'Gold Rush: White Water' Star Dakota Fred Reveals Why He Split With Son Dustin After Years Gold Mining Together (Exclusive)

The Dakota boys are back in the remote corners of the Alaskan wilderness, but this time, Fred Hurt and son Dustin are going at it separately as they hunt down the gold hidden in the frigid waters of the north. Ahead of Gold Rush: White Water's Season 3 premiere on Friday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m., the Discovery Channel star opened up to PopCulture.com about the father-son duo's decision to go their own way after years working as a team.

"At first he had his mind set to go one place, and my mind was set to go somewhere else. So we split up," Hurt, 75, explained of the decision to go a different direction than Dustin this year. "It worked out quite well, we had double the chance to get the gold and got to work more places.”

He continued of getting some time apart from his son after years of butting heads over their next move, "It doesn’t always go smoothly, and Dustin and I have quite the history of being at each other’s throats. It was the best decision we could have made ... and it made for a good season."

The miner joked of his mood's elevation since going on this season without his own flesh and blood, "I have regained my sanity. Don't you know mental illness is caused by your children?"

Dakota Fred and Dustin both had a high bar to reach after last year's season, during which they completely mined out their McKinley Creek dive site, venturing further into Cahoon Creek, 2,000 ft. up Alaska's remote Chilkat Mountains. This season, Hurt made his claim even higher up than before, requiring equipment to be helicopter lifted in.

“It’s an adventurous thing to attempt to do, but the thrill of the hunt is as powerful as ever," Hurt explained to PopCulture.com of the dangerous decision. "It's one hell of a treasure hunt. You don't know where it's at, but you're gonna look."

Being in such a remote location, Hurt and his team understood they were hours away from medical help, a risk they all accepted and prepared for as much as possible with first aid training. The bear population on the mountain was a little more intimidating, however, as it was unlikely any of the animals had ever encountered humans — making their reaction more than slightly unpredictable.

The reward, however, was gold deposits that had never been explored, as they were previously covered by a large glacier that melted in the 1950s. Gold Rush fans will have to tune in if they want to know just how the Dakota boys' seasons turned out, but Hurt revealed that diving in at his remote claim led to one of the "most incredible, fantastic" experiences he's had in all his years filming the show — seeing gold glistening in a bedrock crevice underwater.

"I think I got a little excited," he said of his reaction to the major find. "I cant wait to see the reviews of that, because I was giddy. “


Gold Rush: White Water returns for Season 3 on Friday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.

Photo credit: Discovery