Jun 15, 2013, 02:47 PM
Do you consider gold detecting profitable?
Do you guys earn enough to live on it or is it more just a hobby?
Of course it varies, but overrall is it less, the same, more or even a lot more profitable than an average job with average pay?
On a scale from 1-10 where 1 is max easy and 10 is max hard, how hard do you consider this activity/hobby or job?
Jun 15, 2013 02:47 PM
Jun 15, 2013, 03:33 PM
I know of 2 guys that have been doing it full time for several years and making a good living at it(at least $60,000.00 plus a year) and it took them a while to get that accomplished. They are young ,tough, dedicated, have no family and few financial obligations. Lots of driving, hiking and living out of the back of their 4x4 trucks. Its a life I often think about but a wife, 2 daughters and a mortgage demand a steady job with benefits. I'd have to give it a "7"
Last edited by Hard Prospector; Jun 15, 2013 at 06:33 PM.
Jun 15, 2013, 04:14 PM
It's a "10." All the easy detectable gold was gone by 1997. Now you need to go where others can't, and that means hiking, horses, and helicopters, making it even harder to break even - much less profit. The "beans and bacon" are still bought with dredges, drywashers and highbankers. 99.9-percent of people that buy a Minelab GPX 5000, will NEVER make their money back in gold nuggets recovered with it. Every now and then though, somebody hits an eight-ouncer, so the dream is still alive!
Jun 15, 2013, 06:17 PM
I'd say it's a 2 for me. I spend a lot of time traveling on a bike and living in a tent so the gold would only need to pay for my food... maybe $5 a day.
Jun 15, 2013, 10:22 PM
I put an ad on craigslist last fall. A bunch of maps, duplicate copies of Nevada mining bulletins, placer deposits of nevada, etc. Nice young man spent a couple
hours buying the stuff and picking my brain. He showed me a handful of nuggets he'd got in Ca., said he was heading out on his own to parts unknown in
Nevada. Said he would keep in touch. Never heard from him again. He is probably out there struggling for food and gas money, or he struck it rich, or he's
Jun 15, 2013, 11:05 PM
like and unlike...
Originally Posted by Terry Soloman
Jun 15, 2013, 11:08 PM
or he never went? if you have any info on the areas around Topaz Lake and down towards Bodie i would llove to hear about it..
Originally Posted by Fullpan
Jun 15, 2013, 11:18 PM
Oh, he had gold fever bad! I'm sure he went lol. Give me a few days, i'll blow the dust off some stuff and PM you.
Originally Posted by pvillehunter
Jun 16, 2013, 12:06 AM
Jun 16, 2013, 07:51 AM
Who-what and where are the answer coupled with married,single,livn' like a animal in the boondocks. Not 1 in a million make a living with a detector. Fun for sure,will never stop, ifn' your lucky you'll stick with it for a few years,train hard and find some righteous specimens(my favorites all rough n' gnarly) but keep your day job and have golden dreams at night,weekend warrior it and you'll be all right-John
Jun 16, 2013, 05:26 PM
Jun 16, 2013, 10:50 PM
7 to 10 for gold but #1 for beauty, adventure, being out and away from these stupid a$$ governmental control freaks and etc. Also a #1 for communing with the self and ones belief's, some awesome trout dinners (back when I was fishing), some unbelievably awesome sights that must have been made on "His" day off and just for fun!
Its like you'd better enjoy being "out there" First and Foremost and then anything else is just added to the experience, IMHO.........................63bkpkr
Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm
Jun 17, 2013, 12:03 AM
Terry is correct, it is a 10, but much of the large gold was gone before 97. My guess would be before 90, but there was a jump in the finds once the PI's hit the market, which was in the mid 90's.
I remember I had permission to hunt one of the most desirable locations by the name of Potato Patch which is located on top of Rich Hill in AZ. The owners at the time were Jack and Laura Culp gave my dad and me full permission to hunt it any time we were down in AZ.
One trip I took Rod Hamilton to the top with me. Rod was marketing manager for Tesoro at that time. I can still remember him getting so excited as we approached the top and saying he couldn't believe he was really going to the Potato Patch to hunt gold. Well, we hunted alright but didn't find much . That area was private but a lot of people had hunted it anyway without permission and basically stole the the easy to find gold.
Had they taken time to ask, It is almost certain Jack and Laura would have let them go up and hunt.
Laura told us a story about a guy who a few years earlier bragged about going to the Potato Patch and finding pounds of gold. In fact he had several large nuggets and a bunch of smaller ones he was selling at some type of community event they were having in Congress, AZ. Anyway, Laura heard the guy was bragging about hunting the top of Rich Hill and that is where he found his gold. So, Laura approached the guy casually acting like a perspective buyer and began asking questions.
The guy openly admitted finding the gold on her property but said he had permission to hunt the area. By this time there was a crowd listening to the guy talk about his adventures to the top of the mountain. So, when the time was right, Laura asked the guy again about his having permission and the guy again said he did.
Well, Laura then called her husband over and asked him. "Jack this guy says he had permission to hunt the Potato Patch, did you give it to him?" Well, Jack said he had not and he didn't even know the guy. Laura then turned to the guy and told him she was the owner of the property and she didn't give him permission either.
Beet faced and embarrassed, the guy quickly packed up and left.
Laura giggled as she told the story because she mentioned later, had the guy asked prior to that run in, she would have given him permission.
Laura and Jack always had a story. I remember one where Jack took (I think) a D8 cat to the Potato Patch and cut several large swaths for some geologists to make evaluations. During one of he passes, Laura was casually watching her husband work when she noticed a pie plate nugget roll up and tumble in front of the heavy equipment her husband was running. She was stunned by the size of the gold and watched for it again. Well, it surfaced again and she realized what it was, she started yelling at her husband. He couldn't hear her and was looking the other way. By the time she got his attention, some time and distance had passed. Jack went back and tried to push the area carefully again but never did see the nugget again. They mentioned it to the geologist inspecting that area but never heard from him either. They often wondered if the nugget was still there or if the guy found it.
Now, I hunted the top of Rich Hill on several occasions and maybe found a total of an ounce or so in all the trips I made. I offered the gold I found to Jack and Laura but they never seemed to be interested in any of it. She was just happy to hear people we were finding some.
For those of you who have never heard of Rich Hill and the Potato Patch, it is something to look up. During this time, there was a club located on the Weaver side of Rich Hill and a mini gold rush happened there. A few people ran into one gulch called the Cadaver gulch that gave up quite a few nuggets in the oz to 5 oz range. The mini rush lasted several months but then it was over.
Over the 20+ years I hunted across AZ on my vacations, I heard of a few places giving up some nice gold but overall, the big continuous finds were over early in that 20 years. We got in on the tail end of the easy gold found around Meadeview and Gold Basin, but in a few years even that area was tough to hunt.
We were lucky enough to stumble into a location near Model Creek where we took out several oz's but that was a once in a lifetime event. A pic of three of the half oz nuggets found there can be seen sitting on the coil of a SD2200 which I field tested at the time for Lost Treasure. My dad found the largest on that trip, a 1 oz piece of gold.
A friend told me recently he and another friend hunted that same general area recently and managed a gram nugget for their several days of time spent.
So, in my opinion, it is definitely getting tougher to even find a piece of gold, let alone make a living doing it.
Anyway, sorry to bore you with some of my adventures.
One more thing, Jack and Laura finally sold the Potato Patch and shortly after Jack died of Cancer. Their dream was to sell the property and travel a lot but only part of that came true.
Last edited by Reg; Jun 17, 2013 at 12:11 AM.
Jun 17, 2013, 09:00 AM
I am nowhere near breaking even on my detector costs (Whites GMT, Whites GMII (bought used) and Whites VSat (bought used)). Its a hobby for me. I don't sell the gold I find, so I have no requirements that it pays for itself or that I make a profit. I just enjoy the challenge.
I have extra detectors that I let people use (usually the GMT) when I go out detecting with others. We do find gold, just not large amounts.
Whites GMT, Whites GM Vsat, Whites 5900, Gold Mountain King Cobra, Bounty Hunter 3300
Jun 17, 2013, 09:56 AM
Cpt. Herb Bussell
I don't bleep much any more for the above reasons, I stopped bleepin fulltime 10 years back, as all the easy pickins were done, call me spoiled but if im not getting a few nuggs each trip out im not bleepin.
just dig now,
I geuss If someone gave me a minelab I would give it a honest year of swinging. I doubt I could do much better than I do hard rock mining ?
Even diging Hard rock veins I still don't come close to making a profit.
We have a hell of a good time if that counts!
And then theres the guy across the valley from our dig, finds pounds!!!!
Keep looking boys its out there!!!!
Jun 17, 2013, 10:11 AM
From swinging a detector, back to swinging the hand tools and moving dirt........Even though we've never met I can tell your one tough old dude. I like your style gold tramp.
Originally Posted by gold tramp
Jun 17, 2013, 11:27 AM
Would be a very different story if the technology wasn't so far behind... I find it disgusting that in 2013, we're most of us running around with 10-12 year old VLF or PI circutry
When microprocessors have advanced so far..
Look inside a GMT, or even a GPX 5000.... Then take a peek inside more modern tech like, Gold bug pro, or CTX 3030.... Amazing what you can do with microcircuits.
Imagine what they could do with real processor power, such as ARM technology..
Or better yet, stop wasting money rehashing the old crap, come up with something all new.......
Dreaming i know.. Why give them something new and shiny when the crap from 10 years ago keeps them coming back... Just good business
Jun 17, 2013, 12:34 PM
Ah, I wish it was as simple as you make it sound, but it isn't. The most sophisticated microprocessor only can process the signal and not create one. So, the problem doesn't lie in microprocessor capability but in the physics involved. Most companies are not willing to invest large sums of money into fancier microprocessor operations that do not provide more depth. The return isn't cost effective.
The fact is, we are bumped up against a limit as to how to get a signal into the ground and back that contains the desired signal from a good object. Sadly, that is the problem that has not been overcome and may not be for years to come.
We will see things like a discriminating PI and/or a hybrid PI/VLF design in the future but we will still be limited in depth. New battery designs may help a little because it might provide the additional power needed for more depth without excessive weight.
Right now, most people are not ready to carry a 50 lb battery to gain a few inches in depth.
We will probably see energy recovery systems advance and that will help by increasing the power applied but even that will not make huge increases.
So, we are sort of stuck with no where to go at the present.
Jun 17, 2013, 11:03 PM
I guess it goes back to the original point... All the shallow easy to find gold is gone... We need to go deeper, so it's a signal power/output problem.. Which agreed, not an easy task unless as you say.. We all carry a 50lb battery : |(screw that my friends)
Then again, I can run my Laptop off an 18v battery for 5 hours, and that's powering a lot of hardware (gaming laptop) .. But really, until we NEED it .. We likely won't see anything new.
Jun 18, 2013, 07:43 AM
Do you consider gold detecting profitable?
I find it amusing when I hear that all the easy gold has been found. Does that mean that latter era prospectors have covered ALL areas, every square foot of it? Impossible! I've been gold prospecting for 32 years and covered the well traveled and the remote areas of the 11 western states, and have found gold, large and small. I have found gold in areas where it wasn't supposed to be, and even in the "worked out" areas. I have found gold with the simplest detectors and the most complicated. I say all this to encourage anyone to not give up, but to do your research and use your gut feelings. Is it easy? It all depends on where you're at. I live near the gold zone of Colorado and that's easy gold. I've been to mountain-tops and that's not so easy gold. Good luck and HH, Ken
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