I want to cover a different subject than I have before ; a break away from the former theme of this site at least up until now. As in the title of this site metal detectors and more, well this is the more part. In this blog I am going to discuss gold mining both on the recreational side and the more serious aspect. In a following blog I will give the location of where to obtain recreational mining equipment. For now I will cover the topic from my experience over the years.
Getting Stared into Gold Prospecting:
I realize that many reading this material ready have experience in prospecting and mining; but first I will deal with those that are just starting out. Now I will point out a lot of people will tell you that all the gold is gone; nope not so I am told that only 5% of the worlds gold has ever been found. You will not be alone in this venture as there are thousands of others that are enjoying the fun an exercise of spending time in some of the most beautiful areas on the earth. It seems that gold is for some reason always located in the most fantastic places.
Al right so you say that there is no gold where you are located maybe you are right and maybe not. Get on the old computer and start researching if not gold maybe there are gem stones lying around waiting to be picked up, the method of recovery is not too different. If you are just getting the bug before you spend a small fortune equipment my advice is join one of the mining clubs like GPAA or the 49er’s. These are very large clubs and a good place to learn about equipment and prospecting tricks of the trade; beside that you will meet some very nice folks.
More on how and where:
Most all the western states and Alaska have many old mining areas on public land that are open to prospecting. In the Eastern united States there are quite a few areas where gold can be and is found. Some of the very first Gold rushes actually occurred in Tennessee, North and South Carolina and Georgia. There are pay to dig places located throughout these states for both Gold and Gem stones most of these places are legitimate and not that expensive. So there are more places than maybe you thought and most likely there are more that I don’t know of. As for general gold hunting in the east be advised there is no such thing as claims East of the Mississippi River. It is allowed through either leasing or with WRITTEN permission from land owners. Some national forest allow prospecting but it is strictly regulated check first before attempting it to see what wacky rules are enforced. Don’t even think about National Parks. Now if you are in the wild west things are different. There are a lot of areas on public land that are available and in most national forest. Word of caution when considering forest service land; more on that later. In the west you can file a mining claim this entitles you to 20 acres. As long as you pay the taxes and BLM fees it is almost the same as ownership. Be very careful before you try to file the spot may already be under claim. Do RESEARCH. First go to the county seat near where you are interested in filing and they can give you a lot of info about the area and who has filed where. Next check with the BlM ( Bureau of Land Management) they can tell you what is open to filling and what is not. Be careful a mistake here can be costly. A good part of the problem is when people do not check things out or don’t Know how. Most of the time unfortunately it is done on purpose. A few years back on our mining claim (200 acres) In California we had an occurrence where four stupid greedy people tried to jump us. It took a year and a half and 20k in court to resolve the matter. So again be sure you are right and then go ahead as Davy Crockett was fond of saying.
More Information on Claims and Prospecting:
I don’t mean to give the impression that prospecting is a hard and nasty endeavor It is not but there are things that should be pointed our in order to save people a lot of heart ache and grief. That said I will get in one last caution or comment that is my own opinion taken from personnel experience. That is dealing with the US Forest Service. Let it be known that they are not your friend. Over all, they tend to treat miners and prospectors very badly to say the least. I could write a book here but I won’t. The main thing is try not to have any dealings with them if at all possible. In my opinion the Forest service needs to be totally abolished and replaced in some other form more suited to what they used to be rather than a pain in the___as they are now. In the words of Forest Gump that’s all I have to say about that. Regardless of the fore mention grab up the family as with metal detecting and head for the streams and mountains and have fun. Who knows the mother load may be waiting under the next rock.