Dave Turin found some popularity when he joined the reality-television series “Gold Rush”, appearing as a guest in season one in 2010, but going on to become a regular member in subsequent seasons. His participation was met with mixed reviews – some viewers loved him and some criticized him. In 2017, he left the show after a violent brawl with another crew member which everyone thought was for good, but two years later, his own spin-off series called “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine” premiered on Discovery Channel. In 2023, he was back again in the original series, albeit briefly, offered his gold claim to friends as he was retiring from the business.
- 1 Get to know David Turin
- 2 A brief background on Discovery’s “Gold Rush”
- 3 Dave’s unforgettable moments in “Gold Rush”
- 4 His new reality-TV show, “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine”
- 5 Dave Turin announced his retirement
Get to know David Turin
David “Dave” Turin was born on 21 April 1959, in Portland, Oregon USA, raised in a Christian middle-class household somewhere in the relative wilderness of Mount Hood. It was there that he fell in love with outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. He was quite athletic, so didn’t have any problem joining his high school and college football teams. He belonged to a family of quarry miners, and so no one was surprised that after matriculating from Sandy Union High School, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Portland State University.
His family business, aggregates operation Mt. Hood Rock Company, headed by his father Jim Turin, flourished as Dave helped with its projects along with his three brothers, Dennis, Douglas and Danny; they supplied high-quality construction materials around the local area, and became successful. Dave was the Vice-President and Quarry Manager, earning a reputation for being dependable with a great work ethic just like his father. In 2021, for unknown reasons but probably financial, the business was acquired by one of MDU Resources Group Inc.’s construction materials subsidiaries, Knife River Corp.
A brief background on Discovery’s “Gold Rush”
In the early 2000s, Discovery Channel started featuring more interesting and odd professions in their unscripted TV show line-up, which was later popularly called reality-TV series.
Premise and TV premiere
Discovery channel found success in these types of reality TV series, and in December 2010, “Gold Rush: Alaska,” made its TV premiere, which basically followed the gold mining activities of various people. The show started with six men from Oregon who lost their jobs as a result of a recession in America, who figured that the best way to recoup their losses was to mine for gold in Alaska. The title of the series changed to simply “Gold Rush” by the second season, as it started featuring other places such as the Klondike area in Canada. In the following seasons, mining crews went to other parts of the world, including South America. Season 13 started airing in September 2022 and is expected to broadcast its season finale in the first quarter of 2023.
The leaders of the gold mining crews
From its inception to its 13th season, “Gold Rush” had six teams going around various locations, doing everything they could to mine gold. Some of them became fan favorites, while others were harshly criticized by tviewers for one reason or the other. These teams were headed by bullheaded men who had an immense drive to search for nuggets of gold. During the first season, the TV series featured Todd Hoffman and his crew – he left the show after the eighth season, and subsequently headlined his own spin-off series.
In season two, the producers added two more mining crews, one led by Parker Schnabel, who was born in Alaska but moved to Yukon for more gold claims, while the other one was led by Fred Hurt, a veteran miner from North Dakota. By the sixth season, Tony Beets who originally came from the Netherlands, was introduced as one of the best gold miners in the Klondike. During the ninth season, one of Parker Schnabel’s men, Rick Ness, was given his own team, and by the 11th season during the start of the pandemic, the TV show opened its doors to a former Special Forces medic, Fred Lewis, when Rick and other crews were quarantined due to Covid-19 regulations. The latest season included the Clayton Brothers, who’d first appeared briefly at the end of the 12th season.
Is your crew more like family?
— Gold Rush (@Gold_Rush) April 7, 2021
Dave’s unforgettable moments in “Gold Rush”
Armed with his engineering background and quarrying skills, Dave Turin was contacted by Todd Hoffman, one of the main stars of “Gold Rush” as a consultant for his team during the first season of the show.
Earned his nickname “Dozer Dave”
While Dave wasn’t an original member of Todd Hoffman’s crew, his contribution to the team was quite valuable. Before he came into the picture, he worked in his family business, and had expertise in mining and quarrying. He was the only one in Todd’s crew who really knew what he was doing both theoretically and in terms of experience. Coupled with hard work, which was evident in his relentless bulldozing of the ground in his search for gold from the many years he worked for Todd, he earned the nickname “Dozer Dave.”
Dave was hired to fix Todd Hoffman’s problems
Several mistakes were made by Todd Hoffman’s crew during the first season of “Gold Rush”, which was unsurprising given that none of them had much experience in gold mining; most of them learned ‘on the job’. At that time, Dave was managing the quarry operation of his family’s business, when he was contacted by Todd to fly to Jim Nail Placer Mine in Alaska to help him fix most of his mining issues. While he didn’t physically work with them in the mine, he analyzed the issues that they were experiencing, and came up with possible solutions. He was lured and challenged by gold mining possibilities, and so by the second season, he’d bid his family’s business in Oregon goodbye, joining Todd’s crew and as a regular member of the show.
Led another team on a second claim for Hoffman
With investors breathing down Todd’s neck, he hired more people so that they could achieve their goal of 1,000 ounces of gold that season. He designated Dave to lead a second team to mine the Indian River claim, while Todd was busy mining in his other claim. They even fought for the use of the bulldozers, as the one Dave had been using broke down. The two teams started competitively, but at the end of the day worked together to survive, as their major investor pressured them that if they didn’t produce 1000 ounces by a certain date to assure him that they were on to something great, he would pull the plug on the whole operation. Dave predicted that he could mine around 800 ounces in the Indian River claim, and true enough, by the end of the season, his team had extracted 803 ounces, the highest tally of gold in the show at that time, and valued at $1.3 million in 2012.
Signed up again with Todd in the fifth season
Gold mining isn’t for the fainthearted, as it can lead to endless frustrations and heartbreak before a miner hits the motherlode. Dave had many arguments with Todd on how things should be done – both were stubborn, and so they parted ways at end of the fourth season. During the fifth season, Dave initially worked with the Dodge Crew on the same terms he had with his former crew. Todd knew that he needed Dave’s expertise to help him recoup his huge loss in Guyana, wile for his part, Dave knew his value so when he was approached by Todd again, he demanded a 50% stake in ownership to which Todd agreed, as long as the former could provide $500,000 as his buy-in. The former quarry manager paid for it by providing the leased mining equipment they needed, including trucks, bulldozers, excavators and loaders. By the end of the season, they’d mined 1,349 ounces of gold, valued at $1.6 million. While it wasn’t near their original goal, it was enough for them to survive, and prepare for the next season.
The infamous Dave Turin and Trey Poulson altercation
“Gold Rush” fans weren’t surprised by what happened in the Hoffman crew during the seventh season of the show. One of the biggest mistakes that Todd made was to leave the Yukon claim for them to return to Oregon, taking the risk of finding gold there. They’d dug up more than 3,000 ounces of gold in the previous season, but gave it up just to spend time with their families. While it was a noble decision, it turned out to be the worst move to make.
They had a hard time looking for gold, and with equipment breaking down, the frustration was evident. Dave’s argument with crew member Trey Poulson became volatile, and they threw punches at each other; other members of the crew including Todd had a tough time breaking them up. In 2017, after that altercation, Dave quit not only from working with Todd but from the show as well. He left an appreciation post on his official Facebook page – ‘I want to take the time to say thank you to all you true fans, especially those that have written me with encouraging, kind words.’ He also said that it wasn’t in his plans to quit the show, but it was quite clear to him that it was the thing to do at that moment, feeling that it was the perfect time to move on.
His new reality-TV show, “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine”
Most of Dave’s fans thought that they would never see him again in a reality-TV series, much less in a “Gold Rush” spin-off series. Some viewers thought that he returned to his quarrying business, which was way more stable than gold mining.
What was the spin-off series about?
After two years of being away from the spotlight, Dave Turin agreed to return to the small screen, but this time as his own boss. Discovery Channel executives realized that he could successfully headline his own TV series, and at the same time satisfy the requests they’d received from his fans, who had been quite frustrated that Dave continued to work with Todd Hoffman in the original series.
In “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine,” the veteran gold hunter wanted to get back in the game, and found the perfect way to do it. This time, instead of looking for new claims, he would travel across the country from North to South in search of pay dirt mining operations, which had been immediately closed down when the US went to war. He believed that there was still millions worth of gold in those mines. While he knew that old timers were quite good at their job, with low technology and cranky equipment, they couldn’t have dug it all up, especially those that were too deeply embedded in the ground. His mission was to track down the gold with his own crew, with the hope that he could find the motherlode.
Let's make some gold.✨Dave Turin's Lost Mine returns with a brand new season Friday at 9P on Discovery and Discovery GO.Watch => https://go.discovery.com/tv-shows/gold-rush-dave-turins-lost-mine/
Posted by Gold Rush on Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Four seasons and more than 60 episodes
It seemed that the Discovery executive producers knew what they were doing, as Dave’s spin-off series attracted a loyal following the moment it made its TV debut on 8 March 2019. The first season generated decent TV ratings, even if it only had four regular episodes, but also four specials. As a result, management ordered three more seasons, in fact, Discovery Channel shared that it was the first “Gold Rush” multi-platform series that they offered free to Discovery Go cable subscribers.
Meet Dave Turin’s crew
Dave knew that he needed to choose reliable people for his crew, so planned everything carefully to reduce the mistakes that he knew he could commit, and having a Plan B was essential to his operation because those mistakes could be costly. His crew was composed of five men, including Jason Sanchez (excavator operator), Casey Morgan (rock truck driver), Chris Taylor (loader/operator), Nathan Clark (mechanic), and Jesse Goins (gold room operator). When Jesse died in April 2020, it was Dave’s wife, Shelly Turin, who ran the gold room operation.
Invested his own money in his new mining adventure
Even before the first episode of “Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine” ended, Dave asked for advice from his father. He was having a problem deciding if it was better to dig up gold using other people’s money, which meant working for investors, or investing his own money. His father told him that it was a tough decision – ‘Mining isn’t always the most successful thing in the world, but if I were you, I would go on my own.’ Dave said that was what he thought his father would say, since it was what he’d done with the family business, having taken a huge risk when he quit teaching and coaching to start a quarry business, when he had six little kids to support. Jim reminded his son that they often failed, but sometimes failure was the best experience one could have. Dave said that his father taught them that if they faiedl, the next thing that they should do was to put their boots on and get back to work. He followed his father’s advice, and used his savings to set up his operation. However, he later also accepted investors in his projects.
Dave Turin announced his retirement
After the fourth season of his spin-off series ended, Dave briefly went back to appear in “Gold Rush.” It was there that the fans found out that he was selling his claim and his equipment, because he was thinking of retiring from the business. Fans talked about this recent development in Dave’s career on social media, with and some doubting his sincerity. There were those who felt that he wasn’t forthcoming with the status of his gold claims, and that it was unfair to his crew when he offered all of it for $1 million. He told them that he wanted them to be the first people to have the opportunity to mine his claim, and own his equipment. Contrary to his critics, there was an episode in the series that showed that his crew checked if there was gold in Dave’s land, and the result was positive. However, they haven’t showed yet if his crew members bought his claim and his equipment.
Some of the “Gold Rush” loyal viewers felt that it was just the narrative that Discovery wanted to pursue. Apparently, one of Dave’s crew members, Casey Morgan, was asked online by a fan if he was mining with Dave in the next season. Casey said that he wasn’t, because he was doing another TV project, but it wouldn’t be shown on Discovery, and that the fans would surely love it. Fans came up with several theories, such as the spin-off series might soon be canceled, or that another spin-off series would be created for other members of his crew, or that some of them would join the original series. Others even thought that Dave would team up with Parker Schnabel in the original serie,s to make it more interesting. However, during an interview with Dave and Shelley Turin for Idaho Press, they said that he wasn’t retiring permanently from the gold mining business, but was scaling down his mining operations, because he simply wanted to spend more quality time with his children and grandchildren.