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  1. #1
    us
    Feb 2011
    16

    Whats your honest opinion....

    Hypothetical question. If you lived in a area where prospecting is less then desirable "Iowa for instance" would you still be spending all the time you do looking for gold?
    I love being outside reguardless what Im doing "I always manage to catch a buzz at least" so I figure might as well search for treasure since I cant seem to catch fish

    I guess what Im trying to ask is, if I really start itching for my first piece of gold, should I take a vacation with my prospecting stuff, or keep trying where I am?? What would you do?

    Thanks, Scott

  2. #2
    us
    Apr 2010
    Vermont
    77
    4 times

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    I love the outdoors also. I live in Vermont, you may have more gold in Iowa than we do. Most of my panning is done near my home. I get a few small flakes, micro gold. Occasionally My wife and I go over to New Hampshire or Maine where I have done a little better. Play around near home, enjoy what you have available and dream of everything around you. I will sometime go to Arizona for a limited stay, I wish I were in Alaska. Enjoy what you have around you first and dream of bigger things.
    Wayne

  3. #3
    us
    Apr 2010
    Vermont
    77
    4 times

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    I forgot to mention. If money and time are not an object go where the gold is.
    Wayne

  4. #4
    us
    Feb 2011
    16

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Thanks for the reply, makes me feel better that there is some hope out there because I havent heard of any around these areas... I mentioned something to the girlfriend about going on a little trip to try prospecting but that didnt go over so well!! Aparently she would rather have a lazy-persons vacation and not have to work

  5. #5
    us
    Feb 2010
    Black Hills, South Dakota
    785
    625 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Hi Scott,

    If you are in Iowa you are only about a days drive from gold country.The Black Hills has some pretty good gold. If you are a GPAA member they have some claims in the Hills. One claim boarders my claim. Last summer a 4.96 oz. nugget was found on another claim I am partners on. Good Luck.

    BH Prospector

  6. #6
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    3,583
    1792 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Gold is extremely hard to find in your area and prospecting is hard enough without the odds being stacked against ya. NEVER SPEND ALL YOUR TIME DOING ANYTHING--gets old and tiring pretty quick--John

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2011
    16

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Quote Originally Posted by B H Prospector
    Hi Scott,

    If you are in Iowa you are only about a days drive from gold country.The Black Hills has some pretty good gold. If you are a GPAA member they have some claims in the Hills. One claim boarders my claim. Last summer a 4.96 oz. nugget was found on another claim I am partners on. Good Luck.

    BH Prospector
    I did find this website yesterday,

    http://www.goldprospectors.org/zenca...products_id=30

    Seemed like a good deal for the membership and some reading material. Does anyone have a electronic copy of the claims available to GPAA members?? The girlfirend "basically wife" has really been itching for a trip to the black hills, there might be a little hope for me there!!

    Thanks again for the opinions guys it really means alot.

  8. #8
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    'South' Texas
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    2,703
    1318 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Good Morning Scottyk,
    Practice at home where the cost is just your equipment. Practice till you are very good at finding/retaining small lead shot. So lets drop back a little bit here and ask some questions. Are you panning or metal detecting? Do you have a simple classifying screen (1/4" mesh hardware cloth pop riveted into the bottom of a large pumpkin pie filling can, 1/8" to 1/4" mesh kitchen draining device, etc.) Having a simple way to sort out the large rocks or large "stuff" is very helpful for panning and sluicing and if you are metal detecting and want to prospect for gold then you should have a simple plastic cup to wave under the detector coil with your sample of dirt in the cup. In some manner you must reduce the amount of the raw "ore", classify, so that you can find the particle of gold. With the plastic cup method wave your ore sample under the coil, no beep beep dump the ore and get a new cup full. Beep beep, pour half the ore into your free hand and hold it, now wave the cup under the coil, if no beep beep dump the cup and put what is in your hand back into the cup and check it. Beep beep then dump half of what is in the cup into your hand and etc....... Keep halving the ore sample till you've so little left that you can see it or can save it to pan it out at home.

    Put small lead shot, 6 - 10 bb's, into a pan full of dirt wet the entire sample till no more air comes out of it then start to agitate the material to settle the heavies to the bottom, it is important to liquefy the sample so keep it good and wet and shake it down. The idea with this practice is to be able to keep all the bb's in the pan as this means you panning method is working. The same sort of thing can be done with a metal detector by building a test garden with lead shot as the target and when you can find the bb's in the plastic cup then you are detecting and sorting properly. Practice, practice, practice, research, research, research, etc.............

    I started out not knowing a thing about prospecting, as I recall that was yesterday, save for what I'd seen in the movies so in essence I knew nothing as movies are bunk for the most part. As I practiced coin shooting in the city I learned detector technique till I graduated to a good gold machine, Whites GMT. With some city practice with the GMT and the coinshooting technique I went off into the hills of California and did not find anything for some time, like a couple of years, though I could find fine flake with the gold pan. Then last year I took all that I'd been learning from practice, research, reading how too articles on metal detecting, reading the instruction manual for the detector and practicing back out into the field. Sitting in my camp one night while eating a splendid freeze dried meal I was looking around where I was camped at and this boulder on the other side of the river kept calling to me. So after dinner I went over to the boulder and found a nugget on its "down river side". I then used the detector to test the buckets of dirt I was digging out and when it went zip zip I processed that sample. Darned if I didn't find a nice little batch of gold nuggets. Oh, I still really don't know much but more than when I started and I still found gold. Actually over the years of backpacking I've always carried a gold pan and could almost always find a bit of color on every trip but I was in the Gold Fields of the 49ers so that made it easier to find the stuff. Go where others have found gold and you will find some.

    Hope this helps! 63bkpkr

    PS - picture of what I found last year

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    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  9. #9
    us
    Feb 2011
    16

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    bkpkr thanks for the reply!

    I am just panning right now, the price of the metal detector has scared me away from that for the time being.. I have a simple Garrett starter kit with 2 pans "big and small" 1/4 classifier screen and the gold sucker bottle. I have been practicing in the garage with a big ole plastic tub and some dirt "almost clay" I dug up from down the street. I have been cutting small slivers of lead off of sinkers to give me something to find.. I have been surprising succesfull in finding the shavings out of this big pile of dirt, there isnt any black sand that I have seen yet. The dirt I currently have doesnt seem to need classifying but running it through the screen does help break up some of the clumps.

    To say I like tinkering is almost a understatement so the appeal of fabricating a sluice and possibly a dredge is appealing to me quite a bit.. I think it might be smart to hold off on the dredge and stick to a sluice for now. I just cannot run through very much material with just myself and a gold pan right now "the river, streams, and gorund being frozen isnt helping LOL" Its hard to keep motivation, I got 2x 5 gallon buckets full of dirt I had to chisel out and its just from a random spot by the river. I would have needed snow shoes to get any "good looking" spots. So I might as well of dug up some from my back yard, after reading and looking at where you guys are finding color Im fairly certain there is not anything good in this dirt. I've been through about 15 pans of dirt which equates to about half of a buckett. I have lost some shavings trying to test speed, got a little to wild with the pan and lost it but Im starting to get the hang of how fast I can pan and not loose heavy material. Hard to really get the enjoyment out of prospecting when panning for lead in my garage ya know... like I said earlier I did catch a buzz though

    I cant wait to actually get OUTSIDE and do this in a stream or river with a sluice.. The more I think about the Black Hills the more excited I get, I would love to get a little bit of yellow in one of my jars!!

  10. #10
    us
    Nov 2005
    colorado
    Whites MXT
    204
    89 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Scottyk,

    Judging by the discussion it sounds like you're in Iowa. Not familiar with the geology there, but my guess is that there may be some gold deposited in areas of the state by glaciers in the past ice age(s). You may try contacting the Iowa state Dept of Natural Resources or a local college geology dept and do some research (ask questions!). You may get lucky and have a location or two that shows some color for you to practice on. Hoser is right about having the odds stacked against you there.

    3xflyfisher
    if not flyfishing - TH'ing, if not TH'ing - flyfishing
    Whites MXT

  11. #11
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    'South' Texas
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    2,703
    1318 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    scottyk,
    I can so appreciate your situation and desire to find even a little of the yellow meal. In addition to honing you skills panning in the garage there is something very useful you can do with a little of your time and that is researching where you Can go in the Black Hills of SD. In addition to this research you can exercise your body. Are you comfortable while you are panning in the garage and I mean your body? Out in gold country you might not be able to make yourself so comfortable as you can in your garage at home so prepare for it with simple exercises: crunches, push ups, stretching, lifting 5 pound weights or less or more depending on the condition you are in.

    In the summer is when I usually get out as in the winter the river is dangerously high, fast and cold. In the summer like mid July the water temp is 54 F and that is not exactly warm but with the air temp around 100 it makes the water feel good so I pan while sitting in the water. This way I can sit on a piece of blue foam pad and lean against a boulder to support my back. This is primitive however, anything one can do to keep their muscles happy needs to be done. I can not stress the exercise enough and I do not care how young or old a person is, do the exercises! For instance I will be 67 years of age in late April 2011, I expect to carry 85 pound packs this summer(my packs weighed that much last year), I expect to be cutting trail , I expect to be moving boulders I AM very physically active when I'm out in the mountains as that is what is required to do this AND be able to come back out under your own steam. So, to keep up with my life style I exercise every morning: 1000 crunches, 300 left/right side crunches, 3 100 counts laying on my stomach with chest and legs raised off the floor, all kinds of stretches, I use two 5 pound weights during some of the stretches and then I do a series of just weight lifts and all of that takes about 75 minutes. Do I enjoy exercising, no. Do I need to exercise, yes. Will the exercising help me this year, yes.

    Just because I exercise does not mean I will not have some form of trouble out there but in 2008 on my way in with an 85 lb pack I managed to severely sprain my left ankle and break one of the long vertical bones in the calf area of the same leg. I was hiking alone. For a fleating part of a second I tried to convince myself I was ok and could just keep hiking in, then reality checked in and I chose to prepare to hike out. The hike out part required some medication so I pulled out the first aid kit and took two Tylenol with Codeine pills (left over from my second knee operation on the left leg). A half hour after taking the pills the pain was easing. I reshouldered the pack without too much damage to my right shoulder and slowly hiked out to my truck. So being prepared with some muscle power as well as simple first aid supplies is always a good idea!
    Understand the area you are going to go too. What typical weather for the time of year you will be going, what are the roads like, what type of bugs and reptiles are there, is it safe or even possible to start a fire for cooking and what emergency supplies should you have with you! Now it is possible to find gold in a stream right next to a KOA campground or to find it in a river you can drive your vehicle right up to.

    So, there is plenty for you to do while the ground is frozen solid. Stick with the simple equipment for now like your gold pan kit and some simple digging tools. Gerber has a "tiny" collapsable/folding shovel, scaled down from the current issue GI entrenching/latrine tool, and it is really strong and useful, about $30 unless you can find it on sale. Its what I carry along with my Batpan, tuna fish can classifier, scraper, Keene A-52 sluice box (I'd go with a McKirk brand for my first choice now) and a few odds and ends that add up to between 15-20 lbs. Have fun, stay fit and make the trip very enjoyable for the wife so she will want to go again! 63bkpkr (aka: 'lefty')

    note: 3xflyfishers comments are something else you could do while the ground is frozen.

    also, pictures of classifiers/sifters homemade, purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond store, the one that came with my Batpan

    [img][/img]
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    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  12. #12
    us
    Feb 2011
    16

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Quote Originally Posted by 63bkpkr
    scottyk,
    with a little of your time and that is researching where you Can go in the Black Hills of SD.
    Now this is defiently a new guy question, I know there is claims in that area, how will I know, or how can I find out where it is legal for me to prospect?? I honestly dont know what excatly a "claim" means. I know it allows you access to the land and the minerals, but is it the claim owners actual property? Does the claim owner also own the land? How do I know what methods are legal to prospect?

    I dont know if your a member of the GPAA but I know they have some claims in the area that members can prospect and it seems the membership fee would be worth it just for one trip.. buuut how do I find out where their claims are located without being a member?

  13. #13
    us
    Feb 2010
    Black Hills, South Dakota
    785
    625 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Hi Scottyk,

    I checked the GPAA claims guide and they do not have any claims in Iowa. If you want to come to the Black Hills I would be happy to help you out. As I told you the GPAA has a claim boardering on of my claims. It is located 1/4 mile east of Mystic SD in the central Hills. The claim is called the Maryann.There are also 4 other GPAA claims within about 5 miles from it and also one NW of Sturgis SD. You can camp at all of those claims. Rapid Creek runs through 4 claims, Castle Creek runs through the Maryann, and Boulder Creek runs through the Sturgis claim, but it usually dries up by mid June. I have some guys coming from Missouri possiblly at the end of May or in June that are greenhorns. If I can be of assistance let me know.

    B H Prospector

  14. #14
    us
    Feb 2011
    16

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Thanks for the offer, I hope to take you up on the offer in the spring I just need to talk to the woman and see what she thinks! You know how that can go Got some stuff on order to start the building of my home made sluice!! Probably going to hook up a electric pump and so some testing in the garage and see if I can catch some lead and rare iowa gold with it

    I tend to have a fairly busy summer with race cars taking up alot of my time but I truly hope to make it out a time or 2

  15. #15
    us
    When you get Tired of the every day grind you turn to a place an time to slow down. Gold prospecting a way of life...

    Oct 2010
    Alabama/ Ohio
    GTI-2500, Whites V3, xplorer XS Cortes & XLT cibola ) Now using a Xterra 705, Tesoro Tiger shark and XLT
    802
    46 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Whats your honest opinion....

    Iowa still has a chance for some promise of gold I would see out the preciouse yellow metal if I was you ...

 

 
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