Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


An educational moment for readers related to a recent post by 'exploregon.'

March 16, 2019 08:16AM avatar
I started a thread directly related to Public Land Access for Coin Hunting in your general area? for everyone's locations. It was direct and to the point about what the metal detecting regulations might be where you live, and if there are any governing recovery restrictions or limitations associated with metal detecting in those sites.

It was very direct and to the point, such as can you or can you not metal detect at a city or country park, a state park or a beach area, etc., and are there any restrictions to abide by? I know some areas say NO Metal Detecting, and some will allow it, but they Require a Permit. There are locations that only let to have a Permit for a certain number of described parks at a time or you need a new permit to hunt other parks.

Some limit recoveries to nothing deeper than 3" to 4". Some only allow the use of an ice ick, a screwdriver, or a pocket knife with a 3" blade. Some might allow a hand trowel, but they also have restrictions there, too. Some say you can recover a target, but you can not dig a hole. I was simply looking for general information about where you can or can't detect, and how you can or can't recover targets and the recovery tools you can or can't use.

If someone mentions a technique or tool they use, I don't find it immediately offensive but I might be interested in why they use the recovery tools or techniques they employ, and therefore it would be a learning opportunity and not a reason to be directly critical and negative about the method, or towards the individual.

Replies on that thread as well as this thread have gone off-topic with regard to discussions about vehicles, but especially being directly critical about some recovery tools used. The recent post by 'exploregon' relating his recovery tool choices was described here: exploregon's recovery tools which is one topic to learn from rather than directly criticize.

In it he stated the following:

"Ever since using the Lesche shovel, I don't think I will ever go back to a hand and digger if I don't have to."

As he mentioned in a follow-up response, you don't know him, or where he lives and often hunts, the types of locations where he employs his Lesche Shovel, and therefore should discharge his tool selection without cause.

White's sells an excellent shovel made for them and I found it works very well. However, it's the right length to take the place of my cane, but it is a little too heavy and the 'T' grip doesn't work as well for me as a conventional shovel type grip. So my oldest son, Monte Jr., now has the shovel I bought from White's and I hope to have a longer fiberglass shaft installed by this summer on my smaller-blade shover for a handier and lighter-weight tool for my own use that will duplicate the size of my cane so I can still get around.

And I can assure you that I will put it to good use in the ghost towns and homesteads and other desert and woodland areas I like to hunt .... and I will also use it at a few 'parks' I search, also. No, I don't greet folks with 'Hello World' every time I make a recovery, and I also won't be using a shovel in most of the well manicured parks I might visit in the large metropolitan cities I visit.

I know 'exploregon' and where he lives, and as you notice in his post response he concluded that line with: "... go back to a hand and digger if I don't have to." He clearly indicated that he knows when and where is 'has to' ... meaning he knows when and where he should use a hand-held recovery digger, and also where he can rely on his recovery shovel.

Living in a large metropolitan area he has a lot of well manicured parks he could hunt and knows the limitations or restrictions. I also know some of the places he has hunted in some travels we made in the past including a group outing to a Central Oregon Park that can produce coins 100 to 130 years old. It is a rural county park and I have hunted it often since the mid-'80s. I was there on one of my detecting travels several years ago and had already recovered one Barber Quarter and, maybe thirty minutes later, a grounds crew showed up and one approached me just as I got another good target hit.

He mentioned how he had seen other detecting folks stop there from time to time and he wondered about the hobby. He also asked if I had found anything yet and I showed him some of the coins I had already recovered and that I just had another good response. As I eased myself down to one knee and laid my cane and detector down, I started to reach back for my hand-digger. He said, you ought to just use a shovel.

They had one with them, so I pinpointed to the isolated spot and used a shovel to made a nice and proper plug and set it to the side. It was a clean cylindrical hunk of dirt, which doesn't always happen in that mostly loose and not too compacted soil make-up. I recovered a Barber Dime then carefully replaced the plug in the same orientation that is had been in originally and stepped it down after I got up. It was a tidy recovery.

They were about to mow the lawn and do some clean-up and we discussed the 'scalpers' who often hunt those places. It leaves them unsightly and damaged. That's why he suggested using a shovel and said it would probably be easier for me with my bad back, knee and leg. I agreed with him completely, too, because I knew several people who left too many traces of 'ugliness' behind after hard-hunting many parks, easements and school grounds without using a shovel.

'Scalpers' have been hard at it since I first witnessed them and tried to offer suggestions way back in the latter '70s. That was before we had some of the more craftier hand-held diggers like we do today, such as the Lesche Digger or White's DigMaster tool. Many manufacturers sold or suggested a knife, such as an inexpensive hunting knife with a longer and sturdy blade. I used to use one and could cut a very straight (vertical) 4-sided plug and remove it cleanly, being able to replace it in the exact orientation.

But I saw people then, as well as many in recent times, who use those types of knives or a Lesche Digger or other typical hand-tool, but in the wrong manner. They make an 8" to 9" diameter cut that isn't a typical 'plug' as we know it. Instead, they angle the digging tool at a low angle and make almost a pie plate type cut. It resembles a toupee more than a serious deep-dug plug and more-or-less 'scalps' a hunk of grass. The angle used cuts the grass root structure and in many to most cases the grass doesn't recover and quickly browns.

It exposes a wider diameter dirt area they then dig in to recover the located target, and the amount of dirt moved isn't always returned neatly, and the hunk of cut surface grass is usually placed on the general spot, but due to the ground disturbance the soil isn't compressed enough to always let the grass lay flat.

The result is a big brown spot that doesn't recover without reseeding, and quite often the 'scalped' area is so shallow a cut and loose that lawn mowers chop up the loose hunk of lawn and that results in an ugly site that is intended to be well manicured and maintained. That's one of the reasons many public access areas are placed 'off limits' to metal detecting or have other restrictions such as requiring a permit, and also rules that limit recovery tools and techniques they allow.

That was the gist of what I was asking about in my initial post. If someone chooses to use a shovel, there are times and places, even public access sites, where it isn't frowned upon. Now I am not talking about hauling around a long-handled garden shovel or other over-sized piece of equipment. Nothing with a very broad blade.

I am suggesting that some modern-designed shovels with a narrower diameter and in a shorter overall length such as being about the size of a cane, can be a very efficient tool for more rural location use, but can be used carefully to make a decent dig for target recovery in a public access place .... IF they are used in a proper manner so that there are few, if any, tell-tale signs after a target recovery is completed.

So, when my relic hunting type shovel is finished I'll put it to good use, where I can and where it is appropriate and allowed. That will include some park-like settings that are not in an urban environment, and where it is an allowable tool when used in a roper manner.

I'm not quick to rush to judgment about someone but will question some of the things I see. In quite a few You Tube and other videos I see guys and gals using some sort of shovel in a manicured lawn setting and I do question it. I wonder if what they are doing is 'OK' with the grounds caretakers and governing authorities, and from experience I know it can be allowed. But I also know it can be unwelcome by many who search larger metropolitan areas where it is frowned upon.

Many casual observers by those who don't know about our hobby and then enjoyment it brings even scoff at seeing anyone detecting a grassy areas regardless of how they recover a target. But in many of the videos it isn't just the use of a shovel being used, it is the ugly plug they cut and the excessive digging they do and terrible looking area when they are finished with their recovery that bothers me even more. Someone can come along after the hobbyist is gone and have no idea what type of equipment they used, but they can see an ugly looking disturbance they left behind and THAT is what people find offensive.

Use hand-held equipment when it is allowable, necessary or required. But if a good shovel is allowed to be used, even in a public location, and it is used in a proper manner to make a decent plug and the finished-up recovery site looks clean and tidy, then all is well.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detectors: Vanquish 540 / CoRe, Relic & Simplex + / Bandido II ┬ÁMAX & Silver Sabre ┬ÁMAX / XLT
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive & ProPointer AT .. Headphones: Killer B's 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... Garrett MS-3 Z-Lynk
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***
Subject Author Views Posted

An educational moment for readers related to a recent post by 'exploregon.'

Monte 328 March 16, 2019 08:16AM

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 35
Record Number of Users: 13 on January 18, 2018
Record Number of Guests: 303 on July 13, 2020