Trying Out the New Highbanker
February 2012 by Tom LeftwichThe 2011 gold season had finally got underway on the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Quincy, California. Cold weather and high water had pushed gold mining into mid-summer, but things were looking up.
Maybe we could find a few pieces of ore from that tunnel? It was worth a try. The old timers didn’t have that stamp mill for looks, so we set off to get some samples.
Lots of prospectors are trying out nugget detecting for the first time and finding out that it isn’t all that easy. In fact, in my opinion, metal detecting for nuggets is perhaps the most difficult form of prospecting that one can take on.
On my weekends off I spent many hours dredging the Second Broad River from Cane Creek Road up to the headwaters. I used a three-inch dredge with air and graduated to a five-inch with air.
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.
Rivers are not just random and accidental; streams and other drainages are what they are because of the forces of erosion acting on the bedrock.
We soon found that our discovery post and other claim markers were gone and replaced with new posts and a notice of location with an earlier date than had been on our notice of location.
I figure there are a lot of new people out there who have the same question. I will try to give some answers that hopefully will give you more confidence in finding your own spots.
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