California Miner Passes Along a Good Tip

 (Video frame from one of Rick's videos on YouTube.)

I've written about California gold miner Rick Shelby (a.k.a. "Hurthawk") before in Bedrock Dreams. Rick works the southern Motherlode Region and owns and operates a small prospecting and mining shop in historic Jamestown.

Not long ago Rick sent along this tip to share with all of you out there:

"Hey J.R.,"

"Your latest blog post brought to mind a question that a newbie e-mailed me. His question was, 'How do you find the places to prospect that I see in your videos?'"

"A Tough Question"

 My short answer was 'That's a tough question.' Some of the places I go are the result of meeting and talking to landowners but two out of the last three new spots I've found were on either Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or county land."

"My newest spot was the result of driving around and keeping our eyes peeled . I noticed that a creek myself and a 'pard' were checking out crossed under a rancher's fence and ran along the road. As it turned out, this was a county road easement. That's the spot you see in one of my recent videos."

"With this in mind, here's a good tip for all our readers and viewers:"

"Above all, don't keep the fact you're a prospector a secret...let people know you're looking for a spot to prospect and you'll be amazed at the number of people that will refer you to someone they know who owns land and wants to find out if there's gold on it."

"I hope this helps,"


Rick's tip here is simple but it can be a very effective tool in helping you find new locations to prospect. After all, like the old adage says, "It doesn't hurt to ask."

Simple But Effective Tool

Coincidentally with Rick's suggestion, for some time now I've been planning on approaching landowners in the Old Placers District located in the Ortiz Mountains about 14 miles from my home near Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is a great dry placer gold area that's now off limits to all comers.

Gold Concentrates
Gold Pans
Gold Prospecting Books
My plan is to approach landowners either directly or via a circular or flyer offering to show them the basics of small-scale gold prospecting, panning, and mining in return for their permission to do my own thing in the gold-bearing washes and arroyos adjacent to their property. As Rick rightly points out, this sort of approach is definitely worth a shot and who knows the end result?

You (or I) may just find and be able to work a brand-new or off limits area devoid of the usual crowds and hum-drum gold values.

Thanks for sharing this with us Rick. (If you're interested in learning more about Rick's mining activities or watching his videos click here.)

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold in the Southwest: New Mexico (Part 8)"

(c)  Jim Rocha  (2012)

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