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Steve Herschbach (Inactive)

Going Detecting All Summer Long!

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Well, as my article in the latest Journal relates my dredging plans are off for the summer. One door closes, others open, and I am hot the path of some excellent metal detecting opportunities in Alaska this summer. I am going to have three main targets. First, sniping bedrock with a detector which is going to get gold no matter what, but the average size will be very small. That will basically to make sure the bills get paid. Then I will put in significant amounts of time hunting tailing piles. This is not Ganes Creek or Moore Creek type stuff, which is exceptional in nature, but run of the mill tailings. That means lots of hours, very low odds of hitting gold on any given day. But the hope is a larger nugget will make the time pay off. Then finally something I have never done in Alaska - hunting virgin ground in hopes of finding a patch of gold. Extreme long odds stuff with low probability of a find, which is why I have not done it in Alaska before. I literally did not have the time! Despite the low odds however it is the type of hunting where results could be newsworthy if a find is made.

 

The bedrock detecting will be with high frequency VLFs like the Fisher Gold Bug 2 and White's GMT. I will be doing lots of "scrape and detect" and hitting every tiny bit if gold is more important than depth when doing that. The tailing pile detecting will be with either the Fisher F75 SE or Gold Bug Pro which are good at sorting out ferrous from non-ferrous. Tailings are full of junk. I detect about 12 hours a day so these models have ended up being what I prefer hunting tailings simply due to their light weight. Many other units would do as well but add another pound on my arm, and that is a critical factor for me, having experienced arm strain in the past. If the VLFs prove an area of tailings relatively free of trash, I will switch to my Minelab GPX 5000. The blue-sky prospecting in deep ground will be with the GPX 5000 almost exclusively.

 

Going to be my first real go at it in Alaska for an entire summer with a detector. I will be staying very mobile and may end up all over the state by the end of summer, or parked in one spot if I am doing well. That is one very nice thing about detecting - I can stay very light and very flexible. The entire time, I will be scouting for possibilities for 2014 and beyond.

 

When fall hits I will head for Reno and start my new gig as a Lower 48 prospector. The whole time I will be shooting photos and video and writing articles for the Journal. I will check in here as often as I can throughout the summer.

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Since you will be spending more time in the field, your odds should go up.  You can't find gold unless your coil is over it.  Of course you already know this and it shows what I have learned from you over the years.  Best of Luck and great success to you.

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Guest Chris Ralph

Yes, defitely looking forward to hearing how everything develops.

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Truth be told, I do like wandering around prospecting and exploring more than mining.

 

Job one Dick is the Fortymile and visit you while I am up there in latter June. Be in the area from June 18 - July 5 at least. Then possibly off to the Iditarod District in latter July. And Nome sometime in August. Would like to hit Brooks Range but doubt I will have time this summer.

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Truth be told, I do like wandering around prospecting and exploring more than mining.

 

 Isn't it ironic how a lot of folks who have a "day job" have fun puttering at prospecting/mining in the off time and dream of mining for a living. Then those of us who make a living at mining, with all the pressures that involves, dream of the day when we can just go and have fun puttering at prospecting/mining !

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Anything you do all the time just becomes a job, and mining is one of the most difficult to succeed at. People like you are rare indeed Dick. We are lucky to have your perspective here.

 

Prospecting really is the fun part. It is the hunt! Mining is when the real work starts.

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Steve,

 

When you are in one of your walkabouts, do you maintain any contact with your home, spouse, etc with a satellite phone or anything like that?  If yes, what do you use?  Thanks for your advice/experience.

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Wow Steve,  Sounds like an adventure for sure.

 

I have the kids at home still so I will have to do the dredge thing ( and some detecting ) to make sure my bills are paid. Going out on a detecting trip like that would be a retirement dream! I hope you make some great discoveries out there, we all know the possibilities.  :D  

 

 

Justin.

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I will be living in a tent as I have bills to pay also. Easiest way to make a profit is not have any overhead!

 

But stuff adds up. 300 minutes of sat phone (Alaska/Canada only) is $258, expires in 6 months. Cheapest I have found so far at least. There goes 4.3 grams of gold just to pay for that!

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I will be living in a tent as I have bills to pay also. Easiest way to make a profit is not have any overhead!

 

Hey Steve,

Have you ever considered an RV? I had planned on living in an RV all summer for my expedition. I also could assume your claims might not have road access... so I'm probably answering my own question.

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Last I checked the bears were doing fine JP, though they are a bit hungry after sleeping all winter. Funny thing is you should have heard all the horror stories I got told about poisonous snakes, giant lizards, and huge spiders in Australia. If I had believed what I was told I would have been terrified to set foot in Oz!

 

Weird, spring here and fall there. Your days getting cooler and ours warming up.

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Guest Chris Ralph

I also was warned over and over concerning the deadly snakes and bugs in Australia - all by people who had never been there, but had seen all that deadly stuff on TV.

 

I have new bear stories Jonathan - we need to talk!

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