The Half-Mile Claim
December 2019 by William Hepler
We dug and extracted for two more hours. This time, as I dumped the concentrates, I saw a piece of gold three-fourths of an inch long and as big around as a pencil.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
Each day for the first part of the week my boys and I picked and chipped away at that wall, stockpiling dirt in 5-gallon buckets and cement mixing tubs.
It was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...
• Can I get advice on a hard rock property in Calaveras County, California?
In the “toolbox” of most every prospector there are certain tools that we tend to use consistently for a variety of reasons. Have you ever noticed that tools and equipment tend to wear out, rust and fall apart whether we use them or not?
Shallow water crevicing or sniping can produce gold if you’re persistent, a hard worker and lucky. It’s nice to have a snorkel, wet suit and goggles. The best practice for success, in my humble opinion, has always been to determine the best gold location and then figure out how to capture it.
I’ve had great success using it to gather gold from crevices. I’d like to share the design with all of you gold miners reading this article and hope that you get as much satisfaction building and using it as I did.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - How do I obtain a map of Montana gold & sapphire gravel bars? • Ask The Experts - How do I process this white quartz with black striations? • Ask The Experts - Does gravel + bedrock = gold? • Back to Green Valley--With A Sluice • A Lesson In Underwater Sniping • More Fiddling While Forests Burn • Achieving Accurate Metal Detector Discrimination • My New Passion--Crystal Hunting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: White Knuckle Mining