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walterab
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Metal detecting ( 00:51:28 TueNov 11 2003 )

My question is this, How can I justify joining the New 49'ers if all I want to do is use my MXT detector? I need some really good answers so I can throw them at the wife and hope one sticks.

Walt


  
Jim_Alaska
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Re: Metal detecting ( 05:31:30 TueNov 11 2003 )

Hi Walt and welcome to the forums. It is my opinion that the Happy Camp area is an underworked, overlooked, metal detecting spot. I know that over the years there have been some poeople have a go at it, but none of it was real serious, and there were just not that many people doing it. Most folks are into dredging and/or highbanking.

Once I get down there, I plan on making some serious inroads into the metal detecting end of things in the winter months and the times when dredging is closed and water is low.

You have to understand that the New 49'ers is a LOT more than dredging and highbanking. There are endless opportunities for detecting, mossing, crevicing, etc.

Lots of old hydraulic mines, lot of places in low water that may never see a detector but have exposed bedrock that is usually covered by water.

This is not to mention old diggings, old cabin sites that may not have ever seen a detector.

Now that is just the detecting part. The new 49'ers is also about information, help and friendships that can last a lifetime. It is also one of the best social gatherings you will ever attend if you take in the weekly potlucks and make friends.

The Klamath River Vally is one of the prettiest places I have seen (and I am from Alaska). The people you will meet are some of the best.

You will find people among the club members that will willingly give any help needed, show you some great places to detect, help out in time of trouble. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. You could spend the cost of a lifetime membership in one prospecting trip, depending on where you went. The price of the membership is greatly mitigated by even being able to make low payments and pay it off over time if you do not have the entire amount at one time.

Perhaps others will chime in on this and help you out with reasons to your wife for your membership in the club. There are others here that are a lot closer to HC than I am at the time and have had a lot of the experiences I have hit on.

Just in case you have not visited the New 49'ers website, here is a link to it: http://www.goldgold.com/

On the website you can see all of the benifits of memership.



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Dave_Mack
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Re: Metal detecting ( 09:10:50 ThuNov 13 2003 )

Hi Walt,

Iím not sure what your personal situation is, but if you have time to spend hunting for gold nuggets with a metal detector, I can tell you with certainty that it will be difficult to find a better opportunity than the miles upon miles of new claims we have on the Salmon River.

This is not just a bunch of hype. I spent a healthy part of last summer exploring the 12 miles of new claims we have up there, and I can tell you that the area is so vast that I hardly even started. Especially on the far side of the river.

Craig Colt and I explored about 6 miles of river one day, just floating the river. The distance was so long, I didnít think we would ever get to the end! And we stayed on the river where the going was pretty fast. It was endless! A healthy portion of both banks was nothing but exposed, rough bedrock where the old-timers had done extensive hydraulic mining all the way up the hill-side.

The Salmon River is nugget country; all of it.

Now; I will say that access to a lot of it is not that easy. Some of it is really rough going!

But not all of it. There are some trails that will get you access to extensive areas that are rich nugget country, with exposed, rough bedrock, that Iím certain has never been prospected with modern detectors.

We did the final Group Dredging Project down towards the bottom of SA#3 in September, on our lower Salmon River claims. So I spent the better part of a week down there on just one small portion of our vast holdings on that river. There is a trail down to the river at the lower end of SA#3. While there, as I always try to do, I spent some time looking around.

That area on the other side of the river was blasted by small-scale hydro-mining! And there are long areas of open faces in place where the old-timers left off! No one has been in there yet with a metal detector. Iím sure thatís the case with most of our property along the Salmon. We pulled 7 ounces of gold dredging down there in just a few days. Three ounces were of good sized nuggets. But most of the rest consisted of big flakes which would be found by your detector.

The Salmon River was, by far, the richest river in Siskiyou County. It was one of the richest rivers in California. That is saying a lot! Virtually the entire bank area that was accessible for the entire length was hydro-mined on both banks the entire way. We are talking about an endless amount of ground!

You know; we talk about these distances like we know about them. But you donít have any idea how much ground we are talking about until you actually get out there and try to cover it on foot. It is more than you will cover in your lifetime, in some of the richest gold country on the planet.

The thing that makes the Salmon so interesting is that it is a wild river. There is nothing to hold back Mother Natureís flows when it rains hard, or the snow melts fast, up there. So there has been 100+ years of opportunity for the losses from all the old hydro-mining activity to wash down and get re-trapped in the existing bedrock traps along the banks.

Now; please donít get me all wrong about this. I am not saying the banks are overflowing with gold nuggets (although I will say the moss is overflowing with fine gold and small flakes; because it is!!). I am saying that there is virtually unlimited space for you to prospect with your detector where the gold is proven to be there, where the bedrock traps are close enough to access using your detector.

You still have to go out and find the gold!

We create the opportunity. You go out and do the work. There is fantastic opportunity for electronic prospecting along our Salmon properties.

And stay tuned. There are more, even better surprises just ahead. Especially for detecting. Iíll release the news soon. Members have another big bonus coming up just around the corner!!

I hope this helps with your question.

By the way, thereís been a lot said over this past year on the subject of ďhype.Ē This would be a great concept for someone to start a discussion-thread about.

There is also hope and encouragement Ė which is what drives a prospector to do the work involved with sampling. No hope equals no enthusiasm Ė which means little or no work will be invested into a prospect Ė which means that little or no gold will be found.

So when does justified enthusiasm cross over to ďhype?Ē

I believe it is unfair to label enthusiasm as ďhype,Ē unless the enthusiasm is deliberately attached to false information. One key is to look at the past history of an area. We are talking about one of the richest locations (historically) in California! How good does the opportunity look?

Emotion drives effort. Effort is required to complete samples. So enthusiasm is helpful when directed towards good prospects.

Letís really talk about this amongst ourselves on our forum before the start of next season, and try and sort out where enthusiasm is and isnít helpful. Because I hate to see the negative emotions of just a few others (even when no harm is intended) undermine the hopes of many others Ė even before anyone has had an opportunity to go out and give it an honest try yet.

All the best,

Dave Mack

  
walterab
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Re: Metal detecting ( 16:59:45 ThuNov 13 2003 )

Thanks for the two responses I have had thus far. My situation is this..... I have more time than money... hehe. Retired here in Happy Camp a couple years ago. I love to fish, garden and basically stay busy. I bought the MXT with thoughts of going out now and then looking for the good stuff but everywhere I go I see the 49er signs........ hehe. I almost bought into the niners last spring when the price was down to $2500 but even the $22.50 a month hits hard on a small retirement BUT it is pretty cheap entertainment if a guy can find something now and then. I don't yet have the fever, but I do have the bug. Plus the exercise wouldn't hurt this 56 yr old. Again, I thank you for your responses and I will surely give this some serious thought.

Walt

www.rivercrafters.com

  
LipCa
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Re: Metal detecting ( 17:42:11 ThuNov 13 2003 )

I'll have to agree with Dave on two things...1. The potential is there and 2. they don't just jump out in front of you!.

I have to hunt hard for detected nuggets on the Salmon river and have only found a few. But they are there.

Use a small coil so you can get in the crevices and between rocks. Then again, sometimes they are lying right out in the open on flat bedrock. You are just the first to walk over them.
Be prepared to dig lots of square nails and lead. They sound so good!.
[1 edits; Last edit by LipCa at 17:43:19 Thu Nov 13 2003]

  
aunuts
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Re: Metal detecting ( 21:24:12 ThuNov 13 2003 )

waterab, the MXT is an excellent machine for nugget hunting. As mentioned use the 6" gold coil, the 9" round "coin-relic" is not very good for gold. The coil is also waterproof so you can get into the cracks in the water at the rivers edge. I plan to do alot of detecting next season (summer-fall) Good luck and keep us posted.

  
aunuts
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Re: Metal detecting ( 23:31:40 ThuNov 13 2003 )

Walter, If you want to convince your wife that joining the New 49rs is a good deal, here is my take on them/us. I belong or have belonged to GPAA, LDMA, Washington Prospectors, Superstition Mt., Weaver Mining District, and the 49rs. If I could only belong to one club it would be without question the 49rs. The reason is education, (dredge, highbanking, mossing, metal detecting, sluicing and more) hands on instruction, pot lucks, making lasting friends, (Not just aquaintences) free camping, very family oriented. Prospecting can be a lifetime hobby that can include the whole family at any age and almost anywhere. With the 49rs you will get the information to succeed at this hobby/lifetime adventure. Prospecting is not just for guys either. Women, Kids, singles, couples it's for everyone that likes the outdoors and being with nature. You can camp alone or join a group. Gosh, I don't know what else to say except come and take a look at us, give us a try and you will be convinced. Cost? Take a look at the other organizations and what they have (or rather don't have) for the same price. Most of the other groups are somewhat cliqish. I did not find that with the 49rs. Everyone was helpful and even went out of their way to help others with their problems or needs. Hope that I have been helpful.

  
shigbee
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Hey you two ( 23:58:45 ThuNov 13 2003 )


Hey this is shawn i saw your username on the memberlist and decided to say hi.
Shawn

  
Jim_Alaska
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Re: Hey you two ( 07:02:38 FriNov 14 2003 )

Hi Shawn, nice to see you posting. I hope to be able to meet you when we get down there.

If you want to whisper to someone, click on the whisper feature and insert the users name. Then when you click "ok", you will see the whisper code in the text window. You have to actually insert your text between the brackets for it to work right. Look for the brackets, they look like this: code]text goes here[code

Hope this helps some.



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golddragons1
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Re: Metal detecting ( 18:56:29 FriNov 14 2003 )

Hi Dave,
I joined your new 49s on 10/23/03 in Happy Camp,and after 5 days of metal prospecting at every new 49s location on your maps,except one,I had found nothing but hot rocks,nails,lead,and assorted other junk.No gold,no silver,no platinum.As I have had my XLT for over a year,and have had modest success at finding coins,rings,relics,and very small gold nuggets(1 pennyweight and less)in other states,I have come to think that with the new 49s 50 miles of gold bearing properties was a big disappoinment for the fact of finding nothing and paying $260.00 to find that the gold is non-exsistant at the level of rules that had been presented to me after I had paid my enrollment fee.My vacation time was over before I had time to take you up on your guarentee of helping me to find gold if I could not.Now that my vacation is over and I have found nothing to justify my coming back,how can you enlighten me as to where I might have made a mistake about the new 49s and that I will have some luck staying with your club.

  
LipCa
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Re: Metal detecting ( 03:49:27 SatNov 15 2003 )

Golddragons1:

Let me step in here for a second.

First of all, i'm not a member. I probably would be if I did not already have enough claims of my own on the Salmon.

As for detecting on the Salmon river, I have never found any nuggets along the river banks. They have all been in old hydraulic areas.

You need to be prepared to be looking for nuggets well below a penny wt. Most I have found are in the 3-10 grain size.

Larger have been found, just not by me..grin.

I have had a lot of "dry" days. Maybe yours all came at one time.

If I were to head over to the river(which I am at 5 am in the morning), I would throw in the detector, 5 gallon bucket with all my crevicing tools and a couple gold pans. Maybe the highbanker too?.
I'd do a little crevicing to see some gold first. Always helps psychologically to see gold first.

Then I might try my hand at detecting if the area looks good. If that doesn't work, back to crevicing or highbanking.

Either way, i'm having a good time. I'll take home a little gold too.

Don't give up so soon.

As to what you expected to find(whatever that was), someone else will have to address that.

  
Jim_Alaska
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Re: Metal detecting ( 07:49:47 SatNov 15 2003 )

Golddragons1,

Dave is out of the country at the present time and I don't know if he has access to a computer to be able to see your post. I hope you don't mind me putting in my two cents worth.

I have done quite a bit of detecting, but am by no means an authority or even one to give advice. Two things came to mind as I read your post. One was that the five days you spent were not nearly enough to have gone over that much ground in a manner that would produce nuggets.

I have seen and walked over that ground and I know that I could spend weeks in just one hydraulic pit to do the job right.

The second thing I noticed was that you are swinging an XLT. Now don't get me wrong here, an XLT is a great detector, but while you can find nuggets with it under the right conditions, it is not a nugget machine.

Even among detectors specially built for nuggets, some will excel in one type of ground and do very poorly in another type of ground. The ground around Happy Camp is HOT, meaning highly mineralized. It takes a good machine in the 15 kHz to 71 kHz operating frequency that features some kind of ground balance capability to operate in ground like that. My wife owns and uses an XLT and I really like it for coins and relics, jewelry too. But I would not take it to the gold fields if I could use a good nugget machine.

The club makes opportunities to prospect in a very well known gold area, but it is up to the individual to do the work and actually find the gold. Lord knows, I have had my share of non-productive days swinging a detector.

I can tell you from the standpoint of a guy that has walked over many miles of ground in many different places, that you are not alone in the electronic prospecting world. Your story could be anyone's story, because there are more people that do not find gold with a detector than there are people who stick with it long enough to become proficient, not only with their machine, but with the actual ability to find gold. It is not happenstance, it is an acquired skill.

You don't say where you live or if you are within driving distance to Happy Camp. I am in Alaska at the present time, but am in the process of moving to Oregon. I will be on the rivers next summer in the Happy Camp area and would be glad to do some detecting with you. Perhaps we can figure out together where there is a bit of gold for detecting.

Actually, I would much rather do my detecting in the spring before the River comes up.

I am going to post a copy and paste here from a man that I consider of the best metal detectorists I have ever met. He makes the points I am trying to make very eloquently. His name is Steve Herschbach and he is the owner of

I have detected with this guy and he can and has found nuggets in ground I had just been over.

Alaska mining and Diving

I hope you get some use out of his recent post on the Alaska Gold Forums, this guy really knows his stuff.

I hope you will come back next year and give it a real try again, there are people who will help as much as they can, myself included. What follows is an excerpt from Steve's post:

Secrets to Success with Nugget Detectors

First and foremost, it's research, research, research! An amazing number of people buy nugget detectors with the idea that they might just happen onto some gold. Poll successful detectorists and you will find they spend every minute of their available time detecting on ground that has historically produced gold before. At the least, they will be on ground that research indicates is geologically favorable to the search for gold. Putting yourself on gold-bearing ground is the number one factor in being successful, and ignoring this concept is the surest way to failure.

Another huge factor in success while nugget detecting is being able to "read the ground" or "have a nose for gold". I can take ten otherwise proficient metal detector operators and plop them down on gold bearing ground, and most will have little or no success in finding gold. Experienced nugget detectorists will tend to come up with gold the majority of the times. Just being on gold bearing ground is not good enough, you need to know about how and where gold deposits occur, and how to recognize them in the field. It is the same factor that makes a person with a gold pan successful... you need to know where to dig. Most of the material in any gold bearing area has little or no gold. It is concentrated into limited areas usually referred to as "paystreaks" by miners and "patches" by detectorists. They are the same thing. Gold tends to concentrate in certain layers and locations due to sorting by geological processes, and knowing how to locate these concentrations is very important in being able to find gold in a reliable fashion.

Equally as important as being able to read the ground is having the right mental attitude. In fact, the proper frame of mind can compensate for a lack of geological knowledge. But part of this attitude comes from knowing for a fact that you are in a nugget producing location, and so that most basic factor must be addressed. The basic idea is "I KNOW the gold is here and I AM going to find it"! A positive frame of mind is imperative. You simply have to believe the gold is there to be found in order to properly focus your attention on the task. An attitude of "it's all been detected" or more simply "there is no gold here" will lead to sloppy work as, after all, there is no reason to really try if the gold is not there.

True or not, you simply have to have confidence there is still gold left for you to find, or you may as well just not hunt at all. Be positive, be patient, be persistent. Pace yourself properly, but find reasons to keep detecting when others are relaxing. Stay focused! But when the time comes that you are losing that focus, that the coil is not moving low and slow but high and fast, it's time for a break and a mental recharge.

I say a proper attitude can compensate for lack of geological knowledge in some cases. I say that because to a certain degree, if you are in nugget country, anything you run your detector over might produce a nugget. So if time allows a patient, persistent detectorist to "cover every square inch" it can result in finds a more knowledgeable person might miss! The knowledgeable person looks at a spot and thinks "there is little chance of a nugget being there" and the person ignorant of this "fact" proceeds to find a large nugget there. It does happen, and so patient detecting can often win the day. But more often than not time is limited, and so having an ability to focus on more likely locations wins out in the long run.

Finally, there is having a suitable detector AND KNOWING IT INSIDE AND OUT! The basic idea is you need to have a recent model detector that has the intended ability to find gold nuggets. It's not that hard, as each manufacturer has at least one model made for finding gold nuggets. With VLF detectors the models will range from 15 kHz to 71 kHz in operating frequency and feature some kind of ground balance capability, whether manual or automatic. So in general, if the VLF detector operates at less than about 15 kHz or if it does not offer some way to ground balance, cross it off the list. Pulse Induction (PI) detectors should have an actual ground balance capability and not rely on the inherent PI ability to ignore most conditions.

But don't get so arrogant you figure a locale is cleaned out just because you gave it your personal attention. I've walked away from many a patch that was "done" and returned later when looking elsewhere was not working out. And I've almost always managed to find more gold. It's extremely difficult for even the best detectorists to get it all. The detection area under the searchcoil is shaped roughly like an inverted cone or dish, and the deepest detection depth is in the center of the search field. This applies to coils that are advertised as doing otherwise and having the same depth end-to-end. Try it! The difference is less pronounced but it is there. So for items near maximum detection range you must be dead-center over the target or it is missed. The largest nugget can still be waiting to be found in any given area, missed by only the tiniest amount by many people. Just rolling a rock or scraping an inch of soil off can turn up more gold.


Steve Herschbach
Copyright 2003 Herschbach Enterprises
Please do not reuse or repost without my express permission Steve Herschbach



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Jim_Alaska
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golddragons1
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Re: Metal detecting ( 19:13:35 SatNov 15 2003 )

Hi Lip Ca,
When I go metal detecting,I go with the thought that several thousand people had been there before me,and with the hope that they haven't found it all.What I was hoping to find was a gold flake or a few fines(gold dust?)within the 1 to 3 grain size,that would(justify)a longer more intense effort on my part.As a new member and new to that part of the country,perhaps I should have been better informed about the hydraulic pit areas.Having said that,I have had a look at the Salmon river road,and drove 1/2 mile down that road before I had to turn around for the trip home.I will be making a return trip next year,what month hasn't been decided yet.

  
golddragons1
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Re: Metal detecting ( 20:08:25 SatNov 15 2003 )

Hi Jim Alaska,
I,m from Ohio and have had a very nice time camping in the Happy Camp area.As to metal prospecting and detecting in the area(with alot of panning and digging also)I had a serious setback as to certain of your club rules(which I won't go into on this thread),your club info materials didn't show or say a thing about a certain rule until after I had paid my membership fee.Didn't do my homework on that one!!Anyway,I still didn't break the rule and more on that at a later time.You are right in saying that I didn't spend enough time working all of the sites that I had been to,because of the time I had to spend there wasn't long enough to recieve the right information on the club's newest gold bearing property.When I had asked at the club office,the first time, where might be a good area to metal detect or pan,the lady I had talked to seemed to not care,and told me to look at the maps!Thank you that was alot of help,(my wife said to me that she hoped that most everyone in town wasn't like that!).I didn't come back to the office for 2 days,when I did,my wife and I met the nicest,most helpful lady(not the first one)that we had seen in Happy Camp thus far.She gave lots of information and was very nice to us out of towners.I would like to metal detect with you at some time in the very near future if the invitation still holds up.If I had known a bit more about the salmon river area,I would have went there first.
But after all is said and done,I did learn one very interesting fact about the entire area.
I still want to be a new 49er and have plans to visit again,maybe you can tell me Jim,what kind of metal detecter you might use when looking for gold nuggets?

  
Steve_Herschbach
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Re: Metal detecting ( 21:05:09 SatNov 15 2003 )

Hi golddragons1,

Since I let Jim borrow my post here thought I would chime in.

I've met many people trying to use multipurpose detectors like the XLT for nugget detecting. None that I've met were having much if any success.

Now, I'm sure I could go find gold with an XLT, but the fact is that the detector was engineered specifically to be a very good discriminating coin detector. Nugget detecting was last on the list of desired features. You can find nuggets with it, but the nuggets will have to be larger and shallower than those you could locate with an actual nugget detector.

It's like golf. I can play it with a stick, but I'm just not going to do as well. Best to use a gold club. If you use the XLT you will have to try harder and be more patient.

So I would recommend you get the tool for the job. If White's is your brand, the GMT is a good and very easy to operate nugget detector. You'll get tons of other opinions as to which is the "best" nugget detector but I think the main thing is to just have any one of them as opposed to a coin detector. I rather be running my old original Gold Bug than an XLT when it comes to nuggets.

Nugget detecting is perhaps the hardest way there is to go out and find gold. The vast majority of people who tackle nugget detecting never find any gold with their detector. It takes far more skill, and the patience to develop that skill, than people realize. I would not consider it unusual at all that you spent 5 days as a novice with a coin detector looking for nuggets and had no gold to show for the effort. In fact, I would have predicted just that. So I surely do not think it reflects on the New 49er's ground. Despite Jim's kind words I've spent more detecting time not finding gold than most anyone I know... that's how you learn what not to do!

The good news is that it is the difficulty of the challenge that makes it so rewarding when you do succeed. I like to coin hunt, but find looking for recent coins to be no challenge at all, and so no thrill when I dig a clad coin. It's those harder to find silver coins that I like... because they are harder to find. And when you find that first gold nugget with a metal detector the satisfaction of takling a difficult task and succeeding is really worth the wait.

Best of luck to you!

Steve Herschbach
Alaska Mining & Diving Supply

  
Jim_Alaska
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Re: Metal detecting ( 01:27:31 SunNov 16 2003 )

Steve, I have seen you run circles around me with that little Gold Bug. I have a good machine it is a Whites V-Sat. It is no slouch for nuggets, but this guy went over ground I had just detected and found a piece of gold (not a nugget) smaller than I would have believed possible. That made a believer out of me as far as you always saying that it is more the person that the detector.

I like Whites machines and if I were to get a new machine it would probably be the MXT.

golddragons1
Please email me off the forum and let me know what rule you are talking about and how it affected what you were not able to do, you have me curious now. Just click on the email addy at the bootom of this post.



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Rich_B
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Re: Metal detecting ( 06:34:54 SunNov 16 2003 )

keep swing that detector I have a whites v-sat I take it with me when I go out along with pans and sluice.I work the white for how ever long it take till I think I have enough time in and I don,t find any thing with it .The problem is with me I need to work at it so I allow my self 1 or 2 hours .Then head back to the pans and sluice and I find color or nice little little nugget in the same area that I was detecting so I just keep working at .

So don,t give up keep trying it is worth the work .When you find that color you forget about the time that you work so hard .Stil you have a nice day out in the woods .SO just keep at it You will find it

good hunting to you
Richard

  
walterab
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Re: Metal detecting ( 00:20:04 MonNov 17 2003 )

So many great posts.... thank each and everyone of you. Also thanks to all of you that e-mailed me directly. There is NO doubt that the 49ers have many good people among their ranks. I am a lucky man to be married 35 yrs to the same woman and to live in Happy Camp. After reading this forum, and other forums as well, I have come to the conclusion that I will have do more than just use my detector to justify the memebership fee. I can't see myself under water..... hehe..... but maybe learn to use a highbanker, along with detecting. I reckon more sweet talking is now in store for my lovely bride. Again, thank you ALL for your input. It has been greatly appreciated.

Walt

  
Dave_Mack
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Re: Metal detecting ( 05:28:33 MonNov 17 2003 )

Hi Walt,

While I do have some experience with it, detecting for gold is not my specialty. Not like others, who spend most of their days out there doing it with detectors. My focus has been on more conventional prospecting methods that rely upon digging or dredging sample holes and processing the gold from the material being tested.

But I have followed carefully and investigated the people and places where there have been really good or moderate success detecting for gold in our area of California, so I could understand why. Contrary to popular belief, there has been some really good success. For example, Jim Sweeney recovered nearly 100 ounces of gold in a single season near Happy Camp using nothing more than a metal detector and hand tools to dig the targets. Others have also done well.

One thing I do know is that, most often, it is probably a lot better to pick just one or two areas having a proven rich history, and go over those areas with a detector very carefully, rather than try and cover massive areas more quickly with a metal detector. An inch-by-inch approach is probably a lot better than a foot-by-foot approach.

Most gold nuggects or flakes sound out very faintly on a detector even when passed over directly in line with the most sensitive part of the coil. Those sounds can easily be missed or disregarded if you are in too much of a hurry. This is a general statement, not having anything to do with your method -- which I have not seen.

I have always found it interesting that while most gold prospectors measure their personal success in the volume and size of the gold they find, a lot of detectorists measure their success in how small the gold is that they find. So there are competing interests some of the time. I've seen detectoists celibrating their success in finding pieces of gold so small that they would really disappoint a dredger or someone mining with pick and shovel.

It is impossible to give you advice about your prospecting method from a distance, without seeing how you are doing things in the field. But covering vast distances using a metal detector looking for gold sounds like perhaps you should slow down and really cover every inch of a single, small area, making sure to dial your detector in as well as you can every minute, covering as close to the ground as you can get, digging every target that sounds out, and pulling your focus down to every audio varience given off by your detector. You have to focus carefully on every moment.

If you are considering other mining methods, I suggect you consider vacuum mining or hydro-mossing. This works particularly well along the banks of the Salmon River, where you will find gold in just about every pan of moss you dig.

We developed a new volume-mossing process last season during a week-long mining project, that we call "hydro-mossing." This is where we use a small water pump (Honda or whatever)to power up a garden hose to help wash moss off the bedrock in concert with a modified leaf rake. Works great! And the gold can really add up fast.

The primary rule is that you cannot wash dirty water into the active waterway from off the bank. But a garden hose delivers such a small amount of water that it is not difficult to keep on the bank under many circumstances.

Detecting is the hardest way to find satisfaction in gold prospecting continuously; because it depends upon your locating pieces of gold that are large enough, and close enough to the surface, to sound out on your detector through the different mineral backgrounds that are everchanging along the banks of a river. So you can come up empty a lot of the time -- even if plenty of gold is there, but just a little too deep, or hidden by too much iron in the surrounding area (electronics often cannot see the gold if there is too much iron present).

Mossing is another story. Put yourself into a good area, and you will see finer pieces of gold (and sometimes the bigger pieces) adding up in your poke on the first pan. Maybe you want to try that for awhile. The Salmon River is the most productive mossing area I have seen anywhere in the world.

I hope this helps!

All the best,

Dave Mack

  
nh
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Re: Metal detecting ( 07:50:00 TueNov 18 2003 )

I was wondering why moss grows on the river banks? What sort of critters live in or off of the moss? What could be the detrimental effects of large numbers of people using tools specificly designed to strip moss from river banks? One last question. How long does it take for the moss to grow back?

  
LipCa
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Re: Metal detecting ( 17:53:45 TueNov 18 2003 )

Dave, I am also concerned about the "volume-mossing" process.
I can see if this is done in a big way, it may be construed by someone as "removing streamside vegetation" and become a no-no.

I would hate to see that.

I believe that if the bedrock is completely stripped of the moss, it may not continue growing on those particular rocks.

I find that it is most efficient to just remove the mosses that are heavy with sand. That is where the bulk of the fine gold is.

  
49er_Mike
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Re: Metal detecting ( 19:30:36 TueNov 18 2003 )

These are some very legitimate concerns about hydro-mossing. Dave is out of country right now but I will be in contact later today with him to address these comments. Lack of an immediate answer only means I haven't gotten ahold of Dave yet.

Thanks,
Mike



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AuDiver
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Re: Metal detecting ( 20:26:38 TueNov 18 2003 )

Check this out!

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/lmexer8.htm#moss

Quote from this page:

"Mosses have a primitive method of fertilization that involves a motile, biflagellate sperm that swims through water to reach the egg on female plants."

So... Moss does not rely on a root system to reproduce nor does it use seeds and has male and female plants together in a orgy of reproduction.

I have no idea how this bears on the discussion, really. I just thought it was interesting.

  
LipCa
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Re: Metal detecting ( 21:59:43 TueNov 18 2003 )

I'm sure glad i'm not moss.

It sure has a complicated sex life!!.

  
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Re: Metal detecting ( 07:20:19 WedNov 19 2003 )

I appreciate the concern, you guys.

But, once again, we are in one of those situations where concepts being discussed give a false impression about the sizes of things in the real world, when you get out in the forest and start doing the activity.

The term "hydro-moss" creates a perception that is just an idea until you see the actual activity.

We are talking about very small-scale prospecting. Panning. Very small in comparison to what happens in dredging, for example. In fact, I would venture to say that the total volume from all the combined mossing we do in a whole season is less than would could be processed by a 5-inch dredge in just a few hours -- in the very same areas that are open to dredging throughout the year in many places.

The primary reason we do not target moss with our suction dredges is that the dredge recovery systems are not set up to recover the gold effeciently from sand deposits.

We had members panning good gold from submerged moss deposits this last season. Their dredges would not recover the gold from those deposits!

Anyone who has ever dug moss, knows that it sticks to the rocks pretty hard, and some moss always gets left behind no matter how hard you work at it. Using a garden hose to wash the sand (that was trapped in the moss) down into a pocket is a little faster and more efficient than using a small brush or vacuum cleaner. That is "hydro-mossing." You have to run the water pretty slow, so as to not splash or spray the sand (and gold) where you don't want it to go.

The reason I recommended the method is that in some places, the moss holds a lot of fine gold. So members like Walt can go out and begin recovering gold in the first pan, as opposed to spending a whole season not finding very much gold using a metal detector.

It is not that the gold isn't there. It is! Some methods turn it up easier than others. Using a metal detector, and not finding anything, can give a person the impression that there is no gold present. Doing this over vast areas can really give the wrong impression! Digging a single pan of moss in one place (where the detector did not ring out) can produce hundreds of colors. I've watched a lot of members get really excited about all the gold they were finding in areas that would not sound off on a detector. So, if someone is getting discouraged using one particular method, perhaps it is time to try something else.

We are talking about scraping a little moss off the rocks within the highwater line. There are hundreds and hundreds (it probably adds up to thousands) of miles of this moss on both banks of all the waterways in the forest. The moss is transitory. Most of it gets blasted up and swept away in the big winter storms that happen every so often. I would guess that a lot of it gets swept away in the normal winter storms. Then it repopulates the banks again, and starts trapping gold out of the lesser storm flows.

As popular as the activity was last season, the amount of moss we processed in comparison to the overall area covered by our claims (or the whole forest, which is even more important) was so small as to not be measurable.

Honest. This is one of the lowest-impact activities we do.

Sometimes, when you are not out there actually seeing the activity, the words being used can give you a wrong impression. Sorry about that. We will just keep trying to explain and educate as we go along.

I hope this helps,

Dave Mack




  
LipCa
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Re: Metal detecting ( 16:44:56 WedNov 19 2003 )

Thank you for the reply, Dave.

In my mind, after your post, I could see a dozen people in your class pulling, scrapping, raking and hosing the moss off the bedrock.

I know what I can do in a day. I multiplied that by a dozen and thought, "this can get out of hand".

The idea that there are hundreds, if not thousands of miles of moss covered rocks doesn't mean a thing if an eviro saw areas being stripped of the vegetation and wanted to make something of it.

If this is kept as a process that is not done as a group, and not volume processed as in a highbanker, I am ok with it.(not that I have anything to do about it other than express my opinion).
One or two people working at this are not going to have an effect. And there could be dozens of people working in different areas and still no effect.

It was the group effect in a single area that I was concerned about.

I agree, mossing is a very good way for someone to go away with some gold and not feel "skunked".

There is no way that you can pan moss and not find gold, even if it is small.

Thanks again for this forum to voice our ideas and opinions.



  
waya55
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Re: Metal detecting ( 02:35:18 WedFeb 20 2008 )

IT PROBABLY WOULDN'T HURT TO BRING HER HOME A NUGGET OR TWO!
HOW COULD SHE ARGUE THE POINT THEN?
BEST OF LUCK PAL.

  
LipCa
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Re: Metal detecting ( 06:49:17 WedFeb 20 2008 )

walterab hasn't posted in a couple of years.....this thread is almost 5 years old!

  
Jim_Alaska
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Re: Metal detecting ( 17:45:06 WedFeb 20 2008 )

Yes, this thread is almost five years old. Many folks go through the forum and don't realise that they could be looking at very old posts.



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