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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dirt fishing

Last weekend I attended a metal detecting event in Illinois, signing books and talking to a great crowd of people. 
Although the event took place hundreds of miles away from the nearest saltwater beach, our different types of metal detecting are very similar. 
After the event, I spent two days metal detecting in the next state of Iowa, inland dirt fishing and beach hunting may appear to be two very different types of metal detecting, but I  discovered we basically do the same thing.
We both search for good targets amongst trash targets, I was also surprised how many pull tabs and small pieces of can slaw I recovered inland. 
I found the modified CTX 3030 beach mode I use at Florida beaches an ideal choice for use in rural Iowa.
Old silver coins were my main target so I ignored many signals I would not dare pass up on Florida beaches. 
The old fairground and school house grounds we hunted in Iowa dated back to the late 1800s, the first sites was littered with ferrous and junk targets. 
Within an hour of searching the first site, I had the good fortune to pull up a 1922 silver peace dollar. 
I heard a loud low tone from a shallow target and a muffled high tone from a deeper target, the recovery reminded me of similar recoveries on Florida beaches.
Usually in Florida it is the opposite way around when searching for jewelry,  hearing a loud high tone from a shallow clad coin and a low tone from deeper gold, nickel or aluminum foil. 
In Iowa, the low tone was a modern soda can ring pull, the high tone was the large silver coin on edge. 
I saw the edge of the coin in the hole, before I had a chance to recheck the hole for more targets with my metal detector.
On the last day in Iowa I got the chance to search the gardens around an old school house,  I recovered a holed 1857-58 flying eagle cent, a 1906 indian head cent and a heel plate with a Dec 7 1898 patent date. 

Less trash around the school gardens, meant I was able to dig more targets by using less discrimination on my CTX 3030. 
The thing I came away with from my dirt fishing trip was that no matter where you search, you should think about the intended targets you are searching for and use your metal detector audio tones and discrimination to help you recover the targets you are more likely to find at the site. 
Sure you may miss certain good targets using discrimination, but I still believe it is better to play the percentages and try to detect high value targets that are likely to be found in the area. 
I never worry about targets I may miss by using discrimination, just enjoy the targets you do not miss. 
Now I am home in Florida it is back to metal detecting reality, time for some modern gold!

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