Nice to hear from you timebandit. As you can see the forums aren't that busy, especially when we have a few feet of snow on the ground.
In terms of a metal detector, I'm swinging a Fisher CoinStrike hunting mostly for relics rather than using it for prospecting. I also have a Vibraprobe pinpointer I carry along with me. Plastic gold pans work well with a metal detector as well.. lol..
I have a few classifiers, a few pans, a number of buckets and a 4ft Keene sluice I would like to put to use. I enjoy if nothing else running through material and panning black sand concentrates. I wish I had a smaller sluice as well, as it's somewhat cumbersome to transport any distance. Great to follow up with if you have some colour in your pan and want to process a lot of material.
I'm located in Fredericton, and would like to get out more this summer provided the day job and family time allows. In terms of staking in NB as you likely know it's all online now. I know of a few prospectors who have flipped claims without even visiting the property, scooping up properties in decent locations. One instance was a guy out of St. John who picked up an REE series of claims once they expired from the previous holder.. days later he received a call from a mining company out of China. He did very well on the transaction.
What are you interested in? Are you looking for base metals? REEs? Or the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
For me it's an interest/passion but far from a profession. I just like an excuse to get out in the woods, with machete and GPS in hand. A number of years ago I and a friend were rockhounding between Fredericton and Woodstock while DOT was constructing the new highway. My father was the engineer on the job, they would blast rock and I'd follow behind them. At that time I picked up a number of pyrite samples.. but never bothered to pursue it much further. Within 6 months Freewest Resources came in and staked the entire area.. now only if I bother to have tested my samples at the local lab. I have been kicking myself since then.
I look forward to hearing from you. When the snow retreats I would be interested in a prospecting or metal detecting trip if you want some company. I don't get out near enough as I wish.