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AZoverland. That was mostly from the last day . Obviously the area had seen very little or no detecting in the past. Luckily the soft soil made retrieving all that trash fairly easy but time consuming. I have to admit that I contributed very little to the trash collection. I used the lazy man approach and only dug targets that sounded to me like they were smaller than a .22 slug because I knew from experience in that area that 90% of the gold is under a gram. I was playing the odds while the rest of the group was doing the proper thing. They will eventually get the big one that I walked away from. In fact, the day before on another patch there was a small very trashy area that I had avoided like the plague, but Bruce was happily digging every target. I asked him how long he was going to deal with that , and his very next target was a nugget.

Fred . I remember you digging a nice specimen piece at decision corner where you raked the ground for your camp spot. That was one of the trashiest places at Rich Hill. It seems like in almost all goldfeilds, something is guarding the gold. Some places it's cactus/thorns, boulders, bad weather, snakes, hotrocks , or in this case , trash. We see posts on the forums all the time from newbies who are frustrated because all they were getting was bullets and nails. As seen in the photos, that is part of the game until some real breakthrough is made by the detector manufacturers. Even with the best discriminators, most lead and brass targets have to be dug to be sure, and on this patch that is the bulk of the trash.-----Bob

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..It seems like in almost all goldfeilds, something is guarding the gold. Some places it's cactus/thorns, boulders, bad weather, snakes, hotrocks , or in this case , trash. We see posts on the forums all the time from newbies who are frustrated because all they were getting was bullets and nails. As seen in the photos, that is part of the game until some real breakthrough is made by the detector manufacturers. Even with the best discriminators, most lead and brass targets have to be dug to be sure, and on this patch that is the bulk of the trash.-----Bob


Gospel from the Book of Montana - Can I get a Amen?! - Terry

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By taking the trash out, in particular the lead bullets, we are being good stewards of the environment and wildlife that shares the land we search. Most of us as sportsmen are familiar with the push for lead free bullets and fishing weights as lead has become a topic of concern and debate in reguards to our environment. I feel that the more lead removed from the environment and watersheds the better. While some may argue the effects lead has on the human and other wildlife populations it is clearly documented the leading cause of death in many California Condors is lead poisoning. A new body of evidence suggests California Condors comsume lead not only in the flesh of game they eat but bullets taken directly from the soil as they mistake lead for other minerals they eat as a natural part of their diet.


If there is any continuity in the extreme environmentalist agenda then as the push of lead free ammunition and fishing weights continues the areas where prospecting is welcomed and encouraged should spread like wildfire.


For myself I feel a certain level of balance when at the end of the day I come home with a pocket full of trash. I teach my son the old Boy Scout motto to leave the area cleaner then when you came. Take pride in your rubbish, you have left the area cleaner because of your efforts.


Here are a few links about the lead debate....







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Thanks for the receipe, I always wondered what was the best way to cook a condor. Similar to the desert tortoise. Screw the tree huggers......RTP

Never had tortoise but that sounds good. Maybe we can put together a pot luck? You bring the desert tortoise, I'll bring the condor and maybe we can find someone to bring the mountain lion or spotted owl. :lol:

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With a real love of fishing, hunting, all things out doors and a vehicle that gets 11mpg I'm a poor treehugger/environmentalist. I still I have to say.....


What a gross display for the want of any level of reason or intellect you two boys show. When the conversation turns to conservation the simplest amoung us start sounding off about eating endangered species. And I thought the birds that eat lead are dumb........Here's your sign boys...... :D

Don't take to personally I don't know you guys and I bet we have more in commom then not.


All joking aside I think if you have no level of respect for the natural world and order of things you should learn your place, buy a low rider and stay in the city. Leave the small remaining wild areas of North America to men and women of higher resolve. That way our children and grandchildren may still have a chance to know something other than steel and asphalt.

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RTP. I'm not a tree-hugger by any means, (17 years in the timber industry)(5 years in oil exploration)but I certainly see a need to respect the condor and the tortoise and the land they live on. Jokes about eating animals that are in decline are fine as long as they are just jokes, but it sounds as though you are serious. There are many on this forum who enjoy seeing rare wildlife and want our kids and grandkids to see and enjoy them. That doesn't make us tree huggers, just responsible users of the outdoors. I doubt that removing lead and other metals from the area we were in saved any animals life, it was done for a more selfish reason. We didn't want to have to dig it up again on our next trip. AZOverland simply made a statement that in some places it may save an animals life . What the heck is wrong with that. Chris Gholsons family has been involved in rescuing injured and otherwise distressed desert animals, including tortoises for years on a volunteer basis. I'm sure he doesn't want anyone advocating harm to these animals or using his forum to promote such BS. ----Bob

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I always feel it is good karma to bring home trash. I just can't walk by a beer etc. can in the desert or woods. I feel like If I don't pick it up karma will get me back by me not finding gold or antlers or whatever I might be wanting to take home from the desert.

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What started as a couple of jokes has now turned too serious. Too bad the members on this form don't have a little more since of humor. I too enjoy looking at the wildlife and respect it, but I don't put it before man. How many more rivers and streams or deserts are we willing to let be closed because of some endangered species that may or may not even exist in the area being closed? Some people on this forum support their familys by prospecting or selling prospecting equipment. It might be a little hard to do that if we just sit by and watch the wildlife as more areas get closed. The area of the Mojave desert that Bob and friends found all these little nuggets and lead in was almost closed to anything except foot traffic a few years ago. But thanks to a local club standing up to the BLM and fighting for our rights the area for now remains open. Anyway enough on this subject.

Go kiss a tree hugger.....RTP

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RTP ... Montana said basically what I have as a reply to your "jokes". However I have to chime in here as a lifelong hunter, fisherman, canoeist/kayaker, hiker, ice fisherman, 15 year hunter education instructor and recently prospector, I can't condone your lack of responsibility for conserving ALL of the critters we find in the desert, waterways and woodlands. No tree hugger am I but I enjoy my time in the outdoors ... especially when I spy a rare sighting of a land tortoise while prospecting or even a wild burro down around Little San Domingo Wash. These critters and others like lizards, scorpions and even rattlers just add to the enjoyment of the desert and would be a shame to be lost to thoughtless killing for the sake of a meal or worse yet just to do away with them because we fear them in the case of scorpions, snakes and gilas! We can all walk around these critters and give them their space without hurting our personal enjoyment of the desert, woodlands or waterways. Unlike the Tree Huggers or Preservationists who would like to restrict our "wise use of resources" to simple foot traffic or viewing from a distance as a CONSERVATIONIST, I encourage anyone to actively participate in the outdoors and in the enjoyment that all the creatures provide to those who open their eyes. The cost of that Conservationist position is that each of us MUST return something to the earth, sometimes more than what we take out so that it will be here for our kids, grand kids and beyond. I applaud anyone who rescues the wounded creatures or picks up a little extra trash ... or fills in a dig hole that some unthinking "prospector" left. We can all make a difference without being a tree hugger. The key is responsible, wise use of all our resources. Enjoy the rattle of that snake the next time you visit the desert. All he is saying is "please walk around me ... I mean you no harm if you do so!" Simplistic ... yes ... but conservation is simple ... We just need a majority of people to think and practice it.


Sorry for the diatribe but this is a topic that is extremely important to me ... and hopefully a lot of other folks!


Mike F

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Hey fellas I had not intented to start a debate or to insult.


Here's my point. This summer my son completed a number of Jr. Ranger programs at 7 National Parks including the Grand Canyon. As part of the Jr. Ranger program children complete a course of study, get a badge and become Junior Rangers for that park. It's a great program and I highly recommend it to you other parents and grandparents. At three of the seven parks the topic of lead at toxic levels and how it endangers wildlife was discussed with the children. How accurate the information is maybe open to debate but the fact that the agenda is being pushed on our kids no longer is.

I agree with Montana, I don't think any of us have saved a California Condor. The point really is that there is a large and growing force with a real anti-human agenda, many folks are pushing for "wilderness" areas to block all human access. We should all look at fact that by removing lead from the enviroment it gives us "ammunition" to promote metal detecting and widen the areas where the activity is allowed. Wilderness and riparian areas will continue to grow in the coming years. Just in Obama's first term over 2 million acres and over 1000 miles of river have been protected as wilderness. While prospecting is allowed on wilderness land, mining is not. Gold panning is considered mining. Metal detecting is ok as long as you are hunting coins, the laws are writen so they can be left open to interpretation it seems. Nugget shooting however could be considered mining due to the fact our goal is to take natural minerals from the land. I think if your "motivation" is the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 and you are searching to remove the lead from the landscape in order to assist the Bald Eagles, the California Condors or the Gila Topminnow then the same Forest and Park Rangers that instructed my son to encourage his friends and family to stop using lead bullets and fishing weights should just encourage you, not give you a hard time. I'm sure you have a pocket full of old bullets to support you claim.......

That may sound like a bunch of B/S but that's why we have internet forums anyhow........






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OK!! Everyone take a breath. I didn’t realize you all were so darn thin skinned. If I offended anyone by joking around about eating endangered wildlife that any reasonable thinking adult would know we don’t eat them, hell nobody eats them. I apologize and Montana did you really think I was serious? Because reading your statement about having 17 years in the timber industry you should have heard all of these jokes before. Thirty years ago I held timber permits for logging in the Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity and Humboldt counties here in N. California and a tree hugger was some one that chained themselves to a tree so the logging crew couldn’t work or would drive spikes into the tree so the chain on our saws would fly to pieces in some cases injuring or killing the operator, and they would also chain themselves to a log on a log truck to prevent the driver from going to the mill. RTP never accused anyone on this forum of being a tree hugger or behaving in this manner. He just stated his opinion about tree huggers. So again let me reiterate. If I have offended anyone on this website by making a joke about endangered wildlife I am truly sorry.



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Empty pockets. I have heard all those jokes and many more and may have even repeated some of them. Right now with all the negative stuff going on in the world, Azoverland made a positive statement about detectorists helping the environment and maybe saving an animal by taking out the trash/lead. I just thought it was poor placement of the jokes and might have over reacted because of my mood at the moment. There's plenty of room out there for prospectors, condors, and tortoises to get along. No harm done and I think condors and tortoises would taste terrible no matter how you cook them.---Bob

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I find this whole thread to be a joke!


First as this seems important---But

don't know why. I have been involved in

the logging and timber business for over

50 years,and still work daily logging.

This ain't got a damn thing to do with

condors or lead,but I do understand the

jokes ,and a good laugh never hurt anyone.


But to try to use an outright lie and

false information,to justify a hobby is

despicable,and only makes us look like a

bunch of self serving losers.


First thing,if any of those bullets or

trash is 50 years old ,you are breaking

federal law by removing them from federal

land. Just last year another forum member

received a hefty fine for removing some

old nails and bullets .


Second buried bullets pose no health

threats to a condor or turtle. Only the

lead from bullets in the bodies of shot

animals pose a problem for condors.

Condors don't look for buried bullets

to munch on. Actually I don't know of

any critter that goes around digging up

old bullets for lunch.


Third there is more natural lead,

arsenic,and other hazardous heavy metals

in the soil of most placer or lode type

deposits,than a stray bullet or two.Then

there is the possibility of bringing more

old lead bird shot to the surface while

you are retrieving one lousy bullet.


And as a final bit of info,those fine

park people that were brainwashing that

poor little child,are one of the leading

causes of the demise of the condor in the

first place. Have that child ask the park

rangers how they got rid of the original

wolves in Yellowstone. He may also ask how

BLM,Fish and Wildlife,and other agencies

used to control predators,for decades.

Here is a clue,massive amounts of poison.

Guess what feeds on those baits and dead

animals. It is just kind of amazing that

about the time the feds outlawed poison

for predator control,folks were starting

to notice the lack of buzzards,condors,

hawks,owls,and eagles too.

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OK! OK! Jokes on me and maybe a few others. Lets just leave it be said the majority of us are conservationists at heart if not always in action.


I guess I have seen enough comments taken out of context with regard to the North Maine woods where I do a lot onf my deer hunting to cause tree hugging greenies to be able to close off thousand of acres to the general public. Anyone ever hear of Burt's Beeswax (Lip Balm) a little company that grew to a huge company and was eventually sold by Roxanne(forgotten her last name) the original owner/developer of the product. The millions she received from the sale of the company allowed her and her green friends to buy thousands of acres from Baxter Forest to the North Maine Woods preventing traditional uses of the land ... hunting fishing snowmobiling. Hiking is still allowed but that is about it! She acquired that land and was allowed to buy it in part because of some loosely quoted statements from otherwise wellmeaning folks. You have to understand that all these forums are likely monitored but forces we would not be associated with as a support group for our hobby. They in fact would like nothing better than to keep us out of the deserts and hills. They love to take comments like those above and use them as examples of what hobby prospectors represent and what our general mindset is "really" like.


I wanted to believe in the beginning that you were joking ... I'm glad you were and are. Nuff said from my end. :) Truce! Let's go find some gold!


Mike F

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