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Advice On Hunting An Old Property


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it finally happened- Someone granted me permission to hunt a piece of property that dates back 1840's as build date.

My 2 detectors are the XP ORX and Teknetics T2SE with a small Cors Shrew coil.  I imagine this place will be littered with iron objects as it was used as a farm site after 1870-ish. All the original buildings are intact, except a chicken coop or two. The place is mostly untouched and this coming spring there will be restoration performed on the main house and other buildings. Real slim window here and wouldn't you know in the coldest months here. 

So what I'm asking from the experienced people here, and especially those with Tekentics T2 experience or XP ORX experience what things would you suggest when tackling an older place like this?

While I've had decent luck finding coins and such in more modern areas have not hunted a site this old before. There is no idea if this property has been metal detected before so I don't know about that. Will the finds be deeper and out of reach of my equipment or masked by oodles of iron? Any guidance is appreciated and any tweaks to settings that may help find interesting things.

 

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Thanks for the insights. I do believe in the more open areas (which are few) the XP ORX will be used. That Shrew coil on the T2 has found things surprisingly deep, regularly reaching things down past 7 inches. Granted the signals are not strong but it still shows them and gives good ID on the T2.  The ORX goes down deeper however it does not always give you a target ID, only audio. This is one of those sites I will dig faint non-ID targets on the ORX. If the tone is high my thought is to dig it. The last time I did that though equaled me digging down near 11 inches without a hit on my pinpointer and me giving up.

When I get paid again the plan is to buy a larger Cors coil for the T2. Probably the Cors Scout or Strike.

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1 hour ago, RobNC said:

I do believe in the more open areas (which are few) the XP ORX will be used.

Is that because of the coil you have attached, because I would be using it anywhere there is iron whether open or tight spaces.  The ORX is the superior machine in if iron infested and it makes a great open field running machine too with the right coil.

I would do a quick scan of the property using whichever detector has the best swing coverage.  Look for concentrations of good targets, concentrations of iron, concentrations of non-ferrous junk.  Look at both the keepers and the trash you accumulate.  Coin and relic concentrations (e.g., buttons, thimbles, buckles) should be exploited and carefully gridded, obviously  But trash can also give you clues - horse tack, ferrous door handles, concentrations of nails, cooking pots, utensils and tools can also point you in directions you should focus on.  Also, gather clues from the non-metallic finds such as plateware, china, glass, ceramics, etc.  Look for areas where people may naturally gather, clotheslines, wash areas, high points.  Humans are creatures of habit so think about where you might like to picnic, laze by a tree, or dry your clothes.

Remove as much trash as possible to unmask deeper keepers.  If you are in really thick iron situations, then consider lowering your sensitivity to reduce ferrous overload on the coil and see if some shallower non-ferrous keepers pop out of the muck.

Hit the site with different detectors and different modes and different frequencies, if possible.  Make sure when you re-scan an area you do it from a different direction of orientation.  Some targets may not be visible until you turn 90 degrees and if you don't see it the first time you will never know unless you come at it from that other angle.

Set your expectations accordingly.  Old does not necessarily mean the property is brimming with coins or even keeper non-monetary targets.  Folks may not necessarily be rich in property.  Also, it is highly probable the site has been hit before by detectorists.  Your ORX with its superior performance in iron and high recovery speed should help with masked targets that previous detectorists with slower machines might have missed.

For ORX, I highly recommend you use discrimination (set between 7 to 10) WITH iron volume vice no discrimination to ID iron and non-ferrous.  The discrimination is not just for filtering iron it also helps keep iron from down averaging non-ferrous target IDs.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, happy hunting, and enjoy your new site.  Nothing as exciting as a fresh permission and the anticipation of great finds.

Chase

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1 hour ago, Chase Goldman said:

Is that because of the coil you have attached, because I would be using it anywhere there is iron whether open or tight spaces.  The ORX is the superior machine in if iron infested and it makes a great open field running machine too with the right coil.

I would do a quick scan of the property using whichever detector has the best swing coverage.  Look for concentrations of good targets, concentrations of iron, concentrations of non-ferrous junk.  Look at both the keepers and the trash you accumulate.  Coin and relic concentrations (e.g., buttons, thimbles, buckles) should be exploited and carefully gridded, obviously  But trash can also give you clues - horse tack, ferrous door handles, concentrations of nails, cooking pots, utensils and tools can also point you in directions you should focus on.  Also, gather clues from the non-metallic finds such as plateware, china, glass, ceramics, etc.  Look for areas where people may naturally gather, clotheslines, wash areas, high points.  Humans are creatures of habit so think about where you might like to picnic, laze by a tree, or dry your clothes.

Remove as much trash as possible to unmask deeper keepers.  If you are in really thick iron situations, then consider lowering your sensitivity to reduce ferrous overload on the coil and see if some shallower non-ferrous keepers pop out of the muck.

Hit the site with different detectors and different modes and different frequencies, if possible.  Make sure when you re-scan an area you do it from a different direction of orientation.  Some targets may not be visible until you turn 90 degrees and if you don't see it the first time you will never know unless you come at it from that other angle.

Set your expectations accordingly.  Old does not necessarily mean the property is brimming with coins or even keeper non-monetary targets.  Folks may not necessarily be rich in property.  Also, it is highly probable the site has been hit before by detectorists.  Your ORX with its superior performance in iron and high recovery speed should help with masked targets that previous detectorists with slower machines might have missed.

For ORX, I highly recommend you use discrimination (set between 7 to 10) WITH iron volume vice no discrimination to ID iron and non-ferrous.  The discrimination is not just for filtering iron it also helps keep iron from down averaging non-ferrous target IDs.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, happy hunting, and enjoy your new site.  Nothing as exciting as a fresh permission and the anticipation of great finds.

Chase

I have attached some pictures of the place. Doesn't look like much but it has been added to also later on.

 

Thank you for the wisdom. According to the history of the property this man moved down from New York to this place. He was described as "wealthy" and he was a dentist. This of course was back in the mid 1800's. He died in 1873. Now what wealthy meant back then vs now might be two different things.

Later on the property was owned by a farmer, then stayed within their family tree until it was sold a few months ago. I'm guessing the most productive spot will be around that front door in the yard. I'm really interested in hunting it but as with any smaller town place there will be nosey neighbors on both sides. Lucky for me though permission is granted, and even if they were to call the "law" they all mostly know who I am. I'm hoping to find some things that would be of interest, and our idea of "wealthy" may have been something different back then. I wonder if there may be things buried there on purpose.. As a lot of people in older times buried caches. Wish I could find some older pictures of the place but have yet to find such a thing. It's real clear to me the detectors I have and the coils on them are not geared towards deep detecting. They are geared towards hitting more modern trashy lots. The GOOD news is all this time hunting in modern garbage has helped me tremendously in locating and determining what is worth digging vs what is not. I'm much more proficient with the T2 vs the ORX but the ORX has strengths the T2 does not. My coin program is set to 13.6khz disc 7.5 gain at 75 to start off with but I will pump it up until it chatters, then back it down til it barely stops. Reactivity 2.5 I have my second custom program set to 31khz and plan to use that on questionable targets. I've heard the higher frequencies do well for relic type hunts. Dunno, never used the higher ones much because they tend to make aluminum can slaw very strong. 

Don't expect to find a lot of valuable things the first trip or even after 3 trips. It takes me a bit to feel a place out and get in the zone. But once it starts happening the feeling you get is nothing short of blissful. The wind was blowing today up to 28mph with air temp high at 47 degrees F. Nah, not going out in that. Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. Lucky for me I have Monday and Tuesday off from work.. Still cold but wind much less and probably days I will try it.

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3 hours ago, phrunt said:

Sometimes I've had a very vague target where I'm not sure if it's a target due to it's depth or small size, oddly switching to pinpoint will verify it's existence.

Pinpoint on most detectors is non-motion minimally filtered.  That's the maximum sensitivity you can get.  Pretty sure that even on the Minelab Equinox which doesn't give you a minimally filtered detecting mode, the pinpoint is just that.

The Fisher F75 has three modes (and lots of discrimination processes):  discrimination (with processes), motion all-metal, and static all-metal.  There is also a toggle switch for going into pinpoint, but I'm pretty sure that is identical to static all-metal.  Is the Teknetics T2 configured similarly?

(Note that unfortunately the term 'all-metal' has different meanings depending upon manufacturer.  Not only are detector manufacturers competitive in their products, but some like to be competitive/contentious when it comes to definition of terms....)

 

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14 minutes ago, RobNC said:

Don't expect to find a lot of valuable things the first trip or even after 3 trips. It takes me a bit to feel a place out and get in the zone. But once it starts happening the feeling you get is nothing short of blissful.

That's a great looking home/homestead.  I do hope this winter is one of those we've had lately where the ground doesn't freeze and there are lots of opportunities for you in low wind, 40s+ temps.  Chase gave tons of good advice (as always).  I can't add much, other than to not be surprised if some of the ground has been reworked at times in the past.  Keep an open mind and you'll do fine.

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4 minutes ago, GB_Amateur said:

Pinpoint on most detectors is non-motion minimally filtered.  That's the maximum sensitivity you can get.  Pretty sure that even on the Minelab Equinox which doesn't give you a minimally filtered detecting mode, the pinpoint is just that.

The Fisher F75 has three modes (and lots of discrimination processes):  discrimination (with processes), motion all-metal, and static all-metal.  There is also a toggle switch for going into pinpoint, but I'm pretty sure that is identical to static all-metal.  Is the Teknetics T2 configured similarly?

(Note that unfortunately the term 'all-metal' has different meanings depending upon manufacturer.  Not only are detector manufacturers competitive in their products, but some like to be competitive/contentious when it comes to definition of terms....)

 

from what I can tell, the T2 is as you describe. You pull the trigger towards you and it goes into pinpoint and it is static. Personally have not ran all-metal much at all with it due to it scrambling my brain with tones. Much prefer the different tones of discrim mode.The T2 is an odd beast in some ways as many have stated it shows another boost after disc 50. Experimentation I've done though has shown that disc above 21 on the T2 will really mask good targets if there is iron around. Have ran it as low as 10 before with good success. Personally love the T2

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16 minutes ago, phrunt said:

One of the best things with the T2 is just how simple it is to use for such a high performance detector, it feels powerful 🙂 , super ergonomic and that little pinpoint trigger should be on every detector. 

I've found old house sites to mostly be littered with rusty nails, I have a house that's over 120 years old, when the tenants moved out once I took my detector there to see what I could find.  I was quite disappointed really, plenty of junk and few old and modern coins and some toy metal cars, nothing major. 

I've detected around a few other old home sites too, never really that productive.  I prefer high traffic public spots, especially long serving ones.

Around the clothes line is generally the best spot, if you have them there...

My best homesite was the one behind where I live where the house was demolished/burnt down, I found someones coin collection scattered around where the house was.

I hope your experience is different to mine.

Not all sites are productive. A house less than 3 miles from this new one had nothing but modern coins and lots of iron in the ground. One other I visited within half a mile of this new one gave me silver coins. It is a more modern house. I'm hoping this older one is still "in the silver belt". Compared to that silver coin producing house, this one was owned by more prominent people. We shall see what it produces. Maybe I will get lucky enough to unearth a 1800's coin. I've rode by this place for over 18 yrs on the way to work and home. It has always called out to me for some reason, just like the other house did that gave me the silver coins. Really feel there is something important there to be found. Could be totally wrong but the fun will be seeing what it holds!

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Unless there is a lot of foot traffic on the property the coins should be fairly shallow. I would hunt it as you would in a park. Expect less trash than a park has. Scout it in all metal mode or discrim off if you can and listen for the coin size objects. Usually near chicken coops etc you may run into more iron. If it had fields that were picked crops vs hay you may find some nice old coins. For coil size I would run the stock coil or larger one if the iron is low.

Looks like a really cool place to detect, best of luck!

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21 minutes ago, RobNC said:

. Maybe I will get lucky enough to unearth a 1800's coin.

A while back I was looking in my own back yard and along side the sidewalk I found a 1889 IH. Then I did some research and found out just what has been on my property, and I like it. Come a few days with 45 degree weather or above I will be back out there looking for more.

We are in the 20's right now and my 800 is begging me to take it out in the sun.

You have received some very good information from these guys and the only thing I would add is remember it.

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