Getting Started (Metal Detecting)
Last Post 02 Jan 2016 03:13 AM by SHELDON SWEAT. 12 Replies.
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WILLIAM SOUTHERNUser is Offline
Sluicer
Sluicer
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08 May 2015 06:52 PM
    GETTING STARTED

    Getting started metal detecting for gold nuggets is as easy as buying a metal detector and hitting the gold fields right? Well the answer to that one can be yes or no. There are many detectors on the market designed for different fields of the metal detecting hobby, although there are a large number of professionals that metal detect for a living. To them nugget hunting, treasure hunting, etc. is much more than a hobby this is a living and full time business to many miners!

     

    As a beginner the type of detector chosen is very important and directly related to the amount of success you will have as well as how much you will enjoy what you are doing. This article I wrote in 2001 deals mainly with searching for gold nuggets and that will be the topic I will spend the most time on. Although when searching for nuggets, all kinds of artifacts, coins, trash, and even meteorites can be found, the detectors used for nugget hunting are designed for just that. Buying a detector designed for coin or relic hunting and using it for nugget hunting will limit your hunting capabilities. Serious nugget hunting requires a detector designed for that purpose, but there are some detectors designed for gold nugget hunting that can also be used to coin and relic hunt. The main function however is gold nugget hunting.

     

    There are several companies that sell excellent gold hunting machines; Fisher, Garrett, Minelab, Tesoro, and Whites are the best known and there are others out there designed to find gold. New these detectors retail from around $500 up to and above $10,000. All find gold, but they don’t all have the same features. I am not going to go into detail here, as there are many books and articles readily available dealing with the different operating functions of all the different types of detectors. My advice would be to start out with a good used machine to help keep your start up costs down. Also should you decide metal detecting is not for you the used model will sell for about what you paid for it. A newly purchased machine sold as used will sell for about a third of what you paid for it.

     

    Now that you have got a good gold detector there are a few other tools you will need to carry with you in the field. I carry only a few basics to keep the weight to a minimum, a small pick, plastic scoop, containers for nuggets, and a carpenter’s tool belt and pouch to carry my tools so my hands are free to work my detector. There are other odds and ends I tote around in my pouch such as water, compass, and other things a feller should carry in the desert. A pack of extra batteries for your detector is a must as the batteries always go dead at the worst possible time well out of site of the truck.

     

    Now we get to head phones, the quality of headphone you choose will directly affect the amount of gold you will find! I use head phones with nothing less than 100-ohm impedance. This gives you far more sensitivity to very small and very deep targets that you may otherwise miss. Typical department store models run from 19-ohm to 30-ohm and although the price may tempt you, my advice is to avoid them. Another important feature is independent adjustable volume for each ear. The detector can then be run at full and the volume adjusted at your ear. This again will give you more sensitivity and is recommended by most manufacturers. There are several models available at prospecting shops or stores selling quality stereo equipment. I use Koss UR-30 and they work quite well. Many other companies also makes an excellent set of head phones designed strictly for metal detecting.

     

    Learning to fully understand your new machine and ALL of its functions is the single most important thing that you can do to assure success. All manufacturers supply detailed instructions and test procedures that will help you understand the sounds your machine is making. Taking the time to fully understand this material will greatly increase your chances of finding gold. No amount of reading or testing can prepare you for that first trip to a nugget-hunting site. Its lesson time all over again because now you get a taste of the barrage of sounds coming from your detector as you try to master all that you have learned. Soon all that mumbo-jumbo that you’ve been studding starts to make since and you begin digging targets! Gold isn’t far away.

     

    BUY FROM A DEALER THAT WILL HELP! And hopefully one that actually uses the detector you are buying and will also have questions about. Many of us actually will do training and offer almost unlimited help to give ya an edge....

     

    Next is research and lots of it! Learning where to find nuggets is very important because that detector that you have learned to use is the recovery tool, you do the finding of the gold. It will do you no good to hunt where gold isn't and learning where gold has been found in the past is the key.

    I hope some of this information has helped if you are new to this game. There is no teacher like experience and like any other worth wile project metal detecting takes a lot of patience and hard work to master, but master it you will if you keep at it. One of the absolute best ways to get the hang of it is to find an experienced nugget-hunter to help show you the ropes and who knows, maybe that person will take you to a “hot spot.” One important bit of advice you will hear me repeat quite often, DIG ALL TARGETS!! Good hunting

     

    Yep old article, but has some good points for those new to beeping!

    Jim LockeUser is Offline
    Miner
    Miner
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    09 May 2015 08:22 AM
    William,
    Nice overview!
    All I have at this time is the Garrett Ace 350. I am very interested in small nugget hunting. What are your thoughts on a "budget friendly" (if there is such a thing) model that would work in this arena? I really do not have a ton of cash to dedicate to this at this time. But I would like to start looking at some options.
    Thanks for the article, hope you have a great weekend.

    Jim
    Fight for what rights you have left!
    WILLIAM SOUTHERNUser is Offline
    Sluicer
    Sluicer
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    09 May 2015 05:58 PM
    Try looking at the Fisher Gold Bug or Fisher Gold bug 2 for a starter unit and new around 600.00 to 800.00 depending on package or used around 300.00 to 400.00. We currently have a White's Goldmaster V-Sat used for 300.00....
    Jim LockeUser is Offline
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    11 May 2015 10:24 AM
    Thanks, William!
    Fight for what rights you have left!
    Frank LillyUser is Offline
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    11 May 2015 06:11 PM

    Great info. Thanks!!!!

    Frank Lilly --------------------------------------------------------- http://ourdiggingadventures.blogspot.com/ ---------------------------------------------------------- Phoenix, Arizona
    ANDREW GONTERUser is Offline
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    19 May 2015 06:08 AM
    Great article Bill.  I am trying to learn my detector the best I can.  When we were in stanton you and Kevin mentioned an inline volume adjusting device you can get for detectors.  What was the name of it.  I own a detector that does not give me an option for that.
    BRANDON JOHNSONUser is Offline
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    17 Sep 2015 01:04 AM
    Good article!

    I must admit that I met up with a local group and one of the experienced guys helped me out and put me in a good spot where I found my first small nugget. Haven't found one since, but at least I know I can find one.
    Don McElyeaUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2015 06:28 AM

    The wife and I spent a couple of days with Calvin Bunker on his claims at Rich Hill taking instruction on our Garrett AT Gold.  Calvin will also provide the metal detector.  A very informative class.  Also we got a tour of the Stanton LDMA site.  Calvin is like a history book on legs covering the Stanton area.  His class is well worth the bucks and there are also other perks that come with taking his class.  We drove all the way from Oklahoma and spent 4 nights in Wickenburg.  There are many GPAA claims around that area.

     http://bunksarizonaprospecting.com

     

     

    Hobbies. Buying and shooting guns, collecting knives. Fairly new to GPAA and soon to be LDMA member. Belong to the New Mexico Gold Prospectors Club Chapter. Live in Kellyville, Oklahoma. Soon to be retired and become a nomad and staying in Arizona and New Mexico during the winter months.
    TIM LEIBELUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2015 06:42 AM
    I recommend taking Kevin Hoagland's seminar either at a Gold and Treasure Show or at an LDMA common dig *my personal choice as you can also see what LDMA is all about.) I have taken it 5 times and this last 2 times, I really got a handle on setting up my Garrett AT Gold. I am planning a trip to Stanton in February and then may be move upstate toward Prescott.
    joseph LoydUser is Offline
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    20 Oct 2015 07:20 PM
    Better well known as Bunk ,and yes he knows what he is doing .He will at times give free classes at the Stanton outings .
    Member LDMA and several other clubs in CA.
    JEFF MARTINUser is Offline
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    20 Dec 2015 07:53 PM

    William (Bill),

    attended my first metal detector lecture in Vegas of 2014.  Bill got me hooked.  He is a wealth of knowledge and willing to help anyone.  Just bought 2 new units off of Bill due to he takes care of his customers.

    Thanks Bill

     

    Jeff

    TIM LEIBELUser is Offline
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    21 Dec 2015 07:56 AM
    Bill Southern is a good man. I have a few things on my wish list I am going to get before I leave for AZ from his store.
    SHELDON SWEATUser is Offline
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    02 Jan 2016 03:13 AM
    I have read this before in your nuggetshooter forums, I believe, but great to refresh it in my mind. Always a treasure in itself to receive your shared knowledge. You are a great guy and mentor to many! Thanks for sharing Bill!
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