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Monday, January 9, 2017

Ironing out good areas

On my last two trips to Oak Island Nova Scotia I recovered some pretty cool old coins and artifacts, many will be shown on the new season of the History channel show "The Curse of Oak Island." 
Although I prefer finding old coins, jewelry, buttons or musket balls etc at sites with a little history using discrimination, I always try to recover rejected iron targets afterwards as sometimes they can be of interest or just as valuable as non ferrous finds.
I think you will agree this iron trade or ships rigging axe from the 1720-1730's is a very interesting iron artifact. 

The old axe head was recovered a couple of years ago on Oak Island, after I rescanned an area and dug the rejected iron targets up. 
I often "Iron out" an area that I find interesting old coins or artifacts at, just in case the iron targets are masking more good targets.
A big clump of iron will mask or hide a smaller non ferrous target, so it makes good treasure hunting sense to rescan productive sites and remove large pieces of iron.  
If a site is full of various sized pieces of iron, sometimes its a good idea to downsize and go to a smaller search coil.
You would be surprised to know how many good shallow targets you cannot detect in an iron infested area, using a 10 inch or larger search coil. 
A smaller 5 to 9 inch size search coil will help increase the target recovery speed of your metal detector.
Target recovery speed is the time it takes your metal detector to detect another target after your search coil passes over an initial target.
Some VLF metal detectors have a notoriously slow target recovery speed, using a smaller search coil will help combat that disadvantage in trashy infested areas. 
Nine times out of ten at a productive site with iron in the area, if you remove the iron or go to a smaller search coil you will detect stuff missed on the initial first sweep of the area.
Of course, it should go without saying a slow methodical search technique is always the best option in an iron infested area.
A combination of searches, search coils or even metal detectors will help you clean out an area you believe may hold more good stuff.
Lastly when searching sites known for older finds, I always slam the biggest search coil I have in my arsenal to give me a chance to detect any deeper targets in an area.
It just makes sense to do that after you have first taken all the shallower targets from the site.
You could call this a layered approach to ironing out an area. 

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