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Be patient, and use a slow-and-methodical sweep technique ... OR ... do you

July 20, 2021 10:52AM avatar
haphazardly wander around a location, paying little attention to the search coil and it's coverage, perhaps zig-zagging this way and that way and often end up a hundred yards or a lot more from where you started out perhaps just fifteen, twenty or maybe thirty minutes ago?

You might consider yourself highly efficient like the first suggestion, or maybe you have a more care-free approach to site coverage like the second suggestion. There's a good chance you feel you fit somewhere in-between, and on some days you're more like one and other times more like the other. And regardless of how people hunt, in either extreme, someone is going to make a decent find and feel they have done things right.

Let's consider the time-and-effort that goes into searching any location when you have a desire to "find-it-all" and not miss recovering any good target be it a coin, trade token, chauffer's badge, thimble, button, or any unique item. To do well you're best prepared if you have a good quality detector and proper search coil, use a high Sensitivity setting and very low or minimal Discrimination, and then put in ample detecting time to ensure you have covered every inch of the site.

Many people in this great outdoor sport have hunted some places a lot, and very often making detecting trips to the site, frequently hunting all-day-long and doing so numerous times. Some of the places to hunt call for an extended drive and maybe even camping out to spend 2 or a few days? Then, it might be a location that calls for very little drive-time and it is easy to access, At some pint, they do not hunt it any more and consider the place to be "worked-out".

Do you have such a location? Perhaps a city park, a remote ghost town, an old pioneer or military encampment. or other location where you know the general borders or fringe area that contains a lot of former activity? You've hunted it, several to many times, and get to the point where you think there's nothing remaining since you've left there empty-handed more than once? Figure you know your detector(s) well and ther's no hope of finding anything until a new and better detector comes along sometime in the future? If so, you are not alone.

I have good friends, hunting buddies from the 1980's and into the '90s who used to work some ghost towns with me, and they continued to hunt them hard after I moved away back in '93 .... and they had good detectors, too. They simply gave up because "they are worked out or ]i]"there's just nothing left out there to find"[/i], and sometimes they even add a comment such as "I've covered every inch of the place, several times, and it's just clean".

Well, I hate to break the news to some folks, especially if they have invested a lot of $$$ in some newer, high-tech detectors and have hunted a location well, they most likely did not clean it out. And regardless of how good an individual might be, or the type of detector they use and the thought-out settings they prefer, I am sure I can name a location very close to where anyone lives, that I have never hunted before, and guarantee that I could use any detector and coil combination in my outfit and find something.

That's right, an easy-to-get-to location where you have likely hunted, and have ample opportunity to search, where I have never been but can bring anything I use and find something. I have a FORS Relic w/5" DD, Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX with 6" Concentric coils, an Apex w/5X8 DD, Simple + and ORX with their 5X9½ DD's, and an Apex w/8½X11 DD. Yes, seven detector & coil devices that can all find targets at a dedicated site because you (plural) have not cleaned it out yet and have had ample opportunity to do so.

In some cases, a hobbyist might have had exclusive access / permission to hunt such a dedicated chunk of ground for four-or-more decades, but still haven't 'cleaned it out' regardless of the detector and coils they have used in the past or currently have. And just where might this location be?

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
→ → → Your Own Yard! ←←←
↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑

That's right, a hurtable location most of us have, right out our front or back door, and regardless of how long we have lived there or how old or new the property is, we have never set out to 'find-it-all' and know that we haven't missed anything good. And if we can't clean out our own property, how could we ever know if we've successfully cleaned out any other location?

I was thinking of this during a phone call with a friend of mine who related her detecting results from some renovation projects they worked. And I know for a fact she hasn't really done any serious hunting in her own yard. Not where she used to live when single and not where she and her husband live now. Generally she hunts more thoroughly than a lot of hobbyists I see, but she doesn't really know much about detectors, detector designs, frequency, EMF's, and a wide array of topics you could discuss that we often see come up on forums. But, she does know how to turn it on, work it in and around trash, put in all th time she can, and finds good stuff. A 'Beep-Dig!' approach to success.

That said, she's also one of those who decides an old site is "worked-out" and gave up on searching a lot of the old places we used to hunt, simply because finds were not easy, were no longer plentiful, and had made a few detecting trips with no success and was skunked. As a dedicated Relic Hunter who has enjoyed a lot of old-use locations for many decades, I know there are still 'keepers' to be found, but those left-overs are there because they are partially masked or totally masked. The only way to find them all it to hunt the place thoroughly, find and recover everything, and that means removing the debris that is causing the target-masking and will allow us to find the good stuff. But to do so takes patience, ample time and effort, and concentrating on a small, isolated or gridded area until there are no longer any detectable metals left. Any .... meaning no non-ferrous and no ferrous-based targets.

I've used the reference to hunting a yard until it is clean for many, many years jut to give some examples to beginners-to-experienced detector users to point out how difficult it is to accomplish such a task. I've also stressed the benefits of trying to achieve that goal as we learn more about our detectors, the goods and bads about the features / functions it offers, and in doing so improve their skills. In all my late teen and adult life spent detecting, I now live in the oldest house yet.

Built in 1933, this 88 year old Depression-Era property continues to be a splendid example of why we DO have a lot of 'keepers' left out there in old-use locations of long-ago, and it is due to having a lot of mixed-design targets that challenge us to find and isolate those smaller-size coins and similar targets we are after. As I have been working this yard off-and-on between projects and resting up, in some areas I am cleaning out all I can, but in trashier areas I am 'cherry-picking' the higher-conductive targets right now. The yard isn't going anywhere so I can make the change to 'finding-it-all' when we get into fall and winter weather. Then I'll grid it off into about 5 ft. by 10.ft. grids and work them until each grid is clean ... with every detector I own. Then move on to the next grid.

Each homesite will have different amounts and types of activity, such as this property that had occupants who enjoyed their bottled beverages and bottle caps have been discarded all over the place. Likely a lot from their four children playing with them when they were younger, but also from family and friends who visited and relaxed outside. True, there are some yards where there might not have been any children and/or the residents were very tidy people, and in those situations there might be very few metal objects, good or bad, to be found. Maybe a homesite was one more of a garage or auto repair enter and parts of the property have a lot of lost and discarded ferrous and non-ferrous junk to deal with, but that means there's more target masking, so removing a lot of the unwanted metal allows us to find any desired metals that would otherwise have been missed.

I also think back on the times I have asked and gained access to a private property only for the owner to tell me I won't find anything because it has already been hunted, a couple of times, by two fellows. That's fine with me because I know nobody gets it all, and I continue to find some good left-overs. Any detecting at any location can be informative and educational because not only are detectors not perfect, but we can always learn something beneficial. So, when the breeze blows and the temperatures are pleasant enough, I'll go out hunting my own yard, taking my time, and learning as I go in my efforts to find good target and, eventually, clean my yard of all discarded debris.

If you have a little time on your hands but not enough to travel far to hunt, give your own yard a try. Take your time and be thorough. Learn-as-you-go and see just how much stuff you maybe ignored in the past.


"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
I'm now 'back home' in Farr West Utah
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detector Outfit: A selection of my favorite makes and models, with the best coils mounted for the tasks I'll take on.
Time Ranger Pro .. F75+ .. F19 .. Apex .. Racer 2 .. EQ-800 .. FORS Relic .. Bandido II µMAX .. Silver Sabre µMAX .. XLT
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive Pointer and AT Pro-Pointer .. Headphones: 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' .. MS-3 Z-Lynk
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2021 05:32AM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Be patient, and use a slow-and-methodical sweep technique ... OR ... do you

Monte 439 July 20, 2021 10:52AM

Taking a break and pondering how much good stuff is left.thinking

Monte 236 July 23, 2021 09:20AM

Re: Patient, and use a slow-and-methodical sweep technique ... OR ... do you

Timbertodd 306 July 21, 2021 08:10PM

1 approach and now another

OregonGregg 308 July 21, 2021 05:08PM

Re: 1 approach and now another

D&P-OR 273 July 21, 2021 06:46PM

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