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  1. It's a shame relic season is over for me, but today I managed to get a short hunt in on some property behind my house I have permission to. Someone bought it and bush hogged it recently, so I went back there to check it out. It doesn't get cleared often. It's only about an acre or so. I've found old buttons here in the past, Tombac and brass, so I went out for a while to see if I could find anything. First target was this incredible old round button, probably the oldest I've ever found. The shank appears to be integral, and somehow it doesn't seem to be two piece. I found a large piece of brass kettle about two feet down with some oyster shells, and nearby it was a complete shoe buckle. You can see the kettle bit in the trash, I didn't throw it out: Altogether I got 3 really old things, the button, the buckle, and a piece of broken metal I believe to be Pewter. The buckle is one of the few intact ones I have found and dates from 1600-1650. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spectacle_buckle_(FindID_590443).jpg
  2. I thought it was going to be a nice day today, sunny and in the 60s with a bit of wind, but not what it ended up being. There was no wind at all when I got there, it was cloudy and kinda cold, in the 40s. My goal was to check out the last spot Chase and I didn't get to, about an 8 acre spot. I found nothing there. 🫀 Nothing. But, in 7 hours and 7 miles of walking, I managed to get a few things, random stuff here and there: 7 more buttons, two of which may not be, the octagon and the misshapen one 3d from the left. A few buckle bits and a whole buckle. Only 4 came from the button hotspot. What really stands out is the smallest thing in the button row, I've found plenty of buttons with no shanks, but never a shank with no button! It was about 4" deep, a solid 51. The Deus hit it like it was on the surface. Also dug a 1945 wheat. I don't get much trash using relic with the 13", and today was no exception. By the end of they day the wind was blowing 20mph with gusts to 35, I really couldn't hear targets through the WSA II headphones, so I called it early.
  3. This one is for the button fan, I dug a 1926 wheat in another field but that was it for the coins. Invited Chase up for one of the last hunts here, a new 100 acre permission that I didn't find much in before, we set out to scout the other half of it that I didn't get to. It's a huge field that had beans on it last year, usually I prefer to hunt in bean stalks but this one is tough, the stalks are too tall. We ran into a farmer friend who told us this is because when they are rushing to get the beans before a rain, they lift the combine collector and don't cut them short. The stalks become really stiff by spring and are very hard to walk on, they chip at your shoes and can go through your hand or foot if you're not careful. 😬 We set out heading to the other side of the field, Chase went ahead and hunted around the old barn, I think he got a couple of wheats there. I walked up the center of the field not expecting anything, I had crisscrossed this field before and found literally nothing. Got a 47 and dug this rolled copper "tinkler" that was traded with the Indians: https://www.nativetech.org/metal/tinkle/tinkle.html It would be a "point" or arrowhead if it had a point, these were hung on their clothing and they jingle. I immediately went into circle mode, making a spiral around the place I found the first object, and hit 3 buttons. By this time Chase was way across the field, so I noted where I found this stuff and joined him to scout the rest of the place. We found next to nothing, I got just a few buckle bits. We decided to go back to this "hotspot" and the buttons just kept coming, I think between us we found well over 20. Small cuff buttons, medium buttons, a couple large, both brass and Tombac. They were everywhere in about an acre or so. What I thought might be a pretty bad day turned out to be a great one, I got all this: 16 buttons and a bunch of other brass stuff. Chase did as well. When things wound down we quit for the day, but there are certainly more there. Here's the trash, only a handful but I got fooled by a few bits of big iron today: I was using Relic exclusively, with the 13" coil on the Deus 2, with reactivity at 1 and Audio response 7. Some of the buttons were over 10" deep! We found other artifacts that deep too. Sadly we found no coins in that spot. We think it was an area where people got together and traded stuff in the 1600s and 1700s, and possibly with the Indians as well. This is a great example of how you really have to search a farm to find the hotspots, it takes a lot of determination and some really good guesses. You just can't give up! There may be another hotspot here, there is a part of the field we didn't go to, but we'll get there. πŸ€
  4. Got a new permission yesterday, a nice older gentleman approached me while I was digging in a small field I call the Jewelry Box. After talking to him for an hour (really more listening), I asked if I could detect his farm and he said that would be fine. It's a big place, 100 acres but only about half that is field. The coolest thing is that there is an old blacksmith shop sort of on the property, but the landowner doesn't own it. There were also two older houses far back on the farm, now gone. There is a much newer one there now where the owner lives. I went there today to scout it and see if there are any hotspots. I managed to find about 3 things, but man that place is clean. It was probably detected in the past. I walked for 3 hours and other than a buckle, a clad dime and a small pin on watch, all I find there was buck shot and shotgun shell ends. 😒 I only searched half of it today, it was warm but the wind was blowing about 20mph with gusts to 35. It was absolutely brutal, walking on bean stalks and getting blown all over the place. I finally gave up and went back to the small field next door hoping to save the day. I had both the 9" and 13" coils with me, and ran Relic most of the day but switched to the new Tekkna program when the trash got dense. This also prompted me to switch to the 9" coil. While the 13" has pretty good separation, the 9" really sees so much less ground it can pick targets a bit better. Ended up with some pretty good stuff, the last 3 hours I searched my small field and scratched a few more good finds. Here's what I dug: Some sort of famous person spoon, a large brass buckle used to hold a strap on the pin, a General Service button. Got a 1937 wheat and the small gold plated watch near the shop, the brass buckle in the back of the field. The 1943 war nickel, the incredibly detailed buckle among other things came from the small field, it was a tough but decent day. Trash in the small field was horrendous: Got a little toy cap gun, sadly broken in half near the barn.
  5. Today Chase came down for a "do your own thing" sort of hunt, we went to a permission of mine that almost guarantees at least something old. It was pretty cloudy today but exceptionally warm for mid March, there was a threat of rain all day but it never did, thankfully. The ground is still wet from the last storm under the surface, but the high winds blew the surface dry. I always fear Chase will come all the way down and not find much, but he did ok, just about the same as me but more buttons. It ended up being a good day despite the heat and the gnats that were everywhere. I only got 4 buttons today, one may be a small boss, but the biggest one is a silvered Dandy button. The smallest one has backmarks, and the top left one has some gold flowers on the front. I have no idea what the extremely figured piece of metal is top center. I even got a 1996 dime, my pay for the day 🀣 Of course the feature item I found today was the complete spectacle buckle, my book says pre-1650, so it's pushing 400 years old. 😎 This might be the first complete one I've ever found, I usually find them in pieces. Overall it was a great day to get out there, it won't be long now until the fields are planted. Only a handful of junk, this place isn't too trashy.
  6. It's been rainy the last few days, yesterday was so windy it wasn't worth going out. Today was supposed to be warm, it got up to 65 but was 42 in the morning. I loaded up my WS6 Master with the 9" coil and my Deus 2 with the 13", and went to the field about a half mile away. I haven't been to this spot in a couple of years, an old house stood here, and I got lots of coins and other late 19th century stuff. I really didn't think I'd get much today, but I did. I walked around where the house was for a while, really behind it. I found a couple of things , and decided to head out to a small corner that I only searched for a short time but found some buttons and a couple of IHPs long ago. Little did I know the spot was a small hotspot, I kept finding coins and buttons in there until there was nothing left. The area was only about 50x50 feet, maybe less. There was evidence of cooking pits there and chunks of sandstone indicating a much older structure. Each pit had large iron in the bottom, I assume a kettle long rusted away, and lots of oyster shells. That is always a good sign. I dug 3 IHPs, the only one I could read was an 1888. The other two are toasted, one slick and the other very encrusted. When the spot dried up I went back to the house area. A big surprise was digging my first Flying Eagle cent! It wasn't until I cleaned everything up that I found I had a second one. They're pretty toasted but I can make out enough of the 8's to know they aren't all that rare, but that's about it. It was kind of a thrill to know I got two today. That wasn't all though. Here's the stuff I probably can't fit in a display box, Looks like I dug a broken and bent musket trigger guard: Got some sort of tap or plug, some recent dog tags from 2006, a lock slide, a parasol slide, and a D Buckle full of the iron pin. Here's the trash, looks like a lot but it fits in my hand: It's all just buckshot, bits of lead and aluminum. I think there's a mangled spoon bowl in there. Ok, now for the finds: I got a Buffalo and a V Nickel at the house site, no date on the Buffalo but the V is probably 1893. At first I thought it said 1882 but that would not be my luck. πŸ˜€ Got a skeleton key, a Yankee miniΓ© ball, a small brass salamander with enameled toes, and 3 buttons, a fantastic ball button, a small thick Gilt button with some gold left, and my favorite: It says "Colombia Libertad". I looked it up and while there are many celebrating the liberation of Colombia from Spain in 1810, I cannot find this one anywhere. The back has "Colour" on it, so I assume it was made in England or an English territory. I don't know where the nicks came from. πŸ€” It's definitely the 1810-1850 style that is single piece. I also dug this interesting lead coin, it has lettering on it. If anyone has any information about the Colombian button I would appreciate it!
  7. Got out today despite the threat of rain to see if I could tease any more jewelry out of the site where I found the big silver ring. The day started out nice and warm, about 55, so not bad. Ended up with rain late in the day, Today I used Tekkna and Relic, Tekkna where it was really trashy. I want to mention that while Tekkna is a great program, you only dig when you get a consistent signal, it's probably not the best when the place is loaded with aluminum and brass, and molten bits of metal. Since I was using it to find any more jewelry items, I ended up digging a horrific amount of junk: However, no iron at all. πŸ™‚ Finds were still pretty cool, and I kept my silver streak going. Ended up with an assortment of the really old and new, especially the 1906 IHP and the 1946 Roosevelt dime. Got some wheats, some interesting tags, and a couple of thimbles. I did get one piece of jewelry, this Sterling collar stud, this is the front: And this is the back.
  8. I'm posting this in Coins and Relics because all the pieces of jewelry are relics. 😎 This isn't a beach hunt, I've done much worse there πŸ˜… What seemed to be a "let's check this place out a little more and go somewhere else" hunt turned out to be a whole day in this little field, I invited Chase down for the day because it was going to be warm and I thought it might be worth the trip for him. It's a small field, only a few acres, totally nondescript. I got there a bit before Chase, walked back and forth along this part of the field, there is another huge farm next door. We think there was a house here, but nothing exists on any Topographic maps. By the end of the day we were sure of it. First find was what may be a gold plated metal ring, no marks inside. Might have been a replacement or bargain wedding band: It only weighs 2.6 grams, but it does ring when dropped. A 91 on the Deus 2. I'll probably take it to my jeweler who has an XRF gun to make sure, because it does weigh more than a similar size 14k band. Next find was a 1944 war nickel: Chase arrived , we walked all over and found some wheats and lots of junk. The place is stupid with crap, aluminum, bits of old brass and tons of iron everywhere. I was running Tekkna, and it did well for me. We didn't find much more for quite a while, we were thinking of leaving, and then I found this mangled silver spoon: Almost 16 grams of coin silver. I then found this trunk plate, a Civil War era plate from a Washington DC trunk maker used until 1880. I joked that I just found the jewelry box plate... πŸ™„ Who knew I would sorta be right... Chase went off to check out the back of the field, he had been on top of a hill finding nothing but large pieces of aluminum and concertina reeds, and I walked back from where I found the spoon, and got one of my best finds of the day: This massive 8.4g Sterling ring with probably a glass stone, it's purple and seems shattered. I motioned for Chase to come over to this spot, and we just kept finding jewelry. He will probably add his finds later, it was an insane day. πŸ€ͺ Very difficult to find stuff in all that iron and trash, we both were using D2s with the 9", anything bigger wouldn't have done as well. Next I dug this Sterling pin: It was taco'ed but I got it straight. Here's the trash, lots of large brass, lead and aluminum. I didn't get much iron at all, Tekkna is great for this kind of challenge. Here's the total haul, the best is yet to come: Obviously finding a really old ring is a thrill but nothing could have prepared me for the last big find: Apparently this is quite rare, researching it only found one other like it. It's a 1904 Republican National Committee badge for the Chicago Convention, where Theodore Roosevelt was selected. The Chairman had this 14k version made for him, but sadly passed away before the Convention: His was 60 some odd grams, my piece is 35: It may at least be plated. It's unbelievable it held up this good for 120 years. πŸ€” I haven't had as productive a hunt as this in quite a while, we hope to go back and find more. It's very difficult going.
  9. Got this small permission last year, I've hunted it a few times and while I've found quite a few 1900s relics in it, I have only found one silver coin, I think it was a mangled and melted Mercury dime. There should be more, it's never been hunted. I've found lots of wheats and one or two IHPs, maybe a few nickels. It's an incredibly trashy spot where a house was a long time ago. Historic Aerials has recently put up some new sharp aerial photos of the area dating back to 1961, today I had a pretty good idea of exactly where the house stood and faced, and where the driveway was. It was a cold start, but ended up being a great detecting day. I randomly walked around, found a few wheats, and dug some other interesting stuff. I used the D2 with 9" coil and Tekkna, I wanted to try it yet again in a tough place. The afternoon picked up, all of a sudden I got a 91 and dug my first great coin. I stayed in that spot for a long time, it reminded me of my last hunt where I found a lot of stuff in a 5 foot circle. Tekkna has really opened up my difficult hunting places, I have many. The only downside is that I end up digging a lot of non ferrous junk too, but very little aluminum and nearly no iron. Here's the trash, really bad today. Lots of bits and weird brass stuff, wire and shredded things. Here are my finds, I think I found the clothesline, because I kept finding wheats and nickels, ended up with quite a few, and a lot of other cool stuff like bits of jewelry: And I didn't expect to, but came home with 3 silver coins: Using Tekkna really paid off today! πŸ₯³ Nickel, dime, and quarter, all silver. I "juiced" the USMC 6-point coat button, and got another surprise: There's still quite a bit of gold on it, it's a nice two piece.
  10. The weather has been miserable here πŸ™„, every 3 days it rains with high winds, and we got a cold snap in the low teens and twenties recently. I know y'all have it much worse in some places, but winter is my relic hunting time, so every day that is marginal is precious. All I had was a couple hours yesterday before the next nor'easter came in. A little under a year ago I dug a 1607 King James I hammered silver Sixpence in this field, and some buttons, bits of pewter, and a broken belt buckle from the same period. It was probably from an exploration after the discovery of this area in 1606 by Captain John Smith, who founded Jamestown in 1607. I'm using the stock Deus 2 setup with the 13" coil and the new RCDIGS mount. Wherever the ground was in shade it was frozen, very difficult to dig. Thankfully the areas in the sun were easy albeit a bit muddy, it only got up to 42. I headed over to the spot where I found all the stuff last year and searched around, got a 67 and dug this: I immediately recognized it as the missing piece of the 1600s buckle I dug a year ago! πŸ₯³ I searched around the spot a bit more and found some pieces of lead, nothing important. Then I decided to cross the field and near the other side I got a really strong 82, solid all the way around. I dug and dug and dug, and almost two feet down I managed to pull this out: It's about 5" in diameter, and weighs at least 10 pounds, I think it is a cannonball. Furthermore I think it is an errant shot from the British during the War of 1812, this field is near the Potomac River. There was little to no Civil War action here. I can't find evidence of a fuse, thankfully. πŸ˜… I got home, and reunited the buckle bit in the display box with the other items: If you zoom the picture you will see the date on the coin. It was really great to find the missing buckle piece! Not sure what I'm going to do with the cannonball yet, I got it out of the field so they won't hit it with a plow or farm equipment, and marked the spot I left it on my GPS app. I'm not thrilled with handling ordinance of any kind and am glad I didn't get blown up digging it. 😬 I've dug lots of live bullets but this one goes boom πŸ’₯ or not. It could be solid, but if it is Civil War era, it could be live. A warning to you all. Here's the trash, mostly lead and interesting sounding iron bits. Glad I was able to bring something back. πŸ˜€
  11. Well, no silver this time, but I still had a fun day with Chase. Invited him down again for another shot at a really old place, he wanted to try out a new detector, I hope he will post his impressions. Another warm day, sun was bright and it got into the 50s. Had great conditions for another relic dig. It's getting a little dry now but weekend rain will help. I got there really early, hunted around for a long time, reminded me of my last post, πŸ™„ "Looking For Stuff In all the Wrong Places". By the time Chase showed up I really hadn't found much, so we went to a known hotspot, I switched to the 9" coil because there is a lot of iron there, and the relics started popping. Ended up with some nice Tombacs with shanks, a watch key, a really nice button with gold still on it imported from England - W&G Chance, a great small rein guide and other bits. At one point I got a 91 and thought "yay, Silver!" Nope. Instead I dug what I believe to be a sword crossguard. It has two different scenes on each side, and it's curved. One side appears to depict a person with an animal, the other a person with either a farm implement or trident. It's about 2.5 inches wide, so it was possibly a knife. Couldn't find the rest of it. And last, the real surprise of the day, an extremely old and corroded button with shank that appears to have the number "28" on it, could be from the Revolution or an earlier conflict: Huge shank, probably for a coat. This is all I dug for trash, a little more than a handful. We went to check another field before we left, it had slightly more modern stuff and added a lot of stuff to my trash pouch. I was surprised to only dig one buck ball.
  12. 'Nother day here in sunny VA, got up to 47 anyway with no wind and no clouds. I did pretty well with my trusty old Equinox 600 last time I was out, so I put it and the Deus 2 with the 13" in my golf cart, and drove out to a local field, the same place I dug the 1 Reale half, but a different spot. I've found a lot of buttons and horse tack there, but not any coin that I can remember. This spot is machine gun iron, so I hoped the 10x5 would squeeze something out. I had recovery speed at 3 in Park 1, GB was 25 in this area, and I was using Park 1 in 50 tones. I love these true APTX-LL air/bone conduction headphones I got over Christmas, i think I paid 25 bucks for them. They have a microphone but you can swing it out of the way. They have a large power button, a voice tells you status, and they connect with the Equinox faster than any I've used. The only drawback they have is they are not very loud, but in a quiet field they're great. No brain beating. Here are the finds, most of which were found by the Equinox, it doesn't "unmask", but it sure does separate. Recovery speed 3 is the same as 6 on the 800. I got one of the buckle bits and the brass knob later with the Deus 2, I wish the curved piece of metal was another coin but it's just a bit of something, maybe a button. About 40 minutes in and a bunch of buck balls later, I was near the edge of the ravine and got a solid 21 in all directions, I thought "what is a penny doing here?" Well it wasn't a penny. Yet another cut Pistareen, an early 1700s Philip V, Madrid mint. These things were cut so sharp they probably made holes in pockets, or they stuck to something and were dropped. #4 Spanish silver for the year! Trash was literally nothing, just lots of buckshot and lead. I did get an Indian Wars pull tab. Next time I'll visit this spot with my old Tesoro Vaquero, and I'll put it to task.
  13. Thought I'd post yesterday's hunt, got out for a brisk 5.5 mile hike in about 5.5 hours. πŸ˜€ The title came to me from a country song, for the first 3 hours or so I found literally nothing but buckshot and other junk, I had to laugh. While I'm never tired of being skunked, I do appreciate a few finds especially if I'm covering a lot of ground. πŸ˜… Anyway, it ended up well: First thing I dug was the odd link thing on the top left, it still has wood in it. It's very old but I have no idea what it could be. In the last two hours I got a bunch of buttons and some weird bits, what I think is a bowl from a small pewter spoon, and a 1965 dime. 🀬 Coolest button I've ever found, I thought it was a pin at first but it only has one attachment in the center that was probably a shank: Man lemon juice works wonders. And the star of the hunt, an incredibly toasted large cent that I dinged with my shovel: Sadly no date or obverse detail but enough on the back to at least know what I trashed πŸ˜… I was using the 11" D2 coil all day, I think my centering was off because I usually use the 13x11. 😏 Speaking of trash: Yeah, lots of buck, and a couple of large brass whatzits I dug just before I actually started finding stuff.
  14. Cold and cloudy day today, but I wanted to continue looking around where I was last post. Today I brought both my Deus 2's with me, one with the 13x11" and one with the 9" coil. I was using a slightly modified Relic program on both. In one spot I used the 9" for a while, I've been over it with the 13" but it's very trashy, I wanted to see if I could find anything else with the smaller coil. I managed to get a small button and a piece of decorative horse tack amongst the iron, very impressive. I got the 13" rig and walked other places with less trash for a while, and headed over to a spot I've been over before. It had lots of iron as well, so I retrieved the 9" again. While I was searching this spot I noticed a lot of oyster shells, and when I dug more came up. Seems to me there was a lot of activity here many years ago. Oyster shells are a really good indicator of gatherings in a farm here. It was a pretty good day, got some really old tombacs, one broken brass button, and what I think is the blade of an old oyster knife that came up from a hole that was nearly all shells. Looking around this area, carefully analyzing every signal finally produced an 81 ID in the midst of other iron, and I got my find of the day: Half of a 1728 King Philip V silver 1 Reale with excellent detail. It was almost on the surface. This is what the whole coin would look like: The "S" is Seville mint I believe. Always a thrill to get the old stuff, and the coin pretty much dates everything else. Here's the trash, some bits of copper pot, some nails and the ever present lead. Also found a 6,000 year old pull tab.
  15. Beautiful day today, went from 30 to the low 50s. When it's sunny, the black nitrile Milwaukee gloves I use keep my hands warm enough. I invited Chase to pick a spot and he picked a place that we have found some really old relics, and today was yet another banner day. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I'm using the Deus 2, it's been nearly 2 years now. On a Culpeper outing Chase suggested I use Relic relatively unmodified, the main thing is to set one notch at 00-00, which essentially will make iron blank out. You cannot set discrimination in Relic, but you can crank Disc IAR to 5 which forces most iron to blank. I used it successfully and I've seen him use it with great success and moreso now with V2, XP really got things tight with that release. Granted my soil is ridiculously mild, so anything goes here. Instead of an iron brain beating, you get "blips". When you get a good target it sounds like a cat attacking a mouse, that's about the best way I can describe it. It's using the D2 to do what it does best. All along I've been modifying various Deus 2 programs in an effort to have it act like a more accurate Equinox, and that was sort of my mistake. While I am still using my modified General program to verify some iron targets, the last 2 hunts have been exclusively using Relic, and with great results. Chase uses PWM audio, I still prefer High Square but am grateful to have a choice. The tonal nuances are still very similar. Using Relic gives me an idea of depth even with Audio Response cranked to 7. Iron still is a small problem, when it's huge or forged it seems to fool the detector sometimes, but switching to another mode helps. Relic has no full tones option. I guess tone breaks can be set, but why bother, it's either iron or it isn't, and where we are digging there isn't much trash. It's all really old stuff. No pull tabs, little can slaw (unless it is an ancient copper container), and very few modern tractor parts in this field. Today I only had the 13" with me, but it still did well in iron trashy spots as long as I cranked Reactivity up from .5 to 2. I covered almost 6 miles today in 6 hours, so the 13" was my friend there. Got quite a few interesting things, a turtle shaped boss of some kind, a bunch of buttons, a thimble, a small and large ancient buckle, and an odd "washer" of some sort that has decoration on it. Got an almost round flat piece of lead that interested me too. This stuff is mostly late 1600s to mid 1700s. I thought I may have found one of these turtle shell looking objects before and I did, about a year ago in another field: Of course, no one expects the Spanish to show up (old joke πŸ˜€), but indeed they did: A 1724 "pillars and waves" cob minted in Potosi, you can just make out the entire 2, and "pillars and waves" ended in 1737, I think. I do not know the denomination, but suspect it to be a 1 or 2 Reale, as it weighs almost a gram. The "P" is the mintmark from Bolivia. The reverse isn't very detailed. It was poorly clipped or snapped, maybe I'll find more. Here's what it might have looked like originally: I found this at the end of the hunt, in one of those "I think I'll go up there" scenarios. 😎 This is the third Spanish coin I've found this year, and now my fourth oldest coin. Getting to really know the detector I have, and being lucky enough to have a place to find this old stuff is why I do so well. πŸ™‚ It's good to spend a lot of time learning your machine, should I have used another I am less familiar with, I don't think my results lately would be as good. I'll be sticking with the Deus 2. Forgot the trash again, merely a handful.
  16. We had two really nice days here, yesterday and today. Yesterday it got up to 75 which often happens in January, and today it got up to about 60. Yesterday I only had a couple hours out, I took advantage of the warm weather to get some stuff done, but I got out in the afternoon. Just a quick random walk around the field in front of my house, got a few interesting finds: An unusual chrome plated tire valve cover that says "Schrader" with a patent number, an interesting milk glass button, probably one of the oldest 4 hole buttons I've ever found that says "special order" on it, a typical brass button with backmarks, a cufflink with some of the link and some blue enamel on it, and a wing bolt with the manufacturer name on it. Here's a closer look at the cufflink: Pretty cool that the enamel was still there. Today it was a bit cooler, I went to a nearby huge field where I've found lots of really old relics, and today was no exception. This farm is over 150 acres of open field with a road through the center. I've posted lots of hunts from this place, I always seem to find something interesting here. Here's today's finds: A large brass object I've found quite a few of in different sizes, I forget what it is. Another ladder buckle piece, below it a brass screw with a drilled out ball head, an ancient buckle half, a pistol ball and interesting bullet, 5 buttons, 3 of which are tombacs, a small half circle with chain attached, a shoe buckle fork, and a 1940 Jefferson nickel. The stars of this hunt were the old buckle, this nice cast design Tombac button: And this button that scares me, it might be a George Washington button but it's pretty far gone: Looks like it could say "Long Live The President" in the second circle from the center, it's not this one but it gives you the idea. I'm really glad my wife didn't mind me getting out there, warm days are a bonus! Edit: forgot the trash. Day 1 Today:
  17. Got some unexpected good weather this week, yesterday it was almost 50 and today it went over 60. Yesterday I just went out in front of my house for a short while, the ground was still kind of frozen, I only stayed out about 2 hours. Some places it was easy to dig, others the shovel just bounced. Got a few things and quit when the mail came, I received @steveg's new mount for his brilliant CF Deus 2 shaft. Today I invited Chase down, I figured the ground would be mostly defrosted, overnight the temperature didn't go below 40 so it did not refreeze. Today we went to the new field I scouted a while back, and took our time looking in the hotspots I found. I had my Deus 2 with the new right-hand tilted RCDIGS mount, I wanted to see if there was anything different about it. It was much easier to see the screen, I didn't spend any time at all tilting the unit to see the IDs and the XY screen. That was very cool. 😎 Today's hunt was about 7 hours and almost 7 miles of walking, it's a big place that apparently hasn't been hunted by anyone else before but me. 😁 Chase did much better than me, but I managed to find some cool stuff and keep my precious metal streak alive. First the trash, quite a bit today. 😡 Lots of buck balls, lead, and some iron. I was switching back and forth between my relic program based on General and an only slightly modified Relic program. Every now and again I had to switch to Deus Mono at 17kHz because of the power lines, but never missed a beat. Now for the good stuff, both days combined: From the day before a whatzit, a 1929 wheat, and probably the coolest gold plated cufflink I've ever found: Bizarre decoration but whatever. πŸ˜€ Got a weird "chicken leg" finial that I thought was a candle snuffer at first but it turns out the inside is threaded. A bunch of buckles, an odd ring that was a 92, a 1904 IHP, one Tombac and one brass button, a bit of brass horse tack that is heart-shaped, a Civil War miniΓ© ball, and a plated thingy that looks like it may have had a watch hanging from it. Most modern was a 1978 memorial penny. The oval with the holes might be a plate from an old rifle but the square holes are odd. πŸ€” Pulled a Hail Mary in the 4th quarter with this silver find: It's a spoon handle, solid "900 coin silver", made by this silversmith: https://www.americansilversmiths.org/makers/silversmiths/117961.htm Fun day out, seemed like Spring. Glad it's not. πŸ€”
  18. Conditions were optimal for a hunt today, despite another big storm coming I managed to get Chase to come down. Rain wasn't expected until the evening. High winds after the last storm quickly dried out the field surface, but the targets were hot. We've been to this place in the past and didn't think some of the stuff we found would be there, it turned out to be a really good day. We both ended up with quite good finds! I had the D2 and 13". Today I was experimenting with Silencer settings, since V1 it was changed dramatically. I was using my modified General program, but incrementally increased Silencer to eliminate iron falsing, there is iron everywhere in patches. Ended up at 6, thought reactivity was too low at 0, so I bumped it to 2. The day went well. I would hear the iron in the same pass, but the target stood out. Happened again and again, no loss of depth either. Many of the targets were co-located with iron up to 10" deep. I'll run this backward, here's the trash: A crazy mix of stuff, a bit more than a handful. Next are the things too big for a display box: Some kind of drain thingy, a brass leg, and other bits of brass. The shell I believe is a .45/70. Big round. Here's everything going to the Riker case: 3 buckles, one really old huge brass cast one. It was at least a foot deep. Got a silver plated thimble, sadly crushed, but I got all the parts. 7 buttons, 3 Tombac , one with gold plating still on it, 8 if this green stone thing is actually a button: And one with a very delicate design in gold: Use water to rinse those buttons! Don't thumb or brush them. πŸ€” Got a watch key, various bits of unknown metal, and one of the strangest things I have ever found: It has a threaded casting in the back for a bolt. Here's my killer find, it was an 83 and at first I thought it was junk or a pull tab, but then I saw the Spanish cross: Here it is with a penny, it's really small. I'm thinking Half Reale Cob from the late 1600s. Only walked a little over 4 miles and it took 7 hours. What a day. πŸ˜…
  19. I'm down due to a severe shoulder injury, but not out. πŸ˜€ I've been thinking a lot about this article for a long time, even teased it a couple of times, I always keep my promises. A farm is a complex system, and to my great joy I've found that most detectorists have their "eyes on the prize", the immediate areas around barns, houses, and roadways. My best finds have come from other parts of a farm, partly because many of the farms I have hunted were previously detected. I want to share some of my observations over the past 4 years with you. I've also posted two other tutorials, one regarding using the website historicaerials.com and the app OnX Hunt, and another showing how to use the incredible Lidar imaging website from USGS. Here is the link for those: Probably the most important and first thing I will share is not only to get permission to hunt a farm by interesting the farmer in having you search it, but also to inquire as to the history of the place, and listen. Allowing a farmer to talk at length about the property is one of the top ways to ensure cooperation and the possibility of being able to keep some or all of what you find. If you act hasty, impatient or shady in any way you will be rejected. Scour the Internet prior to and after talking with the farmer so that anything the person says will make sense, but do be careful not to reveal too much of what you know. Promise that you will not be a liability, and that you will not call attention to the farm with any historical authorities. I'm not an artist so all of my illustrations will be somewhat crude, I apologize for that in advance. πŸ™„ Above is an actual aerial photo of a farm from Google Maps, not necessarily one of my permissions. πŸ€” "Turn Zone" I've noticed that most farmers make one or two passes around the field both when planting or after harvest. This serves as a guide for what I call the "turn zone", this area will be at either end of the direction the field has been sown. Prior to mechanized farming methods, farmers used large animals to pull the various tools used. Traditionally a farm will be tilled and sown in the direction that produces the least amount of turns the animals would have to make. At best you will be able to determine this by eye and perhaps using old aerial photos, but sometimes large tracts are farmed in different directions in order to produce different crops at random. Generally the turn zone will be at the end of the furrows, not along the sides. I have illustrated these zones in red on the aerial photo. Typically most finds will be located in this area about two bush hog or tilling widths (modern equipment) from the edge of the farm. Buttons, tack buckles, and coins can be found in this area in abundance, as not only is it a stress on equipment and clothing turning the animals, it is also a rest area before continuing back in the other direction. "Rabbit Hunting Zone" This zone is found usually in the more remote parts of the farm to avoid discharging firearms in the direction of the house and barns. It is illustrated by the orange tick marks along the tree line. Hunters flush out the prey there, and sometimes just fire into the woods, as small prey won't usually be seen in the open. Coins, buttons and other pocket contents can be found there, as well as a tremendous amount of spent cartridges from various firearms which makes this zone a bit difficult. If you're not up for a lot of signals you can avoid it. There will be a lot of other junk there such as discarded lubricating cans, parts, tools and lots of can slaw. "Stress Zone" One might think farms are usually flat, but in my experience they are anything but. Gullies, washouts, and rises from the sublime to the ridiculous abound! An aerial photo doesn't show these anomalies well so I created a crude drawing to illustrate it below. The incline might seem steep but I've seen it often. Getting farm animals to cooperate going uphill and downhill is no easy task. Therefore, relics get lost in this stressful endeavor at the bottom, middle and top of a rise. Buttons pop, buckles break or fall off with straps, and coins are lost from resting or maintaining tack and tools at the top and bottom of a hill or rise. In addition, relics get washed down to the bottom of the hill by storms. When searching a hillside, be mindful of shelves or indentations where relics might get trapped. "Hot Spots" Old farms were often the center of local activity. Fairs, Markets, Horse racing or riding and local entertainment to name a few. There is often no surface evidence of such activity. There may also be little evidence that a building once stood in the field. While searching the above zones, it is often good to crisscross the field to see if iron concentrations can be found in open space. The presence of such can well indicate a hot spot where activity occurred, and finding the edges of such a hot spot will allow for a more concentrated search. When concentrated iron is found, simply search in concentric circles or straight lines to find where iron is no longer detected in quantity. Miscellaneous Look for washouts, contours where water drains from the field, any evidence of running water during storms. If you search these spots from end to end there will be a high concentration of lighter materials such as aluminum at the lower end, but often heavier objects can be found at the beginning. The presence of many lead bullets in a particular spot indicates it is the drop point or backstop of projectiles such as one might find at a shooting range. Unless the actual target spot can be located where there is a possibility of finding pocket relics, it is somewhat doubtful that anything but bullets or shot will be found. Flattened bullets in quantity would be an indicator. Look at topographic maps on historicaerials.com going as far back as you can, they often indicate the presence of roads that have been moved or are no longer in use. Many relics can be found along old roads. Those maps prior to the 1960s will often indicate the location of buildings that no longer exist as well, represented by square dots in the oldest maps, and up to large rectangles in later maps. Water features on a farm present an extra degree of challenge, particularly waterproof equipment. Look for really tall trees that appear to have been on the farm for a long time after noon (12PM), these "signal trees" indicate the possibility of a break area from the hot sun. I've found coins and buttons tracing the shade. I also want to call attention to "dragged" objects that get caught up in the various implements, and items broken by such as well. Dragged items can be found anywhere, and broken items can often be found in straight lines from the piece you have currently discovered. Hunting in an increasing spiral from the object or along the apparent furrow may produce additional pieces. This is as much as I can think of at the moment, should I think of anything else I'll post it, or if any of you have other suggestions, please post them here. Happy Hunting!
  20. Got a snowstorm and cold snap coming today, it started yesterday afternoon but for most of the day it was in the 50s, perfect detecting weather. It's a farm I've had in my back pocket for a while. I've detected a small portion of it but not the big part. Yesterday I had multiple things to test, the RCDIGS mount, my new WSA II XL headphones, and I wanted to try the Silencer thing in a machine gun metal spot. Got about halfway there and realized I forgot my headphones, so I got a late start. πŸ€ͺ Still managed to walk 6 miles in 5 hours, most of the day was fairly nice but the wind picked up and a cold front came through in the last hour or so, it dropped the temperature 10 degrees in about an hour. 😬 Because I knew I was going to cover a lot of area fast, I wasn't expecting to find much but came away pleased, got some pretty good stuff. The RCDIGS mount was solid and worked well as expected, I put a review up in the XP Deus 2 forum. The XL headphones kept my ears warm in the wind, I was a little concerned about situational awareness after I saw what I think was a black bear running away from me down in a ravine. 😬 I like the WSA II headphones much better, the XL's just don't have the dynamic response with full tones that the smaller ones do. πŸ€” They're ok at best, but useful. If I wear a beanie or headband over the WSA II backphones, the sound is phenomenal with the same equalizer settings. I ended up getting some pretty cool stuff: What I think are 3 bit bosses or large hollow back buttons, one is very fancy with a little gilt still on it: A D buckle, a General Service coat button, a couple collar studs or rivets, and this odd broken doodad with a tab on it: A nice skeleton key and a tiny lead washer. Near where I found the key I got a nice 83, and dug the find that made the day worth it more than I expected: An 1854 silver half dime! It was taco'ed when I dug it, but it straightened itself out later πŸ™„ Odd that the coin could have got bent, being the second smallest US coin. At least it didn't get broken. 😎 I'm sure there is more there, but I wanted to get an idea of where to go the next time. πŸ™‚ Here's the trash, the largest copper circle I've ever found, about 4 or 5 inches in diameter: 6 miles is a lot for a geezer like me, but was well worth it. 😎 The spot with all the iron produced nothing and the soil was black, probably an empty building burned there.
  21. Hello everyone ! new user here, first of all thanks for this awesome forum, well made and functional. I have been detecting for a couple years now with my trusty companion equinox 800 that follows me in steep mountain climbs, long hikes and swims to get to remote areas were ancient settlements can be found without trash. I mainly search in low trash environments, for obvious reasons, but often the geological deposit is too high to get to the desired historical level and my VLF just can’t find any target under 20cm. For this very reason I was looking for a good PI machine, packable in a backpack, that can help me go deeper to the relics/hoards i’m looking for, without going on bulky machines that make you dig 2 meters for you need a damn excavator (those PI that you bring around in two person used by the military to find unexploded ordinance or bombs). For obvious reasons the Garrett AXIOM should be my choice (modern, lightweight, ironcheck, ergonomic, easy setup..) but i’m just afraid it can’t pack the punch that I need to go deeper. In comparison I’m looking at the Minelab GPX5000 (older, heavier, bulky, iron reject, huge aftermarket for coils, hard to learn) that being around for more than 10 years has been tested and tested again, proving itself a well made machine that should suit my needs. Now, I know technology has made big steps forward in the last 10 years, but i’m doubtful wether to trust a new product that hasn’t been reviewed as well as an other, overall when buying a detector that costs 4000€ !! In my opinion all the ergonomics and versatility of the AXIOM can’t come without any loss in other aspect…. maybe the energy that flows through the coil of the GPX (seen that huge battery pack) is more than the AXIOM, hence less reach ? Maybe the AXIOM has been developed too specifically for gold and less for silver and bronze ? I’m afraid that the AXIOM is just a very very good upgrade to my EQUINOX, and not a deep machine like i’m looking for ! Earlier I have posted the video that made doubt between the two machines, i’ll post it again here to make you understand the kind of depth and targets i’m looking for with this new machine: Please help me ! Its now months i’m choosing and start to feel philosophically undecided like Soren Kierkegaard 😫
  22. Today I wanted to get out for a whole day hunt at my oldest permission, it dates to ~1640. They cleared the half that hasn't been hunted since I got it. Unfortunately they planted winter wheat on the other half πŸ˜€ It wasn't a bad day at all, started out about 43 and went up to around 50. I invited Chase down to hunt it with me, he got there later and did well himself. Today I walked nearly 8 miles, it was pretty rough on me, and in the afternoon the wind came up. It got colder pretty fast. Here are my relic funds for the day: Got a nice newer brass buckle, a couple of horse tack decorations, some other interesting bits, and 10 buttons or pieces. The most interesting relic was the odd shaped brass object next to last on the top row, it had decoration on it. Not sure what it's from but it is curved. Got a pretty big pile of trash today, lots of lead, a few pieces of iron, and some other junk. But the day was made by the coins! We hunted a road that went about a mile or so back behind the farm and I got this: A beautiful 1916 Mercury dime. Haven't got much silver lately so it was a relief! Sadly it's not a D πŸ€” This is how it came out of the ground, I didn't need to clean it at all! But the real thrill of the day was getting a 96 and digging this coin, it's my first one of these. I had to sidelight it to get the date to stand out, it's a 1798 Draped Bust Large cent. The reverse is pretty good too, enough details to show. I dare not clean it any more than I have. I also got what I think was a wheat penny but it's horribly toasted. I hope Chase had as much fun as I did today. πŸ™‚
  23. If you read my posts you'll know I badly dislocated my left shoulder last Sunday. Then XP released the Go Terrain app, so I had to try it out. I held off until today, and just took a minimum of gear with me, I dug my targets with @kac's excellent Devil's Tongue digger. The ground in the field in front of my house is littered with corn trash, at least they turbo tilled it. This is from the app, I set a detection zone, and started tracking. It was late in the afternoon so I only covered about a third of my zone, but I tried everything. Yep, right out in front of my house. 😁 First off I'll say the app is cool, and I sure don't mind paying 10 bucks a year for it. Instructions are pretty easy to follow, and it does what it says it will do. It records your finds after a selectable number of swings, I picked 8 in 10 seconds like the excellent instruction video. I was easily able to pair the coil, just search for it and swing the coil over a find until it registers. Everything worked very well. It recorded my path ok, GPS accuracy isn't all that good due to lots of military aircraft testing in my area, so it kinda fluctuated, creating the squiggly path. At first I didn't have path enabled, and if you forget it enabling it later will turn it on. I even tried going away from a target without digging it and went back, found it fairly easily and dug it. I also went out of the zone many times and it vibrated the phone as expected. πŸ‘ I paused and restarted the app many times in order to dig my targets, you have to remember to start it again, and if you don't pause it, it will keep registering the target especially if it has varying IDs, which lots of targets will. I had to pinpoint and use the MI-6 a lot as all I had was a small digger. Iron targets are recorded as black dots unless there is some falsing, a few times I re-registered targets because I knew the reading was false, if you have big iron on the edge of the 13" coil that is what happens until you are over it. "Null" targets - those that come up with -- on the display - will not be recorded. With my program this means anything below 1. These are my finds, mostly stuff I would throw out. The lamp wick raiser was about 8" deep, tough to get with a hand digger in this dry soil, but the ID was accurate. Ok, now my thoughts about this app: I have a Samsung Z-Flip 4 that I can fold and keep in my pocket with a battery that keeps it going all day. However, that is a problem. Unless the phone is on and the app is running in the foreground, it will not record targets. 😡 It will track but that's it. Folding the Z-Flip shuts the screen off. The screen doesn't "follow" or move when you have it zoomed in, so you have to keep hitting the location icon to see your present position. This could be fixed by making your "sprite" move the screen. πŸ€” The detectorist in the video made it look very cool using the app, in reality not so much. You'd have to have your phone running live in a pouch and whip it out when you want to see anything, or you'd have to have a chest harmonica rig to see it all the time 😏 I'm not one of the Blues Brothers, so this ain't gonna do it for me. 😎 To get the vibrations when you leave your detection zone you'd have to hold it, putting it in your pocket or a pouch renders that feature moot. The app is very cool, but not well conceived for us dirt pirates, maybe it's cool in Europe to walk around all day with a cell in your hand, but not with a detector in one hand and shovel over your other shoulder. I still haven't found a shovel clip that stays together for even one day. When you close out your hunt it takes a long time to upload it to the server, at least with my measly 3 bars of 4G. I might use it now and again for fun, but really OnX Hunt still does it for me. It runs and tracks all the time. At least I got my thank you for coming prize after I put the phone away, this really interesting Civil War relic that I cannot identify 🀣 I looked for it on the Internet and did find a similar relic found in Culpeper VA, about 60 miles away: I don't think the seller knew what it was either. 😏 If any of y'all know please help. πŸ™‚
  24. A couple weeks ago I was hunting one of my pretty heavily hit areas, and by chance got a 94 blip on the Deus 2 between some iron. I dug out a rather heavy bronze medallion with heavy bronze disease and it was obviously corroded and broken on the edges. It's flat on one side, and sort of domed on the other. It weighs 10.6 grams and at its highest measurement it is almost 3mm thick. It is almost 1.5 inches at its widest. Didn't look like much when I first sidelighted it, kinda like a bow or something. I set it aside and picked it up today and saw something completely different on a different orientation: it sort of looks like two soldiers in combat. I thought I'd post it to see if anyone recognizes the pattern, the flat back isn't much help either. Google lens brings up all sorts of ancient stuff, nothing that "should" be found in America. πŸ€” Any help, even wild speculation would be appreciated! Also any suggestions on how I could make more details stand out.
  25. Got out for a few hours on Saturday, just hunting the field in front of my house. Can't get to all of it easily, the neighbors all have big dogs that they let run free. I try to stay in the low spots so they can't see me. An additional benefit was being upwind πŸ˜€ That's my house in the background. 😎 The field is about 70 acres, turbo tilled corn stalks. It's bad because it's like walking on a dump, but good because all the trash keeps the soil moisture in so digging isn't all that bad. I didn't expect to find much, and was right. 😏 But what I found was worth every minute! While in this spot which is on the hill side, I got a nice 87/88, usually aluminum but this one sounded sharp and different. No brassy tone. I was really shocked to get this beautiful old button! It's domed and has a solid shank in back, all cast and hand engraved. I'm estimating its age as early as 1650, because I found one like it on the Internet that claimed the same age: Different pattern but exactly the same construction. How they got that one to stand on its side is a mystery πŸ€” Here's the back of mine fresh out of the ground. Total haul below, got a small Tombac too which is probably more like 1720 up, but still very old. Not much but all quite aged. 😎 Earlier today I was going to post this, but my upstairs air handler quit on me, I had to climb a rickety aluminum ladder to get in the attic, and coming down I fell about 8 feet when the ladder slipped and I landed on it. I am very fortunate to only have sustained a dislocated left shoulder and one small cut on my right arm. It could have been a lot worse... 😬 Went to the hospital and the doc showed me a DIY trick to put it back in place, after many extremely painful attempts I went for broke and pulled really hard. It popped back in, I kissed the Docs' hand and asked her to marry me. 🀣 I'm home, whacked up on morphine, waiting for it to fade and the pain to start but I thought it would be good to get a last post up here for a bit, my arm is in a sling and I hope I recover quickly.πŸ™‚ Here's the trash, not bad. Also got an old pocket knife but can't identify the maker.
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