direction of that running parallel with the schist & on a slight uphill slope towards the top of the pic. The schist is covered in lichen....as you can see. The ground is generally pretty shallow with deeper "trenches" between the schist outcrops & to the left where the schist is not showing above ground. Hacking into the ground & the schist wasn't very far down before I was peeling it out. The signal was still in there so I was very sure it was going to be gold. It was Not four feet away in some pretty deep soft ground I got another initial very faint but positive hit. On hitting the schist bedrock, signal still in there, I ended up attacking two crevices before the signal was out. Again....not even four feet away another faint hit. Deep soft ground again. I don't know where that root was coming from....or going to but it must have been leading me to gold. I had only just touched the schist bedrock when the signal had moved. I wasnt that confident of it being gold. The scoop is 12 inches long & it is down about another 4 inches. But gold it was, & not that big for the depth. I then got in among the exposed schist dragging the coil on its edge between the raised schist. Going very slowly I got a good signal. Photo is taken looking uphill. Ripping the schist out the signal lived on down. Just knew it was going to be gold. But which crevice? Gold it was. These bits of gold in among these schist outcrops became the order of the afternoon. One after the other Just ripping into the schist. Signal after signal. And no rubbish at all. Blissful detecting Conditions were just perfect. Grass growth & even bush growth is very stunted due to the end of winter conditions. The spring growth has not yet kicked in. But it won't be far away. End result before packing it in & heading out before dark was 10 bits for 4.62 grams. I couldn't believe it Result for both days 16 for 7.22 grams. Saturdays on the right, sundays on the left. But wait....there is still MORE to come......To be continued...... Best of luck out there JW
  20. I was able to get out with my new GPX 5000 for the second time since buying it and my destination was Libby Creek in Montana. I had worked up stream on saturday with the monster and had a huge amount of bedrock to detect, but finding a nugget up stream was not to be on saturday. On Sunday morning I decided to let a friend use my gold monster to give him an opertunity to find his first nugget with a detector and I would use my 5000 in search of it's first nugget. Shortly into instructing him on the monster he found two small pieces and a little while after that I got signal with the 5000 that turned out to be a 5.6 gn nugget shaped like a heart. I think I am going to like this detector way more than I did the Gpx 4000. I got a 2.4 gn nugget saturday evening with the monster as well. 8 gn's for the weekend.
  21. While rattling through a cupboard I located a film canister I'd "hidden" once containing these finds from years ago using an SD2200 and 18" DD Coiltek coil. The 6.8 gram specimen was found about 50 meters from the monument where that rather large specimen was found by John Deason and Richard Oates. I'm sure they'd have lost sleep worrying about not finding it: I think the brass object (about 30mm in length with lead backing) is part of a knife handle and was even closer to the monument, buried deep in the brick red clay of the huge surfaced area surrounding it. I've no idea of the nationality but the combination of stars and what looks like a bird of prey had me thinking it could be of American origin- - - ? Update: it's a silver handle piece from a civil war era "Liberty and Union" gentlemans folding knife. Thanks again to "Professor Google"
  22. I took the Gold Monster into the hills again this weekend. With autumn well underway now, temperatures are definitely cooler than just a couple of weeks ago, but the resultant fall colors are a sight to see. Only 5 minutes into the hunt on Saturday and I had recovered the first target; a chunky little bit of yellow at a good 4 inches...a nice start. Next was a shallow target, just under the moss, that turned out to be a small flake of gold. After digging a couple bits of foil, I manuevered the Monster’s 5-inch coil next to an ancient river-worn cobble. The detector responed with a broad, deep sounding signal that I really like to hear, as it usually heralds something good. Well, this one was no exception, because by the time I excavated the 4 inch hole I had recovered no less than ten pieces of the good stuff. It was then that I thought to myself, certainly there must be some gold under that cobble, right? And indeed it was so...seven more bits to be exact. The next two flakes were loners off by themselves, again just under the moss. Ahead I spied a small depression in the moss-carpeted terrain - a good hiding spot for some gold. Sure enough, the Monster sniffed out another couple of golden goodies. And the last target of the day was a small chunky bit down in a bedrock crevice. Sunday was even a few degrees cooler than Saturday, with a few rain sprinkles. I hit another spot of old diggings up slope and managed to coax 3 small flakes from their hiding places. All these nugglets combined tip the scales at a whopping 1.2 grams, but oh what fun it is to recover each little bit!
  23. A mate of mine gave me a New Zealand 50 because I`ve been posting with American coins. I`ve not been out much in the last couple of weeks because of vehicle trouble but I got out a few times. These were all found on new ground away from diggings and I dug some sweet sounding targets but still nothing big. There is always tomorrow. This lot goes 1.58 grams 🙂
  24. OK, so not really a BIG adventure....I just like the title!😄 I decided the Zed needed to get out and play, so we headed to northern Nv for a week...skipped my usual Rye Patch, and hunted 3 other areas instead. My 1st bit of gold was from Placerites, a sassy piece: Got a dink at Sawtooth, then moved on elsewhere. Had a couple skunked days but still enjoyed the scenery: Even found me a cool high desert hood ornament lol! Ended up with over a quarter oz, including a rough beauty of 3.9 grams about 12” deep: Wanted to meet Steve at the Nugget Shoot, but had to head home to meet up with some loggers up by my cabin. All in all, a great trip!