Should I make the big move?
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15:46:56 Wed
Apr 18 2012
Should I make the big move?
Hello All,

I am new to the forum and joined based on Dave's recommendation. I've been reading all the posts here and see that everyone is patient and very helpful towards rookies.

I am considering leaving my successful Boston-based Internet marketing business behind for gold. 15+ years behind the computer is enough and I miss working outdoors. I often spend days without ever setting foot outdoors. (literally!)

I lived in California for 6 years when I was stationed in the Marine Corps and love the area. I'm 40 years old and in excellent physical shape, hard worker, highly motivated and willing to learn.

As I would be leaving my business, my intentions would be to dredge mine gold commercially on a smaller scale.

So my questions are:

How risky a move would you consider this to be?

Can I support myself (or better) doing this in the long run?

I want to be sure before I make the move as this would be a business venture for me and not just a hobby.

Any opinions, advice or input you all could give me would be greatly appreciated!

16:40:36 Wed
Apr 18 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
I suspect that most of the advice you will get is to, "not leave your job."

Those who actually support themselves suction dredge mining have been doing it for a long time, "very experienced". They are not in the majority. Most experienced miners would advise you to take time to get to know the ropes, "vacations, time off from work, leave of absence, things of that nature." You also need to remember that the government in California has shut down all suction dredge mining at this time.

If you are not experienced, I would suggest a very cautious approach to giving up a successful business for something that demands a lot of actual mining experience and an immensse amount of practical reseach to be successful.

16:48:10 Wed
Apr 18 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
I am fairly new to gold mining in general, and have no experience dredging yet, so I cannot tell you anything about how you will make out financially. However, I would like to say a few words.

First of all, take a week or two off work, and go to Happy Camp. Join in the group activities with the 49ers and speak with those that have experience. The dredging season is not far away. Come out and watch what everyone does and look around at the beautiful area. Check out everyones' gear.

YOU DESERVE A VACATION. TAKE ONE! Then ponder whether it is wise to walk away from your current life. :doublethumbsup:

17:54:17 Wed
Apr 18 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
Well probably not a great idea to just up and leave youre job if you could dredge year round you would probably be alright (you would have a long learning curve) but just about anywhere in the west you can only dredge during a short summer season and limited to a 4 inch nozzle in most areas. I made a little over 20k (been detecting 15 years) detecting all year long in SoAz and that was a good year. Think of dredging youre first year as learning how to find paying gravels and be hopefull that you can pay back youre investment and bring home a few nuggets to show off. Some days you might hit an above average pocket that pays an oz an hour other days you might not even make fuel money back even for many days looking for a workable streak. Try it for a few weeks this summer cant loose youre butt that way


18:24:13 Wed
Apr 18 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
At almost 48 It sounds like we are in the same boat!
I have become consumed with the desire for a simpler life.
And GOLD has fueled a many fever!
Here is what I am doing.
Headed to Happy Camp in July. First time out west, first time
Prospecting. Unlike you I have some neck and back issues that may
Not allow me to do such physical work, but there is only one way to find out and that is to just do it!
I am about 5 years from being able to make a move even if all things go well in this trip. The other half has 5 years to retire with university of Florida. I own a restaurant and god knows this is not the economy to own a restaurant in Florida. That being said, I'm holding on to the restaurant and putting it up for sale in about 3 years. I will take proceeds from sale pay off the mortgage on rsstaurant and home that will leave me debt free with an income that should keep us fed and housed in CA/OR while we try out this lifestyle. I'm planning on giving it at least a full year before I even think about selling my home in Florida. So I'm trying to be smart about this and plan well as I do not want to work at McDonald's or Walmart at 55 lol!
You gotta be a pretty smart guy to own a biz for 15 years ask yourself this question what happens if I dont find enough gold to live, have plan B and C. Good luck and maybe we will cross paths on a beautiful creek one day with a pan full of gold!

03:57:47 Thu
Apr 19 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
First off, welcome to the forum. I don't see why you could not become a successful California or Oregon-based Internet marketing businessman...Learning the prospecting ropes once you establish yourself out here on the "left coast"! If anyone could be successful at suction dredging it sounds like you could be one of those that could be...


PS-- The three "P's" of prospecting...Perseverance, Patience, more Perseverance!

06:40:58 Thu
Apr 19 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
Quote: InspectorTom at 03:57:47 Thu Apr 19 2012

First off, welcome to the forum. I don't see why you could not become a successful California or Oregon-based Internet marketing businessman...

Being an Oregon resident, I would highly suggest basing ANY business in Oregon rather than California. California's budget woes have made "Governor Moonbeam" do some very strange and perverted things to the California tax & fee laws -- California is no longer a "business friendly" climate in any stretch of the imagination, as is evidenced by the thousands of businesses that have fled California in the past two years alone.

Oregon is a beautiful state, has very friendly people, and a "common sense" tax structure -- and, of course, no sales tax at all!

And, as the "coup de grace" -- it is still legal to dredge in Oregon! :doublethumbsup:

17:51:24 Thu
Apr 19 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
Hi name is Jim and I too have been contemplating the big move. I live in Illinois and have been trying to get into veterinary school for years. I, like you, am at the point in life when a change is in the horizon. I decided after reading as many books on gold mining I could find that I would give it a shot. So that is exactly what I am going to do. You never know you could get there and realize this is the best job in the world or you could get there and realize there is no way you could do that. I believe the dream of going west is a great one that deserves a good shot...however I also believe one shouldn't upend their lives to do it if it is not right for them. So my advice.... Go try it....I'm getting a dredge and am going to test my knowledge of what I have learned in the books....I have never dredged in my life but am willing to work hard, learn, and give gold dredging a try before ruling it out. I am fairly sure I won't get much gold my first year but if I feel at the end of the year that my skills greatly increased it will be a reason to come back. The biggest question I have faced in my limited experience so far is are you willing to take a risk to potentially make your life better or worse....oh and one more thing I have noticed....people from the Midwest and east coasts tend to think your a little crazy when you tell them your leaving to go find gold....probably because there is not much gold in these parts and they were therefore not subjected to it growing up....I know if you asked me 2 years ago I would have said no chance in this world that I would be a gold dredger...but with some knowledge and planning I think you could be successful....good luck in your decision making process....I know it can be very hard.

00:27:43 Fri
Apr 20 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
Hey all, thanks so much for your candid and much appreciated advice. I totally agree that I need to test the waters first.

I think meeting everyone and putting some time in around other miners would provide some clarity before any "life changing" decisions are made.

With that in mind I'll be heading to Happy for the July weekend and then up to Oregon for Mike Dunn's dredge training.

Hopefully I'll run into a few of you at Happy Camp.

- Shawn

19:18:55 Fri
May 4 2012
Re: Should I make the big move?
I agree- California is very unfriendly to miners- and timber. Agenda21 wants to make N. CA a human free zone- check it out.

Should I make the big move?
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