Saturday, July 19, 2014

7/19/14 Report - Connected! Best Treasure Coast Detecting Months. Finding The Most Promising Areas To Detect.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Various Types of Finds From Recent Hunts Up North.
Many who read this blog are very interested in the beach detecting conditions ratings.  As you probably know, beach conditions have been consistently poor most of this year and last year.  I don't know that I've seen such a long stretch of time with such consistent Southeast winds and small surf in all the time since I've been detecting.

Conditions have been unusually poor for an unusually long time with only a few short improved periods in between.  That happens.  There are long-term cycles and short-term cycles.  We are definitely in a longer term cycle of poor conditions.  there will eventually be a few short periods of short term improvement, and eventually a longer term shift to improved conditions.  We'll just have to wait it out and then someday we'll transition into a much improved long term cycle. 

Beach conditions have not been helped by all of the beach renourishment programs that have been completed on the Treasure Coast over the past couple of years.

One person asked what the best months have been historically.  Since I have been detecting, this is my ranking of the best months.

1. November - February.
2. October.
3. March - April
4. Remaining months.

In my most recent posts I have been trying to explain some of my views on detectors and detecting and the reasoning behind those views.  I found good illustrations while hunting up north recently and noticed how I apply many of the same principles that I use when beach hunting to detecting in a very different environment.

For me it is first and foremost a matter of finding and identifying the most productive areas to spend my time detecting.  As on the beach, there are areas where good items can be found and areas where mostly junk will be found.  And there is always more area than can be covered with a detector.  That makes selecting the area very important.

I hope you are beginning to see why discrimination is so unimportant to me.  I seek areas where there is a high percentage of deeper and older targets.  Targets that tend to remain on the surface (mostly junk) are just as important as targets having a higher density.  They both help you analyze the area to determine if that is where you want to spend your time.

An area where there are primarily light items such as pull tabs is not where I'm going to spend most of my time, however I do not mind digging a few of those because they provide good information about the area and help me determine if I should be moving on or not.

Once I find a promising area, I want to clean it out.  Most of the most promising areas will not have many junk targets anyhow.  

Maybe I won't clean an area out all at once.  It might take numerous visits.

For me, if an area is not worth cleaning out, I usually won't spend much time there anyhow, except for the rare times when I resort to what I have in the past called "mucking," which is when I will intentionally dig a bunch of junk in order to get to a few good targets.  That is a strategic decision I will occasionally make based upon a number of factors.

Now, back to my recent hunts up north and how some of the principles I often talk about were illustrated during those hunts.  Here are some pictures of the woods that will help me explain.

Note the steep slopes.


The picture on the right looks down a very steep slope that descends a couple hundred yards to the intersection of a couple of small streams.  The slope is steep enough that it is difficult to walk down without falling.  I still have a scraped arm from one time when I slipped and slid down the hill on my side. 

On that steep slope I found the ring shown above, a wheat penny and the 1829 Large Cent that I showed yesterday.

Now here is the key point that I want to make today.   That steep slope, unlike some of the flat areas or depressions where leaves, dirt and humus accumulated, kept items near the surface.  Rain fell, water ran off, and leaves and dirt were washed down the slope .   Those are the types of areas I seek.  I want to detect areas where light items will be washed away rather than accumulate and where heavier items will stay near the surface and within detecting range.

That 1829 cent was obviously there a long time.  The copper surface of the coin shows the effects of a lot of time in the soil, yet it was found within two inches of the surface.

The wheat penny and ring were also within two inches of the surface on the same slope.

It didn't take a super detector to find those items because my search strategy is first and foremost to find the areas where old items will be near the surface.  The same areas will also have very few junk items like pull tabs.  That is one reason why I don't care much about discrimination.  I don't spend much of my time in areas where junk accumulates and heavy items sink beyond detector range.  And if there are junk items I want to see them in order to help me analyze the area and decide if I should stay or move on.

Finding both the ring and Large Cent in this woods made me wonder how they got there.  This isn't exactly a park, playground or main pathway.  I wish I could go back in time to see how it all happened.  Somebody sometime spent part of their life on that hill.  Different people in different centuries.  We'll never know why they were there, what they did, how they felt, or what happened to them.  They wandered the same woods as I, listened to the leaves rustle and the birds chirp.  Watched the squirrels and maybe tracked a deer.  Maybe even slipped and slid on the same rocky slope.   But I now hold and treasure something that they once held years ago or a century ago.  A piece of their life is now a piece of mine, and in that small way we are connected - probably much more than I know.

Happy hunting,