Log in

View Full Version : Looking for Locations to Metal Detect in Alaska and Lower 48 that are not claimed.

09-03-2011, 05:02 AM

I am relatively new to the hobby of nugget shooting/prospecting and would like to know where I can do some prospecting with a detector, receive training and not break the bank. I have read of a few individuals on the web who are experienced, schedule outings for a fee and hold such events at Rye Patch, NV, Gaines Creek, Alaska, and so on. Does anyone have any other recommendations? Experience?

As a novice, I do not expect to get rich, but I do expect to be able to find a few grains/grams now and then even in severely pounded ground. BTW, this site is one of the best I have encountered since doing my research on the hobby. Steve and company appear to be straight shooters with publications and experience to back up their "claims" (excuse the pun :)

If you have personally participated in any of the outings I would like to know your perceptions of same.



09-24-2011, 03:12 PM
There is a few places in Juneau Alaska that you can Prospect that aren't claimed. You can even find tiny nuggets sometimes, so I hear. I've only found dust with my pan.

09-24-2011, 05:42 PM
I would suggest that you buy your detector from a dealer who offers training. Some buy their first detector from discount/big box dealer and then struggle to get over a good target. You should really buy from a dealer who offers service/training with the sale. Steve's a great dealer and there are also several in AZ, OR and ID too so a lot depends on where you will be spending some time...

I believe Steve holds a class in Anchorage but not sure if it is open to everyone or just his customers. If you will be in Anchorage, you should contact him but probably best to wait a bit since he is off detecting some where in OZ...

09-26-2011, 02:06 AM
Appreciate the advice.

09-26-2011, 02:08 AM
Makes perfect sense to me. My very same thoughts too. The dealerships I am looking at offer one to three days training if detector is purchased from them. I agree with you in that the money you save from big box dealers ends up being lost when one eventually sells the detector out of frustration!



Steve Herschbach
10-13-2011, 05:04 PM
I offer classes in the spring for a fee that anyone can sign up for. They are in a classroom setting for two hours in the evening.

A number of Minelab dealers down south offer in the field training if you purchase one of the big gun Minelabs from them. I've heard nothing but good about any of them.

The number one thing you need metal detecting training can't give you. Patience. Operationally the number one thing to focus on is coil control. People obsess over having the "best" detector then throw the performance away with poor coil control. The coil needs to be as close to the ground as absolutely possible at all times. I see people get coils so far off the ground they may as well just turn the detector off. Some detectors are also sensitive to the sweep speed. Way too fast or way too slow can be a problem depending on the detector.

Where the patience comes in is that your mind must be paying attention to what that coil is doing. People with little patience soon stop paying attention. Many people find detecting boring unless they are constantly making good finds. That rarely happens nugget detecting and so boredom sets in and the attention to the coil shuts down which then insures will be even fewer and farther between.

The best way to learn a detector is go use it for at least 50 hours. It does not matter what you detect. Just go out and detect and dig lots of targets. It helps to pick an easy place to dig, like a beach. When you get a signal, play with it. What happens when you pick the coil up and inch? What happens if you sweep faster? Slower? What happens when you turn that know up? What happens when you turn it down? Pay particular attention to how small a piece of metal you can find, and how deep you can find it.

Finding areas that have detectable gold that are not claimed and that are not closed to detecting (National Parks) is getting to be a real challenge. Research, research, research!

Reno Chris
10-13-2011, 09:01 PM
Being in the SE USA, there is just far less public land than is present in the western states, meaning you will have a tougher time accessing gold bearing property near your location. There is a forum oriented to prospecting in the eastern US, and its got a number of really good guys who participate. They do other things beyond just detecting, but they do some detecting as well.

See: http://au-prospecting.com/gold1/index.php?sid=379c6c210319d083bd8266705a65dfba