Friendly Competition:  How To Smoke Your Hunting Partner

Friendly Competition: How To Smoke Your Hunting Partner

Now, it’s quite simple to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana. First of all you force him to drop the banana; then, second, you eat the banana, thus disarming him. You have now rendered him ‘elpless.

Most of my regular hunting partners and I look at ourselves as a team.  When one wins, we all win.  Occasionally, though, I’ll hunt with someone with amazing skill, like Johnny Pryor, and we’ll have a little unspoken friendly competition going on.  It’s like two gunfighters itching to see who might be the best – you just can’t help it and its fun.   We’ve been neck and neck the few times we have hunted.  No clear winner, and I think we each respect the other.  Johnny got the rare Whitworth bullet.  I got the 1894 Love Token from Seated Quarter.   We’ve traded blows with Civil War bullets, silver coins, etc.   I feel like we each find more when we hunt together than hunting alone, because of the friendly competition. Johnny is one of the best on the planet with the Garrett AT Pro, IMHO.   His good nature and powerful competitive nature brings out the best in those around him, which makes everyone around him better.  Based on my experience hunting with him, I’d put him up against anyone with any machine on any given day.  And I’d put my money where my mouth is LOL.

Anyway, here are some tips for beating your hunting partner, even if he has more experience and/or a better machine than you:

You pick the area or property.   This is easy, because every detectorist loves an invite.   You will have the advantage, because you will know what types of items have been found in the area, how hard it has been hunted, and maybe even specific intel like trash density and ground conditions.

Now is not the time to experiment with a new machine even if it is supposedly tactically better.   You want to use the machine that you have the most experience with and know like the back of your hand.  I know a guy that can smoke you with a Bounty Hunter.  And be it hard to believe or not, it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you swing.  Like the Terminator, he just keeps coming.

In preparation for the hunt, actually workout in your test garden.  This makes sure your equipment is working properly, your settings are optimal, and that you are sharp and confident going into the hunt.   Advantage equals you.

If you’ve selected a site you’ve hunted before, use your knowledge of hot spots, target density, areas with heavy trash/iron,  and areas that you haven’t hit as an advantage.  He/she won’t know any of this and you will have a huge head start.   Use a pre-defined strategy.  If you are Civil War relic hunting are you going to “plate hunt” (only dig plate signals on first pass)?  If you guys are coinshooting, are you going to cherry pick (only dig silver signals first)?    Or based on your intel on the site, are you going to go for tight spots like against structures and obstacles, or hit the heavy iron or trash with a strategy to pick out the good targets.   This is how to win.

This is the determining factor almost guaranteed to win in many instances.   Select your targets wisely, and recover them as quickly as possible.  I’ve worked hard to pinpoint accurately, dig a “U” of depth based on depth meter, drop to one knee, use my pinpointer to isolate target, recover target, repair plug, secure find or trash, and move on as quickly as possible.    If I can dig more holes than my “opponent”, and select my targets wisely, I’m probably going to win.

Don’t stop and celebrate and waste time talking.   Keep your head in the game.  Let your opponent be the one talking trash and showing off his or her finds.  You are a machine and will share your finds when you are done.

Often you and your opponent will be on a site or sites where digging anything worthwhile is a challenge to say the least.   This is what separate the men from the boys.  Use the Force, Luke.   Use what you’ve learned in the test garden to make something happen.  Think positively, expect the next hole to be a monster.    Crank up sensitivity, change coils, and kill discrimination if depth is on the menu.  If you are hunting a garbage dump or iron city, employ your best tactics to pick out the good stuff from the iron or trash.

Photo Credits
Detecting365 adapted from Pixabay


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