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Category: Gold News

Discovery’s “America’s Backyard Gold” sees “Gold Rush” star Dave Turin find gold all over the USA

Idaho Today host Mellisa Paul spoke exclusively to Dave Turin (Gold Rush) about the latest series, America’s Backyard Gold, for the Discovery Channel.

Dave Turin has been with Discovery’s hit series, Gold Rush, from the beginning, and the subsequent spin-off series, Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine, saw Turin revitalizing old mining operations nationwide. In that series, he heard fascinating stories while he helped people turn fallow mines to produce again. His latest series for Discovery Channel, America’s Backyard Gold, sees Dave imparting his lifelong wisdom on people who are sluicing, sniping (diving with a snorkel to find nuggets), and prospecting on land that still has plenty of gold left in it to provide. America’s Backyard Gold will also see Turin prospecting back in Idaho in later episodes this first season, showing where average folks can find the best prospecting sites.

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Since the earliest gold rushes, the idea of finding treasure in nature has fueled many adventures and lots of fun pastime activities for folks. But what separates the hobbyists from those who can pay some actual bills with their finds? Dave Turin will teach the basics in his new series. The weather has much to do with it, as the recent Pacific storms and floods have done the washplant work for many gold-rich areas. The series shows the scientific reasons why certain regions have so much gold. Erosion, weather, and timing are what Turin argues; armed with the proper knowledge, anyone can find gold. Landslide areas are ripe for the picking, and Dave says to always be careful in unstable areas and know your terrain. “All I am doing is piecing together the clues to find where the gold is,” says Turin. These events have uncovered fresh deposits and viable paydirt across the United States. And now, with gold at its highest price ever. An estimated $3 trillion of gold remains undiscovered in America; Turin will show you how to find it without breaking the bank in America’s Backyard Gold.

It’s not just the West, but the East Coast has gold, too, and pretty much any mountainous area subject to rains and snowmelt. Modern miners don’t need heavy equipment or expensive investments from the Dakotas to Georgia and Montana to California; they need to know where and how to look, according to Turin. He claims you only need to spend small amounts on essential equipment, and for those who get into the prospecting, a metal detector would be the priciest of any investment.

In a previous interview, Dave told me it was great ground, and understanding how to read it was step one. “We had to define great ground, and in the lower 48, there are only about five or six states where you could find great ground. So we started looking around, and I found that as the oil drilling business people started to shut down in the oil fields, all of those big companies and the owners of those companies were natural resource guys. So, all of them wanted to chase natural resources. Well, gold’s going up. So, guess what? There’s a modern-day gold rush for this ground.” Turin invested in some claims and has a stake in Idaho, where he and his wife have family. “We worked some in Montana, but I started going around Idaho City, up to Warren (Meadows), we went to the Yankee Fork and just concentrated a lot in these areas, and what we found was that there’s still a lot of gold in Idaho.”

Now, the mining season is underway, and Idaho has renewed the interest of many newcomers in the mining business, which Turin reflected on. “These oil guys often don’t realize how difficult it is. They know their business, but they jump into something like this. Many people spend a lot of money, then fail and move on. That’s what people don’t understand. They think all you do is go out and find a stream that’s got gold, and you pan it or dig it up. And that’s the farthest thing from the truth. The steps in the process that I’ve learned are very difficult. The first thing you do when we’re doing a prospect is we will prospect the landowners. Are they amicable to having us mine on their property? And are there permits in place? Then, are there water permits? There’s so much that goes into it, even before you go on the ground, and then once you get on the ground, you have to start reading the ground before you start digging holes.”

The episodes focus on regions, beginning with Rivers of Easy Gold and Dave’s trip to Northern California. Mother nature has produced record weather in California, creating opportunity for amateur sluicers. Dave enlists his friend Albert Fausel at the Placerville Hardware store in this episode. Fausel is a third-generation owner who not only has supplies but also has knowledge of where to snipe. They head to a private creek after getting permission to pan. Sniping is hunting for nuggets in crevices, and you need a turkey baster, a snorkel gear set up, and the ability to withstand chilly waters while picking nuggets out of running creeks that have water coming down the mountain-often there are landing pools of water that are calm enough for you to see what lies beneath the surface. Dave also explains why crystallized gold can go for a million an ounce, which is so rare that it counts for 1% of all gold found.

The following episode heads to Georgia and Alabama to see Dave prospect in the historic Dahlonega Gold Belt, the Deep South’s best-kept secret among miners. He returns to the PNW, where Big Dollar Beaches are found in Oregon. Dave shows you where the gold is and how to get it from the Rogue River rapids to the sands of the Pacific coastline. South Dakota is next; the Black Hills are replenished and ready for prospectors.

Then Dave heads to the Mojave Desert in California, where traditional dry washing techniques and an ancient Spanish method can help prospectors find gold. The Carolinas are next, with America’s rarest, most valuable gold and a moonshiner who wants to work his claim; this was where America’s first gold rush occurred.

Episode seven sees Dave back in the Gem State, in the Rocky Mountain Nugget Fever episode where the Territory of Idaho and Montana are flush with gold. Dave’s last episode heads to Montana, where small-time miners bring in ‘gold hard cash’ from Montana’s hard rock.

Tune in: America’s Backyard Gold premieres on the Discovery Channel at 9 p.m. Friday, March 15.

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