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: “Tennessee Puff Rim” Iron Back Confederate Block “I” Infantry Button
SITE: Backyard of a home on a battlefield
SITE EVALUATION: 8 of 10. This house had a hunted out front yard with few targets and a small backyard that was likely part of a camp or picket post and may have never been hit before.
PERMISSION: Very nice couple that took my pictures for Facebook and made a video for their son on the East coast. Was happy to have me there.
String Together Permissions: This is a yard that was not on my radar. I landed it by getting referrals and trying to work off previous permissions. I had hunted a yard two streets over. That lady’s best friend lived in the same house number a street over. I hunted that. I returned to hunt that yard again but she was gone. Neighbors were standing outside. I dropped names and got that yard, and the property owner where I found this button was with them and said I could hunt his next. See Parlaying Permission.
Don’t Judge Backyard by Frontyard and Vice Versa: I used to assume the back yard of a site was going to be good or bad because of the nature of the front yard. In this instance, had I done that, I probably wouldn’t have hunted the back yard, because the front yard was almost completely devoid of signals of any kind, as was the neighbors entire yard. For many reasons, often only the front or back yard of a house might be good. Fill dirt, site manipulation during construction, trash, or maybe just nothing there. I like to reset and hunt the “other” yard like a completely new site. And boy was this backyard different than the front:
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 my first Civil War 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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