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Mark Tillman

Trying To Learn The Basics Of Metal Detecting While Also Looking For A New Area To Prospect...a Good Idea?

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I'm new to metal detecting for gold and probably have somewhere between 20-22 hours use time on my GPX-4500 detector. I'm not surprised that I haven't had any luck yet finding any gold as I've some ways to go before mastering my detector. One concern I do have is that I might be looking in an area devoid of gold nuggets of sufficient size to register on my detector. The area that I've been working had probably half a dozen small gold mines and prospects that were active in the years prior to WW2. My search of old mining records has not produced any production numbers for any of these mines and it seems likely that the total yield in gold from most of the mines was probably pretty small (maybe dozens of ounces). I am encouraged by the fact that three of these old mines had  arrastras in place so I know that what gold ore was mined was at least free milling and not all tied up with sulfides. Obviously, I haven't talked to other detectorist about this specific area  so I can't judge what more experienced operators are finding. Actually, from what I can tell, the area doesn't appear to be that well visited as of yet and I was contemplating the idea of filing a mining claim at some future time if things worked out. Based on this scant background info, would some of you more experienced operators spent much time on an area like this or would my time be better spent swinging my search coil over a proven nugget producing area? Thanks. 

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If I'm thinking of the same Copperopolis as you Geowizard, I've not prospected this area although I've collected some nice copper mineral specimens from the dumps of the Whipsaw mine. It does seem like a good area to try for gold detecting and worthy of a closer look. The Eureka District which I guess includes most of the gold as well as a handful of tungsten mines surrounding Bagdad does seems to be pretty well claimed up so I really haven't spent too much time with my detector here although I've done a bit of drywashing just down from the Bruce mine which might be part of the Old Dick claim you referenced. The area I was referring to may or may not be currently under an active mining claim but I won't know that until I have a chance to do a claim search which I guess means a trip down to the BLM office in phoenix.

I like the idea of using small gold nuggets to hone my listening skills. I've tried using small pieces of lead glued to poker chips and one takeaway from this exercise was that I was not raising the gain high enough to detect the chip buried at a depth of about 6 inches. I have a slight hearing loss in both ears and it does seem as if the threshold of my detector could be a bit louder. I have the Black Widow headphones and even with the two volume knobs cranked to max, it seems to be just a bit too soft for my preference.

At some point down the road, I might consider adding a VLF type detector to my arsenal of gold hunting tools so good point on owning a second detector better suited for detecting those small size nuggets.

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Hi Mark

    

just wondering what you have found? any bullets or casings, how about coins any type

 

give us some history of how big and how deep. most of all have fun.

 

Joe 

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It may be too many miles for you to travel Mark, but we have a few spots left at our hands-on training sessions on Friday April 4 and Monday April 7 in conjunction with our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit April 5-6 in Placerville, CA. 

 

Chris Ralph and Steve Herschbach, two of the best detectorists around (and moderators for our forum), will be part of our detecting instruction team.  We'll have plenty of expert instructors for every brand of gold detector.

 

As part of the instruction, I bury nuggets of several sizes at predetermined depths and mark them so users can test their equipment and find out how their machines are supposed to react.  We split attendees up by brand for group instruction, then provide individual instruction for whomever needs it.  More info is available on our Mining Summit page. (Scroll down to the bottom for info regarding the hands-on training classes.)

 

Scott

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It may be too many miles for you to travel Mark, but we have a few spots left at our hands-on training sessions on Friday April 4 and Monday April 7 in conjunction with our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit April 5-6 in Placerville, CA. 

 

Chris Ralph and Steve Herschbach, two of the best detectorists around (and moderators for our forum), will be part of our detecting instruction team.  We'll have plenty of expert instructors for every brand of gold detector.

 

As part of the instruction, I bury nuggets of several sizes at predetermined depths and mark them so users can test their equipment and find out how their machines are supposed to react.  We split attendees up by brand for group instruction, then provide individual instruction for whomever needs it.  More info is available on our Mining Summit page. (Scroll down to the bottom for info regarding the hands-on training classes.)

 

Scott

Hope to see everyone there!

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We did manage to make it up to Placerville for our 2nd ICMJ Gold Show. Thanks Scott and Chris and the entire ICMJ staff and writers for another great event. I was able to attend the placer mining class on Monday and was able to obtain some very helpful instructions and suggestions during the session. In fact, several members of the gold prospecting club 'Mother Lode Gold Seekers' helped me troubleshoot a problem I've been having with my MineLab  that revealed the problem to be with the batteries amplifier circuit so I would say just this alone made the trip a success for me. I also purchased a couple of small nuggets (about a pennyweight each) during the show to practice with and we took advantage of our trip to visit a few old hydraulic mines up near Downieville. All-around a great vacation and we'll be looking forward to the next one.

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Hi Mark

    

just wondering what you have found? any bullets or casings, how about coins any type

 

give us some history of how big and how deep. most of all have fun.

 

Joe 

Hi Joefig

 

I've dug a fair amount of lead bullets some intact and some just slivers. Most were recovered from within the first few inches of soil but one of the areas I like to detect is over near Lake Havasu Heights and this particular area happens to have been used as a gunnery range during WW2 so some of the 50 caliber slugs were found at depths of maybe 6-8 inches. Years ago I had a Heathkit metal detector followed by a Goldak detector and I did manage to find some coins using these two dinosaurs but nowadays I'm just a gold prospector with respect to metal detecting.

 

Still searching for that elusive first nugget (found metal detecting) but having a good time doing it!

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Scott,

Do you video record any of your training?  Something we could watch via YouTube or some other online media?

 

Sorry, but we had many instructors going over numerous detecting brands simultaneously at the hands-on training site so it just wasn't feasible.  We split them up by brand, then down to model within the brand when possible.

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We did manage to make it up to Placerville for our 2nd ICMJ Gold Show. Thanks Scott and Chris and the entire ICMJ staff and writers for another great event. I was able to attend the placer mining class on Monday and was able to obtain some very helpful instructions and suggestions during the session. In fact, several members of the gold prospecting club 'Mother Lode Gold Seekers' helped me troubleshoot a problem I've been having with my MineLab  that revealed the problem to be with the batteries amplifier circuit so I would say just this alone made the trip a success for me. I also purchased a couple of small nuggets (about a pennyweight each) during the show to practice with and we took advantage of our trip to visit a few old hydraulic mines up near Downieville. All-around a great vacation and we'll be looking forward to the next one.

 

Glad you made it out Mark and that it was worthwhile for you!  

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