By Old Line Paul
This is the second half of my post for lurkers and noobies
On May 13, I went detecting for the very first time and found my first penny. I was hooked! I went back to the park on May 16, May 19, May 31 and June 7. I stuck to the playground and Fitcore lot because the digging was easy and I figured people were most likely to lose items while active. My expectations were low. My detector is basic and the park is a 25 year old suburban athletic field, not a 150 year old park in the center of town. I was out for the nice weather and the thrill of the hunt. I always came home with at least one coin.
The problem with my search strategy was that the playgrounds are the most-used part of the park on weekdays. In this day and age, I didn’t want to be the Weird Old Man who shows kids his metal detector. And I certainly didn’t want to annoy the musclemen when they were working out!
On June 14, I was crowded out of the playgrounds. So I tried the sidelines of the soccer field. My neighborhood is largely immigrant, and amateur soccer is a very big deal. Still, I wasn’t optimistic. How much can you drop watching soccer? Do young people even carry change any more?
I started swinging. Keep in mind that I still was using the “all metal” setting and digging every target. Also the ground was bone dry and rock-hard from being trampled by spectators. Much to my surprise, I was finding a target every few feet. Because of the soil condition and the fact that this is a park, I didn’t dig more than 2” before giving up. Still, after 2 hours, I had found 2 dimes and 3 pennies (in addition to countless bottle tops).
QUESTION: How the heck does a coin minted in 2018 end up 2” under turf in 2021?
Before I left, I looked around. How did I not notice there was a shaded hill at each end of the field? A quick check showed they not only had perfect views of the field, but plenty of trash and trampled grass. Hey, I was learning to read the terrain!
On June 17 and June 23 I hit the hills. Not only did I find 2 dimes, 3 nickels 11 pennies (a huge haul for me at the time) but I was getting a PhD in telling trash from treasure. For the first time, I started playing with the discrimination knob, finding the spot where I could dial out the countless beer bottle tops.
Armed with this new knowledge, I hit the more productive of the hills on August 4. Here’s what I found in 3 hours:
I continue to hit those hills, especially on Mondays. On August 23, I decided to detect the field itself. I figured young Central American men + competitive soccer = lost gold chains. Since I was looking for surface finds and didn’t want to leave holes players could trip on, I only probed targets with a thin screwdriver. No gold, but I did pop 1 dime, 2 pennies, and a house key, along with 2 aluminum cleats (which really pegged the meter!).
QUESTION: How the heck do coins end up in the middle of a soccer field?
That’s the end of my tale. I don’t consider myself a Tenderfoot any longer. A beginner, but not a Tenderfoot. As I sharpen my skills, I continue to find more coins, not fewer, as I work the same park. I hope I have inspired others. You don’t need a fancy rig or an historic location to have fun.
By Old Line Paul
This post is for all you lurkers and newbies.
In December, I won a Barska Winbest Pro Edition in a church raffle. I always wanted a metal detector as a boy, but Santa never came through. But as they say, “It’s never to late to have a happy childhood.” Shortly thereafter, I found this website and started reading about the hobby.
May 13 was a beautiful day, so I unboxed my new toy, plugged in an old pair of iPhone earbuds, and headed off to a nearby park. I didn’t have high expectations. First, because I had looked the Winbest up on Amazon and knew it retailed for under $70. Second, because the park is less than 25 years old and has no concession stands. It’s a sports field with a tot lot, a Fitcore station, soccer field, baseball diamond and tennis courts. How much loot could there be?
I hit the Fitcore lot first, since maybe people would drop stuff while working out. More importantly, the lot is surfaced with wood chips, which would make digging and refilling holes a lot easier. Being a rookie, I had read on this website to set the detector to “all metal” and dig every target until I learned how my machine worked. So I started swinging.
Minutes later, I heard my first signal. I scratched through the wood chips and out popped a 1995 penny! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Seeing old Abe staring up at me was quite a thrill. Over the next hour, I dug up 9 pieces of trash. But I didn’t mind. I was gaining confidence in my detector, since each time I heard a signal there was something down there.
The Detector Deities were looking out for me that day. If I had found the trash first, I would never have persevered long enough to find that penny. The Winbest would have gone to the thrift shop and the day would soon be forgotten.
I hit the Fitcore and tot lots a few times more, and found a few more pennies and some broken toys. But the problem was not the slim pickings but the fact that a lot of people used the playgrounds. I didn’t want to attract attention or make a nuisance of myself, so I reluctantly headed off to the empty soccer field.
Reluctantly, because, I mean, how much stuff can there be on the sidelines of a soccer field? (To be continued…)
I never dreamed I would find a spot like I did today, turned out to be my best silver coin day ever!! I've been on a 6 day hunt starting last Wed and ending Tuesday morning when I head home. I've been hitting a couple parks in the town I'm staying in and a couple of surrounding towns as well. I managed to get into some producing spots and have done pretty well with multiple silver days everyday. Today, my plan was to drove over to a town about 60 miles from here and hit a pretty big park that's been around awhile. I got up early, grabbed some breakfast and hit the road. About 20 miles in, I figure out I forgot my phone, so, I head back to the motel. I decided to stay here and look for a new spot so I googled the town and saw a couple of parks and schools that I decided to go check out. Well, none were in older neighborhoods, so I headed to a park that had produced last year. As I'm driving over there, I see an old high school that's been renovated and drive around back and see a big open area with old backstops in each corner. I decided what the heck, might as well stop and swing awhile, maybe I'll get lucky and find a wheat or 2 I started out in front of one of the backstops and get a copper hit. The shovel slid easily into the ground and I pulled out a memorial. I move straight out towards the pitchers mound and get another penny signal. I go to dig a plug and the ground was hard as a rock, nothing but compacted rock and gravel. I take my pinpointer and scan the ground, thankfully I got a hit. I began to chisel my way thru the rocks and pop out a wheat, oh yes, it's on now. The next target was another wheat, again, within range of the pinpointer, out pops another wheat. Now I'm getting excited, within 5 minutes I have 2 wheats, that's good sign. The next 2 hits were funky signals and turned out to be mercs, both shallow and picked up by the pinpointer. Every swing of the coil sounded like a machine gun, 6-7 iron targets per swing. I'm in the middle of an iron infested spot, with compacted ground. I hunted for the next 30 minutes and ended up with 3 merc and 6 wheats, no clad, I'm only 45 minutes into this hunt and it's only 8:15 am, gonna be a long day lol. This old playground area is about 1 square block, so, I head off toward the other backstop and within 50 I get a hit. The ground is as soft as butter and out comes a clad dime. I hunted about 30-45 minutes at the other backstop and dug nothing but deep clad. I realized real quick that the spot I was in must have been avoided because of the rock hard ground and all the iron so I headed back. I decided to start grid off the area and see how far this hot spot goes. Turns out it's roughly a 60-70 foot area in front of the backstop. The soil outside of this spot is completely different and relatively trash free. I guess they dug out the original soil and missed this area, I have no idea. I hunted all day, started at 7:30 and called it quits at 5:45 when I quit digging keepers. I never thought I would stumble on a place like this just out of pure dumb luck. I'm glad I decided to stay in town. I ended up beating my single day silver coin finds of 13. Sorry for any grammar or punctuation errors, I'm celebrating with a couple of cold ones:)
By Gerry in Idaho
Yes I was able to check off 2 more (now 8 states in the US plus 2 other countries) from my list of, I found gold nuggets with a metal detector there.
Some of you realize I was in South Dakota this summer and was able to work a so called cleaned out patch with the new GPX-6000. I already posted the results to DP awhile back. Most importantly on these road trips we had fun and made laughing/lasting memories with customers/friends. These trips are one of my most enjoyable parts of my job. It’s such a treat to meet up with other DP forum members/hunters and share the new technologies in the field on their ground and patches. We don’t know what the outcome will be, if the results are in favor of a new detector or did the old one do such a fine job, it’s all live and unscripted. The end results are what we learned and experienced while in the field using the detectors on their sites.
Wyoming, It just so happened that on my way from SD back to Idaho, I’m heading West and traveling through the cowboy state. For a few years now I have been trying to get myself in WY to meet up with previous customers, share some in the field detector knowledge, again make some memories and hopefully find a WY nugget. Well a couple phone calls/emails with their help/guidance I was able to swing in and make it happen. Again, just another reason and part of why I like the followers on Detector Prospector, we all enjoy seeing success, learning detectors (including me) and sharing field knowledge.
Wyoming is such a different kind of detecting terrain than what I encounter in South Dakota. It actually reminded me of some of Northern NV with the openness and lack of trees.
You can see for miles and as you glance across the plains, the 1st thing a prospector realizes is exposed bedrock in many areas, meaning gold could be near the surface (which is exactly what a detectorists wants). Also, the lack of bushes made it pretty easy for swinging the detector and hopefully if I go back, the larger 17” coil will be in its element allowing for more ground coverage.
Working my way across the old patch, I could see scratches and scuffs from previous detecting efforts. When coming across such indicators of nugget recovery, I try to concentrate around them realizing the new technology and it’s capabilities vs the 7000 should hopefully produce a few missed nuggets. As had hoped I started getting target hits. They were not the gold I was after but many small lead pellets. At least I know their machines missed these piece of non-ferrous metals, so now it just becomes a numbers game and sooner or later, one of them will be gold. Yes I could use the scratch the surface and if it moves method (just walk – usually trash), but I was informed some of the previous gold was recovered near the surface. Plus when you are digging lead shot at 2”, you need to check them all.
We compared the 1st half dozen signals and it was evident the capabilities of the 6000 was better than the 7000. Interestingly a couple of the targets were not even heard by the 7000. On my GPX most signals were much cleaner and louder coming from it, so we were excited to see the 1st target become gold. It didn’t take long and then it happened. I nice rough narrow nugget only a few inches down. Now we all know once that 1st piece of yellow metal is unearthed, our attention and desire becomes so focused, we are on our A game. That’s exactly what happened, the remaining few hours of detecting and the elusive WY gold started popping more regularly.
Notice the difference in the kind of gold from the 2 hunts. SD gold is smoother and dense while the WY gold is rough and porous. Either way the results were the same for the GPX-6000, it was able to find the smaller stuff the big GPZ-7000 missed. I’m not saying the GPZ-7000 is not a good tool, heck it’s a great detector. But as I get older and more wise, I see the comforts of the new design and that’s what this old geezer needs today for most of my hunts.
Nothing special but I wanted to share with you all. My Settings for the 2nd half of the trip in WY were SENS at 10, Threshold On and Normal Ground. Yes my detector runs noisy but I have confidence in my ears hearing the differences of a target vs ground noise. Be sure to do a Frequency Adjust way more often than most of us did with the older Minelab PI detectors. I was doing it every 15 minutes in the morning and every 10 minutes after noon.
Grab a bag of popcorn and a beer, this is gonna be a long read. (Skip to the third paragraph if you are only interesting in my review of the GPX 6000)
Before getting into why I decided to purchase a GPX 6000, I would like to give some background into what got me to the point of making that purchase. My friend "Brian" (Yes the one from Gerry's visit to SD) had been nagging on me that detecting is WAAAY better than sluicing or highbanking for gold. Me being stubborn, I would not listen to him as I was told by many of old prospectors "Theres no nuggets here". Were they hiding something or just oblivious to the truth, I do not know. After a year of recirculated highbanking on my dry claim and "Brian" detecting, it became clear to me that there is some truth to the message he had been preaching to me. That fall I purchased a Gold Bug 2. I loved that it is all analog inputs that require you to actually understand what the different knobs do. It allowed me to gain a better understanding of what the detector was doing. Not just letting the computer on it think for me. That fall gained me no nuggets as I was learning not only the detector but how to be successful at detecting. Many frustration finally led to my first small nugget that next summer. I was getting pretty good I thought as I would come home with a pocket full of tiny lead beebees and if I was lucky, a small nugget. I felt comfortable with the GB2, until I noticed that even though I felt I was doing well with the GB2, "Brian" was doing even better with his SDC2300 and GPZ7000. He would go back over areas I had just detected and pick up what I left behind. It was a perfect game for him as i would clear the garbage and shallow smaller nuggets and he would get the deeper larger ones. 😤 😄 I would even come back over to where he would have a target and check it with my GB2. It became obvious to me that ML technology had a clear advantage over my GB2. About the time I decided to go all in on purchasing a GPX 6000, I joined the detector prospector forum. I did more research into my GB2 and read Steve Herschbach write up on the GB2. Running the settings "hot" still didnt match the performance of the Minelabs detectors. After talking it over with the wife, I gave a call to Gerry at Gerrys Detectors, and after a pleasant 20min call with him I was sold. I gave him my deposit and waited patiently for my GPX to show up at my doorstep.
Gerry, being the outstanding man he is, hand delivered it to me as soon as it had shown up at his store. (perfect timing pays off 🙂 ) Our first day out was a total success. I bagged the largest nugget of the day weighing in just under 2g, my largest at the time. Gerry and "Brian" also did well, both scoring more nuggets and pickers than me. This was also my first gold from this patch. The ground at this patch was very mineralized and had many hot rocks. Listening to my GB2 was a nightmare and I had not been successful at getting any gold from there until this day. There is probably more I can learn on the GB2 but I feared with the larger nuggets being around 10" deep my only chance was to run hot. The GPX ran like a dream comparatively. I was not used to the wobbling threshold that this detector has and it took me some getting used to. We were also less than 500' from a larger powerline and I was still able to get two nuggets that day.(and yes we were just running the 11" Mono) I was able to learn from Gerry while he was there on his trip, but he made the comment to me that I was already doing very well. Everything I learned up this point was from "Brian" who took Gerry's class from one of his past purchases. Gerry and his team must do extraordinary training as I only have had second hand training thru "Brian". I hope to make one of Gerry's training trips to get a chance to do some more detecting with him and his team!
On to the GPX6000. This detector has been a dream!! And I really mean that! Ergonomics are very important and ML has indeed hit this one out of the park. I never ran a 4500 or 5000 so I cannot compare to them, but "Brian" has let me run his GPZ, and I was tired after an hour with that detector. Even though the GPX is slightly heavier than a GB2, I do not notice the weight. I can go for 8 hours and not be completely dead, unless of course I am digging a lot of targets! 😄 The controls are very straight forward. One thing I always liked about the GB2 is it is quite literally turn it on and go. With at least the SDC and GPZ (as these are my only other references) there seamed to be a long start up. Not with the GPX, turn it on and in 10 seconds you can be swinging. The onboard speaker is decent. I think I would have preferred it to be by the display as the sound is coming from behind you instead of in front of you. Its not a huge deal, I can still hear it fine, I just find that when your coil is making noise going over grass and banging on rocks, I find it harder to concentrate on the threshold. With that being said, I do prefer to run with the headphones as this allows me to concentrate better on what I am listening to. I know there have been alot of complaints about EMI. I would say that the first 15min seem to be extra chatty but after that it seems to settle into it. Maybe it is just my mind canceling it out, but I do not find much issues with EMI. I even leave my IPhone on in my backpack which is usually anywhere from 20'-100' away from me. When I do notice more EMI, I just click the noise cancel and in roughly 12 seconds I am going again. The one thing I noticed is there is about a 5 second delay after running the noise cancel(7 seconds) before it is running properly. (probably has something to do with an averaging function that it is running) The threshold is a bit different to listen to for me at least. Its more of a wobbly hum. Once you get in tune with it you just listen thru it and the targets are obvious. Even when you think you've heard a target, just a simple swing back over the same spot and you will have your answer.
The collapsible shaft is spot on. It packs down small so it does not take up much space. Its also nice for getting thru thick areas in the woods. I do not like to overtighten the nuts as this then allows me to twist the coil about the shaft instead of twisting my wrist or arm to keep the coil parallel with the surface. It is also more comfortable for me to not hold the display straight up but more turned in towards me. I do not like to run on the automatic sensitivity settings as I do not like the idea of the computer making changes that I am no controlling. (even though I know it is doing some automatic changes with ground tracking) I have been mostly running on 8-10 for sensitivity and normal soil. The spots I have mostly been to are fairly mild soils. When I get a target, I will give it a little scrap and check again in difficult. If the target is still there then I go after it. I have found that the normal soil setting can give you maybe an inch or so of extra depth. If there is a target there, It will go off on both after scraping a little off the surface. I have noticed that the difficult ground settings will give a better response to small nuggets.
On to the gold! When I say that this has blown me away, I mean it! I know I am not very versed with other detectors, so for some of you this may not be as impressive as it has been for me. My first trip out after Gerrys visit, I go to a patch we call the E patch. We have worked this patch on and off for several years now and had felt fairly certain we were done here. There is a lot of garbage here, and I mean A LOT of garbage and most of it is tiny shrapnel and the thinnest pieces of wire I have ever seen. My first day here with the GPX banked me 42 pieces of trash and 5 nice nuggets with the two larger ones weighing in both just over 1g.
As you can see, that pinpointer is about 10" long and there is another 2" of soil above that. This piece was right at 1g.
This was my gold from that day. The top left is the one shown in the hole above. Needless to say, I was a happy camper that day.
My next day out with the detector would net me 10 more little nuggets. I have to say, it is a blast when you are getting that many pieces no matter how big they are!
It is hard to read, but that total was 1.14g. The smallest of these was 0.03g and this was about 2" deep. In fact this scale would not register it. I had to use a more precise scale to get a measurement.
The last day I was out once again surprised me. Both the detector and this location! In about 2 hours I was able to pull out another 10 pieces! this time though the weight would be 8.25g of gold! With the largest piece coming in at 4.25g! My largest pieces yet! This also puts me in the lead for largest nugget of the year in one of my running bets with "Brian". These bets are for a beer for each bet 😉
The depth of the largest nugget was about 14". The image is deceiving. I dug a narrow hole but if i put my hand straight across from the scoop, there was at least another 2" of soil above my hand and the scoop is roughly 12" long.
The depth of this piece was about 8". Again this image is deceiving as the hole was fairly wide at the top so the scoop is laying down more. This piece weighed in at 0.35g
To sum things up, YES I am well pleased with this detector. It has delivered me gold that I missed with my GB2. It has given me the confidence right from the get go. I know that if there is gold under my coil, this is giving me the best chance of seeing it. I no longer have to wonder if I am missing targets that other detectors would see. Overall I find this detector fairly easy to use and the light weight makes it easy to use all day. Will I ever pay this detector off, that depends on what you mean. It has already paid for itself in fun! It may very well pay for itself financially someday, but I will rely on my full time job to feed me. 😆 I can not wait for further usage of this detector and will always remember the awesome time I had detecting with the legendary Gerry McMullen! Like I said above, the GPX6000 is not just a detector... It is a thrill ride!
I had a serious "what was I thinking" moment a while back, sharing in the hopes it saves you doing the same... 🙂
I own several parcels of land in various rich areas and have had an ongoing issue with ATV'ers. Well this weekend I thought I'd try out the new Kubota and decommission one of the roads through the property, well as I was preparing to dig, my neighbor says to me "where's your detector"... I'm like "At home, today is a Kubota day, not detecting day silly" TOTALLY failing to make the connection that if you dig a hole in gold country for ANY reason, you don't walk away from it without swinging coil.... and went about my business..... within an hour of finishing, I watched two people drive through the property as I was leaving but didn't catch up to them.
I get home and am chatting with a friend... and of course hear... "Did you check the trench before leaving?" OK.. now I'm really thinking "dang..." so it was late, I left it.... and went back the next morning.....
It's wild having swung on ground so long where you have to listen so hard to every little faint sound "is that a nugget, is that one" to squeak out one or two and then go to a freshly dug trench, step down into the trench of virgin dirt and BLAAAAAAAAAA BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA BLAAAAAAAAAAAAA blowing your ear off like it would have been for the old timers with the first detectors... Yea, I guess I'm calling SD and early detectorists old timers now.. lol.
Anyway... the moral of the story... if you are playing on your tractor in gold country..... "Don't walk away Renee", you may be leaving almost 4 grams behind for trespassers to find....
If you dig... swing. 🙂