Knock ‘Em Out the Box, Luke – Part II:  Preparation Wins

Knock ‘Em Out the Box, Luke – Part II: Preparation Wins

In Part I of this article, which I wrote prior to a planned hunt at a known location, we discussed basic preparation for a big hunt.    If luck is truly the meeting of opportunity and preparation, then there are two types of preparation:   the preparation for the specific hunt, and the ongoing effort to continuously improve our techniques so that we can execute out in the field in a way that allows us to take maximum advantage of each opportunity.

I was hunting a Federal Civil War camp that had been hunted a few times previously.  Based on some discussion with those that had hunted it before, I prepared to hunt horse pastures with generally short grass where many bullets and buttons had previously been found.    I was told that some areas had heavy concentrations of square nails.   Also, the site was remarkably clean of any trash and debris – almost everything that had been dug was either a civil war relic, or a square nail.    So I set my machine up to go all out for deep targets, and to easily switch over when I ran into heavy iron.

During the hunt, nothing I dug was an easy target.  I hunted by sound alone and with zero discrimination, listening for any target.  When I hit what sounded like a deep nail, I would isolate the target and wiggle my wrist over it at different angles to see if I could get any hint of a high tone, and if I could, I dug.  I may have dug 20 super deep square nails all day, but many of those iffy signals were 69 caliber bullets and other goodies seen above.

I finished with thirteen bullets, including a nice Maynard, a couple carved bullets, and six really nice 69s (two variants).    Also found a General Staff eagle button trifecta – cuff button, kepi button and a coat button, all with shanks!   The Coat button was my primary goal for the day, and I actually dug it on the last of my three mandatory holes before walking off the field at dark!

Photo Apr 13, 9 38 09 AM

Cuff, Kepi, Coat!

I dug the nicest flat button I’ve ever dug, with a fancy design and part of the brass skin of what I think is a US Belt Plate with just most of the “S”.  I couldn’t find any more of it as hard as I tried.   Here it is overlayed onto a complete US belt plate:

Photo Apr 13, 9 46 36 AM


Another notable item was a kepi buckle, which was another first for me.

After 10 hours of hunting, I had 25 items that I consider keepers, so my Keepers per Hour (KPH) was 2.5, well above my goal of 1.0 Keepers per Hour.    I really believe that this would have been much lower without the careful planning and preparation that went into this hunt.  This was some extremely tough hunting.  Good luck out there on your next hunt!

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