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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Patience is a beach treasure hunting virtue

I am making the most of my computer time before hurricane Irma hits fortress Drayton cutting off power, and you know darn well I am checking out beach cams and news reports from the beach.
Probably wishful thinking as the beaches are in evacuation zones and we are under a curfew this afternoon. I have replied to a ton of when is the best times to search after a hurricane and what is the best metal detector to use questions, although our house and family is my top priority and beach hunting is a distant second. 
However my toes are tingling at the prospect of getting through this powerful storm and getting back to the beaches.
Watching TV news beach reports I have seen people already on beaches metal detecting as tropical storm force winds from feeder bands are moving across our area, but you will not see me out there yet for obvious reasons including I know better lol 
Some of my best finds have come after coastal storms have eroded beaches, many weeks or even months afterwards. 
Believe me, you don't have to be out on the beach during the storm or be one of the first people to hit the beach after the storm to find good stuff.
Hit the beaches when it is safe to do so and go with your gut feeling as far as the best place you are likely to detect what you are searching for.
I am partial to old stuff, so I will be hitting the best areas I know in search of older coins and jewelry. 
Beaches close to home, as traveling to and from distant beaches is a waste of metal detecting time and precious gas in the current situation. 
From previous experiences beach hunting after storms, I know I will be using a VLF metal detector and a little discrimination.
Digging everything on a ripped apart beach is no fun, think target separation over target depth. 
When conditions settle down and it is possible to get to more beaches, you should be able to do well many weeks after a storm, one of the perks of being a beach hunter who tries different beaches.
The more time that has passed after the storm, the more digging everything using an all metal search mode is the way to go, depending on the site.
Water hunting may be the best option at many beaches long after a storm has passed, this is where beach and water reading skills come into play.
This 5 ounce chunk of Spanish 17th century religious silver came off a Florida beach a full month after a hurricane, probably because it was a good hundred yards past everyones turn around point. 

Patience is a virtue when searching after a coastal storm, wait until it is safe to hit the beach then hammer areas you hope have opened up. 
If you are going to hit the same place everyone else is hitting, you better be a good beach hunter.
Although, patience can be a virtue at the most heavily hunted beach if you take your time and cover the sand instead of the whole beach. 
Its not who gets to the beach metal detecting first after a storm, its where you go and why!






Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Everyones favorite metal detector

You really find out just how much you like and I suppose depend on a certain metal detector when you have a perfect metal detecting opportunity.  
What would you put in your suitcase to go search a dream site, or use when a perfect treasure hunting scenario is ahead of you.
I know what metal detector I would use, a reliable one I know like the back of my hand. 
Although I have used a few metal detectors over the years, I rarely move away away from the type of metal detector I have become comfortable using.
I look at a metal detector as an important tool for beach and water hunting, but not something that is going to set me apart from other beach or water hunters, its just a metal detector. 
A lot of thought, practice and testing went into my choice of metal detector, it does all the things I want it to do so I can have a successful outing and just as importantly it detects the things I am searching for.
Im the operator and I use my metal detector to help me detect metal objects in the areas I like to search.
Site selection, site reading and search techniques make sure your choice of metal detector detects the stuff you would like to find.
Your choice of metal detector is important, but unfortunately you only find out what metal detector is best for you after you figure out what you are searching for in the areas you search.
In my opinion, metal detectors are just a tool and a craftsman must select  the right tool for the right job. 
I remember a friend and wise man Stu Auerbach once telling me to start off with "In my opinion" when talking about metal detectors to metal detecting folk as people are passionate about their favorite metal detectors.
I go one step further by not mentioning what favorite metal detector I always put in the suitcase.
If you have a favorite, you probably know what Im talking about.







Sunday, September 3, 2017

Are you really digging it all ?

I use every trick in the book to recover good targets at productive but trashy sites, places where a good target can easily go undetected if you are not careful.
The double whammy of both iron and target masking may cause you to walk away from a find of a lifetime in trashy areas if you are not careful. 
I only dig everything when I know it is worth digging everything in a trashy area, meaning I know from previous experience the site holds what I am searching for.
In my opinion, site selection, pinpointing, target sizing and target recognition skills overcome trashy sites containing good stuff.  
When I hammer a trashy site, I hammer it hard making sure I recover as many targets as possible. 
From experience I know the more ferrous and non ferrous metal objects I pull out the area, the more likely I am to find something good being masked by iron or larger non iron objects.
I actually rely on both iron and target masking at my favorite trashy sites, as they put other people metal detecting off the scent. 
Good trashy sites are where your pinpointing, target sizing and target recognition skills come into play.
What use are they if you are digging everything you may ask, my answer would be because they help make sure you do not miss anything. 
So too will understanding that a good target response is not always a one or two way repeatable signal. 
A null or break in your metal detector threshold, a slight raising or lowering in threshold volume can also turn out to be a potential find of a lifetime at a trashy site.
Trashy sites are hard work, but when you know good stuff may come out of trashy sites the hard work is well worth it.
Something to think about the next time you walk away from an area full of pennies, bottle caps or small iron nails. 
I have found many a gold ring scooping up pennies at heavily hunted sites I know other beach or water hunters walk away from. 
Some of my favorite finds stories start with I rechecked the hole or after digging so many ........ I pulled out this beauty.