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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Newsletter
January 05, 2022

Happy Holidays

I hope you and your family had a joyful holiday. And that the upcoming new year is a special one for you.


“There All Hunted Out”

A few months ago, I had a conversation with a fellow that purchased a metal detector from me about 15 years ago. He called me to ask if I could buy back his detector. His reason, he became disinterested in the hobby. When I asked him why, he said something commonly thought of within the hobby. He told me that all of the places he detected over the years were hunted out. He remarked that he had been back to those places repeatedly and that he "detected the hell out of them, only to find junk." I asked him, "what areas are you detecting?" His answer was an old picnic grove, a place that was once used as a horse racetrack in the early 1900s, and an old fairground. My response was quick, and to the point.

"Are you out of your mind?"

The poor guy was shocked at my answer.

"Frank, what do you mean? I'm telling you, there are no more good finds in any of those areas."

I told him in so many words that those sites were in no way hunted out. I explained to him that those areas received thousands of people throughout years of use. And with that amount of traffic, and what they lost in the way of coins and jewelry was much, much more than what he had found. I also pointed out the fact that if he was still finding junk meant that there were still goodies to be found. So all he had to do was continue to pull out the trash, and search slowly.

In addition, he mentioned that he never searched beyond the area where the activities took place. I told him to move out to the fringe areas and to use a smaller coil in the sections he had already detected. Yes, I talked him out of selling his detector. A few weeks ago, he called me again.

"Frank, I should have known better. Your suggestion about those areas not being hunted out was spot on." He told me how many Barber coins, silver Roosevelt Dimes, Standing Liberty Half Dollars, and one Peace Silver Dollar he located using my suggestion.

If you become frustrated about not finding new locations to search, and you've been over and over those same areas with no success, most often, it just takes a bit of tweaking your search strategy. Use the example above to help you bring home more goodies from supposed worked-over areas.

And I've mentioned in past articles and on my website the ability of smaller coils to help pinpoint good targets in junk-filled and overworked spots.

Give 'em a try!

The Importance of Maps, Especially The Older Ones

If you're like me and you enjoy metal detecting in wooded areas and hard-to-reach places, it's imperative that you use maps of the area you’re searching, or are preparing to search. Especially important are old maps.

You may have read or heard about an old picnic grove or a ghost town, and you want to try and locate it without looking at a map, that's being unproductive. Instead, if you use an old topo, you have an excellent chance of seeing the structures on the map or the name of the old grove. Combine the topo with an updated county map of the area you want to search as a cross-reference, and you’ll be surprised at what you can find.

Most states have websites where you can search for older topos. The older topos will give you the information of the structures when the topo was completed. My topos date back to 1900. They offer a wealth of information.

If you are determined to search for older sites, I suggest you find and purchase older maps. Some of my maps date back to the 1700s. I find them at used book stores, estate sales, and sometimes garage sales and auctions.

Old maps are an investment in your ability to succeed in the hobby. It is money well spent.

A Piece From The Past

“Ma Staffleback operated a tavern, inn, house of ill repute, and den of robbery and murder in the 1870s – 1890s near Galena, Kentucky. One of her girls confessed to the crimes, and the sheriff was called in. In 1897, Ma Staffleback was sentenced to life imprisonment for robbing and brutally killing at least a dozen rich miners, mine owners, and investors in her brothel. She died in prison in 1909 and took the secret of her estimated $50,000 gold coin treasure hoard with her.

The bodies of her victims were disposed of in water-filled mine shafts in the area near Galena, and most of the searches for her hoard have centered around them as well as her house, but not one coin was ever found.”

Popular Mechanics, 1931 Annual

Father-of-two, 44, Finds £100,000 Medieval 24ct-gold Brooch

“David Edwards, 44, discovered the 800-year-old piece buried around four inches under the surface on farmland near his home in Cardigan, west Wales while out metal detecting after work.” Father of 2

Treasure Dating Back to Bronze Age Found by Metal Detectorists

“Treasure dating back to the Bronze Age has been discovered by metal detectorists in Newport and Monmouthshire.

The finds - both groups of bronze artefacts dating back to the late Bronze Age (100-800 BCE) - were discovered in Grosmont near Abergavenny and Michaelston-y-Fedw in Newport. Treasure Dating Back

More Than 150 Buried Treasure Troves Discovered Over the Last 10 Years

More than 150 buried treasure troves have been discovered in the West Midlands and Staffordshire since records began 10 years ago, figures reveal. More Than 150

Metal Detecting Offers Onekama Man Glance at the Past

“ONEKAMA — Onekama resident Jake Wagoner considers himself a bit of a history buff.

Rather than read about history, or watch documentaries, Wagoner prefers to search for bits and pieces of it through his passion of metal detecting.” Metal Detecting Offers

Armed With Metal Detector, Myrtle Beach Man Finds Rare Charleston Freedman’s Badge

“A couple of weeks ago at a Starbucks in Fort Mill, John Kraljevich was joined by a man with something to sell. The man had recently procured a precious relic from a friend. It was an oval badge made of copper with a small hole at the top to accommodate a string or ribbon. The string was missing, of course, and the hole was packed with hardened dirt because the item had spent more than 200 years underground.” Armed with

There’s A Shipwreck Ruin From 1715 With 3,000,000 Silver Coins

Near The Treasure Coast Of Florida

“There’s a history of shipwrecks within the great state of Florida that is both tragic and awe-inspiring. One involves a natural disaster and men who were at the mercy of Mother Earth. Anyone who lives between Vero Beach and Sebastian, Florida likely already knows the story of The 1715 Spanish Fleet. In fact, you may be one of the lucky locals who has found a gold coin wash ashore on your trip to the beach. The story behind this Spanish Fleet is remarkable, to say the least, especially after the most recent jaw-dropping discovery in 2015.” There's a Shipwreck

We Want Your Stories and Pictures

One of the excitements we get from metal detecting is seeing what kind of “stuff” others are finding. Not only do we enjoy seeing the items found, but many of us like to hear the stories about how those finds were located. So, let’s see your “stuff.”

Many have posted pictures and brief stories of their finds at my website. It’s easy to do. You basically create your own webpage with a picture or pictures, and a brief story of how you found the items. Once your page is posted, others will be able to view your page, and make comments. You will also have your own url link to the webpage you built. Use that link to post to Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest and share with others.

So show your “stuff.” We want to see the goodies! Stories About Your Finds

Back Issues

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