Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12/29 Report - $100 Coin & Hunting Strategies

Metal Detector Find.

$100 gold coin? Nope! A hundred pesos. I'm sure you can see how it could easily be mistaken.

I dug this one up years and years ago and remember the moment still. When I first saw the coin emerge from the sand in my scoup there were a few seconds when I thought it might be a $100 gold coin. That is why I still remember it I guess.

I dug up another like it years later and still have it but don't remember digging it. That time I knew what it really was right away.

There are some things you dig up that can excite or mystify you for a while. That is one thing that makes the detecting hobby so great.

Yesterday I talked about hunting the dry sand for a recent drop. Hunting recent drops can be very different from hunting older coins and items on a beach. If they were lost in the dry sand, you will generally find recent drops where they were lost and they won't be very deeply buried. The trick to hunting recent drops is to find locations where a lot of good things are lost but not already found by someone else.

Many good beaches for finding recent drops are heavily hunted. That means you'll either have to beat the competition to the item or find what the other hunters missed.

One thing you can do is adjust your hunting time so that you are not hitting the beach right after everyone else has been there. But even if you do follow the other hunters, you can always find some things they missed.

To do that, one thing you can do is hunt where they didn't hunt. I once mentioned how when I was visiting the Pensacola area, I stopped at a picnic beach by the roadside. I could quickly tell that someone regularly detected that beach very thoroughly. There was not the smallest piece of junk in an area of the shallow water bordering some picnic tables. The area was detected so well, that I could tell that it was a pretty good spot to detect.

Knowing that no one can detect the whole beach that well (there just isn't enough time), I tried to define the area the other detectorist detected. It turned out that they covered a square which was defined by two pilings that were out in a few feet of water. They detected inside that rectangle very thoroughly, so I decided to detect the area outside that rectangular area. In less than a half hour, I found three gold rings, all within a few feet of the detected area, but just outside the detected rectangle.

The point of that is, if someone has already detected the area, look for any signs that indicate where they detected and detect where they didn't. Sometimes that is easy. You can see their footprints and holes.

But you don't have to look for an undetected area. See if you can tell how well the area has been detected. Detect the same area for a little while and see what the others left.

Everyone will leave something, either they will miss something, or they will leave some areas undetected. The more thoroughly they detect a defined area, the smaller area they will be able to cover. If they are all over the place covering a lot of area, they didn't cover any area very well.

Sample the area to see what other detectorists have done. Look to see if they are leaving trash, iron, bobby pins, aluminum, nickels, deeper items or smaller items. It shouldn't take to long to get an idea of what other detectorists have done and therefore what they were doing and what they might have left behind. I usually get an idea of what type of detector was used and what settings were being used in a relatively short period of time.

After sampling the area and determining what the other detectorists did and what they might have missed, I will make a decision. If I decide to stay in that area, I'll target the things that they were likely to miss. Often I'll adjust my settings and scan pattern and focus on smaller and deeper targets.

I'll often hunt very trashy areas that other people avoid because of the trash. People using discrimination can miss a lot of good stuff.

There are usually places that are missed even on heavily hunted beaches that you can learn to take advantage of. Trash cans, cabanas, etc. can cause some detectorists to miss spots. You can learn to detect those spots that were missed. I won't get into all the details of how to do that.

It wasn't my intent to talk about that today, but I got started and just ran on. I'll have to get to my intended topic some other time.

Forecast and Conditions

The wind is still from the northwest. And the seas are running about three feet, and will continue that way for a few more days. I don't see anything that would indicate any significant change in conditions real soon.

There are a few spots where there are old cuts and a few cuts that come and go. Some of those contain holes of modern clad coins.

As far as hunting shipwreck artifacts and cobs, conditions aren't good at all. I haven't heard anything from Jupiter lately. I wouldn't be surprised if it is an exception.

Happy hunting,