Most Backbreaking Niche

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04-07-2016, 10:58 AM
Post: #1
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I'm certain all of us bust our asses when out in the field to find what few godies we do. Work is work...even if it's play. But I got to wondering what must be THE most difficult, strenuous, backbreaking niche of the hobby is. After some thought, here's my opinion...

1. Nugget hunting/Gold prospecting - Never prospected for gold on land, and aside from the greenhorn basics, don't know much about it. However, I've seen videos of guys digging holes a foot+ deep...in rocky ground...using a pick ax...in brutal desert heat...for a nugget the size of an eraser on a pencil. THAT is some serious labor! Almost akin to working on a chaingang, if one doesn't enjoy the process. So, that would have to be tops in my book.

2. Water detecting - I used to hunt quite often in the water - sometimes chest deep - and I can dedinitively say, it is no easy task. From having to pinpoint targets with the tip of one's foot, to swinging a detector through resistant water, having to dig targets almost blind, being mindful of rogue waves, riptides & currents, keeping an eye out for jellyfish, sharks & unaware passeby, and a million other chores, it's a killer job.

3. Relic hunting - I believe relic hunting to be very challenging, as most of it is done in very wooded and/or extremely trash dense environments, where almost every target needs to be dug, and there are many hazards to bypass; thick brush, tricky terrain, etc. Depending on the environment, one could also be dealing with ticks, sticker bushes, poison ivy/oak, a complex underground of roots from nearby trees, and many other hazards. No walk in the park.

Agree or disagree?

Joe
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04-07-2016, 02:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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I don't get to do much nugget hunting in SE Michigan , but I agree the videos  I have seen seem to show a lot of work for little return.
  My limited experience with water hunting kind of bears out your logic on that as well , but having only done fresh water hunting jellyfish and Sharks were not an issue.
   I will have to bow to your greater experience on the relic hunting , the closest I have gotten to relic hunting is field hunting or cellar hole hunting.

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04-09-2016, 03:44 AM
Post: #3
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
(This post was last modified: 04-09-2016 03:46 AM by MichiganRelicHunter.)
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Hey Joe

this is sorta/kinda different for a thread Cool

I'd have to agree with your line-up in terms of which type of diggin is more backbreaking than others.

The only thing is = although I've never did any nugget hunting I have done some relic hunting in mountainous terrain which is basically identical to nugget hunting except for the fact that you're diggin relics instead of gold/nuggets.

The terrain and soil is the same which means you don't pull up next to your dig site, get out and walk 50' and take a 42" long handled predator shovel and plunge it 10" into soft/er black dirt on relatively flat ground in easy accessible obstacle free areas to retrieve said target/s!

It's more like - pull into an area to park that can be a 1/4mi to a mile or more from your intended dig site, gear up with stuff needed including a pickaxe type tool of some sort (best ones IMO are the type with a pick blade and a shovel head combined sotra like a WWII trench tool with a pick attached). Now start your long trek up a mountainside through brush, tall grasses, rocks, ravines, streams, pulp wood lying on the ground, etc to finally get to your site 10, 20, 30 mins or more later, and then have to swing your machine while traversing that type of terrain and diggin thru rock/clay type soil with your pick/trench tool! No

So - I'm gonna have to say nugget and relic hunting depending on where in the country you are can be pretty much one and the same for how backbreaking they are and pretty much is one and the same for many (only diff is intended target/s).

#2 would have to be water hunting for sure. You get a whole new experience spending 6 to 8 hrs swinging a machine thru the resistance of water and you definitely feel it the next day! Not to mention dealing with all the hazards that go with water hunting too.

Beer

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04-09-2016, 10:11 AM
Post: #4
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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I want to add - if you enter an organized hunt on virgin land like a farm with several fields - this can be a very tough go. If you are not in good shape - walking all day over many acres up and down to streams or small hills can be challaging.
I went to one several years ago and slipped down a small hill while crawling under a fence to get to a stream area that looked promising.
I didn't rest at all that day trying to find natural and or contest finds. At the end of that day I realized had injured my knee when I slipped (it must have twisted). The back of the knee had a ball of fluid and I couldn't bend it. I had to get that drained by a doctor and it didn't heal for a very long time.

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04-09-2016, 03:10 PM
Post: #5
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
(This post was last modified: 04-09-2016 03:11 PM by NjNyDigger.)
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(04-09-2016 03:44 AM)MichiganRelicHunter Wrote:  Hey Joe

this is sorta/kinda different for a thread Cool

I'd have to agree with your line-up in terms of which type of diggin is more backbreaking than others.

The only thing is = although I've never did any nugget hunting I have done some relic hunting in mountainous terrain which is basically identical to nugget hunting except for the fact that you're diggin relics instead of gold/nuggets.

The terrain and soil is the same which means you don't pull up next to your dig site, get out and walk 50' and take a 42" long handled predator shovel and plunge it 10" into soft/er black dirt on relatively flat ground in easy accessible obstacle free areas to retrieve said target/s!

It's more like - pull into an area to park that can be a 1/4mi to a mile or more from your intended dig site, gear up with stuff needed including a pickaxe type tool of some sort (best ones IMO are the type with a pick blade and a shovel head combined sotra like a WWII trench tool with a pick attached). Now start your long trek up a mountainside through brush, tall grasses, rocks, ravines, streams, pulp wood lying on the ground, etc to finally get to your site 10, 20, 30 mins or more later, and then have to swing your machine while traversing that type of terrain and diggin thru rock/clay type soil with your pick/trench tool! No

So - I'm gonna have to say nugget and relic hunting depending on where in the country you are can be pretty much one and the same for how backbreaking they are and pretty much is one and the same for many (only diff is intended target/s).

#2 would have to be water hunting for sure. You get a whole new experience spending 6 to 8 hrs swinging a machine thru the resistance of water and you definitely feel it the next day! Not to mention dealing with all the hazards that go with water hunting too.

Beer

I have to agree with you 100%, it does depend heavily on location. I know Ray does a lot of the type of hunting you mentioned; backpacking through valleys, hiking up steep mountains, digging in 100+ degree heat, etc. Don't think I would be able to handle that AND have fun at the same time. This out-of-shape ex-smoker would probably suffer a major heart attack, lol. To be honest, even going back to water hunting would be a MAJOR change. People that have never done it before think it's easy. It might LOOK easy, but it's an assbreaker, for sure.

Now to flip the script, if you asked me what the most MENTALLY taxing niche of the hobby is, without a doubt, I'd have to say either deep coin hunting, or detecting in heavy, carpet of nails type of iron. I literally finish some hunts and my mind is zapped, due to having to listen for the tiniest sliver, whisper hair of signals for hours on end. It actually f@©ks with your brain. And while I've only worked a few wall-to-wall iron spots over the years, I surely remember them like it was yesterday! Mentally fatiguing!

Joe

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04-09-2016, 03:19 PM
Post: #6
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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Relic dude, I agree it is taxing out in the iron fields or in my case bottle cap - pull tab - nail heaven. You do get tired and sometimes I race to quiet ground to get my sanity back before getting into the car.

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04-09-2016, 03:31 PM
Post: #7
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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(04-09-2016 03:19 PM)Bigtony Wrote:  Relic dude, I agree it is taxing out in the iron fields or in my case bottle cap - pull tab - nail heaven. You do get tired and sometimes I race to quiet ground to get my sanity back before getting into the car.

Digging through thousands of pull tabs & bottle caps to find a gold ring (while smart) just isn't my cup of tea. It's both laborious and time consuming, but I don't believe it comes even close to being as tough on the body as gold prospecting. If I need a pick ax to go hunting, count me out! Lol.

Joe

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04-09-2016, 05:00 PM
Post: #8
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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From what little I know I agree with the order.
But for now I think I'll stick with farm fields. Its so open, peaceful and not a lot of trash. You can walk around for 30 minutes without a signal besides iron or a hotrock but when you do get it..it a usually good! And that's what I enjoy. But I wouldn't mind trying everything above one day. I'm sure its all just as exciting in its own ways.

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04-09-2016, 06:25 PM
Post: #9
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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I know from reading the posts here that many of you go to extraordinary lengths to fulfil your detecting appetites, enduring those backaches and stresses that Joe mentioned.  Lately I don't hunt much at all so I'm pretty stress free, but the thing that bothers me the most is summer hunting when the sun beats down without mercy.
Years of working tobacco fields as a youth with no shirt on all summer left me tanned and fit looking, but also skin damaged. The dermatologist has to treat me every few months so that I don't develop skin cancer. So its hat and long sleeved shirt and gobs of sun blocker every time I go out. No fun here in the Virginia heat and humidity, so I try to hide from the sun--hence my forum name, Shadeseeker.
My wife says she's going to put it on my tombstone!

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04-09-2016, 07:35 PM
Post: #10
RE: Most Backbreaking Niche
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Very good Joe 
Well my take on Water detecting. The hell with that!! I am a small built guy and not going to freeze my balls off for detecting, not to mention not investing in scuba gear to pinpoint a target.
  As for relic hunting wich you all know i do. Joe didn't mention those head stamps everywhere. Here in Massachusetts where i live we have to keep a ear out for ( lets see ) MOOSE , BEAR , COYOTE, FISHERCATS, DID I SAY MOOSE . Joe remember the sign? I love the history that can be found but sucks having to watch your back for animals that will eat or stomp your ass..

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