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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blogs that I used to post my old bobby dazzlers on, of course they still had the same old posters peddling the same old outdated beach and water hunting advice.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.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Metal detecting event take aways

I recently attended a metal detecting event in central Florida, meeting old friends and making new friends in this great hobby of ours.
The positive attitudes of the people attending the event really impressed me, from young kids to old timers everyone excited about the prospect of pulling something good up the next time out searching.  
I don't think you can beat having a positive attitude when it comes to metal detecting as you can have long periods between good finds, due to conditions or site selection. 
Over the years Ive had to deal with a lot of negativity, mostly associated with the incredible finds I recover which I put down to a case of the green eyed monsters.
I must admit I chuckle knowing the naysayers are rambling on about me and my finds instead of concentrating on their own searches. 
Heck I have to try hard to even think negative things to write because I am so full of positivity.
Whats not to like there are places to search and fantastic things waiting to be found, certainly no time to be fretting over peoples good fortune. 
The people at the event I got to shake hands with and chat to, told me they attended the event because they hoped to learn something new or win a metal detector in the raffle.
I was also pleasantly surprised how much site research people told me they were doing, along with testing targets to see the capabilities of their chosen metal detector.
These are two very positive things to do if you are going to have success at metal detecting.
Another positive thing I picked up on was people going metal detecting regardless of the conditions and being willing to try new sites, after all isn't that how undiscovered sites are discovered? 
Waiting around for good detecting conditions or hitting the same area every time you go detecting very seldom bring positive results. 
Following fluffy advice from negative people in the hobby with no finds behind their name is not a good beach or inland treasure hunting strategy either.
I love the positivity I witnessed at the recent metal detecting event and especially from the rookies.
A beginners positive attitude and untethered search agenda will often lead to "Beginners luck" something I try to duplicate every time I walk onto a site with a metal detector.
Be a positive treasure hunter, your going to go search because you always have a chance of finding something good in the next hole.
In previous years this would be the part of the blog where I insert a photo of a ridiculously expensive piece of platinum or gold jewelry, but as former US president George H. W. Bush would say "Not gonna do it, wouldn't be prudent"  
Stay positive my metal detecting friends and let your finds do the talking!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Beach hunting ergonomics

All the metal detecting gear I use for beach and water hunting was chosen with ergonomics in mind.
I use lightweight metal detecting equipment whenever possible, but if I have to use heavier gear I make sure it is well balanced.
There is nothing worse than not being able to search during prime beach hunting times because you have a bad back or tennis elbow caused by using heavy or awkward metal detecting equipment.
I often see people using heavy or awkward metal detecting equipment at my favorite Spanish treasure hunting beaches, places you have to put serious hours in to get lucky at.
Lugging a heavy unbalanced metal detector around without a metal detecting harness will effect your search coil sweeping motion, leading to poor ground coverage and of course an aching back, shoulders or arms.
Earlier in the week I saw a guy struggling using a heavy metal detector with a search coil mounted at the rear of the search coil, the front of the search coil was tilted up as he struggled to hold and sweep the heavy metal detector.
If you must use a heavy metal detector make sure you use a metal detecting harness to help you maintain the search coil in a level position thru out the sweeping motion.
A straight shaft can also help distribute weight and balance a metal detector, assuming your metal detector can be mounted on a straight shaft.
I also see a lot of scoops with small handles, why bend down to scoop every time when it is better to use a long handled scoop saving time and energy during the target recovery process at the beach.
Sometimes your choice of search coil can be a problem, why use a large and often heavier search coil if it is throwing the balance of your metal detector off.
Using a large heavy search coil for an extended time at the beach will lead to aches and pains and eventually time off recuperating backs, shoulders or elbows.
Using and maintaining a good metal detecting technique is essential for a beach hunter trying to cover a lot of ground so ergonomics are important.
Lightweight or well balanced heavier metal detecting equipment help you cover ground effortlessly  and help prevent bad backs and other aches and pains that can keep you away from the beach.
The heaviest metal detectors and search coils are often advertised as the deepest metal detectors or search coils, but what good is target depth if you negate any advantage using poor metal detecting technique caused by struggling to use the heavier gear.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The edge of detection range

I often talk about how the majority of my best beach and water hunting finds were recovered within the first six inches of sand, but I do detect and recover many cracking finds on the edge of detection range.
The edge of detection range varies with the type of metal detector and the size search coil being used, also the matrix the detected target has been detected in.
A slow methodical approach to beach hunting will help you to detect targets on the edge of your metal detector depth range, giving you a chance to actually hear an often "Iffy" target response at depth.
The slower you sweep your search coil the better a deep target on the edge of detection range will respond.
Keeping your search coil close to the sand will insure you have a chance of detecting "Deepies" in the first place. 
If you swing a 10 inch search coil four inches above the sand you will only detect targets six inches below the sand, every inch you swing your coil above the sand is one inch less you are able to detect metals below the deck.
Walking and sweeping slow and low along the beach is the only way to experience the thrill of pulling up valuable targets from the edge of detection range. 
If you search tourist beaches the big mamma jammer gold rings you are searching for are probably going to be recovered from deeper layers of sand. 
At shipwreck beaches old coins and artifacts are often way down in older layers of sand, shell or rocks.
These two old Spanish buckles from the 1700s were recovered two full moons apart using a pulse induction metal detector at a Treasure Coast beach, the signal responses from both artifacts were a break in my metal detector threshold. 
Check out the hand file marks on the one buckle and the pin still attached to the other, I love me some Spanish buckles!

A slight drop or break in a metal detector back ground noise can easily be a deep target, a slight tick of a signal from one direction can also be a deep target.
Whatever the deep target you are not going to hear it unless you are traveling across the beach slowly and sweeping your search coil low and slow.
Targets on the edge of detection range they are often difficult for a discriminating VLF metal detector to identify, the better the VLF metal detector the better the discrimination features.
Unfortunately most VLF metal detectors will classify a target on the edge of detection as junk, giving wonky FE/CO number readouts, bouncy target cursors or other incorrect VDI target IDs on popular VLF metal detectors. 
There are many things to learn about beach hunting, understanding how targets on the edge of detection range respond and what they could possibly be comes with experience.
The first step towards being able to detect high value "Deepies" is always getting to know your metal detector really well, using good search techniques and being able to identify easy to detect targets.
Once using your favorite metal detector and identifying targets within detection range becomes second nature, you'll be better prepared to understand the nuances of targets on the edge of detection range.