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Thread: Advice for a New Gold-Enthusiast, aka Free Chance to Tell Me Im Wrong

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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2016
    Erie, PA
    3
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Advice for a New Gold-Enthusiast, aka Free Chance to Tell Me I'm Wrong

    Hello,

    A couple weeks ago I started planning for an unexpected little trip down south in mid-May and realized I was finally going to have a chance to do something I've wanted to do for years: dig for gold. I've been spending some time since then reading up on what I need to do, and boy is there plenty of that. Reading the forums here has been invaluable. Based on that, I think I have the equipment figured out, because I hate not having the right stuff to do something - I ordered a 36" Prospector as my sluice and I will be getting a couple Garret pans, sniffers, and a classifier screen, and I'm set on buckets and shovels. When everything arrives I'll practice with it before I leave and make sure it all works. As far as I can tell... lol.

    But I am still quite conflicted on where to go. I got the "go to VA/NC/SC/GA/TN" part pretty quickly. But then I figured at first there would be pay-to-pan locations that would not have much gold left, and then there would be the real places to pan where the guys who knew what they were doing went. I thought the GPAA would be the way to go for that. However, it looks like GPAA claims tend to be not all that great and pretty sparse in the east, and I am not about to join the LDMA for a week. And National Forests seem limited to panning. So now I am back to square one. I expect that really good panning spots are the result of careful research and sampling, and I am not trying to find one of those, but what would you suggest for 2 serious newbies looking for a place that is not overun with 500 screaming children (bless their loud little souls) with very little remaining gold?

    A place to put a tent without getting shot (based on some of the posts I've read here, my oh my) would be nice too. I kinda like to keep digging and hunting to separate trips...

    Thank you for your time in replying. Every activity has newbies asking the same questions, and I'm sure if I spent (a lot) more time searching I could figure these thing out without having to ask. If there is a specifically good thread, just point me in the right direction.

    Thanks!
    Aufisher likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    All the gold in the universe was created by colliding nuetron stars. Most of all the gold on earth arrived via falling meteorites about 200 million years after it was formed.

    Apr 2015
    Superior, Colorado
    30" Sniper Bazooka Gold Trap, X-Stream Hybrid Pro hand dredge, Royal Manufacturing 54" Powered Stream Sluice, Pans of all different sizes and shapes
    210
    358 times
    Prospecting
    Greetings and nice choice on the prospector. You'll love it. Allow me to correct something you said. Most public lands allow recreational gold prospecting unless specifically banned by local government. Just so you know sluice boxes that are set into the stream and under some crazy length are considered recreational mining. Most times even battery powered sluices are allowed. You should be able to use that Bazooka on most public lands unless otherwise stated. You'll need to do research on where to go in your area. You may try the USGS for gold sites around you.
    OwenT, Bierstadt and Aufisher like this.
    We're already millionaires the only thing is you gotta get it outta the ground. -Jack Hoffman

  3. #3
    us
    Dec 2013
    N. California
    Bazooka Prospector-Sniper-Supermini Thanks Todd & Chris, Goldhog Multisluice Thanks Doc, My Land Matters Thanks Claydiggins, 6 Senses
    1,847
    4690 times
    Prospecting
    Welcome to the place and it looks like you might have the beginnings of the gold fever. Ask as many questions as you like and you will find some great answers here. I know nothing of East coast prospecting but if you make your way out to California contact me and I will get you out on some California gold. Good Luck and great choice with the prospector. It will serve you well.
    Bierstadt and Aufisher like this.

  4. #4

    May 2013
    The Golden State
    Whites Goldmaster V/SAT. VibraProbe. Bazooka 48" Prospector Sluice. Shorts. Chickens + Goats + Goldhounds. 35' Chris Craft Caribbean motorsailer. FISH OIL + BURLAP
    1,948
    4838 times
    Prospecting
    Wish I had my Bazooka from day one! Good luck!
    goldenmojo and Bierstadt like this.
    I am a teacher, hydrologist, biologist and a prospector.

  5. #5

    May 2013
    789
    2345 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    My two cents.........

    If you're new.... you need to learn your equipment and how to become an EXPERT panner.
    Panning is the key element that many new people forget to work on a LOT. And I mean a LOT.
    I would at least go to a couple of the pay places to start.
    Then maybe throw in a few public areas.
    They have dirt you can run and there is gold in the dirt.
    Most charge $17 - $25 a day and you'll burn that in gas scouting places.
    You can run your equipment, learn to pan, and not worry about the "laws" and regs which can be VERY complicated in the south east.
    i.e. - You can not run sluices in GA national forests, just pan. And there's a good chance the land you WANT to work in the
    national forest actually lies within a WMA. You can't do anything there.

    I just think you'll have a more enjoyable trip if you at least plan a few of those stops in with your
    public lands search.

    Doc
    russau, arizau, Aufisher and 5 others like this.
    Gold Hog Sluice Matting and Highbankers www.GoldHog.com

  6. #6
    us
    Jul 2015
    North Vernon IN
    tesoro vaquero
    75
    103 times
    Prospecting
    Look up the laws and follow them to the letter. I got busted prospecting in an off limits area and got a major fine for it. Worst part was the area was loaded with coarse flakes and very productive. I was just inside a restricted area and had no idea. aka no signs or such. My fault for not paying closer attention to my gps.

    And as Doc said become an expert panner and everything else gets easier.

  7. #7
    gold miner antique collector

    Sep 2013
    e.rochester nh.
    whites, KEENE A52 sluice, 3" dredge
    861
    1404 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Welcome to T-NET! Like everyone has said practice your panning first! What I did was flatten out some small fishing sinkers cut them into pieces threw them in some dirt started panning. Count how many you put in. when you keep all of them in your pan cut them in half and start again. If your going to GA. check out the Grubbin Mine I got some good pay dirt from them and they have a pay to play place as well check them out on line. Good luck Happy prospecting.
    Some times skill has nothing to do with it!

  8. #8
    us
    Apr 2016
    Erie, PA
    3
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Purplegold, thank you. I was concentrating on researching North Carolina at the time and I read they had the no-sluicing restriction. I shall keep the state-to-state regulations in mind - though I am going to try sluicing in a place I know (aka I am told) has gold before I try up in my area in PA. Thank you though.

    Goldenmojo, thank you as well. If I have a chance to visit California I shall look you up.

    Aufisher, thank you too. All this encouragement is a color of its own.

    Goldhog, thank you for the tips. I came to the same conclusion regarding equipment, which is why I selected the gear before trying to pick the specific place. Fortunately I have any amount of lead shot to play with in learning panning before my trip. The advice about starting in a pay-to-pan for a novice to both the region and the art of placer mining is very sensible. And part of my goal is not to get shot for prospecting in the wrong place anyway.

    Kuntzy, a sobering point, thanks. And practice makes perfect. Or at least better.

    nh.nugget, thank you, I shall hit my lead shot with a hammer. And cut it in half. And then feel very silly, but it will pay off when I am not screwing up (as much) with the gold. Grubbin Mine, I'll add it to the list.

    Thank you again to everyone. Sounds like the smart move is to spend most of my time at a pay site, and visit one or two recommended/researched public land sites along the way. Never looked for gold, but I've never spent a bad day on a river or creek either.
    Last edited by Bierstadt; Apr 21, 2016 at 11:13 AM.
    Aufisher likes this.

  9. #9
    gold miner antique collector

    Sep 2013
    e.rochester nh.
    whites, KEENE A52 sluice, 3" dredge
    861
    1404 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Keep us posted on your adventure.
    Aufisher likes this.
    Some times skill has nothing to do with it!

  10. #10
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
    6,740
    10515 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleGold View Post
    Greetings and nice choice on the prospector. You'll love it. Allow me to correct something you said. Most public lands allow recreational gold prospecting unless specifically banned by local government. Just so you know sluice boxes that are set into the stream and under some crazy length are considered recreational mining. Most times even battery powered sluices are allowed. You should be able to use that Bazooka on most public lands unless otherwise stated. You'll need to do research on where to go in your area. You may try the USGS for gold sites around you.
    Sadly this isn't true back east.

    You can read this post as a brag about how awesome Colorado is though!
    Clay Diggins and Aufisher like this.

  11. #11
    us
    Apr 2016
    Erie, PA
    3
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Update: I decided to keep it simple and visit the Mountain Creek Gold Mine and the Lucky Strike Gold and Gem Mine for my first time out. I am still waiting to receive my Bazooka; I will give them a call to see how it is getting along, given I am leaving in 3 days. lol

    Everything else is in. Hopefully when I get back I will have a nice fat pile of cons to clean up. Or a little pile. Something, anyway.
    Clay Diggins and Aufisher like this.

  12. #12
    us
    Fortune Favors the BOLD, while Karma Favors the Wise!

    Jan 2006
    Arizona Vagrant
    Modded SD2000 / White's Goldmaster 4B / Fisher FX-3 / Fisher Gemini / Schiebel MIMID
    6,401
    6287 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Bierstadt,

    Best of luck, and I hope you have become very good with your pan! You will need to be!

    Goldhog and nh.nugget broached the subject, but if you haven't yet, go to a sporting goods store and buy a small container of the tiniest lead birdshot available (for reloading shotgun shells). Try #18 lead shot (.05"). Count out a random number, and mix that many of the shot in your cons. When you can consistently get all the shot OUT that you mixed in, you should be just fine!

    Mike
    kcm and HardHatMatt like this.
    My Motto: "KEEP AT IT!"

    ............... ALWAYS REMEMBER: When you make a typo, the errorists win...................Aloha Snackbar!

  13. #13
    kcm
    kcm is offline
    us
    Feb 2016
    NW Minnesota
    Tesoro Silver uMax
    5,771
    7025 times
    It's a little late now, but you could also look up local prospecting clubs in the areas you're interested in. Nobody would have better information on what to expect and what all's involved than the local guys!
    russau likes this.

 

 

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