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View Poll Results: Can you or not make a living off of prospecting?

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  • Yes

    10 35.71%
  • No

    18 64.29%
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Thread: DO YOU or CAN YOU make a living from gold prospecting with a sluice/dredge/detector?

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  1. #41
    Jan 2010
    Redding, Ca
    Gold Bug Pro, GP 3000 modified
    456 times
    Hello all, been busy with work and a few other things this last week so I have not been on the forum. This post about making a living or not is interesting and I will go ahead and put my two cents in. I started detecting for gold many years ago with the advent of the Whites DI Series (many years before the Goldmaster Series). Back then there were places to go and find some nice gold even with the old units. When the GBII and the Goldmasters came out things started to change a bit. Let me go back a bit and say that in my particular area I was the first person to detect in many locations. Because of this fact I was able to get lots of good days and bring home lots of gold. Back then gold was a few hundred dollars per ounce. I was getting thousand dollar days every month. I was detecting full time back then, maybe seventy hours a week. That went on for about four years and other people started to gain knowledge about detectors and gold. Before I knew it everyone had a detector in Trinity County. I would have to say that I did make a living, a real good living, at detecting for gold for those four years.

    Because of all the newcomers my take started to slow considerably and I had to start researching for more new areas. I found new areas but many others did also. Dont get me wrong I was still doing real well but I was down to detecting only a few days a week. I still found some nice nuggets but it was getting harder. After my first four year run I was not making a living at detecting. I found over 450 hydraulic pits and ground sluices in Trinity County during those years. As far as I was concerned Trinity County was over for me. I made a mistake as right there at my backdoor in Weaverville was the original diggings behind the high school. For almost ten years no mention from anyone about this area. Well I took a walk out and about one day after getting my first Minelab and covered a very large area with dig after dig for miles and I detected gold at every location, some small earring pieces and some nice half ounce nuggets. Once I got back to the house and got the gold on a scale it came out to 6.4 ounces, not a bad day. I continued to work this area by myself for almost five years and did very well. I was working at the local wood mill so I only detected for a few days out of the week during this time. While I was still living in Weaverville I took a trip to the Sierra with a friend and found a quartz boulder that had over seven pounds of gold locked up in it. This was a good day also, however it had been a slow period for the mill that year so even with that gold we barely skated by with the kids in school and trying to keep things going.

    After the kids graduated the wife and I decided to make the move down to Redding and I thought I was leaving my detecting behind. After riding around Redding and seeing ground that looked gold bearing to me I started to research again. Well, lo and behold I found the Clear Creek area. There were many people sluicing and panning but none detecting. I was on the road again. First few weeks I did okay and stayed down by the road and detected the old diggings but the better gold was to come off the hillsides and still does. In just the Clear Creek area many pounds of gold were detected for many years to the present. Again, I was working during this time.

    I still continue to detect and hunt for pockets with a detector and do quite well at times but not like I use to do. I am a very good hunter/prospector however if things had not been laid out for me by fortune I would never attempt to make a reasonable living by detecting for gold. You get lucky sometimes but in the long run most are better off working and if you happen to do good on a day off, well, you do good and that is ice cream on the pie. I realize you are not talking about just detecting but these are my experiences with detecting.

    Nowadays the biggest part of prospecting is in the library, on the computer or old newspapers. Following up on old leads and keeping your mouth shut will give you some advantage but there are lots of people doing this hobby now and that in it self makes it very hard. Just some of my thoughts. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS

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  3. #42
    Mad Marshall

    Nov 2012
    Placer County CA
    533 times

  4. #43

    Jan 2013
    16 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    It does make you wonder though at where will be the next big gold rush and if one could get in on it early.

    Perhaps it will actually be deep ocean when ROVs and AI become advanced to the point you can place them out like a crab trap and come back in a week and harvest the gold they have collected.

  5. #44

    Sep 2012
    Grundy VA
    Fisher F4, Teknetics Delta 4000,Teknetics Omega 8000,Teknetics Gamma 6000,Minelab Pro-Find 25 Pinpointer
    190 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    There is always the possibility of making money in treasure hunting,whether it be for gold or coins,alot of it comes down to experience and how much time you are willing to dedicate to this adventure.
    We all know jesus rode a shovelhead,Thats why he walked everywhere he went!!!

  6. #45

    Sep 2012
    Grundy VA
    Fisher F4, Teknetics Delta 4000,Teknetics Omega 8000,Teknetics Gamma 6000,Minelab Pro-Find 25 Pinpointer
    190 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    ive been metal detecting for the past ten years as a hobby and i can say between clad and selling my finds n such,ive made an easy 15k over that period of time.
    Goldwasher likes this.
    We all know jesus rode a shovelhead,Thats why he walked everywhere he went!!!

  7. #46
    Jan 2013
    Tesoro compadre, bounty hunter
    32 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hey prospectors keep up the awsome posts! I think the key to all of this if you want to be a dedicated miner is to first research and 2nd have the time to do it full time. There are probably many place and rivers that still have pockets of gold its just putting in the hard work and being able and willing to accept some days you will get skunked. Has anyone gone up to AK and spent some time up there prospecting? I know there is a modern day gold rush but the season is short and many claims are staked but there is lots of AK ground that has gold to be found. Just curious if anyone has tried it up there? I know the people up there keep there mouths shut because thats what heard and been told by AK people.

  8. #47
    May 2009
    Garden Valley, ca.
    goldmaster 4/b
    849 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    so mining is actually the least likely venture to fail!!
    keepmehumblelord likes this.


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