Tips and Tricks
-45 Degree Angle
When searching around old trees and foundations, try this one. Tip your search coil
up to a 45 degree angle, to "fire" the signal under these obstacles. Many times, trees
have covered targets with roots, and you cannot get the coil close enough to pass
over these targets. Also, many good finds have been made under old foundation
stones. Using this method, you can hunt under the foundation, without constantly
bumping your coil against it. You will lose a lot of depth, but targets in these areas
will usually be shallow, since they have been protected from surface traffic.
When metal detecting old sites that you feel are basically hunted out, go back over
the site in all metal mode. You would be surprised what your detector discriminates
-Carrying Extra Batteries
You carry spare batteries with you, right? Well, you should! However, caution should be exercised when carrying these spares in your pocket, particularly 9 volt, or packs with 9 volt style connectors. A coin, or other metal object in your pocket can easily short across the battery terminals, causing the batteries to overheat. Not only does this drain the batteries, but the potential for explosion, leakage, or at the very least, a nasty burn, is very real! Place a small strip of electrical tape over the battery terminals before heading out, and avoid this danger.
-Hunting UNDER hedges and bushes
Don't overlook the areas UNDER old hedges and bushes. On old home sites these can be quite large, and difficult to search under/around. If it's hard for you to get to, it probably discouraged others as well, and they went on to easier pickings. I have even crawled on my stomach to hunt under old blackberry bushes, and made many good finds in hard hit areas. As an added bonus, these targets will usually be shallower, due to reduced surface traffic.
When hunting around old home sites and such, make sure to look at the old trees in the area. Often someone burying a cache would use them as a marker. The giveaway will be a nail or spike in the underside of a large limb. A string and weight would be suspended from this point like a plumb-bob, indicating a point on the ground where the stash was buried. Even after MANY years this point would still be close, because of the slow growth of the tree limb. Also, by being under the limb and shielded from the rain, even an old rusty nail will survive for a LONG time.
-Taking out the Trash
Every now and then you find a location that has the age and it looks perfect but it's loaded with trash. You may have even pulled up an old coin or two. Go back with a rake and a garbage bag and take a 20 foot by 20 foot area and rake all the surface trash up and dispose of it. Take a small coil and go square foot by square foot and dig up all the trash signals. Dig every signal, and this may take several trips. You would be surprised how many targets that trash is masking out. It takes alot of patience but will be worth it when you start pulling out those old coins. Many detectorist just cherry pick with lots of discrimination and miss good deep targets. Just try this and see what good finds you are missing.
-Don't just wander around. Use a Grid Pattern. Start a search by running East-West. Once you have searched that area, switch to a North-South pattern. Then to ensure complete coverage, run sweeps at a 45° angle to the prior pattern. This will help cover any spots you missed earlier.
-Always, ALWAYS, recheck the hole after you retrieve your target. Multiple coins in one hole are common, especially in areas where people can sit against a tree, or where they are knocked to the ground and rolled around (like tackle football).
-If you're just visiting a new site and/or scouting around, then go ahead and "Cherry-pick" the good targets. However, if you realize that you will be coming back frequently, then start digging the trash. This will ensure that you don't have to "redetect" that trash targets. That trash might just be masking a good target beneath it. Besides, if it reads as a pulltab, it might just not be a pulltab, but a gold ring.
-Speaking of gold, if you want to find gold rings, you have to dig those foil and pulltab signals.
-"Where there's Wheat, there's Silver"
Basically, if you are finding wheat pennies, slow down! There should be some silver dimes in there.
-"Indians Come in Tribes." If you find one Indian penny, slow down, there are usually more.
-Regardless of machines, most Indian head pennies read as a zinc penny. Therefore, if you get a zinc reading at 4" or deeper, DIG!
-Keep track of the sites where you've dug deep, old, coins at. After a good rain, go hunt that site thoroughly!-