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While all of the viewers had been anxiously awaiting for most of the gold mining crew to finally hit the mother lode, most of the episodes of Gold Rush on Discovery were really just filled with one disaster after another. These misfortunes really happened because of the lack of experience of the new miners. Really it was the most experienced miner on the show, Dakota Fred, who really battled with the most numerous and most devastating setbacks. None of the miners really broke even, or found any significant amount of gold for that matter, until later in the second season. However, it seemed that Fred was well on his way after stealing the Glory Hole.
Dakota Fred was hit hard by karma, and namely, he deserved it. In the beginning episodes of the second season of Gold Rush Alaska, Dakota “Big Boot” Fred swooped in and purchased the Porcupine Creek claim while he had known the Hoffmans were doing all of the digging and dirty work without telling them a thing. Fred let them dig deep down in Jack’s glory hole, and he then pulled up and broke the news to the hardworking Hoffman crew that he now owned the Porcupine Creek claim. He even forced them off of the claim so quick that the Hoffmans couldn’t even take or process their hard-earned pay dirt. Dakota Fred processed the Hoffman’s gold and took it for himself.
Fred did purchase all of the equipment from the crew so they did not have to incur extra expenses regarding the logistics of getting it to a new gold mining claim. Fred took everything except for Jack’s prized EX400 excavator. Dakota Fred really got stuck with a lot of shoddy equipment and poorly devised machinery that the Hoffmans had slapped together in their first greenhorn attempt at mining for gold. The trommel and wash plant that were left really needed some repairs, but “Big Boot” just scrapped them and brought in his own. Todd and Jack walked away with tens of thousands of dollars in their pocket to go scout out a new claim with new equipment. Some would consider this a new beginning for the Hoffmans, and if it wasn’t for Dakota Fred’s greediness and selfishness, it would never have happened that they moved to the more promising Klondike gold claim.
Just when “Big Boot” thought he was about to commence a successful gold mining operation, fate came down on him hard. He nearly lost everything in a terrible flood in his home in North Dakota. Fred is from North Dakota, and this is why he has earned the name “Dakota Fred”. They reason his other nickname is “Big Boot” is because he actually wears a boot with a bigger sole on his left foot. He was born with this condition, but he claims it has never stopped him. Fred reveres himself to be an experienced miner, and from what was aired on TV show about gold mining in the first season, it appeared that he was. He seemed to have quite a bit more knowledge about how to fix and run mining equipment than the Hoffman crew, but in the second season, the Hoffmans got their much needed new partner Dave.
Out of all of the members of the Gold Rush Alaska TV show, Dakota Fred was subjected to the worst case scenario of embarking on such an ambitious endeavor as gold mining in Alaska. But as most viewers agree, he deserved it. His house had been destroyed by floods, he had been shut down by the Mining Safety and Health Administration, his son abandoned him at the mine, and he had been operating on a negative cash flow and short-handed. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top next season, but it does not come as a surprise that most of the fans of the show are all in favor of the Hoffman crew striking it rich before anybody.