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Found 74 results

  1. 24 f here rt.now. I like warm country...Enjoy the ride! Ig
  2. This last month has been crazy with no time for self-mental preservation. I told everyone to pound sand on Sunday as I'm going out hunting. I decided to do a little prospecting as well as some coin/jewelry hunting - both in one day. So I packed it all up and headed out. Got to a beautiful area that has a little Au if you're lucky and had a few crevasse areas I've been wanting to clean out. Spent about an 1-1/2 hrs cleaning it all out and panned it down. It looked SO promising as I was digging, but alas only some lead buck shot and a .22 slug. Had a sandwich and enjoyed the views and packed it up to go higher in elevation for some coin shooting. Hiked down into a great little campground that was closed for the winter and hit it for about 3.5 hrs for a total of a little over $8 in clad. No Silver or wheaties nor rings. I did hit a pocket that had these little gold plated charms that were all attached to a bracelet at one time. Each one rang out like a nickel, so I was getting excited after each one, but closer look showed plating wearing off.......wah,wah,wah. But I did get my outdoors/prospecting/treasure hunting jones out of the way for a little bit. the campground I went to had 30+ sites and I hit maybe 7 of them for the day. So I know there is more to go back for another day. My 6" coil would have been a better choice for the trashy sites, but still good practice picking good signals out between the trash. Cheers all!! G
  3. Hi guys, I finally got out for a detect this Saturday just gone. I thought it had been over one month since I had been up in the hills. Sure seemed like it but on checking my little gold finds diary my last entry was on the 13th of January. It has just been too damn hot to get out there so I have been going out in my jet boat instead & playing in the rivers that way. Last Tuesday Mrs JW & I went to Dunedin town to see Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame, in concert. It was the end of his 2017-2018 Us And Them world tour. Mrs JW & I are huge fans of his & Pink Floyd & David Gilmour too for that matter. We last saw Roger up in Auckland before moving down to Queenstown. He is now 74 years old & is likely to be his last tour. It was an absolutely brilliant show. All three hours of it. He is such a legend. Any way....The next day on leaving Dunedin to head back to Queenstown it was 36 degrees Celsius in Dunedin. That is unheard of.....but that is what it was & 32 in Queenstown. The next day we had rain for more than a whole day. I cant recall the last time we had continuous rain like that for more than a whole day. There was a southerly wind change Thursday night (off Antartica) & woke on Friday morning to snow half way down the mountains & a temperature high of just 15 Celsius. With those cooler temps I was off for a detect come Saturday. On getting there & speaking to the property owner he told me he had never seen rain like it & water was just pouring off the hills & down the "dry" gullies like he had never seen before. It was of course gone by Saturday but I was rapt as I hold high hopes for wet ground being not only easier to dig but more conductive & better depth on signals. So I hit a few spots that I have been over with the Zed & also in the insanely high settings when I did get deeper bits of gold. I was hoping the wet ground would give me another window of opportunity. It sort of did but not like I was hoping. I got a lot more junk that I hadn't got before, but you have to dig them. My first spot I hit I just manged one little piece of gold. Nothing bigger at greater depths than what I got first time here with the hot settings. But the little bit I got blew me away with the depth it was at. The pics dont really show the depth, I should have stuck the scoop in the hole. But I was down into the rotten basement schist peeling it out. I just knew it was going to be gold. It was such a good signal I was sure it was going to be bigger than what it turned out to be. I even scanned the hole again as I couldn't believe it. But no....that was it. The Zed is very good at making you think a signal target is going to be better than what it turns out to be. I then moved on to another area after getting no more here. Had a coffee before getting back into it & got a nice mellow signal within a few minutes. The ground was just so easy to dig with the moisture still in it compared to the dry rock hard digs prior to the rain. I was rewarded with a .4 gram slug. Could have been bigger .... Again this was the only piece I could find in this area. This surprised me. Oh well.....time to move on. You may recall in one of my last posts where I detected some old timer turned over gully workings beside some power lines. I continued on up the same run of workings where they deviated away from the power lines. I had never found any gold in this part of these workings.....ever. Only an old gin trap. I was surprised to see quite a few of the old timers prospect pits holding water. Had never seen this before. This is from standing beside my wagon looking up these workings. One thing you will notice is how dry & barren the ground is looking. I guess after the rain it may shoot away with a bit of grass growth. So it is a good time to be detecting before that happens. I noticed how at this lower end of the workings the granular schist & quartz gravels were quite small compared to the top end. I got no gold signals here but felt I had a better chance when I got further up & saw how the gravels got a lot more chunky. I got a nice hit on the top of a throw out pile. This next pic is looking back down to my wagon. If you look to the right of my wagon at the top of the pic you can make out one of the power line poles which is where I got a few bits of gold in my last post. Again I was blown away with the depth this small piece was at. But yet again this was my only piece from these workings. So on to some more. Got a good signal tight up beside a thyme bush & dug & dug & dug. Ended up having to grab the GB2 to try & pin point it & to see if it was ferrous or not. I wasn't sure if I may have passed the target in the side wall. WHAT....no signal at all with the GB2. Must be deeper still. I wasn't holding much hope of it being gold now as the signal was booming on the Zed. I went back to my wagon to get a little hand shovel as it was getting difficult to keep on going with the pick without making the hole wider. A few shovels of gravel out & still no signal with the GB2. Maybe it is out. Scanned the piles....nothing. Zed back in the hole & she was screaming. Few more shovels of material out & the Zed went silent. Its out. Scanned the pile & bingo. A signal. GB2 on to it & it was saying non ferrous. Probably a .22 bullet shell of lead bullet head. Now how deep do you reckon that hole is? The pick handle is 700 mm & it is over half way in the hole. Lets say about 350 mm or just over 14" Gold it was at just .34 of a gram....at that depth....unbelievable Again I re scanned every where as I could not believe that was it...but it was...again. Carrying on I got a double blip signal that usually is a shot gun pellet very shallow or sitting on the surface. But it sounded a little bit mellow. So I scraped at it with the pick & it had moved. GB2 in the dry grass. To the left of the GB2 & to the left of that dug out ditch you will see the scrape on the right shoulder of that throw out pile. Notice too in the foreground of that dug out ditch the water (dampness) it is holding. Got it in the scoop & on to the coil of the Zed & bugger me. That was my last bit though for the day despite going until dark. End result was just 5 bits for 1.2 grams I really thought the wet ground would produce better results for me. But I was amazed at the depths I was getting that small gold at. The Zed never fails to amaze me. Just wish there were bigger bits down there as well. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  4. Cache Hunting

    I will start by providing a little background information prior to the story I was given several years ago by a fellow treasure hunter. His name was David Linville and he has since passed away. And before you ask, I have his sister’s permission to use his name in the story. We were hunting one day and took a little break for a time because of the heat. We were discussing treasure hunting in general and the times we had been metal detecting and how he always found more than I did. All of a sudden he started giving me a story about some of his earlier ancestors that had moved from an undisclosed location. They had moved to a small rural community named Gutton Park in Max Meadows, Virginia. They had moved to this particular area hoping to obtain work and income to help during this particular era of the depression. Jobs were not very numerous so people had to do many different kinds of work. They had moved to this area hoping to prosper. Of course, back in the 20s, 30s and 40s a lot of people had to plant gardens and raise livestock such as chickens, pigs…everyone knows the stories of what some of the older people had to do. As the story went on he was telling me about something that happened with this particular man, he didn’t say if he was his grandfather or his uncle or who, just that they were related. The gentleman that moved there was noticing one day that there were two horses under a tree, out in the field adjacent to their house that pawed the ground a lot. Of course anyone that has been around farm animals know that to see a horse do that is not uncommon. Nobody probably even knows why they do it on occasion. As the days grew into weeks and more weeks went by he noticed that the horses were at the same place pawing the ground at the same location under the tree. Curiosity finally overtook him and he decided he would cross the fence and walk down to where the tree was and see just exactly what had the horses so interested in this particular area. As he crossed the fence the horses moved off to the side and the gentleman goes down and looks around on the ground. There is no grass. It is all pawed down to the dirt. But he saw a glimmer of something shiny. He looked down and saw what looked like one of the old zinc lids that some of the old timers put on their cans when they would can food. So he reaches down to pick it up but it didn’t move. So he takes his pocket knife out and cuts around the rim. He proceeds to pull on the can lid again but it still wouldn’t move. So he continues digging until he realized it was attached to a glass jar. As the story continues, after several more tries he finally gets the jar loose enough to pull out of the ground. It was a blue mason jar still attached to the lid and it was full of money. Now as you might very well know any kind of pocket change that was found in the 40s or 50s, buried in a jar was all silver, except maybe for nickels and pennies. As the story goes on, both David and his brother James confirmed that this particular jar of money was what it took to set this family back into a position to where they could survive without having to struggle. What I thought was really interesting, was the fact that this particular cache was found by paying attention to animals, not using a detector. If the horses hadn’t pawed the ground the jar of money may still be in that same position today. The next time you go out hunting it might pay to look around a little. Pay attention to the surroundings, imagine how life might have been in years past, you might just recover a cache of your own.
  5. Another Tale

    Ok this is not in the same league as Jims Discombobulated Tale and Mns Smart MD thread has revived a memory, back a few years before the local Stock Squad (Cattle Police) had their own MDs, they`d occasionally contact me and off they`d take me to a crime scene to see if the MD would detect some evidence. Long story short the VLF A2B whilst not as good as the PIs finding the spent bullet shells but much more capable of checking a carcass for the lead bullet ( carcass GB difficult with a VLF but near impossible with a PI). One dead beast had a massive signal in its gut area, but could not find any recent spent shells in the area. Because the beast had been dead for a few days and out in the hot sun it was quiet swollen but the cattle station owner was keen to find what the signal was, one knife slice and a few of us were off spewing. So we relocated a fair bit upwind with the station owner shaking his head and calling us a mob of town wooses. Again shorten the story after a bit butchering and a lot of swearing the station owner smelling like,well I`ll let you guess, came over with the evidence, was obviously parts of a vehicle lead acid battery. The beast,and apparently not unusual for cattle,had a shot at digesting a battery.
  6. A Discombobulated Prospecting Tale The following is a recollection about a prospecting trip, encounters with wildlife, including an unidentified large creature. Since our story is firmly entrenched in wilderness prospecting environs, we’ll scatter some of our more photogenic native silver and other photos at appropriate intervals throughout the text. These happenings occurred over less than a twelve-hour period many years ago. Let's move on to our tale… please read this as a campfire story. “There’s a long, long time of waiting Until my dreams all come true… Till the day when I’ll be going Down that long, long trail with you.” The origins of our tale begin some years ago, with my annual autumn prospecting trip into the northeastern part of Ontario renowned for its silver production. The area represents a small part of a vast, heavily forested wilderness perched on the sprawling Precambrian Shield. Away from the small towns and villages, and widely scattered farms and rural homesteads, there exists a largely uninterrupted way of life in the more remote areas. There are uncounted miles of lonely country backroads, overgrown tracks leading to abandoned mining camps, innumerable rough timber lanes, and a virtually infinite tangle of winding trails that reach deeply into the distant boreal forests. The region is largely supported by forestry, tourism, and mining. It is rich in nearly every mineral one can imagine, but especially of gold and silver, and the base metals. It attracts an annual autumn migration of hunters, fishermen, mineral collectors, and other adventurers seeking the beckoning, companionable solitude of the remote wilderness. The photo below depicts a former minesite located in the immediate area, where documented in 1924, two prospectors claim to have sighted the highly elusive Sasquatch, sometimes referred to as the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas. Our journey back in time so many long years ago, finds us contentedly settled into a perfectly routine, bright morning following a highly interesting prospecting sojourn the previous day. That day I had made the companionable acquaintance of two staff members from Michigan State University. They had recently arrived in a magnificent motorhome to search for precious silver and other minerals with their assortment of metal detectors. Their silver prospecting had been unsuccessful thus far, but undiminished in their enthusiasm, they were eager to explore for old relics and antique glassware. I suggested some promising abandoned homestead sites in the woods, and we made further plans to share some morning tea, view my silver recoveries, and make some detecting plans for the day. In preparation for the visit, I arose early that morning, performed the usual perfunctory personal ablutions, and stepped lightly from the camper to prepare a hungry outdoorsman’s breakfast at the picnic table. That normally means bacon and eggs fried on the fretful propane gas stove conveniently located beneath the wide, foul-weather canopy. Now for the benefit of urban dwellers not fully appreciating such matters, I submit there is no more tantalizing scent that permeates the woodland aisles as solicitously to a ravenously hungry wayfarer than that of sizzling bacon in the frying pan. Thus to my dismay but not surprise upon returning from the camper with some handy utensils, I abruptly came face-to-face with a wayfarer in the form of a decidedly stout blackbear immediately across the table from me. Well… we both rather casually glanced at one another for some several seconds, which is a long time really… in what could only be described as a mutually earnest attempt to evaluate exactly just what the other's full intentions and possible capabilities might be. The issue at hand of course, was possession of the steaming breakfast now lying sumptuously before us, a seeming impasse that would brook no compromise. Allowing that I was a man of action, a trait not one whit diminished by the present circumstances, and fully aware that a brand-spanking-new container of "Bear Guard" resided within my trusty backpack just inside the camper doorway, I promptly retired indoors to retrieve this potent pest serum. In the twinkling of an eye the bear spray was in my hand, safety mechanism removed, and finger on the trigger. Brimming with confidence that no small victory was easily within my grasp, I took careful aim… and well, how could one possibly miss? Meanwhile, my uninvited, immobile guest had remained quietly composed and altogether civil in his demeanor, and I regret to relate, with rather sad, supplicating eyes fixed with unblinking steadiness on mine. But doggedly immune to sympathy for any but myself …at that particular moment that is… the trigger was released without the least regret. And quicker than thought, a plume of debilitating chemical spray tracked unfailingly straight for the bear’s nose. But even quicker still, my new acquaintance ducked his head and sidestepped, indeed shrugging off the main thrust of my carefully conspired offensive as if it were inconsequential. And there was a further complication insofar as I had signally failed to consider the oncoming breeze. Almost as quickly as the implications occurred to me, I succumbed to the bear-spray fumes, abandoned breakfast in panicky confusion, blindly retreating back into the camper’s safety. Subsequent to a half-hour convalescence of teary-eyed, spasmodic coughing and retching, I regained some semblance of normal breathing and cardiac composure. Ready to face the inevitable, I set forth to resume the contest, only to find my breakfast charred, and amiable new companion unmoved and indifferent to my enterprise thus far. I reviewed the alternatives carefully as things now stood. Breakfast was no longer a matter of dispute to me at least. But I could not simply hand it over either. The park brochures unequivocally admonished the reader not to feed the bears and I did enjoy the repute of being an experienced outdoorsman. More, my tentative little friend had demonstrated remarkable forbearance by not taking advantage of my temporary lapse. And worse, he fixed me with unwavering, sad appealing eyes, conveying eternal gratitude and sacrifice for my sake, if only he might sample the frying pan’s tasty scraps. I began to feel shame at my own indignant, confrontational behavior towards this unobtrusive creature. But company was coming for tea, and in short order we would be leaving camp for the day. My new friend could not be left alone near camp. Long story short, I sidled over to my truck and spent an exasperating hour or so chasing this mangy, obstinate competitor from camp and hopefully from the park. Now, fully appreciating the desperate craftiness I faced with this shrewd adversary, I arranged for the Ministry of Natural Resources to set a bear trap nearby, later in the day. Content with this strategic maneuver, and in the afterglow of glad relief as can only be savored with successful, decisive conquest of brute strength by infinitely resourceful cunning, my recently arrived companions of the previous day and I enjoyed morning tea, and merrily hit the treasure trail. Feeling secure any remaining camp contingency was suitably addressed, I for one had no more care in the world than the wispy, white cirrus clouds scurrying across the blue heavens above. Late evening of that day found me alone at a remote site, deep in the wilderness and far removed from the welcoming lights of civilization. As had become habit over many years, darkness… rebuked only by a slim sliver of veiled moonlight known affectionately to livestock thieves as a Rustler's Moon… found me still rock hunting. The recovery of a promising target signal preoccupied my thoughts and effort. I’ve never been able to abandon a good signal and never will, regardless of circumstances. Finally, after exhaustive prying and digging, I packed my prize into the backpack and reluctantly hiked uphill to a wide bench where my truck was parked. With nothing more profound on my mind than entertaining thoughts of tasty pork and beans for dinner over a hot fire, I stored my equipment and backpack into the back of the truck and made ready to return to camp. It happened so quickly, it was shocking, and there was no time to think. Throwing the transmission into reverse, I did what I always do from long habit… I looked into the interior rear view mirror. You might easily imagine my startled reaction to see two enormously elevated large glowing eyes, illuminated only by my reverse lights…fixedly gazing into the mirror directly into mine. There was no sound, no contact with the truck. In a furious snit of energy that would have garnered surprised favor from my boss back at the office, I quickly swung my Jeep around… a credit to my youthful driving instructor, could he only have witnessed that splendid three-point turn. My lights immediately filled the misty gloom to reveal…nothing. The creature had vanished into thin air, certainly not an impossible feat, but most unlikely. It was wide, open space on that bench, and I could not understand how the creature had disappeared so quickly. With the desire to leave the scene waning quickly, I drove some thirty yards downhill on the overgrown track and stopped. I jumped out of the truck with my high powered flashlight at the ready, and began a systematic exploration of the nearby woods, always staying within easy retreat to the vehicle’s safety. The remaining foliage of innumerable aspen and tag alders interfered with a close scrutiny and I did not dare to go further afield. Yet, short of the distant forlorn cry of a loon, I could not see or hear anything unusual to disturb the evening’s tranquillity. Dismayed, I returned to the truck and cautiously resumed my way down the dark, abandoned track, crossed a tumbling wide brook at the bottom end of the lake to finally gain firm footing on the opposite shore, and headed for camp completely lost in thought. Some three-quarters of an hour later I arrived back at the campsite looking forward to lighting a blazing fire and enjoying a steaming mug of tea before dinner. At such times, subsequent to a highly startling experience, it is unsettling to realize that no “sixth” sense had alerted me to the possible danger of a nearby large creature out at the remote minesite. A creature that apparently was aware of my activities, and perhaps observing or even stalking me for some length of time. Yet as I jumped out of my truck at camp, that sixth sense came abruptly to the fore. The evening sky had given way to gloomy scuttling clouds, the wind had sharply risen to rustle fallen leaves, sighing fitfully through the treetops. Have you ever stumbled in the darkness of night into an unseen wall or obstacle that brought you up short? The moment I stepped away from my truck such an overwhelming foreboding sense came over me that I stood stock still, peering into the thick darkness in some vague attempt to comprehend the sharp, uneasy feeling. Now then, let it be clear that I am not one given to fears of the dark or superstitious nonsense. I never look over my shoulder dreading the sight of some phantom specter, not ever. But my instincts were alerted, as I stood there motionless, considering possibilities. Grabbing my flashlight, I treaded slowly towards the camper. There seemed to be no indication of… CLANG!!!! The unmistakable, hard contact of heavy steel. Relocating my boots in a fit of unbounded fright and quickly retying them with an uncompromising knot, I cautiously probed around the far corner of the camper. For the second time in less than an hour, the steady beams of two blazing lanterns gleamed directly back into my eyes from the depths of darkness. For securely locked inside an MNR bear trap, placed strategically behind and immediately adjacent to my camper by far-sighted government employees, was a rather large bear. At the moment he was huddled in cringing fear at the rear of the cage. ‘And so you should be’ I swaggered with surging, buoyant relief. Early the next morning, in the face of a steady driving rain, all thoughts of rockhunting were dismissed for the day. I hurriedly wolfed down breakfast, nodded a cheerful farewell to my erstwhile caged companion of the night, and lit out for the minesite. On arrival, I carefully looked for, but could not see any tracks. I felt certain that somewhere in the soft slag-sand substrate, there should have been some evidence of tracks despite the rain. Certainly a moose or large bear on hind legs could be the only credible suspects with regard to the enormously elevated set of eyes that had glared into my rear-view mirror the previous night. But I looked for tracks or any other evidence in vain. Deflated and somewhat incredulous, I retraced my way back to the nearest country backroad where, as chance would dictate, I abruptly encountered my acquaintances from Michigan. I described the event at the minesite to them, whereupon one individual opened his briefcase, retrieved some stapled papers and handed them to me. A fully documented account from 1924 of a Sasquatch sighting in the very same local. The article revealed that two prospectors arose from their fireside breakfast to observe an enormous man-like creature disappearing into the nearby forest. Their estimate was on the order of eight feet or so, a wild-looking hairy biped. In those times such creatures were not nearly so widely known or celebrated in the mainstream media. That factor alone doubtless lends more credibility to the report. Was meeting these two men again at that time and place mere coincidence? Did they have some other reason for visiting the area in addition to their relic, bottle and silver hunting? There was no question they had purposely brought the prepared Sasquatch information. You might ask in retrospect why I did not see the creature’s outline in my reverse lights. My answer is that my full attention was immediately drawn to those two blazing eyes. It was all so quick and unexpected. In retrospect, I regard this event simply as an encounter with an unknown creature. Only the illusive Sasquatch of the deep wilderness, given that he exists, could have the sharp intelligence to outwit me with regard to his timely, quick disappearance. The removal of tracks was too clever indeed, but at the same time there is no support for the notion that any other wildlife in existence could possess the means or forethought. A tale is never complete without a postscript. Despite the passage of many years, I have not been able to relinquish the memory of the bear with the terribly sad, pleading eyes. Call me a hopeless romantic. I later learned that berry production was very poor that season, doubtless resulting in higher bear mortality rates. Could I revisit those moments, if I thought there was any chance my uninvited guest would sit down at the table, mind his manners and otherwise behave, I would now gladly serve up my charred breakfast scraps were it only possible. But alas, time moves relentlessly forward, leaving only fading memories of scenarios we can never retrieve. Many years later, on a beautiful, clear evening in the silvery radiance of full moonlight washing down over all the old familiar places, I revisited that particular site ostensibly to collect some pyrrhotite samples. But the truth is that I was contemplating that vivid memory from so many years ago. It was no fun getting back in there at night after the long passage of time. I spent a pleasant few hours in observation, over sandwiches and coffee, then departed, crossing the old stream-bed perhaps for a last time. The beavers seem to have abandoned the spot and massive washouts appear imminent. Think what you will, but that concludes our prospecting tale. Whether by design or chaos, we live on a tiny planet in a small, inconsequential solar system located on the outer fringe of the Milky Way. Life for most of us is nothing more or less than a twisty maze of circumstances and events that frequently generate no reasonable or satisfactory explanation for the odd happenstances of our existence. Happy Holidays everyone… all the very best to you in the forthcoming New Year. Jim. Edited / Photo Revised December 2017
  7. Yes I have many times and he still comes back for more. As some of you know I enjoy hunting tailing piles. My machine of choice (VLF, kHz in teens or 20's, Light, Fast, Good Iron ID) hopeful the new Equinox-800 fits those needs. Back to the post. On a particular hunt my brother shared a site he found a nice 8 oz specimen and thought it was a fluke? We went there with nothing to expect and much of the day was just that. Then on the way back to the truck I decided to swing a pile of tailing with more finer gravels and earth. BAM- as I stumbled a nice walnut size specimen, so decided to hunt that pile a little harder. Not 5 minutes later I hit another quartz rock with stingers of gold running throughout. I whistled a few times for my brother and no reply back so I kept at it. Not 10 feet more and I BANG a really cool one with thicker vein of heavy yellow metal. Boy was I on fire. After this discovery, I was feeling a little guilty and called it quits until I could find Travis and wanted him to hunt some on the pile. After all, lets share the wealth right. Anyway, He could not find a piece to save himself and was pretty astonished at my feat. Well to add fuel to the fire, after he walked away I decided to swing the pile again and YES it happened one more time, out popped a milky quartz prize. To say the least, he was quite perturbed. But why does he continue to go out with me? Knowledge and experience go a long way and big brother was chasing gold with a detector when he was still chasing girls. He knows days like that one are tough to swallow, but he has also picked up some fine tips and tricks as well. In fact, another story and I'll tell you about the day I about made him walk home, as he showed big bro what I had missed. (for a later read).
  8. Christmas Reading for newbies and or those who want a refresher. Here is the article mentioned by one of the forum members. Thanks for getting it to me. Hopefully it comes up properly for all to read. Realize this is almost a 10 year old article and some things might have changed, but take what you can from it. W&ET2009.pdf
  9. Hope this doesn't bore anyone to tears. Sorry in advance if I cause you to burn through a kleenex box. I'll try my best to not get too carried away, but that's tough sometimes. One of my New Year's resolutions for 2017 was to keep a detecting log. I think it's the only resolution I actually met. This is better called "treasure hunting log" as it does include a bit gold prospecting without a detector. My native gold hunting was actually four sojourns: 8 day trip to Southern Arizona (detecting with the TDI/SPP), a half day at the (public) Gold Panning Park in Wheatridge, Colorado, half a day at (in?) Salt Creek in Southern Indiana and an hour in Big Pine Creek in Northern Indiana. The last of these was with poster tvanwho when he showed me how to sluice -- my first ever experience with that technique. (Thanks, Tom!) The only gold found (or should I say 'recognized'?) were from the two Indiana sites, and it was extremely fine (100 minus I'm guessing). The rest of my time was spent hunting for old coins with my three VLF models, the majority with the Fisher F75 which I acquired in mid-June. The treasure(?) in 232 total hours of hunting is as follows: 1) 69 old coins, which were mostly Wheat Cents (61). One silver quarter, 6 silver dimes, and an 1867 "with rays" Shield Nickel. The only Wheatie worth mentioning is a 1932-D which was photo-posted here in an earlier thread. Dividing by total hunting time that comes out to 0.30 old coins per hour. 2) 466 modern coins ($20.65 face value), all Jefferson nickels, clad dimes, clad quarters, and post-1958 pennies. 140 were Zincolns (post-1982 pennies) and 110 were copper Memorial pennies (1959-1982). (Most of you know that in 1982, both varieties were minted.) So a copper to zinc ratio (if I include the above 61 Wheaties) of 1.22. 3) 323 'old' pulltabs (either ring with beavertail attached or ring missing the beavertail) and 106 'new' pulltabs ("square tabs" being a popular name). That's a ring to square ratio of 3.05. 4) Two gold rings (one a woman's wedding band, one a man's class ring) and three pieces of sterling jewelry. The gold jewelry to pulltab ratio is thus 2::429 or a bit worse than 1 to 200. (I've heard everyhwere from 1 in 100, to 1 in 1000 from other detectorist as being the norm.) Recall my goal is finding old stuff, so I'm less likely to find modern jewelry than those who make that a primary goal. Given that I was very lucky to find those two rings. 5) Things I didn't find this year (but did find last year) are Indian Head Pennies and 19th Century military buttons. (I did find a 20th century military button, probably WWII, but those don't carry the aura of the earlier ones, IMO.) To finish and answer some of your head-scratching: A) I'm a dig-all-nonferrous detectorist. B) I like to try and 'age' my sites. Pulltabs and Zincolns are key components to get an idea of time-dependent usage of mixed-age sites. C) I know my finds are modest compared to many detectorists. I hope to do better next year in finding the things I care about: native gold and old coins. In particular there are plenty of detectorists who find more than $20 in modern coins in a weekend. If modern coins were my goal I'd do a lot better there, but at the cost of missing some of the treasures that actually excite me. The main improvement I'm planning on this year are doing better research to find sites which hold the old coins. And maybe a couple more trips out West where there's a chance of finding native gold with a MD. Happy New Year to all of you and I hope your detecting goals have been met this year and 2018 will be even more productive!
  10. Not by me, unfortunately. Nice back story as well. Check it out. http://metaldetectingforum.com/showthread.php?t=254966
  11. Hi team, Three weekends ago Mrs JW & I went to Dunedin City to see Stevie Nicks in concert. The last time I saw her was when I was 18 when Fleetwood Mac came to NZ. That was 40 years ago Also saw Chrissie Hynde & the Pretenders. The next day on our way home we went via Macraes flat to check out Oceana Golds Macrae mine & the Fraser open pit. You may recall a post I did a month or so ago that showed the Waihi Martha Mine open pit & the large pit wall collapse. Oceana Gold bought & took over the Martha mine from Newmont last year. They have been mining at Macraes since 1982 & have discovered a large & long fault zone. The Fraser open pit is the largest of about four open pits along the fault zone with continued drilling & exploration along this zone. They are under ground mining from the bottom of the fraser open pit which you will see the portal entrance in a couple of the vidoes. This modern day mine is in the area of old late 1800's under ground workings. Map of the under ground workings below the open pit The old Stamper Battery The weekend after that I went out for a detect on the sunday. I headed to a gully of old timer diggings that I have been down with the Zed but not in the hot settings. The ground has dried out quickly. From this To this I got a faint little hit amongst the old timers turned over piles in the above pics. A few scrapes into the crushed & decomposed schist that the old timers would have thrown out from the bottom of one of their holes. Now on the top of the pile. One they threw out for me. Right kind of them. Cheers boys. I then got a deeper signal on the edge of a throw out pile & it was living on down. This was getting exciting. Then....Bingo, it was out Along the same throw out pile another faint little hit. Another small bit Things then dried up for a while. I came across the remains of an old timers rock hut shelter that had collapsed badly. The dried mud was still holding these stones together I then got a very faint signal that had me digging quite deep. The signal was booming but I needed to get the GB2 or the GM 1000 to pin point & tell me if it was iron or not. . I was getting quite hot & was in need of a coffee break & a breather. So I headed up to my wagon. The door I opened had the GB2 handy so I grabbed it. Had my coffee & breather & headed back to my dig. Pin pointed with the GB2 & it also told me it was not iron. Here is why. That was it from these workings so I moved on to another small gully. I lucked out there with the Zed but there was a small area where I had snagged quite a few small bits with the GP 3000 & little coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono. I hit it with the GM 1000. Ended up with 4 tiny bits for the monster And one for the GB2 That was it for the day. I called it quits & headed off to see the farmer. On seeing him he asked if I could do him a favor. Sure I said. What is it? He replied. "About a month ago I was helping the neighbor tail some lambs. A girl working there was bringing in the lambs & while she was holding one it kicked out & knocked off one of her ear rings that went flying off into the long grass. It was a pair of $2000.00 gold & diamond ear rings so she had lost a $1000.00 ear ring". What was she doing wearing those tailing. I said. The farmer & his wife laughed say. That is exactly what we said. Any way....he asked if I would mind trying to detect it. No worries I said. So he phoned up the farmer & it was arranged for me to meet them & they would take me to the spot. The so called "neighbor" was bloody miles away, but it was on my way home so no real drama. Long story short. I found it with in 5 minutes. She was stoked, & so was I. Reason I was Stoked. Gold workings on their property . So my days result was 9 bits for 2.95 grams.....and a $1000 earing Cheers guys. Good luck out there JW
  12. Tom(CA) and I have been working a site that we researched that's produced several 1850's - 1860's seated coins, and some rogue early 1900's coins, as well as a variety of period relics. We tried to get one more trip in before Old Man Winter completely shut us down, and it did in fact shut us down, but not before I finally, got something I've been looking for for a long time, and after watching others find them over the years (I saw Tom dig three!!!), I was starting to think it would never happen. Well it finally happened, and it turned out to be a good one, an 1865 San Francisco minted Liberty Half Eagle!! Here she is out of the hole: Here she is rinsed off: Here's a video of the hunt: Less than 100 known, Mintage: 27,612 Although the mintage of the 1865-S is quite a bit higher than the mintages of the S Mint Half Eagles from 1858 to 1864, it compares in overall rarity to the 1858-S, 1860-S and 1863-S and is only slightly less rare than the others. Almost all known examples of this date are well worn with VF and lower being all one can expect to find. The 1865-S ranks second in the entire $5 series according to average grade and I do not know of a specimen that would grade better than EF. The very few specimens that I have seen were rather softly struck and the mintmark was always quite weak. Thanks for looking, hopefully the next one comes easier
  13. Most of us Prospectors are avid outdoorsman! You can find us with the same smile on our faces be it fishing or hunting. This Deer Season my old Buddy NuggetSlayer (Jeff), headed up to the hills to hunt some Deer. Well early into the hunt on opening day, he took carful aim at a 2x2 Blacktail Buck. One well placed shot, Jeff let the Deer run over the top of the ridge to bleed out as he hike to find the blood trail to track it down. It ran a little further than he expected, but the woods opened up and was easy hiking following the Deers trail. Called his hunting partner on the radio for some help, he had it field dressed ready for the hump back to the truck, when he arrived. With all the excitement of the hunt, he was dreading dodging all the pine trees and brush on the other side of the hill and down to the truck. Then it hit him, he was smack in the middle of and old Hydraulic Pit. He quickly changed from his hunting hat (even though it’s the same dirty one) to his prospecting hat! Deer hanging at camp and rested up he hiked back to the Hydro Pit and scouted it, he sent me pictures of both Deer and Hydro Pit. I told him it looks like a no-brainer, just a matter of getting it under the coil and dig it! We waited well after hunting season to finally get there with our GPZ’s. Chilly start with the trucks temperature gauge saying 25 degrees. But the little hike over the ridge made it feel a few degrees warmer, lol. As any Hydro Pit, plenty of trash...Relics to some, but the wrong color for today’s hunt. I finally, found a dink and called Jeff on the radio. Didn’t take him long to find one several yards from me. Jeff, made a big circle and came back to his spot and heard another possible target at the edge of his dig hole...yep another nugget! Well to make a long story short, he found a little spot that didn’t get washed away back in the day. We messed around making his hole bigger and 14 of them 15 nuggets came out of that pay material. Well this spot is to far for a day trip and it’s way to chilly, until after next Springs snow melt to finish this spot off and to explore the entire Hydraulic Pit. Now, Jeff can afford some Potato Salad with his Deer Steaks! Until the next hunt LuckyLundy
  14. Recent Encounter

    Had a couple hours yesterday so I thought I'd hit a county playground where I'd found some gold jewelry in the past. Headed out with my PI and a recently borrowed 5 x 9 folded mono coil to see what might come up. You know, I never realized there could possibly be so many bobbie pins in the world. This machine has no difficulty locating these small metal objects. But with careful listening, the audio gives just enough hints so I became very close to 100% sure of what these targets were before digging. Well anyway, on with the story. I'd been hunting about an hour when a young man carrying a back pack comes to where I was hunting and proceeds to ask if I'd found anything good. Reaching into my pouch I pulled out my very meager finds and a small silver pendant. Not much but I was enjoying the day none the less. The young man proceeded to open his back pack and removed several containers of silver, copper coins along with many old relics including some nice buttons and buckles. Some of these coins dated back to the 1800's. Looked like his entire treasure was in his back pack and in fact it was, he explained, when I leave the house I take them with me, fearing someone might break in and steal them. I had to ask how he had acquired so many coins and relics and he stated he too was a hunter and uses the Mine lab Etrac. Had to ask again and this time he answered mostly old home sites. I continued to ask where and his answer was I knock on doors and ask to detect and this is where most of his finds have come from. Amazing what this young man has found in the same counties where I have hunted for some 20 years. He seems to have done everything right to acquire that many old silver and copper coins and on top of that many gold rings to boot. Well we continued to talk and I had to ask if he belonged to any of the treasure forums on the internet and his answer was no. But he said I have a private Facebook group and invited me to join. The conversation continued for some 30 minutes or so exchanging hunting experiences and finds. The whole time thinking just how smart this guy was and what I stand to learn from him even though I had more than a decade of addition experience. The park was starting to get crowded so we decided to leave. What a chance meeting to talk to a fellow hunter in my area. That afternoon I checked my email and sure enough Shane had subscribed to my you tube site. So I requested to join his treasure hunting site on Facebook and he accepted and the journey begins.
  15. Hello all! This weekend I am heading out for a Motor Cycle Camp trip (Adventure Bikes) and we always take our detectors. Hoping to find some nice out-of-the-way areas that have not been hit too hard. Camp Grounds have been a good source of hunting for us in the past and we have made about 5 trips this year on bikes, some are local day trips and others are over-nighter's. I love doing this and it has gotten me out to some really neat/old places. Just curious if anyone else out there has done this same type of hunting - MC/camping etc. I'll post the adventure here if anyone is interested.
  16. The Gold I've Missed

    I started missing gold as soon as I started detecting, and this is the sad saga of just how much. Wedderburn in the north of the central Victorian goldfields is where I found my first color, and Schicer gully was where I lost my detecting virginity. A little piece of a few grams beneath a tree. After finding no more there, my mate at the time (who first introduced me to prospecting with a detector) and I moved to Beggary hill, just to the north of Wedderburn, where we found a patch of small colors on the side of the hill. I was trying to learn as much as I could about this detecting game by making friends with some of the guys who knew a bit about alluvial gold and where it could be found with a detector. I had learned about 'surfacing', and the importance of detecting around these areas, so a patch of shallow surfacing nearby captured my attention, but there where so many old tin cans that I gave up on it after a few hours. A local chap that I had become friends with lived in the town and had a mate who made his own rum. On a regular basis I would drop in to his place with a couple of bottles of Coke, and we would talk about gold. On my arrival one night he brought out a pillow case in which was wrapped a very large nugget. It contained a little ironstone, and was a magnificent piece that weighed 84 ozs. His son and two of his mates had found it using an early Whites detector that my friend Luke had loaned to the kids for a school project on gold prospecting. He then bought out a local map to show me where the kids had found it. Well, you guessed it. Down by the fence among the tin cans where I had given up on Beggary hill.
  17. After 2 years going solo on my prospecting trips I found out that by buying a caravan my wife would finally come prospecting with me. Originally we bought the caravan for trips away but she said she didn't mind if we took it away to prospecting areas now and again. The only downside is I had to buy something to tow the van so I bought a new jeep and she said no bush bashing in it as she doesn't want scratches or dents. My Prado is slowly getting destroyed with all the rough tracks and river crossings I do in it. So it looks like ill be doing lots of walking for the time being. The next door neighbor had an electric powered mountain bike which I bought but it needs a new battery. The bike does 80kmh, but I think I'll stick to 20kmh and at least get there in one piece. Should be really good to be able to ride across the country looking for potential gold bearing ground. Walking takes too long. Anyway, we took the van for its maiden voyage 6 weeks ago and the wife loved it. She reads a lot while I detected which seemed to work. Hopefully one day she might even have a go at detecting. There's nothing better than coming back to the van for a hot shower and a home-cooked meal. Usually, my solo trips consist of detecting from dusk until its dark, eating dry bread and a can of soup for dinner. Then crawling into the rooftop tent and going to sleep. As I only get to the Golden Triangle once a month I need to make it count. I found cooking/cleaning wasted to much time. Heck, i don't even have time to butter my bread so the butter stays home. A good day detecting for me is around 11 hours straight. And that's swinging the 18" Elite. Usually can only manage 2 days of that and then i want to go home. Besides, i think the family doesn't mind me going every month because there short trips. We're off again next week this time to Daylesford which is a nice little town. I'll probably get up at 5:00 am and detect until 10:00 am then take her out and go for a few walks. Got a new "SteelPhase sP01 Audio Enhancer" coming this week so that will be good to see how it compares to the B&Z booster. Heres a picture of our last trip. It was a stopover at Waanyarra on the way home. Ended up finding a few bits near the campground so that was a bonus.
  18. Hello all and happy Monday. I was able to get out for the day yesterday and decided to tackle an area I have been researching in the local forest. An old trail camp site with no car access. This place has a lot of history even before the Forest service took it over and made it a public camp. I hiked in and brought my X705 with the Elliptical coil - I should have brought my 6" DD for where i was at, but the Elliptical worked OK. I just focused on two sites with the 2 hours I had to hunt. I was stoked to score my first piece of Silver - 1940 Merc. and then a nice 1955 Wheatie. Kept going and what was ringing out like a solid Nickel, ended up being a nice Titanium ring!! Also lots of Pennies, Dimes and Nickels with most dating in the 60's and 70's. As I was hiking up and out of the Canyon, I came across this.. I was very happy on my drive home and I feel confident that I have found some virgin ground that I can go back to again. I want to back-pack in some time and spend the night for a real good hunt. that would be fun.
  19. One Bit Of Color

    Well, I had a day. I got up at 4 AM and headed for the nearby goldfields about 3 hours away. My days there have been few recently but today was a chance to do some exploring and 'go overs' on some heavily worked areas. There was a stop about an hour and a half out for gas, breakfast pizza and coffee. Upon my return to the freeway I was greeted with a thump and loss of power on my 4Runner. I had to pull over. No loss of fluids but an awful valve noise. Ah, has it blown up after my trips to Wyoming for the Eclipse and norther Nevada? I limped along the freeway out of traffic and made it to a safe place and contemplated my fate. A long tow truck? Call a friend? Is it fixable? I just happened to have a code reader and it said #4 cylinder was not firing. Made me feel better so I looked up the Toyota dealership only 7 miles away. I made it there about 7:30 AM. I knew it was going to cost me but no choice. About 3 hours later I had my bill and answer. A spark plug had broken. They charged me $650 in labor costs and $200 in parts for plugs, coils and wires and gas cap! I was on my way. I got there about noon and went to the new spot as planned and nothing to be found. It was time for the work over location. This was similar to my Saturday outing. A heavily worked place. I found a .25g then. This time I got a bit better. Just about sunset I finally got that mellow Zeeeeeee sound. I dug and dug and was pinpointing and lost it. What? I went back to the hole and it was still there. Down about 10-12 inches was this nice chunky 2.08g nugget. What a day. I need to go back tomorrow and use the 19! Mitchel
  20. This note will probably take longer to read than the time I actually spent on the ground… but here goes… I was itching to get out between rain showers today… I think I may be in raingear for about a week if I want to get out and hunt… so I had a little time between con calls and took advantage of a break in the clouds at lunch I have this little park near my work.. it is a place that over the past year, I have pulled 21 wheaties and 4 silvers (lawnmower quarter, merc, rosie, war nick)… most in one corner of the park. I have covered this same ground with the AT Pro, Etrac, CTX, Explorer, ATX, and today, for the first time the Vaquero… with most of my coil combinations over the year. As you can imagine… the ground has quieted down a lot, since I also tend to dig some junk targets everytime I go out there. I usually spend 30 to 60 minutes hunting when I go… since I can get there and back to work fairly quickly. Anyway… I decided that today, rather than hitting a new tot lot in the area, I would take the Vaquero to “my park”. By the way, I have seen other detectorists there in my 12 months of going (AT Pro’s mostly) and I am sure other area detectorists have pounded this park over the years as well. It is a 1920’s park in the middle of the oldest neighborhood in my town, so it isn’t a secret to anyone looking. I wanted to see if I could get any new hits in the area I have hunted most, using the Vaq and the 5.75 widescan. Also, I grabbed a clad quarter and a copper penny out of my car to do some testing. My normal setup is to ground balance, then set a little negative, run in silent disc mode just above iron (but below nickel), sensitivity up around 8 or 10 and listen for the beep. Then thumb the disc to see where the target is sitting… take a guess as to the target and dig. I dug a piece of can slaw and a newly dropped bottle cap… but I wasn’t getting many solid signals. I finally got out into an open area that was pretty quiet on the machine and decided to drop my coins. I dug a 4” plug and placed the copper penny flat in the bottom, and covered it up. Then about a foot or so away, I dug a 7” plug (length of the lesche blade) and placed the quarter flat in the bottom… then covered it up. Grabbed my Vaq, and took a pass over the copper penny. A pretty solid signal, ringing all the way up into copper… definitely a digger. Then I passed over the quarter… nothing. I passed over it several times… occasionally getting a chirp, but nothing that said “target here”. I played with the sensitivity and re-ground balanced, even setting it more negative… and was able to get a little better response… but that also made the machine false all over… still the beep wasn’t something I could repeat on subsequent passes. So I decided to try putting the machine in all metal… I haven’t used this mode with the Vaquero, but had only read about the setup, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried to set the threshold to a nice quiet hum, but it seemed to have only two options as I turned thee knob… on or off. So I set it to on… and proceeded to sweep the targets. Over the penny I got a nice response above the threshold… so went to the quarter… and it wasn’t as pronounced, but it was a solid bump in the thresh and repeatable in the exact spot I buried it. I switched back to disc mode, and the quarter was all but gone. So, armed with this new tool, I switched back into all metal and chose a line through my most heavily detected area toward my car… and hit a few threshold bumps and dug them to find some old rusty iron, or a pop top… each time checking the target in disc before I dug… they were iffy or silent in disc, but in each case I dug a target of some kind from the all metal/thresh bump response. Targets I would have walked over in disc mode. One target was completely silent in disc, but was giving me a nice mellow bump in all metal.. so I dug it to find a full ring pull (ring and beaver tail attached) at least 7 inches if not 8. So there is no issue with the Vaq going somewhat deep while in all metal. Of course, there is no way to tell what type of target you have, because you can’t get a hit in disc. Kinda like running the Pi machine. But here is where the story gets interesting. I got back to my car, and decided I had a few more minutes before I had to leave, so I grabbed the etrac out of the back loaded with the 13” Ultimate running the Andy S. pattern and headed out to my makeshift test garden in the middle of my park. To my credit it took me a little while to find it thanks to careful plug and replace technique as to maintain the park landscape. When I finally found the penny, it was a sweet multitone melody, solid hit in all directions, forward and back on the swing… but here is the kicker… while the conductive number was reading at 40, 41, 42 consistently… the ferrous number was reading 07, 08, 09… never up to 12… on a 4” copper target. Now, the tone was solid and sweet, and no way would I have passed that up… but still, I was surprised to see the ferrous numbers so low on such an easy target. So I moved over to the quarter at 7”. I thought there was no way I wasn’t going to get a solid tone using the Etrac with the 13” coil on a flat quarter… but I was wrong. I got a bit of a chirp on my first pass, then it was gone, I would get a chirp every 3rd or 4th pass, but scratchy. I shortened my swing, and targeted in on the chirp and finally was able to get a semi repeatable tone… enough that I would dig it in the wild during a hunt… but it wasn’t banging like a screen door by any stretch. I tried both in auto +3 and manual (22 I think) and was getting 16 or 17 in auto… but to difference in the tones from the quarter. And the most surprising thing… was that while the tone was ringing high… the id was reading in the 20’s for ferrous on 4 or 5 swings out of 8. Every now and then I would get a 12-46, but mostly it was 22 or 24 -45/46/47. I was shocked at the way the ground was impacting such an easy target. Anyway, to finish my version of War and Peace… I started thinking about all the iffy targets I walked over in the past with the etrac and ctx because I was putting too much emphasis on the id readings. I mean, I knew that at depth, the id would start moving, especially the ferrous id… but nice moist soil (granted, no halo because it was newly buried), laying flat, at 7”… I really thought it would be easy for the etrac, and even for the Vaquero in disc mode… but I was proven wrong. So I headed back toward the car, looking for a nice high tone squeak, with id readings with FE in the 20’s. I walked over one target that ended up being a rusty nail, but the next target came in as 22-41, with a high tone. It was a wheat penny, at about 5”, that I have detected over the top of at least a dozen times, if not more, and assumed it was iron, either by it being disc’d by the machine or it being disc’d by my brain. I just wish I would have had the Vaq with me to test it (left it in the car), both in disc and all metal, to see what it sounded like. So, in conclusion… I learned a valuable lesson today with the Vaq and the Etrac. How discrimination impacts depth, and how relying on the machines assumption of the target too heavily can potentially cause you to miss good targets. I am looking forward to taking another run at “My Park” with this new information to see what else I have missed. Also, I am happily surprised by the depth of the Vaquero in AM. At least in today's test and in my ground, it was as deep if not deeper than the etrac. Tim.
  21. How Many Remember

    Years ago on the Tesoro site forum there was 2 guys that took a week per year and traveled around in upper New England area hunting. They used Explorer and knocked on doors to ask permission. It was amazing what they found. They were really good writers as well. But when the Tesoro site went down all was lost.
  22. Total haul metal detecting on the beach this morning: 12 cents, one spark plug and 3 bottle caps.The looks on people's faces when they saw me waving my coil in the air and screaming at seagulls like a banshee: priceless.
  23. Well I'm back from my California gold trip.....was a bit under the weather with a summer cold that turned into a sinus/cough thing that lingered the whole time! Argh! Anyway, took a day off early on and rode the quad to this beautiful view of the N Fork of American River: But on to the GOLD! Spent a lot of time playing with the Monster at a nearby hammered hydraulic pit, working bedrock areas like this: Found numerous small nuggies chipping away at the fissured areas, including this nice 1st one using the larger coil, which I love by the way! : However, I was eager to get out with the 7000 and went back to the American Hill area where my buhzillion dollar machine found me THIS!: Hmmm...the Monster was killing the Zed, until it redeemed itself in a wash finding me this nice 4.4g speci! : I had a nice time in CA detecting with Mike B. , Chet, and others, but since not feeling well decided to start heading home with a stop in Rye Patch to experience the solar eclipse at one of my favorite places: And I was rewarded with a beautiful 2.4g eclipse nugget: Here's a better pic: Thought I was the only idiot out there in the heat, but ran into 2 gals, Carol and Janna who had Gold Monsters so we detected together a few hours....Carol got her 1st Rye Patch nugget! Then I ran into Rick and Rudy who as you know from Lucky Lundy's recent post, found a fantastic 1/4 oz nugget. The guys were very generous with their time and gave me some nice tips! So no big lunkers for me, but I had a great time with some great people, and ended up with just about a half an ounce of beautiful Calif(Monster, 2300, 7000) and Nv(11 pieces on left w 7000) gold, along with a very special Troy oz silver Prospector coin given to me at the Goldhounds meeting by El Presidente Mike B! Till the next hunt! Cheers! :-)
  24. With a bit of research looking at old topo maps and aerial photos, I found another promising site 5 minutes from my home. It's currently a school built about 25 years ago with a nice size sports field. What I found is that an older school was previously located where the sports field is now. Bingo! Along the street I could see old sidwalk and concrete steps outside the school fence so decided to start there on Saturday. Fisher F75 w/5"x10" concentric, de (default) process, gain of 70, no disc, 4H tones. Quite a bit of trash, but still manageable with this coil. Found a couple copper pennies (one at 4" depth, other a bit shallower) which I couldn't identify -- good sign -- so put them in the secret slot of my nail apron. After about 3 1/2 hours of my allotted 5 I decided to switch to the 5" DD round coil (otherwise same settings) and test the schoolyard on the other side of the fence, but still in the shade. Might have been my first hit -- boucing a bit but in the 'good coin' range (i.e. higher than Zincoln) so started to dig. I had a couple issues with this hole: 1) 1/8"-1/4" roots of nearby tree -- try not to cut those, this isn't my property..., and 2) about 2-3 inches down I was hitting crushed stone. Was this previouly a driveway, or was it backfill? I should have been a bit more careful but when it's getting later in my hunt I'm tired and tend to work fast (sloppy). About 4 inches down I see white metal... Could it be? Out comes a coin and turning it over I see the classic reverse of a Mercury dime! My research has been justified; this is an old site. Kept searching but nothing else turns up of value. End of day 1 but I already have plans for day 2, even though I have other plans/tasks and won't be able to get out as early or for as long. (Good news: my sloppy digging/prying didn't mar the coin, but lesson learned?) Day 2: decided to try put the concentric coil back on and return to where I found the Merc. I'm getting a lot of clipping of signals (recall, no disc so that isn't it) and start wondering if there is a problem. Then I remembered how many overloads I had gotten with the 5" DD the day before. Was this area littered with sheet metal scraps large enough to cause overloads and clipping? I kept going without success, then decided to wander over to another spot near the fence (less likely backfilled). Got a strong signal with high ID but when pushing the coil close to the ground (better pinpointing and ID determination) the detector overloaded. Hmmm, this seems like a small target, but overload? Pop can? I decided to investigate (I'm one of those paranoid searchers that just knows that as soon as I skip one it'll be the Heart of the Ocean ) so I push the tip of my Lesche down about an inch and out pops some kind of silver(?) jewelry, annular shape (but not a finger ring). Into the hidden pocket for later inspection. As I return to where I found the Merc my eye catches something very bothersome -- a 3-4 inch diamter hole in the ground, rather deep. Had I forgotten to fill in my excitement yesterday? But where is the dirt pile? I'm sure this is something I had dug, but I never fail to backfill. In fact, after cutting a sod plug, everything that comes out of the hole goes into a gold pan I carry just for this purpose. Empty the pan back into the hole and replace the plug. I didn't leave my gold pan so I had to have refilled. WTF?? Well, I need to fill it back in so I look around for some stones. Peering on the other side of the fence (there was a deep drainage cut next to the street and I had seen rubble there yesterday which would work) I see another similar hole! Now I'm really annoyed. Is this why detectorists get banned, accused of not filling their holes? Obviously some animal (humans are animals, too) had re-excavated a couple of my holes. After filling in both I have a decision to make -- should I just cut bait and jump ship? I don't want any more of this to happen. This is a schoolyard and kids can twist ankles in such a hole. Then I decided I hadn't done anything wrong. Why let someone ruin my day? With the signal overload still on the back of my mind, I decided to switch to the Fisher Gold Bug Pro with 5" DD and see how it performs. I also was curious to see what ID's it shows. Retracing my tracks inside the fence I confirm with several overloads -- something big is under the surface and I'm not digging it. Also, the sun is moving such that I'm running out of shade inside the schoolyard and I recall that I had left some ground unsearched outside the fence (where there is shade) so back there I go. The usual junk (foil, grrrr) but before my 3 1/2 hours are up I made three interesting hits which I'll finish with here before showing the loot haul. A) Getting an inconsistent ID near nickel 5 cent -- that is typical of ring and beavertail so this is my guess. Handheld pinpointer (White's TRX) signals so I dig and find a small nail. Now most of you know that nails, depending upon orientation, can be all over the ID scale. Was this it? Then I look in the gold pan and there is round disk -- had already pulled it out without noticing -- dark (nickel size) coin. So the signal was jumpy because I had two targets, one good and one bad. I'm learning all the time. B) searching right along the vertical edge of the concrete sidewalk I get a high ID (but not clean) and decide to dig. Nothing on the TRX at first, but then a couple inches down it sounds off, and a bit more digging reveals a tiny ring. How can that read high? Back over the hole with the GB-Pro and another signal, this time some junk (can't remember but probably wad of aluminum foil). Was the high tone from the junk? Did I even get a signal from the ring or was this find completely serendipitous? Into the hidden chamber! C) about out of time, I get a strong coin (copper penny or dime) hit and figure it's close to the surface, probably a recent drop. Immediately I see an exposed tree root right where the signal is. Have to dig around that. TRX sounds strong and as I work my way around the root it seems like it's actually inside the root. Now what? In the past when this has happened I've just thrown in the towel, not wanting to damage anything. But I noticed the root appeared to split into two branches so I pried between and out pops a penny. Hmmm. I still figure it's new (Memorial, but not Zincoln) and put it into the pouch. Done for the day, I decide to attempt to atone for my sins (holes I dug, filled, and someone else redug) so I gather up a bunch of trash that the wind had collected along the fence inside the schoolyard and headed home. The picture shows my good finds. The two days yielded 4 Zincolns (junky looking, as typical), 2 Jeffies ('77 and '81), one clad dime and one clad quarter. No copper Memorials but 3 Wheaties -- a '46-D from day 1 and a 1919 (considerably worn) -- this latter being the one nearly on the surface stuck in the tree root! The Merc is in nice condition but a super common date (1941 plain = Philadelphia mint). I suspect the gold ring is cheapo plate with a glass 'stone' but need to investigate further. I'll also do a specific gravity measurement on that other piece of jewelry to see if it is really solid silver or just silver plate. Neither of these had any markings that I could see. My find of the hunt (from day 1) is the pictured penny -- 1932-D. Without considering the scaling from decades in the ground, the condition is approaching extremely fine (EF) based upon the lack of wear to the reverse wheat stalks. I'm soaking in olive oil per advice from SS-Al and Deft Tones, hoping this will clean up the scales. Looking at my Redbook, I count 140 date+mintmark 'business strikes' (meant for circulation) Wheat pennies in the 50 years (1909-58) they were minted. The 1932-D is #16 in lowest mintage. This is easily my scrarcest Lincoln detector find ever. With the scales it's not worth much, and even cleaned up it's likely only worth a few bucks (haven't searched Ebay for the appraisal), but it's still a top find for me. Conclusion: In the past 7 weekends I've found old coins at all four sites within 10 minutes of my house. I'm not done searching any of them. However, I recall reading here (sorry, forget who the posters were) that some recommend to stop digging in the dry season in public places (like my parks and schools). I'm going to heed that advice. It's less likely that whoever redug my holes would have done so or made such a mess if it weren't dry season. Besides, I have some creeks to hunt which just might (very great longshot) yield my first detectable gold or possibly some coins. Crazier things have happened. That will keep me busy until the fall rains. And if I have just a little time to spend I'm going to work the backyard on my digging techniques -- try for smaller holes. That's gotta help in the long run, too.
  25. Quality metal detectors have been around long enough that it isn't easy to find virgin ground, no matter what the target goal (coins, relics, nuggets, even jewelry). As previously mentioned, I got hooked on coin collecting when I was in 1st grade thanks to the influence of my mom and two of her brothers. I found my first coin with a metal detector the summer before my senior year in high school (1970). After school and three years in a good job, in 1979 I sprung for a Garrett Groundhog, thinking I would use it to make a nice profit hunting coins and nuggets the way Charles Garrett and Roy Lagal described it in their books.... Then life (many other interests) got in the way. Fast forward 36 (now 38) years when I was again bitten with the MD bug. A lot happened in the treasure hunting world in those 36 years. Detectors got a lot better, and the hobby (or even 'profession' for some) had blossomed. The low hanging fruit had been picked. There is still plenty of treasure in the ground, but most is not very close to the surface and/or severely masked by junk metal, meaning it's going to take new equipment and techniques and/or a disproportionate amount of digging to find the good stuff. But as always, there are exceptions. I mentioned in a recent thread last week that I had stumbled upon a lot where an old home had recently been razed, and it appears that the city now owns it with the intent of appending the land to an adjacent park. It's like stepping back in time -- a time when the detectors were few and primitive. And on my journey on this time machine I was allowed to bring along a Fisher F75! I felt like Cinderella at the ball. My previous post reported that in 3 1/2 hours on Independence Day I found two silver coins along with five Wheat cents, using three detectors to sample the ground. This past Saturday I stayed the entire time with the 5 inch DD on the F75, FA (fast) process, gain of 70, zero discrimination, 4H tones. I had twice as much time to hunt and I only stopped to get water and food which I brought along in the car. I again dug two silver coins (dimes -- see photo below) but this time 34 coppers, NO zinc, and only two clad (dimes). Earlier my Wheat to copper ratio was 50%. If that held up I'd have 17 Wheaties. I could only hope. Arriving home and soaking them, I was amazed to see 27 reverses with Wheat stalks. You'd have thought I spent the day on a combine in Kansas. Four Wheats per hour. Will I ever again experience such a high recovery rate? To emphasize, I hunted two rectangles in those seven hours, one along the city sidewalk, about 6 ft X 60 ft. The other was of similar area along one side of the now missing house. I wasn't finding 'spills'. One hole had three coppers and another had two nearly touching Memorials, but all others were single finds. The most enlightening thing to me is the depth of the coins. All but one (in that group of three coppers) were 4 inches or less. The Barber dime was in the 3 1/2 --> 4 inch depth range. The Merc was 1 inch deep! I don't think the ground where I found the Merc had been distrurbed or reworked recently. The sod looked typical of the area. Is this what it was like back in the late 80's and 90's? Many of you should remember. I returned the next day for another 5 hours but the glass slipper had fallen off and the coach had reverted to a pumpkin. I'll give a followup post on that hunt plus next weekend's planned return hunts. There has to be more there, but now I've harvested the low hanging fruit and what's left appears to be seriously masked with iron nails from the missing house.
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