So you want to be a Nugget Shooter?

OK, well the truth is anyone with the money to invest in good equipment can have a reasonable chance at finding some nice gold, but beware this is not an easy or get rich quick business to get involved in. I am simply being honest here because I get call after call from good folks new to metal detecting for gold nuggets that have already become totally frustrated after a few short hunts. Well guess what? I was one of those folks 20+ years ago and after a few hours digging nothing but bullets, wire, tacks, etc. I would resist the urge to smash my detector into little bits and go back to running my drywasher for a while to cool off.

Now we fast forward about a year to the day I found my very first gold nugget with my metal detector! Not real exciting since I found the darn thing sitting in my tailing pile from drywashing that day. Yes I was still working at learning to detect for gold, but back then there was no one really willing to take someone under their wing and help them learn to find gold with a detector and folks were very secretive as is the case today. I mean think about it asking someone to show you a spot you can find nuggets easily with a detector is like asking them to give you 1000.00 dollars after they worked for months to rear it.

No I am serious here and finding those spots that I can consistently go back to and find nuggets to add to my retirement fund at today’s prices is allot of work doing research both studying and spending time in the field searching for geological signs and old timer workings to tell me I am on the right trail. But the thrill and satisfaction of getting into a new area that you researched and found yourself that produces several ounces or even pounds of gold nuggets is only known by those willing to make it happen.

OK back to my first nugget find….

During that long and frustrating year of not being able to figure out how to find those seemingly impossible to locate gold nuggets I was reading and learning from every source I could find and there was no real help on the computer yet so I spent much time in the library and in prospecting shops buying books and asking questions. Then I found a book that changed everything “Follow The Drywashers” The Nugget Shooter’s Bible, by Jim Straight who has since become a good friend and this book changed my whole direction.

You see the old timers drywasher just like modern drywashers were designed with what is called a grizzly to sort out bigger material before it runs through the drywasher. These rock tumble off the grizzly into what is called a header pile along with any nuggets bigger that the screen holes which are 1/4,  3/8, or 1/2 inch depending on what the operator prefers. You see they were finding so much fine gold and small chunks they did not worry over the occasional lost larger nugget simply because they were not all that common in most areas worked by the old time miners.

That is how I found my first chunky 2 gram nugget as we always check our piles at the end of the day for these missed nuggets, the old timers did not have this option. Now I had read this very thing in Jim’s book, but it took finding a nugget in my own pile to drive it home. After admiring my newly found nugget I began looking at all the drywasher piles around me and began to swing my detector over them one by one and I began finding nuggets, lots of nuggets! Then I began working benches and hillsides in these areas worked by the old timers and the rest is history and I have found many pounds of nuggets in the years I have been doing this and believe it or not I am still learning as I go.

So what I am saying is do not just give up! This nugget shooting with a metal detector is not as simple as just getting the best equipment available and if you don’t get a 6000.00 dollar detector over a nugget it will not work any better than a club….

To be successful recovering gold nuggets one MUST also learn how and where to find them and research is the key. Don’t be in a hurry and though some score their first trip out it is rare, but with some work and taking the time to know your detector you too can begin finding that nice yellow gold! You now have the internet with literally unlimited free research material and gold forums like where others are willing to help in any way they can (other than putting you in a spot) and we did not have this option in the old days when the new fangled gold nugget detectors came on the scene.

So if you want success YOU have to make it happen!

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