It looks as though Discovery Channel’s most popular show has lost one of its most popular cast members as gold miner Dakota Fred Hurt and his crew, including son Dustin Hurt, will reportedly not be back for Season 5 of Gold Rush.
I was contacted by the admin of the Gold Rush Alaska Gossip Facebook page, whom I have worked with on previous Gold Rush stories, and his sources tell him that Fred and Dustin wanted a raise for next season but were unable to work out a deal with Discovery Channel. As a result, they were let go from the show.
The report backs up a previous story that ran in the Chilkat Valley News back in April that claimed Discovery Channel would not be filming in Haines, Alaska this summer — the location of Dustin and Fred Hurt’s mining operation at Porcupine Creek.
CVN spoke with Scott Gala, the Haines location manager for Raw TV, the production company behind Gold Rush. Gala revealed that he was informed by a Raw TV executive producer that Fred and Dustin were being dropped from the show. “Raw TV will continue to produce Gold Rush and follow Parker (Schnabel) and Todd (Hoffman),” Gala added. “Everything would remain the same, but the Haines location would be dropped.”
But, fans of Dakota Fred and Dustin Hurt may still have some hope of seeing them on the small screen again soon as they have reportedly hired a different production company to film their summer mining season! There are no details about how they plan to air the show — whether it be on a cable network or through a site like Youtube. Of course, that decision may not have been made yet as potential bidders wait to see what the finished product is like. (According to a recent post on Gold Rush Alaska Gossip, things are going “amazingly well.”)
As far as the location, recent photos of Fred posted online have him still in Haines. It is unclear if Dustin is with him there, or if he is continuing his plans to start mining elsewhere.
Meanwhile, another member of the Dakota Crew, Melody Tallis, is currently working for Tony Beets. Judging from her recent posts on Facebook, she will not be featured either on Gold Rush or on Fred’s new project. “[I] don’t think it is in the cards for me to be filmed this season,” Melody wrote earlier today. “I miss it as it was added fun. I am still mining and as Gloria said…enjoying the moment. I love the North country. They are filming but that is all I can say.”
We will keep our ear to the ground and let you know as soon as we hear any more about Dakota Fred’s “spin-off series.”