Metal Detector Used: M-Series (800-0300)
I bought my MXT over the phone from Alaska Mining and Diving in 2005, one day before my first trip to Ganes Creek, Alaska (Clark/Wiltz Mining Camp). Dave the recreational mining foreman at Ganes Creek gave me some basic instruction on how to use it. The first two days I dug every target I put my coil over, iron or not and learned a lot. Only found 1-2 dwt nugget that week but was with a guy that found a 4.33 oz. and that kept me fired up. In 2006 I spent a week and found no gold but did better in 2007 with 4 small nuggets. Broke the one oz barrier in 2008 and 2009 got one slid nugget at 2.14oz.
I had some sporadic control box problems so sent the detector back to White’s and they rebuilt/repaired it and sent it back with a new coil. I went back to Ganes Creek for a full two weeks with my old/new MXT and had a great trip, 17 nuggets for 3.23 oz of gold. The largest was just over ½ oz and the 2nd largest was under ½ oz, but a beautiful shape, I had it made into a necklace for my wife. That nugget I had made into a necklace was missed by a friend that had just switched his MXT for a newer digital machine that a lot of detectorists are using. After that he switched back to his MXT and went on to find 17 oz of gold in those two weeks.
This year, 2011, I was so excited to get back to Ganes Creek with my wife and MXT. I just knew it was going to be a great trip. The first couple of days I spent most of my time with Donna helping her learn to detect and ID targets. By Wednesday I decided to stay upstream and override dinner and as I walked home that night I detected a 2.13 quartz nugget off the side of the road at about 10PM. It was sure fun to plop that nugget down on the table at breakfast the next morning.
I decided for the last week my goal would be to find one small nugget every day, instead of just one large nugget. By Friday, I only needed one more nugget to meet my goal. We decided to head on over to a very small hill/pile and go back over the area. Dave picked up a small 2dwt nugget that I had missed. I secretly cussed myself and committed to be more thorough and covered the end push in three sweeps instead of one, when I got a huge signal.
I looked at my LED readout on my MXT and it said “83 Buckle” which is usually a pop can! But it sounded as good as a pop can is and all 4 of us had gone over and missed this so I dug 6-8 inches. Out of the soft dirt and it was still sharp as ever. I was excited but this had happened 100 times before and it was always a pop can. I dug another foot in the soft material and there it was just lying there in the hole. It stood out not only because it was dirty goldish color but because it was so well rounded smooth. I picked it up and then it really hit me because of its weight. I let out a loud YAHOO and started dancing around.
We took some pictures and I announced that I was going back to camp, I really wanted to know how much it weighed. The 5 ½ miles back to camp I was saying 5 or 6 but and 8 would be great! Dave weighed it and it was 10.64!! It took a week to wipe the smile off my face. I am so grateful I made the right choice by purchasing my MXT years ago and sticking with it. I am really looking forward to detecting at Ganes Creek next summer!