100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #96: US Civil War Martingale

100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #96: US Civil War Martingale

Note:   In this series, we have selected 100 metal detecting finds that were extremely difficult to detect and recover, and provide details on the circumstances and techniques that contributed to their successful recovery.

KEEPER:  US Martingale (Horse Breastplate).  This is a very rare plate.

SITE:  Backyard of a home on a battlefield

SITE EVALUATION:  2 of 10.    This yard was hunted out so bad you couldn’t hardly dig a nail out of it.   Between myself and my hunting partner, we dug less than ten signals.

PERMISSION:  Actually knocked on door across street with no answer, and saw the gentleman standing out in his driveway speaking to someone as I returned to my truck.  He said the yard had been hunted many times in past.


Hunt It Anyway:  Don’t let anything keep you from hunting a site you can hunt, and hunt it hard.   Sometimes a relic or relics just have your name on it.  Find a way to win!

Get Close and Personal:  I dug a single bullet almost on top of the ground right near the road in front of where I parked my truck.  I hunted over an hour and my partner was ready to go.   Since I was getting almost zero signals, I got up close to the drive and house.  As the clock wound down, I was getting up near some hedges and shrubs in the backyard.   The Martingale was about a foot deep almost directly under a shrub in the back corner of the yard right on the property line.  I thought for sure it was going to be a shallow can or tin plant tag or something.   I was blown away.

Hunting with a Partner:   My hunting partner found a nice “US” rosette, perhaps from the same horse as the Martingale, right off deep in the middle of the yard with his White’s MXT.    Even though I wasn’t getting many signals at all, that find drove me to hunt every square inch.  Without his find, I don’t know if I would have held on long enough to find the Martingale.   For some reason, you hunt harder or better or more productive once a good find comes out of a site.  Hunting with a partner can make all the difference in the world; if one of us finds something good, then it is “on like a chicken bone.”

Envisioning Process:   I had been toying with an envisioning process to try to see if I could “will” myself to dig a specific item.   The first one was this Martingale,  my first Civil War this MArtingale Plate.  The second was was the “I” button, also my first.   I’m currently working on envisioning digging a gold coin, but that hasn’t happened, yet.   Stay tuned.

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