Very first trip metal detecting for gold nuggets
So I picked up this new hobby ... gold prospecting, gold mining on my own claim (club claim), and now metal detecting for gold nuggets. I live close to many gold producing areas of the southwest US. I chose the desert areas as my research says that is where the placer gold is. My very first try, I found gold in a recirculating sluice box. Switched to a dry wash plant and found more bigger gold. Bought a Fisher Gold Bug 2 to look for gold nuggets a week ago.
I watched many utube videos on how to use this machine. I went out on my own to learn the machine myself. Really easy to do as I set all the adjustments to where the utubers said to. It did not take long to learn the ground balance feature. So off I searched an obvious trashy area and found trash. Check my dry wash diggings in the trashy area and found trash.
I knew about trash and had planned to go to an area way off the road, where I knew there would be a lot less trash. As I worked my way in, near the mouth of the canyon I tried an area and found a couple of lead pellets and a BB so I stopped that area and went farther up the canyon. This deepest part of this whole canyon has been cleaned by hand to bedrock over the last 400 years. Any gold there now would be recent flood gold and not original deposits. I did find decent gold dry washing for flood gold on a two year old flash flood dry riverbed. I went to my dry washing site up the valley where I found gold two weeks earlier. I check my digging and found my own trash, that is wires that had come off my wire brush which I used to clean bedrock ( Note to self .... get a high end nylon brush)
I think I spent 4 to 6 hours on my first run up the canyon, My first (real] dig was into highly mineralized ground that gave off a strong signal that disappeared as I broke up the ground. Hmm ... ok, Still trying to figure out this machine. I start finding and identifying hot rocks, Ok, I can deal with them. I then try the area on the other side of the dry riverbed from my dry washings and find a target. not expecting much and learning how to deal with separating out the target, dropping back it the dirt once, refinding it, and then Bingo a small gold nugget, on my first time out, how cool. Ok, time to search for more ... I quickly find 3 more small nuggets all in the same area. Wow! how cool is this, super easy. Getting kinda hot, have 4 nuggets so I walk out back to the truck for ice cold refreshment and shade.
After a brief break, I go back up the canyon for about 3 to 4 more hours. Very hard work and getting tired and I only find one more small nugget in the exact same area as before. No nuggets, just hot rocks everywhere else. So I get 5 small gold nuggets for one whole day of hard work. How is that on par with your guys finds???
I decide to camp right next to a dry wash spot where I found a little gold a few weeks earlier as I wanted to detect the pit. No gold found, just very hot rocks. I wake up and dry wash all morning ( one half of a day) and find a little gold. I then compare the results and see that I NEED to got back to metal detecting. I break camp and drive back to the mouth of the canyon I was at the day before. I spend the next 4 hours (half day) searching the canyon hard. I proceed to find 4 or so horseshoe nails from burros probably 150 plus years old. I then find quite a few BBs. I search the same area as the day before. I search for flood gold and find aluminum foil a few times. I find no more gold so the 5 nuggets is for a day and a half of searching. So way harder work then I first thought, but still more productive then dry washing so far. Plus these are the 5 biggest nuggets that I have found so far.
Then drive home and half way home the rear end of my truck starts to destroy itself results in one scary jerking drive home (At first I thought it was from extremely strong winds) and I limp home.
Conclusion: The Fisher Gold Bug 2 sure finds small gold nuggets and easily ground balances in highly mineralized ground. I can hardly wait wait to find a big nugget. Maybe I need to find a different area? !
Bad cell phone photos, I will take better photos when I set up my pro gear.
Five gold nuggets, horseshoe nails from burros 150 plus years old, a BB, and very hot rocks ....