Last Sunday I got a call from my detecting buddy. He's a member of the same detecting club I'm in and known as the guy you call to find lost rings. He said he got a call from a lady who lost her wedding ring somewhere on her property between the house and her chicken coop and wanted to know if I wanted to help him search for it. I said sure!
I had only done that one time a few weeks before when we were detecting in a park and a parks supervisor came up to him. He thought we were in trouble and promptly started showing the supervisor how we take great care closing our holes, but the supervisor said he didn't care about that. He said he had gotten a call from a lady who had lost her wedding ring a week before at a playground and he wanted to know if we would look for it, which we promptly did. Unfortunately we didn't find that ring.
So we headed out to the mountain property and met the lady and she showed us where she thought she had lost her ring the day before. I thought it must be laying on the ground in plain sight somewhere and this should be easy. Then I saw the chicken coop. Oh boy. I hit inside and outside the coop while my buddy took the trail from the house to the coop. The chickens were pretty well behaved except the rooster who kept giving me the stink-eye. I had a feeling he was just waiting for me to turn my back on him.
We covered the 200x30 foot area pretty well for several hours, double checking each others search areas. We were about ready to throw in the towl when my partner decided to check the wooden walkway between the house and the garage. There were openings between the slats that the ring could have dropped into so the home owners offered to pull a few slats up to allow the detector access underneath. While they were ripping up the floorboards, I decided to wander back down the path toward the chicken coop to check any areas I may have missed. As I neared the door to the coop a garden hose caught my eye about 25-30 feet down hill from the path. I was going to sweep that area earlier after finishing the coop area, but the owner said she hadn't been down there so not to bother with that area. For some reason the hose intrigued me so I started searching down the hill from the path. When I reached the hose I was picking up the brass fitting with loud and clear 25 on the Nox but also with a lower fainter tone mixed in. I pushed the hose fitting back a bit and got a solid 7 from multiple angles. I couldn't see anything on the ground, so I pulled my pinpointer thinking it was probably foil of some kind while gently scraping away the pine needles and a little dirt and there it was, the ring! A beautiful Platinum wedding set with a 1 ct. center stone surrounded with 2 baggettes and 6 smaller diamonds. I yelled out, "Bingo!" and the owner and her husband ran down the hill. They were overjoyed and so was I. My first ring recovery! They offered a reward but we politely refused so they insisted that we take a donation for the Metal Detecting Club, for which we were very appreciative. What a day that was!
Tom_in_CA and I have been itching to get out detecting! We decided to hit some of our old "back pocket" sites and check out a couple of new sites as well.
Reales, several Phoenix Buttons, flat buttons, some nice pre Civil War eagle buttons, seateds, relics, and the usual suspects were found this trip!
After a 6 year break I decided to start metal detecting for nuggets again.
Background: I used to live in Temecula, CA and used to go to the Dale Mining District as well as the El Paso mountains. Back then, I started by taking a metal detecting prospecting field trip taught by Michael Greyshock. I used a Gold Bug Pro with the DP coil at that time and it was pretty tough with the iron stone in the Dale Mining District. I later purchased a Garret ATX but only used it a few times and sold it for a variety of reasons. It had great electronics but in a terrible package. Also the falsing when bumping against anything would drive me nuts. Anyway after 4 years of prospecting I got tired of digging trash and spending lonely nights in the dessert, so I gave it up.
I retired last year when I turned 60 and my wife and I moved from Scal to Mesquite, NV. I recently purchased a SDC 2300 and thought I would give it a try again. I still have the Gold Bug Pro with all 3 coils also. Gold Basin is about a 3 hour drive and I plan to go there tuesday and return on thursday. I use "Backcountry Navigator" on my tablet for maps and gps navigation. I looked up the currently active claims on "thediggings.com" website and see they are pretty much clustered in the middle of the basin area. It would be handy to have a gpx or kmz overlay map file of the active claims that I could load on my tablet but I don't know if something like that exists. I prefer to detect on BLM land instead of claims and I don't mind getting remote and hiking. This will be my first trip to GB and any pointers or advice would be appreciated. I drive a brown 2010 Toyota Tundra double cab 4x4 long bed, with a color matched camper shell and NV plates, in case any of you are in GB on the same days and would like to say Hi.
Last week I spent the whole week in Virginia at the Diggin in Virginia Event. DIV 50 was spread over 4 different farms which comprised of thousands of acres. 5 days 10 hours a day metal detecting, what a dream. I don't attend too many metal detecting events, it's just not me. But DIV is different and offers sites you just can't get on otherwise. Now although some of these farms have been hit by DIV upwards of 10 times, they are still giving up relics. Most of the DIV digs take place in Culpeper County Virginia and is known for it's very hot dirt. VLF detectors struggle in this environment so a PI like the GPX, TDI or ATX are preferred. But you always get the person that can't afford or is unwilling to spend the money to rent or buy a PI and will take a go at it with a VLF. DIV 50 was no exception. I saw many people metal detecting with VLF's I even had a gent check a target for me in the woods that was using a White 6000 DI. I had just dug part of a Shako hat pin and got another signal under a tree root and couldn't tell if it was big iron or big brass (the rest of the hat pin) so had him check it for me, it turned out to be iron. So VLF's will do ok in the woods or in thick iron patches, but out in the fields it's GPX all the way. Right tool for the right job, so come prepared. I always take the GPX and either the Deus or Equinox as backup. If you decide to go, make sure you know your metal detector well. We talked to a group that all had GPX's and didn't find a single relic. They spent their time digging nails. It doesn't matter if you have the best metal detector in the world, if you don't know how to use it, chances are you aren't going to find good stuff. That goes for VLF detectors as well. If you know your machine you can find stuff in the hot Culpeper dirt. Knowing your machine and how to make changes for the soil can mean the difference between success and failure.
On this particular DIV, it being 50, some of us figured it may be the last. So my group decided to concentrate on the fields where we knew the Confederates camped prior to the Union Army moving in for the Winter of 1863-64. Other than going to a Union Camp for a day where you have a chance at digging some nice bottles of finding a whole Shako hat pin. We spent our time on a strip of land that boarders a creek where the Confederates camped. On day 2 we went to a part of the farm we hunted last Fall and was finding Gardner, ring tail sharps and 69 caliber round balls. These are all considered bullets used by the Confederates. the camp was located on a hillside that sloped toward a wash that ran into the creek. Last year I hunted that wash and was finding numerous 69 caliber round balls in and amongst the modern fencing and wire pieces. So I decided to hunt my way down the hill towards the bottom of the wash. As I approached the bottom of the wash I started hearing all the wire signals on my GPX and slowed down to investigate each one. I finally got a good solid signal and dug a ring tail sharps. Next signal not more than than 2 feet from the sharps bullet I got a signal that sounded like wire but wouldn't break up so I decided to dig it. When I got down about 12 inches I got my pin pointer out and got a signal in the bottom corner of the hole. I though due to it's orientation in the hole it was most likely a piece of wire. But got my hand digger out anyway to complete the recovery of the target. To my surprise it was a CS tongue, I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would find one. To make things even better I got the excavation of it on video.
Some other highlights of the trip were finding fuses for artillery shells, artillery shell fragments and one of the other guys in my group found a pewter CS saddle shield which is also a very rare find. I had a great time and have made some good friends at DIV over the years. There are a great bunch of people that put together DIV and an even greater bunch of people that attend them. Some of these people have been attending since the very first one and are willing to share their knowledge with anyone who asks.
By Gerry in Idaho
Rye Patch is a scenic area (for its own reasons), this time of yr. If you can catch warm Temps in 60s, no wind, and sunny days, it doesn't get much better. Add the chance to cross paths with some DP members makes it even better. A few other things allowing an adventurous trip, a hairy legged tarantula, some more intricate nuggets and always a handful of lucky crystals.
I have been blessed so far with all. Including chatting with members, Condor, Bill in CO, Chet and Tom from CA., and today hopefully a few others.
Memories to add to my scrapbook.