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Prospecting & Detecting

Detecting Strategies for Heavily Forested Areas

Looking for nugget laden bedrock in forested mountain regions, you first need to explore the banks of the gold-bearing streams and look for the bedrock that is exposed as this is your starting point.

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Excavator Testing Wet Placer Ground


The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.

Picking Our Way Through Bedrock


Once again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.

Recent Prospecting in Plumas County


Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.

The Summer of ‘81


When it was all setup and running, you had everything coming off the dredge riffles into the boil box. At the hole section, some of the water got sucked down and pulled a lot of black sand and over heavies…

The Life of an Independent Prospector


“JP, is it possible to make a living looking for gold with a metal detector?” I get asked this question a lot...

Man's Best Friend


Adam’s condition had been deteriorating every step of the way. At times, I could only coax him ten or twenty feet before he laid down again. He refused to eat or drink. At this point, I realized we might not get out of the canyon by dark and might need help getting Adam out at all.

Mutiny on The Mason


We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.

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