Prospecting & Detecting
The first requirement is permission from a land owner. This can be tricky and it’s always a bit nerve-racking to approach a stranger cold with such a request.
Not long after this, I was camped out with the geologist beside the Similkameen River where he showed me the evidence that an ancient channel existed on our claim.
My hunch was that the gold is coming down the apron, falling off to both sides and into both gulches. I say that because the gold we found previously has the same characteristics and color across the entire area.
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.
Some ask if a prospector can collect an entire ounce in a day. It is possible; I’ve done it before.
Nuggets make for the best memories and this patch was just adding to mine. In the hours of daylight I had left, I worked from that nugget to the bottom of the patch, collecting eight more nuggets.
We all continued over to another location at the top of a massive placer operation. Arriving at the draw, I showed everyone where gold had been found before and we all began detecting.
What I saw was a beach area that was just completely covered in black sand. Rubbing my hands close together like a kid in a candy store, I could not wait to get set up.
I recently found myself wondering what would be the ultimate prospecting adventure. What would be the most amazing thing if I had no restrictions or limitations?
This year was a test. We had never done anything like this before, yet we grossed $30,000 in the short time we had to mine.
The signal I was hearing was coming from a vertical bedrock crack on the bank of the creek. I removed my backpack, took out my crevicing tools and started to clean out the crack when I saw a glint of gold.
Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!
Filing claims is actually quite easy, though there are a number of pitfalls that you should watch out for. Over the years, I have made just about every mistake you can with a mining claim, and have learned a few things to watch out for along the way.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.