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.
Went up to the racetrack again yesterday, thought these finds deserve a post of their own. There is a small plot of land next to where the house stood. It had a barn and the cemetery behind it. It's about a half acre. Lots of corn stalks 😵
At first the going was kinda risky, the wind was blowing about 20 mph, big low off the coast. I had to search under trees in the background and these were falling everywhere.
If any of you have ever been hit in the head by one of these Black Walnuts, you know what the fun part is. They were coming down like rain. I suppose I could have waited a few more days but hunting season starts soon. The trees are about 50' or more, and they get a bit of velocity. 😀
I really didn't expect to find much at all, a scout search last spring gave no indication there was anything good here, but I was determined to grid something out of it after my finds from previous days.
This is another example of "persistence pays off". All of these relics are very old. A pistol ball, an as yet unidentified fired ~45 cal bullet (the sharp end is throwing me off).
The first button says "Gilt Colour" and something else on the back and still has some thread. Second has a triangle on the front and possibly some other marks, and says "Plated" on the back. The third is my favorite, an ancient convex Tombac with some off-center engraving. It has a square shank boss on the back.
By afternoon someone was shooting a handgun in my direction, must have fired about 100 rounds. I didn't hear any "snaps" so I presumed the shooter was on a lower elevation and hoped there was a backstop. 🙄 Guess I'm gonna have to get a boat horn. 😵
Another bit of excitement was coming across two of these "little" guys building webs across the corn stalks in front of me.
The Yellow Garden Spider can grow to 1 1/2 inches in body length. They rarely bite but if they do you know it, those fangs flip out. I'm glad that metal detectors are out in front. 😀 I let them both carry on... 😬
Well, today I was having a bit of a go with my CTX 3030 and come across a target that seemed odd, it was a big target I knew that with the abundance of Target information the CTX gives and the Target Trace pinpoint is cool.
I dug it out of interest more than anything, I'd never normally dig something like this but it was rather deep and weird, and I think I found Batman's Binoculars?
Does anyone have any idea what this is, it's heavy, solid metal...