Getting Skunked

I have been metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. Started first with the Fisher Gold Bug and the Garrett Coin Hunter.  We always did pretty good with the Fisher gold bug up in the hills and gold bearing streams. Took a few years off  from metal detecting and then got back into the hobby and learned some more about metal detecting.  But it wasn’t until about 10 years ago when I started really learning this great hobby. Spent much more time hunting and researching for sites and learning from others.

So I consider myself an adequate metal detectorists. If the target is there, and even in a junky park I will find it. Why? Because I have put in the hours learning from hunting in very trashy parks. Once you learn in this environment other areas like home sites and beaches are not so hard.

I used to complain about the junky park near home. The areas around the concrete picnic tables were loaded with foil, pop tops, bobby pins and bottle caps at all depth. This was a rather old and very popular park on the weekend. So it is getting loaded down with even more trash every weekend and yes even with some dropped coins. A good friend who is more experienced than I am, told me to look at it another way. He said, “You have the best training area for metal detecting within 1/2 mile of your house. You are pulling targets out among all that junk. You should be able to hunt anywhere and be successful.

So that brings me up to the times when you get skunked and don’t find silver. If you can reliably pull clad out at 4-6 inches hidden under, near or even above junk targets, you can pull silver coins out from the same areas. But with one qualifier. The silver has to be there. Yes I do get skunked and find no silver. Some days I even get doubled skunked and don’t even find clad. Not getting double skunked is somewhat rare for me, but it happens when you are hunting an area that has no clad or silver. This is the time to move on to another hunt site. Even when you get skunked, you have spent the day outdoor away from your work, so what is so wrong with that?

Rural Mail Boxes



When you are driving around scouting for a new old home site, don’t forget mail boxes. Out in the country when small dirt roads branched off paved roads you would often set 5 – 10 mail boxes clustered on the side of the paved road. This is because the postman back in the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s used their own cars to deliver rural and would not go down the dirt roads which were muddy in the winter and spring and dry and dusty in the summer and fall. This is my guess on why they didn’t put mail boxes down the dirt roads. Well, no matter the reason, the fact is that they did and still do cluster mail boxes together on the main road for the smaller road where houses were built. Maybe it just saved the postman time.  People in the country often did not have stamps and just left change in the mail box. Some of that changed got dropped. So when you see these cluster of rural mail boxes, you may consider pulling over and detecting around the mail boxes. It is a relative small area to search and almost always the mail box posts were made of wood. I have often found some nice silver in about 1 out of 20 rural mail boxes searched.