Gold Detecting Training

CALL FOR INFO: (406) 309-1009

I have been detecting and prospecting since 1980 and although I am not a geologist, I have learned a lot about finding gold over the years. A lot of guys subscribe to just get out and swing the detector. Unfortunately, there is much more to it than that. If you want to be consistently successful, you will need to know not just the basics of operating a detector, but also, you will need to learn a fair bit about geology in relationship to gold, both hardrock and placer deposits and how to distinguish between the two.

Most gold I find is far from water, so it is important to know geology and understanding Mass Wasting, which is the single biggest contributor to gold ending up where it is found. My training classes are an extention of my books The Nugget Shooter’s Field Guide which is on the market now and Strategic Gold Detecting - The Art & Science of Gold Nugget Exploration & Recovery which I am currently writing. My classes are designed to help you find more gold, more consistently. Taking my training class will help someone new to gold detecting shorten the learning curve, getting them finding gold sooner and more consistently. It will benefit nugget hunters with many years of experience as well. I have things in my book that I am the originator of, so no one is teaching these things to anyone, I am the only person training people with these ideas, principles, theories and strategies, so pros will benefit from my classes as well. Training will be tailored to ones experience.


Training Topics:

  • Proper detector swinging habits to maximize finding gold. (It is amazing how many people do not utilize these habits, hindering them from finding more gold.
  • Geology basics with some advanced geology information that is relevant to certain regions.
  • Understanding Mass Wasting and why it matters to nugget hunters.
  • Strategies for detecting and when to use each type of strategy.
  • What to do when nuggets stop coming, and how to get back to finding them.
  • How I research and why.
  • UUnderstanding your detector’s strengths and weaknesses and how to apply this to maximize finding gold.
  • Cleaning your nuggets and hydro-shocking specimens
  • Proper gear to use to make finding gold easier and safer.


Cost of Training

$250.00 for the first day / 5-6 hour day. $100.00 each additional day after the first day, if you want to take advantage of more in depth knowledge and training. Too much information to get into one day of training. Limit of 3 trainees per day to keep it more personalized instruction.



Montana Locations

Scratch Gravel Hills, Helena, MT
March 25 - May 30

Located on edge of town

Gold Creek - June 15-August 25

This location is high in the mountains on the south side of the interstate. Strongly advise a four-wheel drive vehicle.


Arizona Locations

Gold Basin & Lost Basin near Meadview, AZ - October 20 - March 5


Do you have an ATV or Not? Training will be geared around whether you have the ability to travel to multiple areas quickly. I strongly advise an ATV but it is not set in stone. I will accomodate the training to whether you have one or not.



What You Need to Bring

You will need to bring your own detector - I do not rent detectors.Please let me know what detector or detectors you will be bringing to help me prepare a more tailored training for what you are swinging. It makes a difference. Know in advance how to operate the functions of your detector, how to ground balance the machine, set the sensitivity etc... I personally use Minelab so I won’t be able to show you how to operate the functions if you are bringing any other brand. Read the manual before arriving to training. This is not a course to show you how to physically operate your machine functions.

You will need to bring your own food & water - for however many days you will be taking the training and extra food & water, should you decide to take a second or third day of training. Dress for the weather. It can get chilly in Gold Basin in the winter months. Bring rain gear, figure out what type of lodging you will use if you are staying a second or third day. You will not be able to get

Bring snake guards - if you are choosing the Arizona location or Scratch Gravel Hills. If you are choosing Gold Creek then you will be wise to bring Bear Spray and or a pistol. Something like 44 mag., 45 Colt, 40 cal., 41 cal., 10 mm . There are grizzlies in Gold Creek training area. Protect your food properly so no smell gets out into the air at night.


What you can expect to walk away with by taking my training

I will teach you geology in relationship to gold for the purpose of metal detecting for gold nuggets.

How to recognize likely spots to find gold nuggets

Research of locations to find gold nuggets

Strategies for detecting and recovering nuggets

If the nugget finds stop, how to get back onto the nuggets

Reading the land formations and spotting the clues to better put yourself in a spot that hold nuggets

You will walk away knowing how to listen for a nugget and the many sounds nuggets can make

I will walk along side of you and listen to what you are listening to in order to help you differentiate what the detector is telling you.

You will learn how to work various types of old timer workings as well as how to explore new spotsthat may contain gold nuggets, so when an area you hunt in the future, stops giving up nuggets, you will be able to find new spots all on your own.

There is a lot of information to learn and absorb, so it would be advisable to pay for a second day of training. Bring a notepad and pen or if you would like to video it, that is fine too.

I cannot guarantee you will find a nugget - No one can, unless they are salting the ground and directing you to where it is. I DO NOT SALT THE GROUND with nuggets.Others that do this practice are not doing you any favors. It is difficult finding nuggets with a detector and the hardest nugget to find will be your first one. All other nuggets after the first one seem to come easier. You have to pass over a nugget to even have a chance to hear it.



Training Reviews:

I went out for metal detecting training with Reese Townes. I learned some great basics and fundamentals on detecting for gold. I highly recommend it. - Tim from Arizona


Reese did an excellent job instructing me in the ways of Gold. He really took the time to explain the geology and how to properly detect for nuggets. It was well worth it , and Im sure that his instruction advanced me years ahead of the knowledge I would have acquired in my own experiences . - Glenn from Montana


  • You must be in good physical condition to hike up to 1.5 miles in rough terrain and up and down hills. If you are in good conditioning but have a temporary injury, training will be tailored to what you are able to do. With this being said, bring an ATV or side by side.

  • One day of Training $250 for 5-6 hour day
    Each additional day $100 per day.

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  • Deposit: 50% down for first day will secure spot. Remaining balance needs to be paid upon arrival on day of training. Additional day/s of training can be paid at end of first day should you decide to want a second or third day of training.
    Deposit is non refundable for cancelations.

    Deposits can be made by Check, Money Order or Credit or Debit Card. Balance is cash only .

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