10 Tips for Smart Miners: Follow Your Hunches

Be a Smart Miner

Once again, if you have a choice between being what I call a smart miner (someone who has it together and thinks and plans ahead) or conversely a not-so-smart miner (someone who doesn’t have it together and never thinks or plans ahead), your best bet is to become the former and not the latter. Why?

Well for starters, smart miners tend to work more efficiently overall, are less problem-prone out in the field, and tend to get the most gold. Even if the first two qualifiers don’t grab your attention, the third one should. That’s my ever-so-humble opinion anyway.

Gold Concentrators

This is the 5th in this series of posts meant to help you become one of the placer mining“elite” out there, a smart miner:

Tip 5. Follow your hunches.

I myself am about as far away from being a “New-Age crazy” as any one person can be. Unlike the true believers out there who profess an almost religious fervor in their “abilities” to channel 50,000 year-old entities, have conversations with animals and solve their psychological problems, single-handedly summon the healing powers of the universe, or use dowsing rods to find silver and gold from miles away, I tend to remain on the more pragmatic side of reality.

In other words, I am no nut case, New-Age whack job, or hippie-dippie space cadet. For better or worse, never was, never will be.

What's a Hunch?

That said however, I do believe that we all possess an internal ability or sensitivity to the world around us that, if acknowledged, can assist us in very many ways. Some folks call this their “inner voice” and I think that’s a fair enough descriptor overall. But as far as gold mining is concerned, I prefer to call it “following your hunches.”

What’s a hunch? Well, it can be many things or just one thing:

• It may be that spot you’ve been staring at off and on for hours that your eyes and experience tell you is not a good gold deposition point but you keep fighting a strong impulse to haul your gear over there and check it out anyway.

• Perhaps it’s that stretch of bedrock that looks like it’s been cleaned out thoroughly but something inside keeps telling you to “just look it over one more time.”

• Or, it may be that nugget-hunting spot that you bypassed again and again because it was covered by too much prickly desert shrubbery but you keep fighting the urge to check it out anyway.

These are just three possible “hunch” scenarios but there are many, many others out there. The simple fact is that they are limitless.

Method to the Madness

Do all hunches always pan out? Of course not. But many do if you take the time to follow them in a manner that brings to bear the full depth and breadth of your mining experience and knowledge.

Please understand here that am I not suggesting that you run “willy nilly” around your claim or favorite panning spot following hunches at the sake of what you DO know. There has to be a method to the madness, so to speak. In the final analysis all I am saying is that when those hunches start coming on strong and won’t go away, sometimes it’s best to follow them.

Hunches Have Given Me Some Nice "Scores"

I could give you dozens of examples from my own mining career where I failed to follow good hunches and ended up losing out. Conversely, there have been those times when I followed a good hunch or two and came up empty. But the kicker here is that there have been numerous occasions when I did follow my hunches and made some very nice "scores" (including finding nuggets in spots they “shouldn’t” have been in).

So the next time you are out and about and a nagging hunch just won’t let you be, try following it instead of trying to ignore it or dismissing it out of hand. You never know what might turn up in your gold pan.

Good luck out there.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “Gold Detector Reviews: Garrett’s GTI 2500”


© J.R. 2010

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com