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A prospectors' work is not unlike any great craftsman's endeavor, because every tendon, muscle and joint will be tested, as every ounce of energy is poured into this labor of love. Likewise, somewhere during the adventure mental stress will create questions, such as - what am I looking for, is jeopardizing life and limb worth the effort and what is the desirable conclusion? Some of the possible answers might be - simply enjoying the splendor of nature, the thrill of finding nifty specimens or the excitement of discovering a mineral deposit that will be beneficial to one and all.

Once the decision has been made to embark upon this quest there will be required the investment of a most valuable commodity - time, as well as that illusive item that there is never enough of - money. Therefore, the physical, mental and monetary limitations should be accessed so that prudent options can be selected to work smarter and not harder. To reconcile this mindset, homework is probably the very first step a prospector should attempt before setting foot on this hard as rock expedition.

As the first cautious steps are taken into this wilderness, where few dare to travel it should be kept in mind that prospecting and science are practically inseparable, kinda like the hand and pick. Although the prospector should use the latest technology available, science, regrettably, seldom, if ever looks upon the prospector as an agent of discovery. Nevertheless, it is usually the lonely prospector who almost always makes every initial discovery, but, its usually the geologist that science accredits commercial mineral discoveries to. After-all, can academia afford to heap praise upon entrepreneurial prospectors who seldom set foot in their lofty reaches where safe tenure is the objective? And, having said this, it might be wise to keep somewhere mindfully tucked away that it is usually the geologist with the proper credentials that will make or break the prospectors' discovery and are therefore an important component in the field of prospecting.

On a similar vein of thought, there is an old saying: "mine the miner". Well, prospectors who enter the field of dreams should recognize that not everything is what it appears to be. In fact, all too often what materializes in the pan is fool's gold and separates the beginner from the experienced. Similarly, somehow the prospector must learn to recognize predators masquerading in sheep's clothing. Likewise, all too often that strong looking branch will break when grabbed to avoid a fall, or that solid looking rock will break loose when depending on it for balance. So, before making ignorant or hasty decisions recognize the habitats of Murphy.

As a final point, try to keep in mind that prospectors are not generally looked upon with favor as they pursue this often frustrating ambition. In fact, most likely, prospectors are judged to be fools by friend and foe alike, so get prepared for both physical and mental bruising while on this trail of hope.

Now, after having said - don't do as I do, but do as I say - go for it, because discoveries are made by being prospected for.

Our Federal Landlord Early Westward Expansion. The Road to Tyranny. The Hage Saga. Federal Laws. By Michael S. Coffman, Ph.D.
I want to express my gtratitude to -- Mr. C.J. Hadley, publisher/editor, RANGE magazine for granting permission to post this excellent article.