Whether you have been in the hobby for 5 days or 5 years these tips shared by Detecting365 CEO Clark Rickman can help you become a better detectorist.
1) Know your metal detector!
Learn every little thing about it! This sounds obvious, but I have often ran out screaming into the field with a new detector and used it for hours (or months) without knowing something very important about that model. Read the manual, then search for your detector model on YouTube.com and watch videos of others that are an expert with your detector.
Two commonly overlooked settings on a detector are Sensitivity and Frequency. My Garrett’s factory setting is around 80% sensitivity! You can vary the depth and number of targets you hit by adjusting the sensitivity. You may want maximum sensitivity in areas where you are getting few hits, and may want reduced sensitivity in high trash areas. You can always go back over the area later with higher sensitivity after you have removed some “low hanging fruit” and major trash. Your detector ever start acting “Haywire”? It could be interference from another detector, powerline, or the like. Change the frequency!
2) Create a Test Patch
Warm up before every session! Take an area free of any targets and bury some coins and trash at different depths. Scan this area for a few minutes prior to going out to make sure your batteries are good and your detector is working properly, and to get a feel for what a coin hit feels like. Nothing beats knowing you are digging a coin before you break the ground! Another advantage of warming up is that you can’t say you didn’t find anything!
3) Positive Thinking:
Prior to commencing a hunt, envision yourself digging a gold coin up. Relive your greatest find ever in your memory. Try to mentally take yourself back in time and pretend that old homesite is still there, or the battle is raging, or kids are running through that park in 1905, or the congregation is singing inside that old abandoned church. You catch my drift? Get your mind in a winning state every time you go out!
4) Enjoy Yourself:
I am outdoors and above ground if I don’t find a darn thing! Take in and appreciate the history you are looking at. Don’t let anything get you down. You are enjoying your sport.
Slumps happen. I happen to be in a slump right now, which I feel is mostly due to the hard dry ground in the Southern US during this hot summer. You feel better if you can identify a probable cause for the slump and not feel like the metal detector dieties are after you personally. Try to break the slump by mixing it up some – hunt a new area, think outside the box, try different settings, change your batteries….
Some of the dangers I have encountered during my days detecting are snakes, fire ants, open abandoned wells, glass, wasps, sunburn, and poison oak/ivy. Just be aware of your environment and take the proper precautions. Get permission to hunt, or you can add “Shotgun” to the list of safety hazards!
HOT TIP: If you are in a remote area, take plenty of water and some toilet paper with you. Thank me later.
6) Respect the area.
Don’t ruin the site by having someone come along and it looks like vandals have been there. Don’t make someone regret giving you permission to hunt. Respect the dead and don’t dig in cemeteries please. An old man once told me that as a metal detector user, you are one part historian, one part archeologist, and one part treasure hunter.