How can you increase your odds of finding more targets while metal detecting? Well, we all know that many things factor into the equation, but there are a few things that you can do to increase your odds.
Research for Success
This may seem like an obvious one, but, RESEARCH! I would argue that research is 80% of the key to success in metal detecting. Going to playgrounds and public places is fun, and we all do it, but if you really want to increase your percentage of good targets you are going to have to become a good researcher. Learning about where an old ghost town once stood is not only interesting but your research can also lead you to places that are long forgotten, and likely never hunted by other detectorists.
Most playgrounds and parks are well known areas to metal detectorists, and have probably been detected in the past. So, by expanding your knowledge with research you will be putting yourself in a position to find some good targets in areas that others have missed out on.
Historic Aerial Maps
As years pass, the landscape changes. New houses are built, old ones torn down, and entire neighborhoods can spring up or disappear. Old maps give you a chance to get a birds eye view of where structures once were. Bing Maps allows you to look at an area with 360 degree views. Some areas have different images depending on which way you turn the map. Some images will be in the summer when there are leaves on the trees, other views you can see what the area looks like in the fall or winter when there are no leaves on the trees.
That can be beneficial in finding old roads or paths through the woods that ordinarily can’t be seen. Paths and trails are very obvious from the air. I actually found a wagon road that leads to an old farmstead with several old foundations. Learning how to spot old roads using aerial maps has lead me to my personal homestead that I get to hunt anytime I want.
Even typical parks and public areas have changed through the years, so aerial maps are a great tool for the treasure hunter and metal detectorist.
You might check out HistoricAerials.Com which can help you find some older spots in your town.
Time Your Hunts
Another thing that you can do to increase your odds of finding more targets is to Avoid Detecting in Crowded Areas.
By that, I mean, If you have a hunt planned at a public park try to schedule your hunts at a time when there won’t be several families utilizing the playground for little Jimmy’s birthday party. Playgrounds are public areas, and as a tax payer, you do have a right to detect the parks, but be courteous and give way to children when they are present.
Going somewhere that is swarmed by so many people will only make your hunts more difficult and stressful. Go to parks early in the day, or later in the evening when most people have gone home to make dinner and have family time.
I like detecting parks on over cast days and evenings. Usually there is less people around and I’m able to have some quiet time without kids following me around and asking me 1000 questions. Less talking means more targets, and that’s the whole point!
The Proper Equipment
Having the Proper Equipment will also increase your chances of locating those elusive targets.
Most detectors are designed to find coin sized targets, so if you are just a hobbyist that gets out every now and then, most mid level detectors will live up to your expectations and perform as advertised. You will find coins and jewelry and have fun at the same time.
Although purchasing new equipment may be a bit expensive, having the proper equipment will certainly give you more chances of finding better targets. The second most important piece of equipment you will need is a good pinpointer.
Once you have located a target and you are ready to dig, you need a pinpointer to help you narrow the search area to a much smaller area. A pinpointer can increase the number of targets because you spend less time digging and searching for each target. You also end up digging less overall because a good pinpointer can keep you from digging deeper than you need to.
Relax and Be Patient
The next thing you can do is Sloooowww Doooowwn.
Slow your swing speed down, likewise, slow your walking pace. You should be over-lapping each swing by at least 1/4 of your coil, and preferably 50% overlap. Also, make sure that you keep your coil parallel with the ground.
If your swing has an arch at the end of it you will be losing depth of the detection area. You’re not looking to make a U motion, instead keep it like an underscore _
To properly search an area, you need to criss-cross or grid your hunting area. First gridding in one direction, then gridding across the opposite way like this: #### You could also take it a step further and then grid diagonally if you wanted to thoroughly hunt a specific spot. Using these techniques will help ensure that you’ve covered the area more thoroughly and will also help increase your total number of finds per hunt.
Words of Wisdom
Lastly, in the words of a good friend, “Take Some Gumption Wit Ya!”
You can find more targets metal detecting if you Keep A Positive Mind-Set and Stay Optimistic. Our thoughts are powerful and set the tone for everything that we do, so before you set out on your next detecting trip, decide that today you’re gonna take some gumption with you.
If you aren’t finding much, just remember to be diligent in your technique where others were not, and you will be rewarded where they were not.
Thanks for reading and Happy Hunting out there!
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