I have a question that seems to be very complicated, but I was hoping someone out there might be able to simplify it for me. I have been doing TONS of research trying to figure out how to avoid claim jumping on BLM lands. I feel like I've figured out about 95% of the process, but can't figure out the last little bit, or I am completely going about this the wrong way. Here's what I've figured out so far:
Step 1: I go to mylandmatters.com and locate a BLM area that looks interesting for prospecting. Most of these areas already have existing claims in the area. This website seems to be a very helpful and informative tool.
Step 2: The website shows colored sections that have either lode and/or placer claims on them, and you can click the "information" button to find out considerable information about each claim in a particular section - claim name, claim owner, claim size, etc.
An example of where I am struggling is this: Let's say for example I click on a section and it comes up with just one placer claim. The overall section consists of I believe 640 acres, but the claim listed is just 20 acres of the total. How is one supposed to find exactly where the claim is located without contacting the county for every claim that may be listed in the section - sometimes the section may have 20-30 claims? This seems to be so incredibly time intensive, especially if one wants to go "prospecting" and try out several areas. It just seems that you'd spend much more time researching actual claim boundaries than actually prospecting.
Forgive me if these are stupid questions, but I am getting my first metal detector as a Christmas gift, and would like to be able to drive to an area where there is significant BLM land with existing claims scattered throughout, and be able to detect without being on someone else's claim. Is that the only way to do this - by contacting or visiting the county BLM office to get claim boundaries for each and every claim? I believe the counties charge considerable money for each piece of paper that they provide for you.
Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks