Steve's Skunk-be-Gone

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I got out for about 4 hours of detecting today (GPX4000). Long drive, 2.5 hours each way.

However, I did find a small stretch of Metal Detector's Nivana. I found a small dry wash, bedrock down 4 to 6 inches. No evidence of dry washers or metal detectors and no trash. Not one bullet, nail or rusted can. I did find 8 nuggets in a stretch of 100 yards of wash. All the nuggets were in cracks of the bedrock. I used broken greasewood branches to scrape out the cracks to recover the nuggets. No nuggets in the upper reaches of the wash and the lower reaches had massive elevation drops with very few spots to even detect. I went back to the main spot and tried to find the source. I tried all the high benches, gullies and hillsides. Nothing! Mind you, I was short on time with day light running out, and there was a lot of ironstone. I didn't chase evey threshold warble, just the solid repeatable tones. Someone like Rob or Montana could probably fill up the truck with nuggets in a spot like that. I might try again tomorrow, the drive is a killer.

I'm attaching a photo, though its not really ideal for an online attachment, I'm still new at this stuff.

Steve F.


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SDF. Slow careful detecting will probably turn up a few more. I've found washes like that with the only detectable gold in a very short section. These spots often got missed simply because they were just too poor to attract the attention of early prospectors, but can be a little jackpot for a detector. The fact that there was no trash indicates that it was totally missed . A series of poor gullies is my favorite type of spot. 8 or 10 nuggets with no trash targets is way more fun than 20 nuggets and 100 pieces of trash. Other washes in the area might kick out a few more. Check it out carefully . Your poke can fill quickly when you aren't digging junk all day even if the nuggets are scarce. With the bad drive, consider camping in there for a few days. Check feeder washes just upstream from the hotspot.----Bob

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Went back out today. Tried most of Montana's suggestions to no avail. Not a single hit. Tried all the washes around the area. They look similar, no drywashing but no gold. I tried the GPX in some different settings, raised the gain etc.. Still no score. Had a few threshold breaks that might have been crumbs, but once the ground gets disturbed its tough to get a repeatable signal again.

This area is in the Dale mining district, 29 Palms area. Anyone who wants to give it a try let me know. I'll vector you in. Really rough road, I actually park my 4X4 and go in by ATV. Maybe 29 Prospector will weigh in on this.

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What coil were you using?

Sometimes using different coils can help.


The Coiltek mini-UFO. I don't think depth is much of an issue. The bedrock is no more than 10 inches down in any one place. The little Joey coil might have helped find the crumbs, but it seems like I got the big stuff. It just seems curious that I couldn't find any pieces up on the hillsides. A very large quartz vein up about 50 yds. Looks like the good kind of quartz, black crumbly pockets especially on the margins. There are hardrock shafts into the same kind of quartz about 1/4 mile away.

I climbed the ridge for a birdseye view of the streambed. Those nuggets all came from a 50 yd section. Nothing found below or above that section. Nothing really unique about that section of watercourse either. Not inside bend, widened course or any of the logical things that make the gold drop out.

The photos don't show it, but half of the nuggets are very jagged, not water worn at all. They worked their way down into those cracks and haven't been disturbed.

You experienced prospectors could probably figure it out in a quick minute. I'm perplexed.

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Anyone who wants to give it a try let me know. I'll vector you in.

Dude, you're nuts!

Someone like Rob or Montana could probably fill up the truck with nuggets in a spot like that.

Again, totally nuts!

Go back. My question was the same as Chris. What coil? I'd definitely go for it with an 8" mono, a Coiltek 14" Mono and ??(fill in the blank) before giving away the spot. Sincerely, I mean no disrespect to Rob or Bob, but you know, buy a coil from each of them and go back. Of course they would do well in a spot like that but so can you! I also understand wanting to perhaps learn from someone but I'd be very careful about who or how many I'd show a spot like that.

For now: Don't tell ANYONE! Go back until you find it. It's possible that there are no more but 2 days is not enough to walk away and give away GPS coords.

Stick with it and you will find more, learn more and become a Rob or Bob. ;)

Good luck!

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Ted is right don't share anything unless you really know and trust the person :o

Work it hard, try to expand it and try different coils, when you think it is worked out scrape a few inches off the top in a few deep areas and see if you get any signals ;)

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I suggest you contact Bob a.k.a. 29 Prospector he knows the districts out there very well and is one heck of a nice guy. He may size ya up a bit :P but has shared alot of information as to his own mining experience. He's worked that area for a long time and may be willing to give you some tips.

Hopefully I'll be able to get out to that area soon!!

Love to see some pictures, just remember not to 'give away the farm! :rolleyes:


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  • Admin

Hello Steve,

Great to hear you finally has some time to spend with the GPX-4000 and got over some gold. Sounds like you have an interesting spot going on. I'm sure you got 99% of the gold if you were using the Coiltek Mini UFO. That Coiltek coil can find them down to just a few grains! There might be a few dinks left, but I'm pretty certain you got the cream of the crop out of that wash.

I've went back to some of those washes you worked in the "You know what range" and you done a damn good job! ;) You could have left a few for me since I had to drive a million miles. Haha..

Congrats on the new finds. Hope you find a handful more in the near future.

Thanks for all your friendship and business over the years.

Rob Allison

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