Dakota Fred Hurt – Gold Rush Alaska – Acquisition of the Claim

Dakota Fred Hurt

Dakota Fred Hurt with some Porcupine Creek Gold

Fred Hurt of Gold Rush Alaska, also known as Dakota Fred recently discussed the acquisition of the Porcupine Creek claim in the first episode of season two of the popular show that airs of Friday nights on the Discovery Channel. It was an unpopular or maybe for a better word an impossible position he was put in, in order to purchase the claim from former owner Earle Foster.

Dakota Fred has explained that he had a standing offer on the claim as far back as five or six years when he and Earle had worked the claim before. At the end of season one, Fred told the crew that he wanted to work the claim with his own crew.

During the off-season Todd Hoffman forgot to send payment to Earle Foster and that prompted Earle Foster to put the claim up for sale. In fact, Earle Foster was already in the process of nullifying the Hoffman’s lease “before” Fred Hurt made a offer that included gold as part of the sale.

In a recent airing of an interview conducted with Fred Hurt, he stated that “he (Earle Foster) was basically rather embarrassed by the Hoffman crew…he was really embarrassed about the whole situation” and went on to say the ” he (Earle Foster) had numerous complaints from numerous organizations, such as the Small Miners Associations. Mining and Safety Health Administration got involved heavily.”

To some it could be perceived that Fred Hurt was taking advantage of the Hoffman’s, but it is my opinion that even though the situation was uncomfortable, Fred Hurt did nothing wrong, as Earle Foster was already in the process of nullifying the lease.

Scripted? Maybe, but it makes for some interesting television. If the show is true to some extent, you cannot blame Dakota Fred. I have stated all along that Fred Hurt was the most experienced and the crew did not want to listen to the person with experience. I wouldn’t want a crew that dislikes you either. I like Fred, or at least the way he was portrayed on the show. “Hey Fred, take me mining with you! I am sure you have never heard that one before.”


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Panning For Gold

Because gold is heavier than most sediments and gravel in a stream, it and other heavy
minerals called “black sands” (including pyrite, magnetite, ilmenite, chromite, and
garnet) can be collected in a gold pan when the right panning techniques are used.

First, get a gold pan from a hardware or department store or a store that specialized in
mining equipment. Gold pans are flat bottomed, usually about 2 or 3 inches deep, with
the sides sloping at an angle of about 45º, and should be at least 15 inches in diameter.

Panning For Gold

Take your pan to a likely looking location along a stream in a known gold-bearing area.
You are looking for a gold trap – a place along the stream where the current slows down
enough for the gold to settle out. Good possibilities are the insides of curves of streams
(called point bars), areas where streams have overflowed, and on the downstream sides of
boulders or other obstructions in the water.

Once you find a good place, follow these steps for panning for gold:

1. Fill the pan about half or two-thirds full of soil, gravel, and small rocks from the
stream channel.

2. Put the pan under water, break up lumps of clay, and discard the stones.

3. Still holding the pan level under water with your hands on opposite sides of it, rotate it
halfway back and forth rapidly to wash out the clay and concentrate the heavy material at
the bottom of the pan.

4. Still holding the pan under water, tilt the pan forward, away from your body, and down
slightly. Rotate and shake it to let the light gravel and sand dribble out the front. Push top
material and large chunks of rock out with your thumbs.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 several times until a deposit of fine-grained dark material overlain
by a smaller layer of light material remains at the bottom of the pan.

5. Take the pan with the residue and some water out of the stream. Rotate the pan in a
circular motion, and watch carefully what is happening. The water is separating lighter
from heavier material-and gold, if it is present and you are doing the panning properly, is
lagging behind the other material at the bottom of the pan.

6. Stop the rotation. If you are lucky, you will see a few flecks of gold in the dark
material that remains in the bottom of the pan. Carefully drain out water and let the black
sand and gold dry. Lift out most of the black sand with a magnet, and separate that gold
from the remainder of the sediment with tweezers.

All the shiny gold-colored material in you gold pan may not be gold.

Pyrite, known as “fools gold,” has fooled many before you. On close examination, however, pyrite does not really look like gold. Pyrite has a brassy color, is sometimes tarnished, and, because it occurs as crystals, changes shades as you rotate it in the sun. Gold is always gold colored, soft, and malleable or bendable.

If you see gold-colored flecks that either float on the water or are so light in weight that
they easily wash out of the pan, you probably have small pieces or “books” of mica, a
mineral that because it is transparent and heat resistant was once used in doors of stoves
so the fire could be seen. Mica has a tendency to break apart into flat sheets. It comes in
several colors, and the the gold-colored variety is sometimes mistaken for gold by
inexperiences gold panners.

If you are lucky enough to find gold in your pan, it can come in many shapes: small
lumps or nuggets, wires, feather-shaped crystals, or flat flecks. Pieces can range in size
from almost microscopic “colors” (very small pieces) up to fist-sized nuggets, but your
chances of finding the latter are pretty remote. However, gold panners are optimistic, and
you never know what the next pan will produce.


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Gold Rush Jimmy Dorsey – Did he get a fair shake?

I recently did a telephone interview with Gold Rush Jimmy Dorsey who has appeared on the Discovery Channel show Gold Rush Alaska. In my interview it was clear to me that this was a man who admitted he had no real experience in panning gold or gold mining. So who is really responsible?

Yes, part of the show was cut out, so the viewers only get to see about 20% or less of what actually happened. But never do I see Jack Hoffman, the only one with mining experience, take Jimmy Dorsey to the side and try to teach Jimmy Dorsey. Jimmy clearly stated in my interview with him that he did not even classify the material. Who’s fault was it that Jimmy Dorsey did not know how to pan for gold?

In case you have not heard…Gold Rush Alaska is scripted. That’s why everybody who is sitting at home is thinking…”What a bunch of idiots.” The reason is somebody in that group would have spoken up…but they wanted the show to present all these problems that a fifth grader could have seen in advance. The reason why the show is a success is because it allows common people who know absolutely nothing about gold mining sit back and watch a show, of which they have no background or knowledge in and feel proud of their intelligence.

The consensus from the mining community is they are ticked off at the show. They unfairly portray gold miners and I was offended because they were from Oregon, being from the State myself. Gold prospecting and gold mining is under attack from environmental groups and you have to ask yourself…”Was the show created to present some propaganda against mining?”

Gold Rush Jimmy Dorsey

Jimmy Dorsey

To the main point of this article. Did Jimmy Dorsey get a fair shake? In the final episode they made Jimmy look like a felon, an idiot and a fool. As the crew members played back accounts of them destroying Jimmy Dorsey’s house/dwelling, they laughed and smiled, as they recounted the scene.

In the last episode before the tell all…I noticed they edited Jimmy Dorsey out of the Gold Rush Alaska title. This all happened right after my interview with Jimmy Dorsey and he told me the show was scripted. I personally think that the Discovery Channel was not too pleased that Jimmy Dorsey spilled the beans about the show. So did he get a fair shake? He fully admitted he lacked the instruction and knowledge of gold mining? My other question is “Why the hell didn’t somebody show him? I believe it was because they never had any intention of keeping him on the show. He was the target.

Gold Rush Fred Hurt

Fred Hurt

Jimmy Dorsey has been gaining knowledge about gold mining, taking courses at a mining school in Nevada. I am willing to bet that Jimmy Dorsey now knows more than Todd Hoffman and  his crew put together. It would not surprise me to see him on season two of Gold Rush Alaska back at Porcupine Creek with Fred Hurt, the veteran outsider who arrived to turn the operation around at the behest of the property owner Earle Foster. Fred has decided for season two he does not want the Hoffman’s there and wants to run his own crew. I have a feeling that maybe Jimmy Dorsey will be there and I do think that Fred Hurt and his crew, whomever they are…will get more gold than Hoffman’s crew.

Read my original interview with Jimmy Dorsey here:

Gold Rush Alaska Jimmy Dorsey Interview


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Jobe Highbanker – $689.95
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