Wednesday, August 7, 2013

8/7/13 Report - Detecting Strategies, How To Cut Down Your Digging & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Gold and Diamond Beach Find.

This ring is a nice heavy man's 14K ring with a good diamond.  

Not too long ago I wrote about putting a wood handle on a long handled steel scoop, or should I call it a sifter?  It is a sifter.   After all, that is what the holes are for.

If you read some of the things that I posted from our State officials and the Florida Public Archaeology Network, they, like many other people, think detectorists go around digging a lot of big holes.  As I've explained in the past, a lot of detector finds will actually be very near the surface, some covered only by a thin layer of sand, and some plainly visible.  If you have a keen eye and know where to look, you can find coins and things without a detector.

And don't think all surface finds are new.  I've seen a lot of old stuff on the surface, including 1715 Fleet cobs.  The better you are at hunting out the right spots, the more surface finds you'll encounter.

There were times when I have gone out eye-balling.  Eye-balling is challenging for sure, but some targets will be exposed.   Many other targets are covered by only a thin layer of sand.  Absolutely no digging is necessary to recover many shallow targets, especially those in dry sand or those in the water that can be fanned.

As I've explained before, one of my primary hunting strategies is to locate areas where items have been uncovered or recently deposited so that they are very near the surface.  I will often walk down a beach and look for a surface coin or two.  If I find an area where coins or things are being uncovered, then I stop and use my detector to thoroughly cover the area.  In my opinion it is poor time management to heavily detect areas where targets are scarce or too deeply buried.

If there is one thing that I believe many detectorists put way too much emphasis on, its depth.  They brag about how many inches down a target was found.   Of course there are some targets that are deeply buried, but my primary objective is not to set a record for the amount of time spent moving sand to get to a target.  Going deep is a last resort for me.  And I am not usually interested in spending an hour to pick up the last few targets on a hunted out beach.  There are rare exceptions.

If you were hungry where would you rather hunt game, where the game gather in large numbers or where there are only a few wiley ones left?   If I was hungry, I'd take the former.  If you want the challenge, you might choose those that are more scarce and hard to find.

I'm not saying, that there is no value in having a deep seeking detector, but I am saying that it is more effective to locate the areas where the targets are near the surface than to go around trying to find the deepest possible targets.  It is a matter of strategy and emphasis.  Of course I wouldn't want to pass up a good target at any depth, but I'd much rather find the coin holes and coin lines where targets are laying very near the surface in numbers where I can recover a high number of good targets in a small area.  I'd generally much rather do that than spend my time where the targets are so deep that most can not be detected.  

As long as sand is moving there will be places where objects are being uncovered.  During poor beach detecting conditions, those spots will be harder to find, but they can be found.

When sand goes to one place, it is coming from someplace else.  I've said that in the past, and it is always true.  The trick is to find and go where the sand is uncovering targets that were previously gathered but have been uncovered.

Back to my point about digging holes.  On a dry over-hunted and heavily-populated beach like a lot of the detectorists hunt all the time, the targets are so near the surface that you seldom have to dig at all.  Most of the time you can kick a target out with the toe of a boot without any digging at all.  It helps if you are good at pin-pointing. 

A lot of digging is caused by poor pin-pointing.  If you are not very good at pin-pointing, practice to improve.   It is worth it.  Try to kick targets out without using your sifter.  It will reduce the amount of wasted time.

I didn't get to some of the points I wanted to make today.  I'll get to those some other day.  Among other things I have some tips for fanning.  You might be surprised how quickly you can move sand.  And I plan to address a technique for using your scoop that you've probably never tried.

Here is an article about an early Russian settlement in California at Fort Ross.

Some think that the price of gold is headed down to $1000 an ounce.  Of course nobody knows but here is a very good analysis of gold prices and gold demand.

I hope you'll consider doing some genealogy research as I suggested yesterday.  I think you'll find it interesting.  And with all the resources on the internet, it is easy to find a lot of stuff.

On the Treasure Coast it is a bright hot day.  The wind is from the southeast.  The surf is still pretty low - down around one or two feet.  The surf will increase just a touch for a day or so.

The low tide this afternoon is around 3 PM.  Looks like the low tide won't be real low.

Beach conditions remain poor.

Happy hunting,