Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MineBlab

To Dig Or Not To Dig, That Is The....... Problem

Recommended Posts

There is an area of a park that I hunt that I have gone over many times with my CTX, Deus, and EQ 800. I have studiously tried to learn  how to use the many features of each detector to know good targets from questionable ones. Recently friends have expressed an interest in trying metal detecting so I bought a Quest Q20 to loan them because it is simpler than my other machines while still having minimally useful features. Took it out to the area of the park mentioned above to check it out and....you guessed it....found my best find of the past year, a heavy gold plated silver ring. Which got me to thinking.......(always dangerous).

Its been discussed before of course but I wonder how many of us use all the info and adjustments of our machines to find the good stuff but only end up using all that info almost as a reason NOT to dig. Is that why a new detector always seems to "bring hunted out sites back to life"? Is that why, in the face of increasing technology, beep and dig machines are still out there doing well?

Knowing your machine(s) is necessary for sure and it's fun tweaking them to get their best. But just what is their best? We've all seen a good strong signal turn out to be something other than what was indicated. Still, there are a few people who can tell an awful lot about a target before digging it and digging every beep is hardly a viable option. Plus you can't sweep every square inch of a site.

BUT....... I'll bet most of us just outsmart ourselves more often than not. Or is that just me?

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My detecting in general boils down mostly to two methodologies:

1. Dig all targets. This is my default mode for gold nugget detecting and beach detecting

2. Dig all non-ferrous targets. The problem with dig all non-ferrous is that in mineralized ground, almost all targets will read ferrous at the absolute edge of detection depth. Therefore even just rejecting ferrous will cause good targets to get missed. Still, old camps, etc. that abound with ferrous trash demand this level of discrimination. Most of the time when jewelry detecting I also default to digging all non-ferrous.

3. Since I do not coin detect nearly as much as nugget and jewelry detecting I rarely use this third method. When coin detecting more often than not I really am looking for silver dimes, and so may discriminate out everything that reads below copper penny/silver dime.

Other than that it is just rare modifications of the above. When coin detecting I may include the nickel range, but generally nickels don't get me all that excited as a target - I like precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. On the flip side when jewelry detecting I may tune out zinc penny on up and dig all non-ferrous targets that read under zinc penny. It's like I have a switch in my head, and when hunting coins I tend to hunt high conductors only. Yet when jewelry detecting, just the opposite. That being the case when doing what I normally do I recover more nickels while jewelry detecting than when coin detecting. So I guess it ends up like this for me:

1. Dig all targets

2. Dig all non-ferrous

3. Dig only high conductors (coin cherry picking)

4. Dig only medium and low conductors (jewelry cherry picking)

In general most people hate digging trash, and their entire emphasis is on finding detectors that allow them to basically dig no trash at all, or minimal levels. There is absolutely no doubt that these people leave many good finds behind for those willing to dig more trash. However, it's all about enjoying yourself in the available time you have, and I sure can't argue at all with anyone who prefers to cherry pick and call it good. There is a balance between digging it all and digging no trash at all, but where we all draw that line is an individual decision. As long as people employ discrimination of any kind however you can always hope that good finds remain. It is only when all metal targets have been located and none remain can a location be even close to being called hunted out, and even then a more powerful detector may reveal many more targets. There are lots of sites that might be clean of targets of any sort for anyone running a VLF that will light up with multiple targets per swing with a good PI detector. I've seen it personally.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good info. I'm awful smart but cherry picking low conductors has never even occurred to me. LOL.

How easy it is to get in a rut.   :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Steve said...."an individual decision".  Depends on what you're after and the amount of time you have to chase whatever you're after???  I hunt old coins in public areas.  I've hunted out the 2 tiny burgs near me to the best of MY abilites so the last few years when I used to coinshoot I drove 220mi RT to the big city.  So take 4.5hrs of driving time off a hunt and that takes it's toll on the whole hunt?  So depending on where I hunted, etc. would dictate how I would attack.  Parks I like to focus a lot on old nickels because they fall right in with beaver tails/trash so many don't chase nickels so there always seems to be a lot of old buffs & V's to be had?  In parks, outside of nickels, I also only dig deeper higher tones like copper/silver and leave the zinc and shallow coins for the others.  I might lose a few IH by not digging zinc but I'm against the clock.  Curb strips have little modern trash and few beaver tails so I tend to dig any nickel type signal and even a few zincs hoping for an IH and dig about all good repeatables?  To me it's all about allocating and managing my hunt time which is dictated by travel time, hunt time and the location(s) I hunt.

Bottom line....If I'm digging zinc and modern shallow coins I'm NOT digging the older coins I prefer?...….

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me right now as I am just learning my Nox 800.....if it beeps , I dig it. I just take note of what the number was so I can refer back in my mind (what little I got ) as to what it might be that I dig.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big advantage with my etrac for me is that I know what the target most likely will be. That minimizes disappointment ;-) A bottle cap, foil, iron trash. But I dig it. Because it could be a coin, a gold item, interesting iron item. I found that discrimination is basically useless to me. Using the etrac convinced me of this. The target ID is unstable most of the times too.

Only when you know exactly what you are looking for, maybe a certain type of projectile, a certain coin etc., then ID helps somewhat to save time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dug a Canadian 1903 nickel (silver, about 75% the size of a dime) that was sitting 3” above a rusty steel washer. Why did I dig it? I’m using my Vaquero, so no screen to talk me out of it. It sounded smooth so I dug.  The washer alone was a little raspier.  What would have a display told me? Would the iron have pulled down the tiny silver signal to the point where I would have ignored it? I tried with my ATMax to dig by audio only but I was digging a lot of trash as it had a high tone on even the tiniest shard of canslaw. So what I though would have been deep dimes were not...ever. The ATPro was pretty good at hunting by audio only. I dug almost 300 dimes last year with the ATPro. But I figured that if I’m going to hunt by audio only, I might as well go back to the best audio in the business and return to Tesoro. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of it for many is a new detector bringing an old site back to life. I say that because with a new detector you tend to dig more targets so it seems your new detector is really awesome while in fact it's really because you are digging more targets. I know I do that until I learn a new detector and start passing over iffy signals. I have went back to parks I have hit hard with 3 different detectors and hunted hard and seriously only to find a few tabs and no more than 60 cents in clad.. That particular park had been good to me but what I learned was if it isn't there you can't dig it. 

I do like to challenge myself in hunted out places because most often I slow down and make sure I cover every inch. The Equinox has taught me there are targets mixed with that iron. I am getting to the point I recognize targets mixed with trash. The target I seek never seems to be the dominant signal by tone or vdi but I learned to  dig them and most often it is clad mixed with junk. 

I use park 1 on the Equinox for clad and Park 2 when I am searching for less conductive jewelry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Norm S. With my new Equinox 800 I am in the learning phase and dig more targets to educate myself. But I am finding as two months go by on the 800, I am calling the targets better and having to dig less trash. I probably am losing some good signals on the iffy targets and most likely rings since they ring up in different areas of the TIDs. Also I have had 2 hunts on the 800 with my six inch coil and find myself in my familiar parks and woods and going into the brush jungle more often because I can and am finding some things others have just not had their coil over.  Then there the factor of spending a nice chunk of change on the 800, 6" coil and other accessories that you just want to justify your investment decision. Especially when you wife always ask about what rings did I find.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2018 at 3:59 PM, Norm S said:

I do like to challenge myself in hunted out places because most often I slow down and make sure I cover every inch.

That's me in a nutshell with my gold detecting.👍

This has been a good thread. Don't know why I hadn't read it until now. Wasn't gold nugget related I guess. No excuse...I know. :rolleyes: All good comments & info.

Good luck out there

JW:smile:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Tnsharpshooter
      I have experienced the following and have read where others have too.
      The multi frequency is where it seems where most of the performance is with Equinox.
      However there are times where using single freq can help like checking bottlecaps say with 5 or 10 kHz.
      The problems comes in here where a user of Nox can accidentally leave their detector in singles freq ops hence they may lose out on the grand performances of multi freq unknowingly, hence miss some finds.
      So it would have been nice if Minelab would have incorporated an alarm ( that user can select) if they choose that would tell them they are not in multi freq.  Mabe  even consider allowing time delay adjustable to some degree before it sounds in the event a user does go to single freqs ops.
      This may of may not be achievable as far a small Equinox by way of updates, but future models using both multi and single freq ops, IMO it would be a nice feature to include.
      David
       
    • By Reno Chris
      I talked with a friend yesterday and he mentioned that a common prospecting friend of ours had lost his home in the "Camp" fire now burning over in the  Paradise - Magilia area of Butte County. (this is a guy very unlikely to be known by any of the prospectors here).
      I thought of a couple of folks many of you here are likely to know - Digger Bob and Miner John Derloo (maker of Miner John Coils and accessories). They also live in that same general area. I hate to call as they are likely busy with other more important things (like evacuating or their neighborhood on fire) and I was wondering if any of the folks here had heard anything on how they were doing. Both of these men have a number of friends, so I was hoping to hear some news.
      If not I will give them a call within a few days.
    • By geof_junk
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-05/how-to-survive-in-the-outback/10463852
    • By drake
      Hi all,  based in West Aus and new to this detector. Actually, back into detecting after a 25 year break. 
       Moved back to Aus after a long time away, and keen to get digging.. By coincidence Im in the same area that the earliest European settlers, and convicts (Fremantle) lived in West Aus. So id love to find a part of the history , (which is only half as old as US, but i still think interesting.)  
      Now..This detector is super sensitive and Very deep ability compared to my vintage Whites, to the point it annoys me on trashy ground.Im finding it hard to decipher if its actually a massive large target 2 feet underground, like a can or alloy car part or a coin. The id is same as many Aussie coins, the depth says the same, but it sure aint the same item!
      Im not very good with machine yet,  but i noticed the depth meter isnt very accurate on large items and i dig a massive hole to find a deep buried can instead of a coin. Any advice from your experience  would be much appreciated
      cheers,
       
    • By Sourdoughmoe
      Hello all, i will be in Las Vegas next week, i plan on bringing my metal detector.
      i wanted to know if there is any place near Vegas that is legal to detect nuggets or do i have to go to rye patch?
      thanks in advance for your suggestions. 
    • By phrunt
      Is an original Minelab sovereign worth buying, I can get one pretty cheap but needs repair, the repair it needs I can do for minimal cost.
      What price do you think is a fair price for one?

×