‘Gold Rush: White Water’: How the Cast Members Go About Claiming Land to Mine, According to Dustin Hurt

by Amy Myers

While most of the work that we see the Gold Rush: White Water stars do is in the creek and river beds, this is only half of the job in real life. Behind every location that Dustin and Fred Hurt find for their operation, there is a binding legal contract that states where they can and can’t dredge for gold.

It’s one thing to grab a colander and start looking for flecks in a nearby river, but it’s a totally different story when you start using real equipment. And if the landowner finds you digging on their property, you could be in some real trouble. That’s why the miners work hard to secure promising land claims. As Hurt explained to Looper, there are a couple of ways that this can happen.

In essence, you have three options: buy from the state, buy from the current owner or strike a deal if they don’t want to sell.

“State claims, but most of the good ones have already been staked, so you usually have to bargain with the owner, and it’s just like anything else, you buy it,” the Gold Rush: White Water star shared. “You come to an agreement, or you do a portion of the gold or something of that nature, but you can strike up any types of deals with the owners to try to work on these claims. I ended up buying these claims from the previous owner.”

For many Gold Rush stars, the most popular option tends to be making a deal with the claim owner. In order to dig up the land, the miners do a test run to see how much surface gold is present. If there’s a substantial amount, they go forward with the operation and share the profit with the owners.

Why ‘Gold Rush: White Water’ Star Feels Off-Show Competitors Don’t Threaten His Success

Of course, the most secure (and most expensive) option for land is to buy the claim outright from the owner, just as Gold Rush: White Water star Dustin Hurt likes to do. Not only does this mean that he gets to keep all the profit from the land and dredge wherever he wants, but it also ensures that no competitors can encroach on their territory.

However, even if there were some newcomer miners looking to make a fortune in the same area, Hurt told the publication that potential competitors don’t worry him at all.

“No one does what we do,” Hurt said confidently. “Anybody watches this TV show, and thinks that they can go into my claims and dig and do what we do? They’re wrong, because this is harder than anyone ever will know until they try. So the answer is no.”