Just Pick a Spot

So what do I mean by “Just Pick a Spot” ? Well I run into lots of folks every year that are flustered not having found much if any gold and have been running from placer deposit to placer deposit doing quick 2 day hunts and heading off once again to a place they heard has “greener pastures”. This short article will try to get folks to focus on one area at a time and for good reason.

Even after doing research on a claim or open area you plan to prospect and learning all you can which ups your odds of success greatly you still are in, well, a new area! It is one thing to read and study at home, but getting boots on the ground to learn an area and it’s golden secrets is yet another. There are very few places I have spent hours and hours researching that I have scored a jar of nuggets first time in the field though it has happened.

Just finding the clues as to where to start can take a day or two in a new area and I have gone home empty handed after the first weekend there. So it is as they say “back to the old drawing board” Once again I begin planning my next hunt, where? The same location to try and locate where the old timers worked (if they did) to give me a starting spot. Geology as learned almost by accident as we study placer gold locations is a big help as well allowing one to ID potential spots even if no evidence the old timers were there.

But old timer evidence like these tailings from drywashing are a clue that have led me to many a nugget patch over the years and in many cases easy to spot from quite a distance or even on Google Earth from home.


Why didn’t we find this area first trip? Went the wrong way or whatever, but now we have a place to start metal detecting because as we have learned those old drywashers as well as today’s miss gold and especially larger nuggets that end up in the coarse header piles. Also it becomes evident what type material they were looking for in this area. So the hunt begins and even if you do not score or find evidence others have been here with detectors before learn and work the area hard.

Many of the gold placers we all work are huge and it can take many weeks, months, or even years to work them thoroughly and why do all that research to find a location only to do it all over again after only giving this spot a quick go over? In other words “why leave gold to try and find gold” ?

This is also true of areas a friend takes you into and says “I have found lots of nuggets in this area” So you hunt a couple hours and begin to figure all the gold is gone…. What you figured that out all on your own somehow? Have you ever looked at your detector coil then look around you at the huge area that could hold gold and realize it would take a lifetime to hunt every square inch of ground. In one of those square inches could be a half ounce nugget everyone else missed. Or a small wash full of small nuggets just over the hill.


So my friends learn the closest area to you that is a good nugget producer and work it hard, very hard and it will get a nugget in your poke faster than burning gas to run around quickly checking areas and never really hunting gold….

Good Hunting.


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