Typical Vacation Metal Detecting

 

Recently viewed a vacation metal detecting video where the guy spent 3 days on the beach. His results were 207 modern coins valued at $22.09, only one stainless steel ring.

Ok, you can stay home and do that in the local park and save yourself a lot of money. Don’t mean to be too critical of this guy, but his hunt is a good illustration of how things could have been better.

  1. he stayed 100% in the dry sand. This will only get you blanket spills not heavy jewelry. Should have been hunting low tide in water or wet sand.
  2. he did not show his junk, but with 207 coins, you can bet he dug 600 junk targets or more over three days.
  3. He appeared to just hunt the beaches in front of his hotel. He should traveled to 2-3 different beaches each day in front of other expensive hotels.

Ok, again, he was not a beach pro and probably didn’t know where and when the good stuff if to be found. Do your research and watch a few of the pros at beach hunting. The real pros are hard to find because they rarely video tape and post videos on Youtube. Ed the Beach hunter is one exception. Watch his videos carefully and look where and when he is hunting. He consistently finds very valuable rings. But the average beach hunting video will teach you nothing since it is just guys and gals going to the beach on their vacation with very little if any beach hunting skills. So don’t waste your time on these videos. How do you determine the difference between a pro beach hunter and vacation dude? Simple vacation dudes will spend days digging light junk and not heavy gold jewelry. When you are finding in wet sand light junk like pull tabs, zinc pennies and fishing hooks and leaders then move away from that area. That is all you will find there even if you hunt that area for days on end. Find an area that is producing heavy lead sinkers and old corroded coins and stay in that area until you find some gold rings. They are there if you are in front of an expensive hotel or beach condo. Oh yeah stay off dry sand and get in the water and wet sand at low tide. If there are recent storms in the past few days and you find cuts, then hunt those cuts. If you don’t know what a cut is, then search for beach cuts metal detecting on Youtube.

If you wish to move to the pro category of vacation beach hunter then you may wish to consider my beach guide you can buy on Amazon.

Metal Detecting Field Guide to Florida’s West Coast Beaches. This guide included a lot of the techniques that professional beach hunters use to read the beach and find the heavy gold jewelry on a consistent basis. It also has the GPS locations of the high beach goer activity on the west coast of Florida.

Hunting in creeks, rivers and Lakes

 

I have found that a sand scoop is pretty useless for recovering targets in creeks, rivers and beaches that are full of packed rocks, gravel and sands. Instead a good sturdy hand pick is lighter than a beach sand scoop and better at breaking up the rock and sand.

Once you have the big rocks removed and gravel and sand broken up from being compacted over thousands of years, you use a technique that I first learned about viewing the Youtube guy gigmaster which you can see in this video. He scoops out the gravel/sand with his left hand and and right hand still holding the beeping pinpointer. As you can see if the beeping stops as he is lifting out the handful gravel/rocks, then no extracted target. He keeps repeating the process until the target comes up with the handful. Pretty neat and efficient. Thanks gigmaster!

 

 

Compare Garrett 9×12″ Concentric Coil with Stock 8.5×11″ DD

Ok, just viewed an air test of the Garrett 9×12″ concentric coil vs the Garrett Stock 8.5 x 11″ Double D coil. He used the two coils on the AT Max. The test was done  on an individual’s metal detecting channel on Youtube. Full disclosure requires me to let you know that I like most of his videos and being well filmed and an accurate representation of the metal detecting hobby with little or no hype.

Now here is where I fault his air test. The air test shows the concentric coil delivering better results on deep targets. Well that is a given due to the different coil designs. The DD coil will deliver a full 11″ swath at max depth whereas the concentric coil (using a cone pattern) will deliver only an inch or so swath at maximum depth. So now lets figure in the hunting time looking for deep objects. It is 11 to 1 ration in favor of the Double D coil. So a 2 hour hunt of a specific area with the  Double D coil will turn into to a 22 hour hunt using the concentric coil.

On the upper beach or volley ball court or areas where the targets are only 2″ deep, then the coils are basically equal. On a search for deep coins or jewelry, you could not possibly consider using a concentric coil.

 

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.

 

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?

Hidden keys to finding old home sites

One of the best  indicators of old home sites are big old oak trees with an open space.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s people located home sites based on large oak trees. This is because there were nature’s natural air conditioners and heaters. In the summer the oak had leaves and shaded the home and front porch keeping it cool. In the Winter the oak trees lost their leaves and allowed the winter sun through to heat the home.

I have developed a second sight where when driving around I just notice big oak trees on empty lots. Nine times out of ten when I use historicaerials.com to go back in time on the old topo maps, I find that there was indeed an home at this location.  You would be surprised that even in the suburban area of a major city like Atlanta you can find quite a few old home sites just by looking at the large trees on empty lots. This one in the picture was confirmed using historic aerials and also finding beds of daffodils and several peach trees which both items are planted and do not grow wild.

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.

Old swimming holes and fishing spots on river

I live near the Chattahoochee River in North Atlanta.  I often hunt along the old ferry and bridge sites that I locate through my research using historic aerials and google earth. There are often old paths to favorite old swimming sites and fishing sites. I hunt in the river and  along the banks at these spots. But one spot I always check for is about 10 – 20 feet away from the swimming or fishing site on the river. This is an area that people likely change their clothes for swimming or wading especially in the trees that are over 20-30 years old. I have found some nice old coins in these not so obvious areas. These spots usually give up more than a single coin due to coin spills.