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What Is Dakota Fred Doing Now?

Updated on December 30, 2017
Stephen Sinclair profile image

Stephen Sinclair is a freelance Canadian writer who has been publishing professionally for several years.

'Dakota' Fred Hurt is the subject of a new Discovery Channel documentary, 'White Water.'
'Dakota' Fred Hurt is the subject of a new Discovery Channel documentary, 'White Water.' | Source

What is Fred Hurt doing now?

"Dakota" Fred Hurt first came to national prominence when he purchased a claim owned by Earl Foster after another miner missed a lease payment in Season 2 of Gold Rush. Mr. Hurt was a main focus of the show until his departure, at the end of Season 4.

Dakota Fred admitted on his Facebook page that he spent more than he made with Gold Rush, and that continuing would be impossible.

"If you want a Miner, call me.......if you want an Actor, pay me like one," Hurt wrote.

When a fan challenged Dakota with information stating that members of the Gold Rush cast earned $22,000 per episode, the miner set the facts straight.

He wrote that five members of his crew were paid nothing by the Discovery Channel, only earning their share of recovered gold. Additionally, he had been paid less than "a third" of what other cast members received.

"I'm entertaining millions of people using my own resources ......and Discovery is pocketing all the profit," Hurt explained.

Despite the challenges Dakota Fred has faced with production executives, the mining veteran hasn't let any negativity creep into his own life. On July 30, 2016, Hurt wed Jennifer Sheets, his executive assistant and cook camp, as reported by Starcasm. His first wife, Lorrayne, passed away in 2015, also reported by Starcasm.

Fellow Gold Rush cast member, Tony Beets, and wife Minnie, were reportedly in attendance on the day of the ceremony.

At about the same time, Fred and his son Dustin advertised a job posting, seeking experienced underwater miners.

"Can you rappel down mountains, construct wooden platforms and move heavy boulders? Are you a professional diver able to operate a 6 inch suction dredge in massive underwater current... TO GET THE GOLD?" the job posting read.

Surprisingly, Fred Hurt did not begin working in the mining industry until after he retired at 60 years of age. Previously, he worked as both an underwater diver and the owner of a construction company. His son-in-law, Paul Behm, first introduced him to the idea of recovering gold for profit.

"We went mining in Alaska for about four years or so, then one year we mined in Wyoming," Dakota Fred Hurt explained.

'White Water' premieres January 19 on Discovery

Following his time with Gold Rush, Dakota Fred Hurt worked with Raw TV, the production company behind the show, on a new series, All That Glitters Is Gold. However, the latest news is that the Discovery Channel will air the premiere of a another new Dakota Fred show on January 19 at 7 p.m. ET, White Water, as reported by The News Review.

The new series, filmed in Alaska, features a gold claim that "cannot be accessed on foot or by boats, only by tiny planes, helicopters or a zip line."

"We were diving underwater in a creek that was outrageously fast and dangerous," Hurt was quoted. "It was quite an epic adventure."

Putting his famous no-nonsense approach to life to work when negotiating with Discovery for the show, the 74-year-old made clear his intentions to mine the claim with or without the involvement of television producers.

Hurt has hinted that an "unusual event" transpires in the middle of the series, one which the gold man believes viewers will find interesting.

In a fast moving, cold Alaskan river reported to hurl 2,000 pounds of water at the mine's workers per second, the father, son, and their team vacuum gold-bearing dust from the river bottom where it is then sucked to the surface for further processing.

After three days on the set of White Water, when he became confident with the film crew, Hurt said "we were just having an adventure and having fun, and it got so much bigger than I would have ever thought."

White Water was filmed during the summer months of 2016. Crew members working with Dakota Fred and his son included Zack Sheets, Wes and Paul Richardson, and Carlos Minor. The first episode of the series is said to feature a section that focuses on what Fred and Dustin have been doing since their departure from Gold Rush.

Additionally, Fred and Dustin Hurt also have another documentary in post production, entitled Gold Blooded, as featured with IMDb. Footage for the show was filmed by the father and son, themselves, over the past few years.

© 2017 Stephen Sinclair

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