Reality

What Gold Rush: White Water’s James Hamm does during the off-season

James Hamm from Gold Rush: White Water does not dive for gold all year round, but that does not mean that he takes it easy in the off-season.

Any fan who has been tuning in to watch Dustin Hurt and the rest of his Gold Rush: White Water crew wrestle with the frigid and unpredictable waters in Alaska’s white water creeks will know that this crew’s mining season is filled with hours upon hours of hiking, planning and diving for gold.

However, while Dustin and his crew’s various ups, downs, dives, treks, dives, dredges, weigh-ins and more are documented quite well on the show – there is considerably less information available about what they do when the cameras stop rolling for each season.

James Hamm’s Gold Rush: White Water journey

James “GoldHound” Hamm initially joined Dustin at the Dakota Boys’ McKinley Creek claim for the third season of the show, which aired  back in 2019.

And while he was not part of this now, well-established crew from the very beginning of their remote Alaskan mining journey, he has now proven himself to be quite the capable diver.

In fact, in the show’s most recent season, James was the one who cleaned up what was left of the paydirt in Nugget Creek.

But, when James is not searching for gold in the depths of the creeks dotted all over Alaska, it seems like he also keeps himself very busy with a few other projects during the off-season.

James Gold Rush: White Water run

All in all, James has appeared in over 60 episodes of Gold Rush: White Water, as well as a few episodes of the original Gold Rush show and the spin-off show, Gold Rush: The Dirt, in the past five years.

His run on Gold Rush: White Water so far can be summarized as follows:

Gold Rush: White Water season Initial air dates
Season 3 November 1, 2019 to February 14, 2020
Season 4 November 6, 2020 to March 12, 2021
Season 5 November 5, 2021 to March 18, 2022
Season 6 November 8, 2022 to June 9, 2023
Season 7 March 1, 2024 to May 17, 2024

James is an avid at-home mechanic

A quick glance at James’ social media posts over the last few years reveals that he often spends the few months between seasons of Gold Rush: White Water travelling with friends and enjoying the great outdoors.

However, James seems to have recently taken on a new project, which has been taking up a lot of his time.

Being a miner in the remote parts of Alaska’s vast wilderness often means developing skills that extend beyond the world of diving and equipment repairs. And it seems like this so-called Alaskan-ingenuity has suited James well, even when he is relaxing at home.

Though it was revealed in a February 25, 2024 Facebook post that he bartered and traded his way into getting his very own airboat.

And it looks like this reality television star has been putting his real-life mechanic skills to the test over the last couple of months, by fully restoring and upgrading this airboat to prepare it  for a leisurely day on the swamp (or perhaps a life-and-death trip to Nugget Creek).

James has his own store

When James is not filming, travelling or working on restoring his new airboat, he generates additional income through his online merchandise store.

The GoldHoundMerch Shopify store has a variety of branded options, ranging from glossy mugs for your coffee (at $10.50 each) to GoldHound pullover hoodies (from $50.00 each).

According to the store’s home page, all of the items sold in the store are inspired by James’s real-life gold mining experience and are therefore high quality, durable and unique.

Will James return for another season of Gold Rush: White Water?

The most recent, seventh season of Gold Rush: White Water has just finished airing and the executives at Warner Bros. Discovery have not yet announced an official renewal for the show.

However, despite the fears that Gold Rush: White Water may be nearing its end, it seems like the show is still performing fairly well on paper.

By the time that season seven’s finale episode aired, Gold Rush: White Water was bringing in about 770,000 viewers, with a 0.10 rating in the 18 – 49 demographic, which put it among the top 20 most popular shows on cable television at the time.

And given that James has now been on the cast for five seasons, and still seems to be passionate about finding gold in Alaska, it is fair to assume that James will be signing on if and when the show is brought back for another season in the future.