Old Home Sites – Dig that Iron

When first arrive at an old home site start looking for iron nails. this will give you an idea of the age of the home site. Also searching for iron will often reveal old hinges, locks, keys etc. When you start finding this stuff, you should start intensifying your deep coin hunting efforts.

 

Revisit the sites you hunted six months ago

If you are continuously learning about metal detecting and your meta detector then use your new skills on sites you have hunted in the past. I have found that when I have perfected a new skill like hunting deep coins, I go back to some of the sites I hunted before I picked up these new skills and put them to use. You will be surprised at some finds you overlooked in the past because you were early on your metal detecting learning curve.

Image is of metal detector used in WW1.

Metal Detecting Hazards – snakes, spiders, wasps, yellow jackets and poisonous plants

We often forget that when we go metal detecting whether in the woods or even in seemingly safe neighborhoods we are at the mercy of poisonous snakes, venomous spiders, wasps and yellow jackets and the ever present tick which can cause lime disease. And then there is poison ivy, sumac and ok to worry about.

 

I always spray on insect repellant that contains 25% deet around my boots, feet and ankle areas and any other areas of exposed skin. More than  once I have forgotten to spary and found some ticks up in my groin area where they seem to particularly fond of. My dermatologists told me you must get a shot when you find a tick on your body to prevent lime disease. Good advice is don’t stick your hand anywhere you cannot clearly see. Don’t put them in holes (your dug holes are ok), under boards, in rock nooks. You may surprise a snake or spider and they may do more than surprise you. Using good gloves is a good practice. I once was digging a hole and felt a sharp bite and it was a spider in the ground. It got my finger but other than the brief pain, not harm was done. I was lucky that time. I always wear good gloves at all times when digging for finds.  In the south we have to be especially careful of yellow jacket nests. They have a tendency for all of them attack a person or animal when you are near their nest. I have experienced this three times in my life (all when just wearing shorts and tee shirts) and found it to be very painful. Had to take some Benadryl capsules to lessen the pain. When you see more than one yellow jacket flying near you, be aware that you might be close to their nest. Avoid that area at all costs. Save that area to hunt in the dead of the winter. If you get bit by a snake and don’t recognize it as a poisonous snake, then look at the bleeding holes. Water moccasins, rattle snakes and copperheads have fangs and will leave two evenly spaced puncture marks. You need to seek treatment ASAP! Non-poisonous snakes leave small multiple puncture marks with their many teeth, not just two fang marks. Be aware of lakes, rivers and creeks, they are the favored by the snakes because of the fish and frog they eat as food. The non-poisonous snakes have a chemical in their mouths that make you bleed more. This is really nothing to worry about. In the south you don’t have to worry as much about these hazards during the late fall and winter. But come spring and summer you have to very much aware of these dangers when metal detecting. So be aware and be safe in your metal detecting hunts.

Metal detecting remote home sites

Some of your best old abandoned homes and home sites are found in the woods requiring a mile or two hike in to the site from your car. One reason they are the best sites to hunt, most detectorists won’t do the research or make the hike. So do your research with historic aerials and google earth and prepare for your hunt. These longer treks require you to be more prepared. When hiking in and out you may come across some different type of hunting areas. You might find that the home has an interesting but real trashy area or some tight areas between rocks in a creek. Here is what I do. I take a back pack that has my small 5×8″ coil, extra batteries for my AT Pro and pin pointer. I always take my cell phone and use commander compass app to mark the home site GPS coordinates on a aerial map picture of the home site for reference. I also pack my bug spray with 25% deet, some snacks and 2-3 bottles of water. Of course take my gloves, pin pointer and my 4′ digging tool. It is better to be prepared than to have left something important back home or in the car. Oh yes, I always use a check list and check it before I leave the home and leave the car to start the hike.

Why serious beach hunters use the best detectors

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You can usually tell the serious beach hunters from the vacation guys by the hardware they are swinging. Look at this video and pay attention to the last part.

A machine like the Minelab Explorer has the best of both worlds. A double D coil and lots of frequencies being used at one time. So if you are within 2 hours from an ocean beach with lots of hotels and condo’s then seriously consider buy a better beach detector. You can find the Minelab Explorer SE used for about $500 on ebay.

Getting permission to hunt a property

Taken from metaldetectingguides.com – For a number of reasons, getting permission to hunt a property was always difficult for me. Many experienced metal detectorists will tell you to just go up and knock on the door and ask for permission to hunt a property. They can only tell you no and they probably won’t shoot you. Others have suggested that the younger and older property owners seem to give permission to search more often than middle aged property owners. I found a relative new and painless way to get hunting permissions on some choice old homes nearby. This is with posting a short note in nextdoor web page. This is a new local neighborhood discussion group that seems very active. Every month or so I post a notice that I am retired and enjoy metal detecting as a hobby and am willing to search any older home property for free and will share my finds with the owner. This almost always brings in 1-3 offers to search some homes built between 1900 and 1970 that have never been searched. Note: nextdoor web page is kind of exclusive since you must prove you live in the area by submitting a copy of one of your utility bills or be recommended by a neighbor. This keeps the web site under control and not out of control like craigslist. It is a trusted web site for this reason by neighbors. “There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.” – Mark Twain.