Here today, gone tomorrow.

I found a 1940’s hold home that became vacant due to new construction of a park area. Three weeks went by until I could find the perfect Saturday morning.for the hunt.  The night before I imagined or dreamed of the silver lurking beneath the surface.  I get up at dawn, have some coffee and then head out to search the site. Only to find they had leveled the home and moved in about 3 feet of dirt to landscape for the new park. Ugh! The day before I drove by and the house was still there and the soil untouched. So next time I spot a home that is the target of new construction, I will hunt it ASAP.

 

Professional Beach Hunters

Who are these guys? Well I will id two of them that I call semi-professional beach hunters. The only difference between the pro and semi-pro is the pro travels a lot to distance beaches in other states and countries. The pro focus almost entirely on very exclusive and expensive beach hotels where the found bling is very valuable. The semi-pro tends to just work the beaches within a 2 hour driving distance. Ed on the west coast and NH on the east coast are what I would classify as semi-pros. These two guys seem to be close to professional amateurs in that they live near the ocean and based on their videos no how to read beaches and find the gold. They don’t seem to waste their time in areas of the beach that are less productive than stripped or eroding beaches by recent weather events.

On Youtube you can view the west coast guy who goes by the name of Ed the Beach Hunter and on the east coast NH Beach Metal Detecting.

The pros don’t make Youtube videos or draw publicity to themselves for the obvious tax reasons and their personal security. You draw your own conclusions. Here is a profile based on three professional beach hunters that I cannot name upon their requests. The average age of the three is 37 years old. They tell me they find in excess of $200,000 a year in bling. They travel by air and Uber to minimize their downtime. They spend an average of 2-3 days on a hunt location. Two of them when out of the country hire local talent for protection on the beach hunts and pay them about $200 per day. None of them stay in the expensive hotels they hunt. They often hunt at night on some properties that tend to run off non-guest beachgoers. To do their night hunts they have expensive light weight night vision that the local security cannot detect. I ask them what kind they used and they were reluctant to talk about that aspect of their metal detecting trips.

In conclusion, don’t expect to find any Youtube videos from the professional beach hunters. But there is still lots to learn from the videos of the semi-pros like Ed and NH guys.

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?

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.

 

Rural Mail Boxes

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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.

 

 

Old home sites in the woods

Finding old home sites in the woods is a good source for relics and old coins. You should do your rainy day research using Historic Aerials and Google Earth. Mark your home site GPS locations and plan your trip and hike before you go trekking through the woods with your gear. If possible plan your hunt after a good soaking rain. This will give you a few inches of extra detecting depth. It is a good idea to take your larger stock coil, but in your back pack also have your 5 x 8″ or other small coil. Sometimes you will encounter a lot of overgrowth of trees and vines right in the area of the home site where you want to search. In that case it is time to switch to your smaller coil. You should have a good stainless steel digging tool like a Lesche Pro Series or Ground Shark. You will often be digging among roots and rocks.

On your hike to the home sites keep an eye out for home site markers. This is because you can stumble on other old home sites that you may have missed with your research on the way to your target home site.

These are fence posts, old farm equipment, beds of flowers especially daffodils. Cedar trees and yucca plants that stand out among all of the deciduous trees. These are often  planted, not natural to the area.  Look for foundation rocks that are often laid out in a square or 2 or 3 of them in a row. Most home sites are located near water, most often a creek with clear running water. When you find old sawed or square wood that is often a sign of human habitation. Locating squared nails is a good sign as with other relics like belt and harness buckles.  Always eyes peeled for signs of a bottle dump. Old embossed bottles can often be more valuable than silver coins. Unbroken bottles really don’t deteriorate. Old coins found buried especially copper ones are often corroded to the point they are not valuable to the coin collector. Silver coins fare much better when lost in the dirt for 40 – 50 years.

Once you locate your home site, you should do a slow and careful search of the area. If you find relics and no coins you may just save this home site for another day. Some times old home sites in the woods are either hunted, or maybe were homes of people who did not have a lot of coins or was very careful with them and were not in the habit of losing them. Also keep in mind that deep coins will give you an iffy numbers on your VDI and rarely give you a solid coin tone. The minerals in the soil and junk will rarely give you a clean tone on a coin like in your air tests.

In this video there are almost all of the indicators that I described, but the guy did not find any coins. This can happen, but remember he did have fun and got a lot of exercise out in the beautiful outdoors without paying a gym membership fee.

 

Ed the Beach Hunter very nice diamond ring find

A little about Ed the  Beach Hunter. Best I can tell he lives on the west coast. His videos are well produced. You see him dig out the junk and great finds so no doubt he is seems to be the real deal. He does get a little excited and uses colorful language, so be forewarned. He is fun to watch and you can learn some valuable beach hunting techniques if you pay attention. For instance in this video he has hunted this beach before and notices some significant sand erosion and was hunting in that area when he found the monster ring.

 

 

 

 

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.