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  1. On Thursday I went out on my 3rd trip with my 15x10 X-Coil to well pounded patches in Southern California. All of these places have been completely trashed. I've only found gold in one of the areas but others have. I did some thinking and testing at my first stop of the morning about dawn and decided to settle down the sensitivity. Thursday I switched to difficult and something close to Lunk and Coiltek's settings but the sensitivity at 15. This helped me maintain a smooth threshold even with our hotrocks and mineralizations. I've been poking it under bushes I could never get under before and going very slow and finding tiny bits of wire and bullets missed by Monsters, 2300s and 14s but I can't show any gold for my efforts yet. It was more fun on Thursday than the previous two trips where I felt anxious and frustrated. About the middle of the day I noticed a tire on my 4Runner was low. I couldn't trust going up higher into the mountains so I switched to a spot where a friend had Monstered and found some tiny surface nuggets so I thought I'd give it a try. I was finding trash so that was a good sign. Most of the bbs were long gone. I just kept poking around. I heard a deep signal (iffy) under a bush and was scrapping and digging and the signal brightened up a bit. I was near a little road but I was going down into compressed rock and the signal is getting better. After I'm down past the normal trash I decided to video this hole. As you could tell I was hopeful. I don't know how that cartridge got down that deep but it is only the 3 time I remember something like that happening. One time was in Australia and the other time was in Gold Basin. Better luck next time.
  2. Golden Grams of Goodness: Part 1 November is not usually a time of year that I get to chase the gold, as by the time November rolls around the ground usually requires some dynamite or some equally powerful force to break through the frost to get to the gold. However, this year has been a year of exceptions. In September, we had early snow and frost with well below seasonal temperatures that carried into October, and that doesn't happen very often as usually the weather is rather mild. However, after the early blast of Arctic bad temper, the weather shook itself out until the first week of November with temperatures soaring above average, so this allowed the chance to engage in some gold sleuthing when normally I'd be reduced to only dreaming of chasing the gold. I have two sons, and the eldest loves to chase the gold, while the other will chase the gold given the opportunity, but he doesn't have the same level of passion. Me eldest was with me on this trip, and he was with me on our epic gold adventure when we truly slew an army of nuggets early in the summer (I have yet to post that story), so he was eager to have a chance to hone his detecting and sniping skills. The area we dropped into to work was full of bedrock pinnacles. These pinnacles were formed of an iron-hard bedrock, so hard that the big equipment had negligible effect. In fact, smoke was pouring off the bucket teeth and blades of the excavators as they tried to outmuscle the mother rock. As a result, there was a section of ground about the size of two school buses parked side-by-side, but slightly longer. Looking down into the excavation, there were three pools of standing water as well as a small stream of clear seepage water running diagonally across the northern, more elevated end of the bedrock. The southern end was where the largest pool of water was, and the eastern side of the excavation had a culvert that was collecting the water from the stream to then divert it through a long series of interconnected culverts to a sump where a six-inch diesel-powered pump was working night and day to keep that sump cleared. Over the entire area of exposed bedrock, there were many buried, small gutters with high, then lower humps, and throughout the area, there were those dark pinnacles of super-hard bedrock, some of them rising up almost four feet, resulting in an area that could not be cleaned out properly by the modern miners with their big equipment. The area was perfect for detector and sniping work, making it a perfect area for us to tackle. To be continued . . . All the best, Lanny
  3. I attempted to capitalize on my success from our New Years Day hunt where my first coin of 2022 was a beautiful 1825 reale ( https://youtu.be/EFZ5Wf3cy2I). On that trip I removed a large section of brush that low and behold gave up several good targets once cleared. This general area produced several Phoenix buttons, a reale, green copper, flat buttons, relics, etc. This trip I tried removing more brush right in what was previously a hot zone, but I was shocked after busting my hump that the thicket of bushes wasn't hiding a single target. Tom likewise cleared out a large swath of overgrowth and after he went through with his Deus and got nothing (camp lead and shotgun butts perhaps), I went though it with the EQX and I did get what sounded like a good chance to be a deep coin, but it ended up being a deep shotgun shell. I don't recall shotgun shell being punishing on previous hunts there, but they were on this one, and I see that Tom also got an equally larger number of them. Then I moved to the area that I had cleared out on the last trip and thought it made good sense to continue expanding my pocket and aside from a couple pieces of large iron, it was devoid of targets. While I was bushwhacking Tom decided to freestyle it on the deer trails. This would prove to be a good move, as he soon started having success. Finally after Tom had bagged TWO Phoenix buttons and a flat button, I started working my way to where I thought he was, but the bottom line is I spent the majority of the hunt either bushwhacking dud areas, or exploring an entirely different area from where Tom was that ended up being practically devoid of targets. Tom kept texting me, hey I got another flat button, hey another phoenix button, hey a small birdcage button. Geesh he was killing it. I ended up with a single flat button way out in the bush, and when I finally returned closer to the "zone", BAM I landed a neat button! How it got there is completely beyond me?? I researched it and it's what's commonly referred to as a War of 1812 Royal Navy Officer 15mm gilt brass flat button. This Royal Navy Officers one piece button was manufactured between 1798-1812. What's that doing in Alta California?? Anyone in California ever find one of these? I know when Spain wasn't looking the British were trading there, and when Alta California was under Mexican authority, the British could trade there. On our way out we wanted to check an area that I sampled last trip and it produced a flat button or two. We were more thorough this time and hit an interesting little patch. Tom pulled a flat button and some big bronze foot to a candlestick or chalice or? Not far from him I got these two little silver buckles. Funky signal, silver screamer with other signals mixed in, pulled several targets out of this little area mixed in with junk. Got the little silver D buckle first, then the larger silver buckle second. Then I waded through some (gasp) clad and got a screaming flutey silver tone, and saw a little silver disc fly out of the hole!! Ended up being a seated half dime, a nice early one too from 1838. To bad it wasn't an Orleans mint mark, it'd be a high dollar little coin then, but it's still a killer find from early Alta California. Nothing else too exciting to be honest, Tom was on fire! I believe he ended up with something like nine period flat buttons, and 2 Phoenix buttons, and a bunch of period green copper. Hopefully he'll post his finds here. This was the maiden voyage for my new Coiltek 10x5 on the EQX800. My overall impressions: I was concerned about depth, but now I think without an A/B stock 11" vs the 10x5, I think it would be hard to notice in the field. I don't think it was any easier maneuvering through the brush, maybe it was, but in reality it seemed like the coil was getting hung up just as much haha When I got the seated half dime, the area was junky and it did really well separating each target in the mix when going slow , the 11" coil probably would've smeared some of the targets together. I didn't find the balance to be any different, it didn't feel lighter, I guess I'm used to slogging the stock 11" around. Thanks for looking! GL&HH, Cal
  4. A few weeks back forum member and friend abenson posted the results of an amazing hunt he had in Virginia at the latest week long "Diggin' in Virginia" organized group relic hunt. DIV is the gold standard of group hunts, a well organized, well oiled machine that enables folks regardless of equipment, skill, or experience to have access to sites in and around Culpeper, Virginia known to have Civil War activity through battle or long-term winter encampment. The CW history around Culpeper is immense. Several major engagements were fought within a 50 mile radius of the town including the Battle of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Battle of the Wilderness, and the battles of Cedar Mountain and the Battle of Brandy Station (the largest Cavalry engagement of the Civil War), the latter two being fought on Culpeper County land, and many other major and minor skirmishes. In addition, Culpeper was a popular site for winter encampments for both Armies. The result is simply a high density of CW related relics remaining in the ground on the various, numerous private farm properties in the area. DIV contracts with landowners to give the DIV participants access to the land to search for these coveted relics. The main catch is that relic hunting has been going on for multiple decades and although advances in technology and technique have enabled relic hunters to get access to deeply buried relics, those relics are disappearing and not being replenished. Those "surface finds" are actually pretty deep on average and the to complicate matters further, the soil is extremely mineralized due to the local geology which also happens to be home to some fairly significant natural gold deposits. Finally, several organized hunts and individual relic detectorists have repeatedly pounded the major "hot spot" sites. That doesn't mean the sites are devoid of relics but it does mean a little bit of research, detective work, and luck go a long way to getting you into an area of high relic concentration. Anyway, this DIV was number "50". No, it hasn't been held for 50 years, there have been 50+ organized DIV events held since around 2004. This event featured 4 separate sites that participants could visit as they pleased over a period of 5 days. If you read Andy's post that I linked above, you can see that he had a pretty good hunt, he had a plan, stuck to it, focused on one specific area, and was rewarded, indeed, with the find of a lifetime, a CS tongue. Part of a two-piece Confederate buckle (see pic below). This is my DIV 50 story. We started at a "new site" that was not hunted by DIV previously. As you might imagine, it was highly popular on day 1. Me and my two buds hit the site for awhile came up with a few bullets and not much else and then decided to hit another site where we previously had some luck. There too, the finds were few and far between but we were not skunked. We decided to hit a different site on day 2 where we had also had some previous luck with very little success. Lead is great but we were really craving brass. We visited a fourth site on day 3. This site was a site we previously had sworn off based on previous poor luck and you can now see how desperate our crew was becoming. We found a couple more CW bullets there and then proceeded to go back to a different section of the site we visited on Day 2. On the way there we noticed that a field that had been previously occupied with a fresh crop of soybeans had just been harvested that day. As far as that DIV is concerned, that would be considered virgin hunting ground and we were going to be one of the first crews exploiting it. We hit the field spread out and started surveying it for possible hot spots. I found a couple of tiny brass percussion caps and some non-descript brass, but it was starting to look like another wild goose chase. I hit another strong signal, that sounded good in the GPX headphones, nice high tone that did not break and started digging. As I remove more and more dirt and rechecked the hole the signal remained loud and clear and unbreaking (I was using a moderate iron reject setting). Finally, I located the target but to my dismay it was in the side wall of the hole. Not a good sign. That typically happens with ferrous targets because they tend to pinpoint off-center. I pursued it anyway and a beautiful green, brass something fell out of the sidewall and into the bottom of the hole. It was a heavy brass object that resembled a section of wreath. I knew what I just dug and I was simultaneously filled with feelings of joy and disappointment. I too had recovered part of a two piece tongue and wreath Confederate Army buckle. Andy had recovered his "find of a lifetime" CS tongue. I recovered part of the wreath that encircles the tongue when the two-piece buckle is fastened together. But unfortunately, under circumstances unknown (perhaps under the plow, perhaps in battle) it was only a broken off partial section of the Wreath and not fully intact. Hey a partial wreath is better than no wreath, and believe me I opened up that hole and also super searched the entire vicinity for an intact tongue or any other matching fragments to the partial wreath, but was unsuccessful. Similar feelings occur when you recover military two-piece button backs with the faces missing. On one hand you know what you got and you are happy to have recovered some brass, but he feeling is bittersweet knowing what might have been if the button (buckle) was recovered intact. That day and the next day I recovered five button backs. Ha. But the good news is that I also recovered 5 intact Eagle buttons including an Eagle "I" coat button that still had some gilt. A pretty good DIV haul for me and the rest of the crew as that field contained a number of brass button, minie ball, and brass relic hot spots. We also dodged the tractor a few times and it even forced me to abandon a sweet signal as it "ran over" my target. I let the tractor pass, reacquired the target and pulled a nice Eagle button. Anyway enjoy the pics of my finds from DIV 50. I managed to recover a relic from each site, just missed a spectacular find, and kidded Andy by saying that I found the part of the wreath for his CS Tongue that he was unable to recover....
  5. I went on a little day trip to the Mojave Desert, California. It is within a day’s round trip from where I live but I had to get up at 3 am to get there on time and to have enough time available for prospecting. I decided to just have a little exploration trip and to check out this new area that I had in mind. The general area that I wanted to explore has a long history of lode and placer mining, mostly in the late 19th century, but mining was not been done on grand scale due to the extreme harsh weather conditions and lack of water. It is not too far away from Death Valley with temperatures easily reaching 115 deg F and above in summer (43 deg C) and way below freezing at night time in winter. I happen to like this harsh and unforgiving environment and spending time there is like being in a meditative state thinking to be in a foreign world, or like being on another planet. I selected a canyon area that I spotted on google earth that had a couple of old placer mines nearby. The geology is in this general region is characterized by tertiary sandstone, shale, conglomerate, breccia, and ancient lake deposits. However, there are also significant lava rock occurrences in form of highly mineralized volcanic tuff which makes detecting extremely challenging. This is a little depiction of the rocks you find there. Many of these rocks are screamers that neither the 6000 nor the 7000 were able to handle. What made the situation even more complicated is that these “hot rocks” were not just on the surface but also buried all the way deep. So, identifying targets of interest that were worth-wile digging was nearly impossible and many times I found hot rocks 1-2 feet deep that the detector picked up. I started with the 6000 and found my first little nugget very close to the surface, around 2 inch deep. What made this one interesting was that it was stuck on a volcanic tuff rock. This is another example of how gold flakes can be stuck to these rocks and wiping the dirt off of them before throwing them away can pay off. I run the 6000 on Auto/Normal/threshold on with the detector volume set all the way down to 1 but with the headset volume set to about 6 clicks. This actually worked remarkably well and made detecting a lot easier without losing sensitivity. I can highly recommend these settings and I believe Steve and JP have commented on this before. I also picked up a lot of tiny bird shots, another example of how sensitive the 6000 is. I then switched to the 7000/NF-Zsearch which I run in HY/Normal/Sens 15/semi-auto GB/smoothing off/volume 6/threshold 27. To my surprise, the detector was fairly stable under these conditions but the hot rocks still remained a major issue (no surprise). However, even when using these fairly hot settings I picked up way less bird shots than with the 6000. This was a striking example of how much more sensitive the 6000 is on tiny shallow surface targets. I managed to pick up 3 more flakes, all of which were extremely thin and flat. The nature of these flakes is suggestive of water wearing and major pounding force as part of the volcanic activity and alluvial mass flows. The only way to pick these up was by extremely slow swing speed and strict coil control which paid off in this difficult to detect area. Had I moved faster as part of ground scanning I would have missed them for sure. Overall, I was happy with my finds (albeit very modest) as I think this area has potential despite the challenging detecting conditions. I will definitely go back there for a more thorough and longer exploration. The landscape and general area are absolutely breathtaking! Many bad things can be said about California, but the nature is amazing and extremely divers, with the gold rich Sierra Nevada to the North and the vast gold bearing Mojave and Colorado deserts to the South, all of which are just within a 3-6 hour drive, depending on where you live. Here is the trash/gold ratio for the day Well, it doesn’t look too good for the “gold team”. But when does it ever? 😛 Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous new year! GC
  6. It's become a tradition of mine to write up a year-end summary of my detecting experience, and since most of my detecting is for coins and relics I keep it in this subforum. My plan for this past year was to experience some new detecting types (via longish trips) and find some new local sites to coin hunt. Thanks to Monte and Oregon Gregg I was welcomed to their June Ghost Town hunt in NE Nevada where I met about 20 like-minded, ambitious, and friendly detectorists. Besides co-organizer Gregg (unfortunately Monte was unable to attend), Utah Rich and Tom Slick were among the attendees who are members and posters here. My 6 days produced minimal coin finds but some decent relics. Next to the camaraderie I most enjoyed learning about a new kind of detecting in a site, soil, and intended target combination I had never previously experienced. In addition to that part of the trip I also spent some time in the Denver area, getting to hunt with the local Eureka club and particularly valuable -- meeting Jeff McClendon and picking his brain on the operation of the QED. Also on this trip I spent a couple days on a National Forest GPAA claim 8-9000 ft. up in NW Colorado. Unfortunately I came up empty handed (as far as gold) but learned quite a bit about site reading *and* how to deal with remote, rugged mountain roads and terrain. In August I headed East to NW Massachusetts on a 'blind date' (not literally, but was generously well taken care of by the land owners who I had never met) detect of an 18th Century homestead. Even dealing with hurricane Henri I was still able to get in several hours of detecting, finding my first USA Large Cent -- oldest coin to date -- 1803. I'll be writing up more on that in a couple days. On the way home I accepted an invitation by member dogodog to detect one of his old coin sites. Even though the heat and humidity was up there we still got in four productive hours with silver finds (mine a Merc and he did even better -- two silvers and a gold ring) along with lots of converstation/discussion. Just another perk of belonging here with such friendly, generous, and accomodating members. The other 10 1/2 months of detecting were done locally. (No photos in this post as I've shown many of those finds previously.) I did accomplish one of my 2021 New Years Resolutions of finding new sites. Eight of the 16 local sites I detected this year were ones I had never hunted. Another writeup I'll be posting shortly focuses in on one of those (muni park) and why I think it might have been previously unsearched. Now for some what I consider *key* statistics of these local hunts: 266 hrs of swinging at local sites, 104 Wheat pennies -- new record for one calendar year, 36 'other old coins' (silver content coins, Buffalo and earlier nickels, Indian Head Pennies) -- second to last year's record of 43, One interesting contrast between last year (where most of my detecting was done in a single, large park) and this year in regards to specifically silver coin finds -- 22 in 2021 vs. 27 in 2022, and more disparate are silver dimes -- 11 vs. 20. Magnifying the silver dime arena, I found 11 Roosies this year compared to 3 last year and 4 in all previous years. (OK, for those of you who stuck around, here's your eye-candy fix -- my 27 silver finds of the year: ) My goals this year include another trip West (ghost-towning and gold prospecting), another trip to that Massachusetts Colonial site, and locally getting enough guts to ask for permissions to private properties. I know of one that (if undetected) is going to be a real 'silver mine' but I need to 'practice' my people skills first so that one may have to wait for 2023.
  7. First off, I have been off the forums for a while. It's not that I have not been out prospecting, but to be honest, things have just been a little down the last couple years... and well, maybe I got a little in the habit of not talking to people. I'm sure everyone knows the feeling. Anyways, I did a trip with a couple buddies to an area we have been expanding upon for years. (in the desert of Arizona) We do ok here and there. Usually, I have quite the luck, but this time my buddy was rocking it. He managed to stumble upon a patch and true to his word, after he collected a few, he called out to me so that I could come home with a little gold as well. It sounds weird, but when we travel off to a place, we try to make sure everyone goes home with gold. This usually means, get 2 or 3 pcs, you call your buddies over. So I got there and went to work. After a couple hidden cans, I found my first square specimen (sort of strange piece) and then we took turns until I had found my second piece. Well at this point, we were content. My buddy that found the patch kept looking and so I moved on, thankful that I would not go home with the skunk. At this point it was time to get away from the patch and find new areas. I tried washes nearby and then ended up circling to the other side of the hill with the patch. I see a little flat area and head right up to it. It only seemed like seconds when I got a booming signal. Once in the scoop, it wasn't long before I felt the weight fall into my hand. It ended up being a nice chunky 11 grammer. This day just got better. Another smaller patch. Of course my buddies always rag on me for finding the chunkers and skipping over the smaller nuggets. I guess I can live with that. Honestly, it was just a good time hanging out. Some before and after pics are shown below. Best of luck to everyone in the New Year!!
  8. It's been a while since I posted some finds. It has been a productive fall relic season for me, so that isn't the reason. Perhaps too much focus on the new machines that are about to make a splash in the detecting community and other distractions big and small. Anyway - on Friday Bob (F350Platinum) again graciously let me invite myself down his way again for some last minute 2021 detecting at a new permission he has been surveying. He wrote about it here. I got a late start so Bob had already had a chance to snag some finds in another part of the farm. After Bob kept me from driving my SUV into the local pond and then a short chat with the landowner, we were off swinging. We moved into the direction of the farmhouse, reckoning that the Colonial finds would concentrate towards the house. We crossed a couple of promising spots that were giving up telltale older relics (buttons, brass buckles) but they dried up as we crossed into a greener, muddier portion of the field. So we circled back the the "hot" spots and focused in those areas. Was swinging the Nox with the 11" coil, which was a change up from my recent hunts sticking with the Nox 5x10 that I have really bonded with. Anyway, was looking for a little more coverage and depth and with the targets few and far between. After recovering a few buttons and a nice D Buckle and a some modern trash (shotgun shells, can slaw), I got a nice solid, borderline 20/21 hit. Thinking IHP or some heavy brass, I flipped the plug, and the pinpointer zeroed in on a non-descript small, dark, flat, oval-shaped target. Perhaps a medal or pendant of some sort. Definitely, not a coin, so I thought. As I cleaned it off, it started to look like silver. Ok, cool a silver pendant/medal. I flipped it over, saw the off-center Jerusalem Cross, and immediately realized I had just dug my first Spanish Cob. 1/2 Reale weight. Bob and I researched and it appears to be a Mexico City Cob minted during the reign of King Charles II 1663-1699. My first Cob about 30 miles south of where Bob fount his first Cob when we last hunted together. Some nice colonial buttons and other odds and ends (including 2 unidentifiable copper or brass disks that are not old coppers or tokens) from the 12/31 hunt and our previous get together a few weeks ago. Thanks for letting me enjoy a little of your detecting paradise, Bob. See you again in 2022. I think more great finds in store as you've just scratched the surface on your new sites. Happy New Year Everyone!
  9. Part 1 Spoiler Alert: Not my personal misadventure this time. The Covid kept us out of prospecting spots in Baja for over a year now, but we were finally able to give it a go this past week. Drove down on Monday, smooth sailing through the port at Algodones, although we did have to buy a $35.00 tourist visa. They stamped our passports and everything, so it's probably legit. Baja 5 highway is in great shape especially down past San Felipe where is was always under construction from washouts. We made it to Miramar and 4 wheeled it down the main wash out of sight from prying eyes. This year we took my Polaris RZR for its maiden trip in rough Baja terrain. All our trail building in the past was designed for 2 wheeled motor bikes, so we had to make some improvements for the RZR 60" width to get up the wash to the placer zone. We toted rocks and built ramps to get up on some of the steeper sections and tested our improvements. Scary, but passable. In one section I had Dennis hanging off the passenger door frame to counter-balance the rig from sliding off into a deep hole. Pictures will follow. We got back to our camp and settled down for some cold ones when we noticed a hiker coming down the wash we had just driven. A fellow prospector with true pioneer blood. He had hiked a roundtrip of no less than 15 miles over a span of 4 days with only 2 gallons of water. He carried an SDC 2300 and a Equinox 800 in a pack that weighed at least 65 lbs. In desperation he had tried to filter water from a spring far up the canyon, but found it full of alkaline. He pulled up a chair and downed his fill of fresh water and started in on a couple cold beers with us. As we talked about his experience he asked "hey, is one of you the Condor", I read your posts, especially the ones about Baja. We swapped prospector stories till after 8pm when he said he needed to get going. His vehicle was parked another couple miles downstream in a hidden gulch. I convinced him to let me drive him down in the RZR and got a chance to use the myriad LED light bars on my rig to light the way. We found the road he had driven even though he had broomed off his tire tracks. Well, we got to his parking spot to find nothing but emptiness. We knew it was the right place because the thief had thrown out the hiker's trash and a gallon of water. That made for a long night back at our camp, where we drank and cursed the dirty dogs until after midnight. The next morning we drove back down for a view in the daylight. The only track was a motorbike track, with one knobby front tire and a nearly slick rear tire. No tracks or footwear impressions to speak of. I think the sly dogs had used the hiker's own broom to brush out their own tracks where they would have broken into the car, reconnected the battery cables and hotwired the ignition. We did a full circle around the area, there are no inhabitants for over 10 rough miles. The road itself is not suitable for travel for anything but offroad capable vehicles and its just not a stretch of any interest expect for prospectors who know the placer history. An unlucky day for sure. Anyway, the hiker did have a satellite phone and was able to call for a ride. We futzed around with him most of the day till his ride could get there, so no detecting to speak of that day. Part II to follow with 2 full days of detecting.
  10. I ski a fair few times a week over the ski season, and often in summer I go to the ski fields and detect under the lifts, it's been quite good for finds, more phones than you can imagine as they just fall out of pockets and instantly sink out of sight. The snow under lifts is usually not groomed and soft and fluffy, if someone drops something it's instantly gone. Today much to my surprise only about 10 minutes after the ski field opened I saw a girl under the lift trying to use a metal detector she'd obviously borrowed off someone to try find something she dropped. I have no idea what detector it is but it didn't sound too great. No display screen, like an old Minelab musketeer or something I have no idea. The coil might be a giveaway to someone as to what it is. She left her helmet and goggles on all day, probably to hide her face as she was embarrassed by it all. Every time I went on that particular lift she was still there, and she was digging a massive hole. I felt quite bad as whatever she dropped was likely yesterday and it wouldn't be too far down, I doubt out of the reach of a Equinox with a bigger coil, I've detected on snow quite a lot and the Equinox is amazing the depth it can get through snow, basically air test depth. It's going to take a long time to back fill that hole 🙂 What to me it appeared she did wrong was she started digging in the area she thought she'd lost whatever it was, rather than walking around on the surface using the detector, she was then trying to use the detector in the hole she was digging. Disturbing the snow probably wasn't a good idea and in my opinion she'd be better off detecting the area before digging as what if she had whatever it was in the shovel and threw it away. I was tempted to go and give her some advice and help but I didn't want to intrude and act the know it all, especially as I had no idea about the detector she was using. Unfortunately she was there all day, digging like mad, I often saw her fall over, she was on quite a slope. I'm not sure I did the right thing by not offering to help, but after I went in for lunch and next rode the lift a bunch of people were down there helping her. I was going to go talk to her towards the end of the day and see what went on and if she didn't find it I was going to offer to go there in spring once the snow melts and recover whatever it was for her, but I went back just before the ski field closed and it appeared she'd finally given up and left. A guy was trying to use the detector for her at this stage. If she's there tomorrow trying again I will offer her some help, I'll throw the Nox and CTX with big coils into the car just in case. Otherwise I'll just find whatever it is in summer and let the ski field know I found it so if she speaks to lost and found they'll be able to give it back to her. I suspect a ring, perhaps one with some family importance as I can't see a phone or some coins being enough motivation to spend a day trying to find it. What would you do in this situation? I know I'll find whatever it is she lost in late spring or summer if she doesn't find it before then, but I'll struggle to find a way to contact her and that's my fault for not going to talk to her at the time.
  11. 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! https://youtu.be/pHhVseSHWac
  12. My 2021 New Years Resolution (and I think my 2020 one, too) was to find sites I hadn't previously searched rather than to put all my eggs on cleaning up what's left of familiar sites. (I still do some of that, too, though). This year I've already reported on four previously unsearched (by me, that is) sites, all which have produced. More on those in my year end summary in a month. Early in November I decided to make one more try for 2021 at finding some new ground and with the help of HistoricAerials.com, I found four promising locations. I'm going to simply refer to them as sites 0, 1, 2, and 3. Site 0 is the easiest to report on. From early 20th Century USGS topos it was a small (one room?) school that disappeared around 1950. A drive by showed that not only is it now a private home, but that the intersection where it was located has been seriously reworked, i.e. enlargened. At best it falls into the 'private permission' category and I'm not at all good at those. Site 1, with added help from Google searching, was an elementary school and high school back at least to the eary 30's. The HS closed in the mid 60's and the elementary school a few years later. The building is still there but there are mixed signals as to whether it's public or private. Some threatening signs indicated at least part of it is currently privately leased, but the a__holes are very vague about what is and isn't theirs. I spent 1 1/2 hours in a couple spots with promising results (see photo of good finds below) but I just didn't feel comfortable. There was a lot of coming and going by various groups (sports participants, church goers, etc.) and although no one bothered me I just didn't feel welcome. Site 2 was another small elementary school. I don't know when it was formed but it appears to also go back to early in the 20th Century. I think it closed around 1960. It's now a small public park and community center. Unfortunately both my visual (internet) research as well as detecting and viewing the site in person makes me think it's been heavily reworked since the school was torn down. First hunt there, 3 1/2 hours, produced 2 Wheaties and a sterling ring, plus a fair amount of modern coins and trash. That was my survey hunt. My second trip there was intended to focus in on a trashy but potentially less overfilled part with the ML Equinox and 6" coil, but that wasn't very fruitful. About 2 hours in I was approached by an elderly (81 year old) friendly neighbor who filled me in on some history. He said he had attended that school as a youngster (presumably around 1950) and told me that although several detectorists had been there before me, as far as he knew they had never searched a slope near one edge of the property where he said he used to play and that bulldozers hadn't bothered. Now that's the kind of info I like to hear! I thanked him and headed over there. For now I'll leave it at that and tell more in the show-and-tell portion of this post. He twice more returned and told me of some other nearby sites I should search but they all sounded like private properties. Site 3 is an active, modern elementary school which replaced an early one built around 1955. I was able to go there during their Thanksgiving recess. Unfortunately this site has been heavily reworked since the original school was razed and it also feels like it's been rather thoroughly searched. In 7 1/2 hours (two days) of hunting I only found 2 Wheats plus one other oldie (more on that shortly). OK, here is the eye candy you've been waiting for: Top two items are from Site 1 -- 1983-D nickel-clad half dollar (only my second ever) and a necklace chain and pendant which was clean but unfortunately apparently (magnetic) nickel plated copper. Both were reasonably shallow but not on the surface. Based upon these finds I don't think this part of this site has seen detectors in 2 or 3 decades. Now the finds are in pairs from lower left. Site 2 produced this sterling ring with stones (don't know if real, but they look nice to my eye, and especially to my wife who has already claimed it!). Thanks to that 81 year old former student I found the 1899 Indian Head Penny on the virgin slope where he used to play. Turns out the EMI was so bad I had to use 4 kHz on the ML Equinox and its dTID rang up in the high 20's (silver coin zone), not 20-ish where they show up in MultiFrequency. It was only about 4 inches deep. Next two (silver alloy 'Warnick' and broken piece of jewelry) were found at Site 3, showing that there are a few spots which haven't been backfilled. The broken piece showed up in the USA nickel zone (dTID 12-13 on the Equinox) and given its size I think this is high conductive composition. Both ends show that they were broken off something larger (bracelet?) and the fact there is zero copper coloring there makes me think this could be a silver alloy. Finally, the last two items on the right were found this past week in my bread-and-butter 2021 site, the 'Wheatfield', not one of these four recently reserached sites. The ring has a men's wedding band shape but is marked '925' so sterling. (My wife has claimed it, too.) The IHP is a 1901. In my two times searching there last week I found 5 Wheat pennies each day (3 hour hunts per day). I expect to spend my last few hunts this year at that site. I'm sure there are more oldies and I'm shooting for a record year (quantity) of Wheat penny finds. I only need 5 more to tie last year's 103. The above picture is the 'good'. Here are the 'bad' -- interesting (?) non-coin finds from these four sites: And if you want to see 'ugly', you'll have to await a future post.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/03/woman-reunited-with-wedding-ring-she-lost-50-years-ago-western-isles?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
  16. The Florida Clan wanted to come for a visit and try some of that Arizona Sweet Tea. Haven’t seen them all in a group for close to 30 years. But, Robin’s and I trip started on Halloween Day from our home in Reno to Laughlin, NV. That’s about as far as I can drive in a day! We cut through Searchlight, NV and passed a couple washes I’d like to revisit. Next morning we cut out to Wickenburg, AZ for a visit with Friends that just moved there a few months back. Mike & Yvonne formally from Rural Oregon made the move to Wickenburg for the love of Team Roping and the Hunt for gold. Didn’t take Mike long to find a Welcome to Arizona Patch which currently is close to a 2-oz patch! (Below in my hand are the fat ones). Mike took me when we arrived to their home for a short swing! It was a hill side small drainage wash that feed into the big wash. I explored the patch and several nearby spots in the Reno Summer like temperature of 87 degrees. I was roasting when I noticed a Cholla stuck to my Boot which I removed with 2 rocks with a dozen or more of its spears stuck deep into the leather! Well 1/4 mile more and they worked their way thru the leather and now poking my foot! We had to leave with no tools to remove needles. Well off to my Folks and a week of fun with my Family traveling the sights from the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Tombstone. Heading back we stopped at Mike & Yvonne’s again for a longer hunt and then hit the local Rodeo grounds for dinner and some cold beers. Again, it was more than warm for this Northern Nevada guy. We seen some likely hills with some colors we liked. I was 3 gullies over (1/2 mile). I just worked up the side hill wash to the top of the hill and swung over to the next wash to work down it and repeat. I heard Mike say, hey the old timers worked this one! Sure enough old dry wash piles. I was up at the head of the wash and he was midway swing up. I pulled a dink nugget out and then Mike got on a string of nuggets. Sure there was some trash, but there’s 9 little nuggets the old timers left us! We know there is more to find at this spot, but water was getting real low and cold beer was at the Rodeo Grounds. Off we went leaving the new patch to catch it’s breath after a 30 minute beating. There’s still plenty of ground to explore in this old placer area(s) of Morristown! What a great Vacation and yes, we are home to nice and cool Reno 😂. Until the Next Hunt LuckyLundy
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. It all started about 40 years ago i got bit by the gold bug in Colorado then we moved to Alaska in 92 bought a little 2 1/2 inch dredge found gold in reserection creek so bought a new 4 inch from Steve Herschbach at mining and diving . Attended a couple of outings down at crow creek with Steve Herschbach doing detector classes wife and i were hooked . Was able to buy 5 mining claims on silvertip creek dredged there for several years bought a 6 inch dredge from mining and diving we did ok there but i always wanted to try dredging up north Fairbanks area i saw a claim on eBay up near central but it was pulled of eBay after i bid the owner emailed me asking if i would be interested in the four claims above i said yes his family was just trying to get rid of them due to hard times. Well the dredging was terrible because the creek was froze after a couple of feet. So i bought a small excavator built a small trommel got a plan of operation started digging dirt the trommel maybe would run 5 yards an hour but i was in good gold so we built a larger trommel out of a huge propane tank also built a feed hopper with a conveyor this plant will run about 35 yards an hour at but at this time we still had day jobs i worked for the Alaska railroad but 2 years ago i retired from the rr after 27 years. well last year with the virus we went up early mid may spent 3 months up there we are 100 miles north east of fairbanks no cellphone no internet gods country so i mined wife made quilts ,hunted Cariboo ,met some locals but the gold was good first photo june 28 2017 still ice in creek bottom second photo boss searching for heart shaped rocks third photo and forth is stripped for this coming season what is truly amazing about this valley the gold is just on the left side of the valley thanks doug
  20. Hi all.... 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. 🙂 Jen
  21. 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!
  22. 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:)
  23. 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.
  24. 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…)
  25. Sourdough Scott and I have been detecting hillside that has never been mined before and doing quite well with finding gold. It confounded us both as to why this location was left untouched by the early miners. When I discovered the answer it sent chills down my spine. I hate it when I start finding a lot of gold in a small area because that means I have to dig all the trash even when I know it's a tin can, shovel head, copper still, or a locomotive and I am basically a very lazy prospector. To make matters worse this spot must have been where the 1927 world champion squirrel hunting competition took place as there is an extraordinary quantity of lead and brass. There are also bits of steel cable, nuts and bolts, Caterpillar parts and hobnails from numerous logging operations which occurred there through the years. One bit of trash that caught my attention was a pristine 50 caliber musket ball as they sound exactly like a large gold nugget. I put it in my pocket and continued on. Then, not far away, I found the remains of an ancient musket. I knew this had the makings of a Detector Prospector story so I took the ball and musket home for some forensic research. Here are the horrifying results of my research findings. Upon microscopic examination of the musket ball I discovered a minute speck of fossilized blood. By using the DNA identification app on my smarty pants phone I discovered it was blood from the much feared Plumas Mammoth Grizzly! I then began analysis of the musket. By getting my 51 caliber finger stuck in the 50 caliber barrel I was able to conclude beyond any doubt that the musket was the very one that fired the bloody ball. I then closely examined the musket exterior and made three shocking discoveries! One was a patch of dried blood that proved to be from a human male of about forty years of age, dating from 1852. The next was another bloodstain that matched that which was found on the musket ball, identified as being from a Plumas Mammoth Grizzly. The third discovery (and this is where it gets scary) were bite marks which by careful measurement proved to be that of a grizzly over 11 feet tall and weighing nearly a ton! The only logical conclusion from my research is that the doomed prospector discovered the same rich deposit that Sourdough Scott and I found, became distracted with finding gold and not paying attention to his surroundings, mortally wounding the grizzly when he was attacked by surprise but was disassembled by the grizzly before it succumbed from it's wound. That is why this rich strike has remained unworked for 169 years.
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