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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Giving away my productive metal detecting sites

If you want to find what you are searching for with a metal detector you have to find where the stuff you are searching for is buried, period!
I guarantee it is not where everyone else is searching all the time, if it was it has already been detected and long gone.
So why do so many people metal detecting keep going to the same sites and think they are going to find something? 
If you don't step outside the box and search new areas you are not going to detect and recover anything for a long time.
I have recovered some pretty amazing finds this year, all of them in places you could say were just over there in areas most searchers would probably consider not worth searching. 
There is a damn good reason treasure hunting is called treasure hunting not treasure finding.
You have to go find what you are searching for, believe me there are plenty of cool finds waiting for you if you take the time to go search for them.
Instead of checking out metal detecting forums to see what others have found or beach report bloggers moaning about sanded-in conditions, get out there and recover stuff outside other searchers boxes. 
The most productive sites you will ever find are the places other searchers don't bother to search, like me you may be surprised to see what you can recover in the most unexpected places.
Knowing you are at a potentially productive site is pretty easy, you find stuff there! 
I use the same site selection analogy as I do for having metal detecting partners.
Take a metal detecting buddy to a site and your chances of finding something is down to 50%, take a third person and you are down to just over a 33% share of the finds at a site. 
Now imagine what your finds success ratio is going to be if you only search the same area everyone else heads to? 
Avoid the hammered sites and being part of the metal detecting crowd, try "Over there" and you may be surprised how much success is possible.
Put the hunt back in treasure hunt instead of trying to get lucky in the same old places. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Post storm beach hunting tips

Here are a few tips to hopefully improve your chances of finding what you are searching for after a storm 

Be patient

When you know a storm is approaching you have to be patient and give the wind and waves time to erode or rearrange the beach. Going out during the storm is not a good idea, in my opinion your time and energy are best spent just after a storm has passed over an area.
Traveling to the beach in stormy weather is unsafe and believe me dealing with the worst of the weather on the beach is no fun. 

Take what works best for you

Nothing is going to put more goodies in your finds pouch than your favorite metal detector / search coil combo, the more experienced you are at using your favorite metal detector the more you are likely to find with it. 
Experimenting with a new toy after a storm will always leave you thinking did you walk over something good due to not being familiar with the settings and audio responses to targets.  

Play the percentages

I always go to the place I have had the most success at when I expect to see beach erosion, after a coastal storm is not the time to search a site you haven't tried before.
Having a second and third back up site is also a good idea, just in case your favorite site is not as eroded as you expected it to be.

Use your metal detecting time wisely

In my opinion, unless you are searching for old coins and artifacts you should always use a little discrimination on eroded beaches after a storm.
Every piece of easily identifiable by audio tone or screen target ID junk you stop to dig is one good target you probably didn't have time to get to.
An experienced beach hunter shouldn't have to dig easily identifiable bad targets, that is why you use and build trust in your metal detector, to help you make good use of your time.

Prepare to stay as long as possible

I live for these type of situations and preparation is one of the keys to stormy beach hunting success. A few days ahead of an expected coastal storm is when you should have your metal detector battery charged and your spare battery ready to go. 
Go over the rest of the kit you need, including scoop, pin-pointer, finds pouch, headlamp, rain gear, water and snacks. 
Depending on the tides you want to stay as long as possible metal detecting because an eroded beach isn't open for business very long after a storm.
Meaning the following high tides will begin returning sand over the area, the first low tide after a storm passes is always the best window of opportunity to hit.

Learn from the experience

If it is your first time searching a beach after a strong storm I have no doubt you will learn from any mistakes you make.
Mistakes are usually made in preparation, site selection or choice of metal detecting equipment.
Years afterwards you will probably look back and think if only I had that chance again, I know I still do.

Following others

As a storm approaches bloggers and posters get beach hunters in a tizzy with storm projections and the possibility of eroded beaches.
If you are into beach or water hunting I would follow advice from people known for making good finds, not blog posts and followers.
After storms have eroded beaches, any beach or water hunting blogger who has to ask for people to send them photos of post storm finds is missing the point of giving beach hunting advice.
If you can't find anything on an eroded beach after a storm you are not a good example.
Try to follow advice from people known for metal detecting finds, not links to articles or photos of the same beach every other day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The daily grind and metal detecting equipment

I make a living metal detecting and spend one heck of an amount of time using my metal detecting equipment over the course of a year.
My usual stomping grounds are saltwater beaches and islands, but I do my fair share of land hunting in some pretty tough areas to search.
The daily grind can and often does take a toll on your metal detecting equipment, but out in the so called field is where you learn what equipment works and what unfortunately doesn't work.
I have found the best way to keep grinding effectively is to use my favorite metal detector and have a similar back up metal detector ready to go at all times, believe me stuff happens when you least expect it but always when you don't want it to.
My "Noahs ark" traveling to metal detect plan covered my butt on two occasions this year, after equipment failures on the first or second day of traveling to and searching good areas. 
One way of insuring you have less problems in the long run is to have a regimental equipment cleaning policy, keeping your metal detecting equipment clean also helps you spot any potential problem ahead of time.
You are not going to see a potential problem if your metal detecting equipment is covered in crud all the time, many issues to do with metal detecting equipment failures are avoided by cleaning your gear after every hunt.
Here are a few ways you can avoid potential down time or problems due to dirty equipment.
Remove and rinse your search coil cover out every time you go beach or water hunting, this will help prevent false signals from black sand or salt build up. 
Get in the habit of inspecting the bottom of your search coil and the search coil cable every time you wash them off, give the nylon search coil nut and bolt connection point a really good spray.
Metal detector shafts are easier to put together and disassemble when collapsable rods, cam or twist locks are not caked in dry sand, mud or saltwater. 
I flush and spray my mid and lower metal detector shaft / rods while at the same time partially collapsing them. 
Ways to prepare for the worst is to travel to metal detect with spares that if broken put an end to your fun, two underrated metal detector items are nylon search coil bolts / nuts and arm cuff straps, try using a metal detector without a coil bolt or arm cuff strap.
It should go without saying a spare battery pack is a "Must have" traveling to metal detect accessory.
There is a heck of a lot of metal detecting equipment to choose from and everyone has their favorite make or model, but reliability and dependability are two words you never see on glossy metal detecting equipment brochures.
One way you can learn what stands up to the daily grind is by taking note of veteran beach hunters, after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?
Using a work horse metal detector and target recovery tools is very important, just as important is your plan to take advantage of good metal detecting situations.
Grinding and finding takes planning to execute on a regular basis, as you will see the more you rely on your metal detecting equipment of choice. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

How to find new beach and water hunting sites

Today I checked out a few metal detecting forums and beach report blogs that I used to post my old bobby dazzlers on, of course they still had the same old posters peddling the same old outdated beach and water hunting advice.
Even more surprisingly I saw the keyboard experts still tossing a few barbs in my direction, no wonder they haven't found anything good if they can't find the remote to change the channel lol 

Here are a few site research type tips that perhaps will help you to find new beach & water hunting sites to plunder. 

Postcard shows and collectors sites

If you ever see a postcard show / sales event advertised in your area you have got to buy a ticket and you will be sure to come away with new metal detecting sites.
Victorian postcards of beaches, lakes or rivers are fantastic leads to jewelry and coins for a beach or water hunter. 
I browse ebay sites searching for old postcards of Florida beaches and lakes, taking screen shots of interesting areas on old postcards without even having to buy the post card.

Library card 

Hands up who owns a library card? The local history section in your local library will have more potential beach & water hunting sites than you can handle if you take the time to walk thru the front door!

Talk to your neighbors

Yup if you take the time to chat to your elderly neighbors you will find they have some pretty good tales to tell you. Ive picked up many a beach or water hunting site from saying hello and chatting to old folks on my dog walks.
They don't have to be old people either, you never know what occupation your neighbors have that will help you to find coins or jewelry.
For example, one neighbor of mine is a lifeguard who hears lost jewelry stories on a regular basis, another is a beach condo manager who have a top floor office view of some of my favorite local jewelry hunting sites, giving me plenty of good beach and sea conditions reports.

Take the initiative 

Metal detecting forums, youtube videos and beach conditions bloggers lull you into spending more time looking at a laptop to phone screen than searching at the beach. 
Stop surfing the internet and get next to or into the real surf, any beach info you gain from a forum post, video or beach report already happened and was viewed by many beach or water hunters.
Live it and reap the rewards for being in the right place at the right time, kinda what the person you are following chose to do.

Check out the boring stuff 

If you get a local newspaper or you subscribe to the local fish wrapper online, check out the proposed building permit planning permission for excellent future beach hunting sites.
Beachside construction projects are fantastic opportunities to find old coins and jewelry lost 
way before current building or structures were in place next to the beach.
Proposed beach sidewalk and parking lot projects can also be gold or silver mines during the clearing process.

Follow the signs

Driving on roads next to the beach can be a little frustrating, especially if you are following tourists checking out sites or stop starting at every traffic light or pedestrian crossing you hit. 
Perhaps like many forum members or beach report bloggers you are on your way to that beach you always go to get the same old beach hunting results. 
I look at pedestrian crossings and traffic lights along beach road as potential new beach or water hunting sites, the more stop and starts along a beach road the better!
Small beach entry sites can be little gold mines in out of the way areas, even if they are not far away from larger well known beaches.

Have a movie night 

I live in the state of Florida where a lot of movies and TV shows were filmed with plenty of beach scenes. I love watching old movies and TV series that were shot in Florida, mainly for the information I can get from beach or beachside scenes.
Some of my favorite older pieces of jewelry and coins found in Florida were the result of information I got from freeze framing beach scenes shot in the 1950s, 60s,70s & 80s.
You'd be amazed how much beaches have changed in the last 70 years and what areas used to be the hot sites back in the day.
If you live in an area featured in movies and shows, put the popcorn in the microwave!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Gary Drayton beach and water hunting blog: Spoiler alert! hi tech scanning

Gary Drayton beach and water hunting blog: Spoiler alert! hi tech scanning: Site reading skills put you in position to detect what you are searching for, no matter what brand or model metal detector you use. I scope...

Spoiler alert! hi tech scanning

Site reading skills put you in position to detect what you are searching for, no matter what brand or model metal detector you use.
I scope any potential search site out first using my "Twin optical scanners" before turning on my metal detector.
To borrow a good phrase from a friend off mine, everything starts with eyes and boots on the ground.
No metal detector will find you as much good stuff as the hi tech optical equipment Mother Nature gave you.
Site reading skills involve being able to recognize certain ground conditions necessary to be successful and just as important being able to recognize significant surface finds associated with good sites.
For example, surface finds like small pottery shards, broken glass or clay pipe stems indicate that a site has seen habitation and most likely have detectable coins and artifacts.
Im fond of saying in order to find treasure you have to go thru the trash first, but you can only find treasure if you are able to recognize surface trash linked to what you hope to detect.
Another example, towels, items of clothing and alcohol containers left on the lower beach from the previous night, say please find my jewelry Gary.
Some of my best pieces of jewelry have been "Flip flop finds" the golden rewards for seeing a pair or two of humble flip flops left behind on the lower beach, knowing someone shouldn't have had a skinny dip opposite the hotel last night.
My twin optical scanners can also spot bum cheek impressions and foot prints in the sand left by courting couples when Im searching for lost jewelry at tourist beaches.
Im always looking down and around searching for clues to help me narrow down my search area, wether it be surface finds or surface features left behind by people in the search area.
Over the years I have eyeballed so many good metal detecting sites and recovered an unbelievable amount of surface finds, you can too if you take the time to look for things that stand out at sites.
Metal detecting isn't about covering ground and hoping to get lucky one day, learn how to improve your odds by eyeballing the non metallic stuff that leads you to what you hope to find with your metal detector.
The Victorian pot lid in this photo was just a little half inch piece of pottery I eyeballed on a river bank, it led to the discovery of a really productive bottle digging site.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Start and finish point finds

I often return to sites I previously had success at because I know I have a chance of recovering something good in the same general area.
There is usually one previous find that motivates me during the search and inspires me to keep hammering away because I know what can happen when everything comes together.
That everything coming together refers to using good metal detecting form in tight search patterns at sites selected because of beach or people reading skills.
Your start and finish points often come into play when you are searching an area, especially if you put all your allotted metal detecting time into searching in one area as I often do.  Ive found so many good things just as I started searching an area or just as I was about to leave an area.
I chalk the first target good finds down to site selection, the last target good finds down to learning from past experiences.
Because I have recovered so many good finds at my search pattern starting out and finishing points, I now actually leave a little extra time to make sure I search a few yards past these points.
Some people may call these type of finds lucky, but I don't like to rely on luck and class them as rewards for site reading skills and methodical search techniques.
I recovered this large gold ring on an Easter Sunday a few years ago, right at the end of a three hour water hunt in Florida, but it wasn't recovered from inside the water.

After three hours of methodically searching inside the water using a tight east to west directional search pattern, I did my usual last sweep of the perimeter of the search area.
The extra attention to search pattern detail helped me pull up the large gold and diamond ring from the wet sand down by the waters edge, an area I had ignored until just before leaving.
The gold ring was a fitting find for an Easter Sunday, perhaps even a sign from above lol 
If you want to get "Lucky" more often, always cover the area you first started searching away from or the area you are about to walk away from.