Normally I try to write educational metal detecting articles that include helpful tips and tricks, but today’s article will be a little different mainly because there isn’t a whole lot to learn from my recent detecting outing.
Some of you may recall my past article titled “The Reality of Metal Detecting.” In that article, I mentioned that some hunts aren’t going to be filled with treasures. No, some hunts you are going to come back empty handed as far as good finds are concerned.
Recently, I got the chance to go back to that ghost town property mentioned in that article. I was excited because a previously unreachable area had been cleared of brush and trees so I could actually swing a metal detector back there. This particular spot had a whiskey distillery and a general store on it back in the late 1800’s. As you can imagine, I had visions of finding lost silver coins, dropped in a drunken stupor, just laying under the surface for me to find!
So, I got there early and with a plan to dig the high tones in search of old coins. On my last hunt there I dug everything, and afterwards came to the conclusion that in a trashy area like that, maybe I should concentrate on the high tones in search of silver and then come back later and dig the other tones.
Well, I started out in the newly cleared area next to the whiskey distillery foundation. My first few targets were great sounding tones and I excitedly dug them, only to find large pieces of lead slag.
As you can see from the right side of the picture, those lead pieces were in all shapes and sizes. The picture doesn’t show all of the lead pieces I dug since I threw most of them away in a nearby trash can, but you get the idea of what I was dealing with!
For the next 4 hours I endured the constant tones in my headphones and tried to sift through the overwhelming signals, but there wasn’t much I could do to discriminate the junk. Lead is a high tone in the dime and quarter range, and if I discriminated those notches, then I wouldn’t have found any targets at all!
I stuck in there for as long as I could, but after while I realized that resistance was futile, the lead chunks scattered everywhere were just too much to overcome. Every time I thought I had a good target, it turned out to be one more piece of lead, or a pop tab!
Since there is a local park near that property, I decided to try my luck there in search of a few coins. After about 20 minutes I found my first coin, it had a nice green patina on it, so I thought that it might be an old wheat penny, but it was just another copper memorial penny. Oh well, at least I finally found a coin. I detected at that park for another 3 hours, mostly finding tabs and can slaw with a dime or penny thrown in here and there.
That is how it goes sometimes! Some days you’re going to get skunked when it comes to finding the good stuff. That is just part of the hobby. You have to take the good with the bad, although in my opinion there is nothing bad about metal detecting!
A bad day detecting beats a good day at work anytime. I had fun, and still got to enjoy the anticipation of each good sounding target, regardless of what it turned out to be. The weather was amazing with the temperature right around 80 degrees with a nice breeze. The sun felt wonderful on my skin, and I enjoyed getting out of the house for awhile.
That is what makes metal detecting so fun, no matter what you find, you’re still going to have a great day out doing what you love to do. Just keep plugging away, you never know when that next pop tab signal is going to be a gold and diamond ring!
No matter what type of day you have, use it as a learning experience and make adjustments for your next hunt. You never really get skunked if you learn from today’s hunt and apply it to tomorrows hunt.
Hey, as long as we learn something each time out, then every hunt is a success, right?
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