iN VIDEO: Kelowna gold prospector making his claim on YouTube | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: Kelowna gold prospector making his claim on YouTube

Dan Hurd in his natural environment: Looking for gold.
Image Credit: YOUTUBE/Dan Hurd

KELOWNA - When Dan Hurd stands in front of a river bed, armed with a shovel and pan, he takes a moment to observe. He watches the water and studies the area, learning from it. Sometimes he can tell if the earth is hiding secrets just below the surface. He calls it his sixth sense for gold.

If he likes what he sees, he'll stab his shovel into the dirt and create a small hole. Using his pan, he'll sift through the ground for any gold fragments. He'll repeat the process roughly 100 times, digging small patches across the terrain.

Hurd said other prospectors can find gold he misses by digging deeper, as shiny treasures might be hidden past the surface. But Hurd prefers to cast a wide net, since he can cover a huge amount of ground in the time it takes to dig one big hole.

After a long day of work, Hurd leaves the riverbed knowing if the spot is rich or poor. In the last 10 years he's become somewhat known as a gold prospecting expert and it's earned him a huge following online.

Hurd, a Kelowna native and teacher at Mount Boucherie Secondary School, runs a gold prospecting-centric YouTube channel that's amassed more than 60,000 subscribers. He's one of the leading voices in the online gold prospecting genre.

"It's turned into a second job for me," he said.

Hurd was first introduced to gold prospecting when he was a child, but he fell out of touch with it in his later years. When he became a father, he remembered how much he enjoyed prospecting and he took his children to try it out. While the kids weren't crazy about it, Hurd fell in love all over again.

As a prospector, Hurd is always on the lookout for land claims that are about to expire. He watches Mineral Titles Online, a site that shows soon-to-expire claims, daily. Once a claim is available, he runs to buy it.

"It's a bit of a rush because everyone wants that ground," he said.

In 10 years, Hurd has prospected 200 to 300 claims, usually within two-to-three hours from Kelowna. Many times these areas will be complete duds, either impossible to reach or bone dry.

"You realize it's $100 down the tube," he said. "You let it go. Every claim is a gamble."

But when an area is rich, that's when the real work begins. Hurd will prospect a spot for hours, even days, to make sure it's rich. If it's decent enough, he'll sell the area. If the spot is extra good, he'll keep it for himself and his family to explore.

During his gold prospecting career, Hurd came across the Jeff Williams YouTube channel, one of the biggest gold prospecting feeds on the site. Hurd, who's always wanted to be a YouTuber, was inspired to start documenting his gold prospecting adventures. His first video was just a slideshow of prospecting pictures set to music, but it's grown since then.

Hurd's channel covers the whole spectrum of prospecting, from video diaries of his adventures to practical advice for beginners to product reviews.

Thanks to his popularity, Hurd gets a lot of questions from people asking for tips on how to get into prospecting. Hurd has one main tidbit for everyone: Don't think prospecting will make you rich.

"It's almost impossible to get rich off prospecting," he said. "You do it because you love it."

The constant shoveling, walking, and carrying heavy equipment through dense forests have been hard on Hurd's body, but he still thinks it's a great excuse to exercise. He said prospecting whipped him into shape and gave him a reason to get outside and work.

"Before I got into [prospecting], I was in a bad way," he said. "I was lazy, I wasn't healthy. Prospecting saved my life."

You can follow Hurd's quest for gold on his channel here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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