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Move that trash! by Digger Bob

Posted By: Digger Bob
Date: Thursday, 12 September 2002, at 5:02 p.m.

Just thought I’d relate a little bit of wisdom I learned a few years ago and had almost forgotten until 2 weeks ago.

I went out hunting a few weeks ago to a place I and many others have hunted to death. We’ve taken some nice gold out over the years but the last 3 times I came back skunked. I vowed there was no reason to go back again, we’d found everything we could using every loop and technique there was. The first time in with the Minelabs, Chico Jim and I took out an oz and a half of nice nuggets up to 5 dwt. But since then the finds have progressively gotten fewer and fewer.

The ground has some hot areas that gave our mono loops fits with soft mineralization signals that sounded just like a deep nugget. That and the electrical interference made some areas not hunted as hard as others. I wanted to see if the GP could handle these areas any better with the DD loop. Well, it turned out that the black DD loop was no better than the mono at ignoring the mineralized pockets. Still gave the nice soft sound. But it did handle the interference better. Nice, smooth threshold most of the time.

But back to the lesson… I was hunting a hillside below a past good spot. I had gotten no good signals all morning and on this hillside started encountering iron trash. I could tell it was shallow by the sound and the disc. actually indentified some of them. Being frustrated so far with no gold, I started to run the magnet on my pick through the soft dirt to pick up some of the offending sounds. They turned out to be strands of wire sluffed off an old fence or something. So, I detected and pulled out as many as I could from the area I was standing just so I could continue hunting up to the top of the hill. Encountering another, but softer signal, I ran the magnet around the dirt to get rid of yet another one. But this one did not come up. So, I scrapped off the loose dirt down to the harder layer and went over it again. Still there. Hmmm… Ok, let’s dig it out. A nail must have worked it’s way down between the rocks. Well, you know what happened next, right? Yep, down into the decomposing bedrock I went fully expecting to pull up this bit of iron anytime. But it wouldn’t come out. Must be a bullet. Nope, by the time I got down 6 inches, I spotted something out of place in the bottom. And sure enough, it was a nice 1.5 dwt. nugget. Wow! I don’t know why I was surprised but I was. I really wasn’t expecting that. That’s lesson #1. Here’s #2…. Just before I started to fill in the hole, I quickly scanned over it again. Whoops, there’s still a signal there. A little more digging and out pops another nugget.

Ok, this hillside has some potential. I back up a few steps and go over the ground I’d just covered, but much slower now. Whoops, what’s that? 3 ft. below the first hole there’s another little signal. Dig it out, another nugget. Move a foot to the right and go slowwwwww. What’s that? Was that a signal or ground noise? Better make sure. Dig, dig, dig. Bang! Out pops yet another nugget. It’s not even noon yet and I’ve got 4 dwt in 4 nuggets.

Pull back and take a good look at this hill. There’s a lot of slope with loose dirt, branchs, pine cones, and dead fall. And there’s still some iron mixed in with the lot. I’ll bet I can put a magnet on a hoe and scrape all this loose crap down the hill and clear it out for some slow hunting. So, that’s what I’m going to do this Sat. I saved the rest of the hill for another day and quit then while I was ahead.

So, the lesson that I relearned was MOVE THE TRASH and RE-CHECK YOUR HOLE. Moving the trash several years ago resulted in a half oz nugget, and Doc can tell you about re-checking your hole. I think I pulled 7 nuggets out of one when he was with me once and then I left it for others to try and Doc pulled a few more out using a bigger loop.

If I find any more this weekend I’ll let you know. Along with any other lessons I learn;-)

Digger Bob