How many times have you heard, " This place is all hunted
out" or " This park has been hammered by every detectorist
in town and there are no coins left." And perhaps you have
arrived at this conclusion regarding sites you hunt.
Perhaps you have read field tests in the treasure magazines where
the author took a new machine to a supposedly hunted out area and
amazingly found coins, or a new, improved detector hits the market
and the owners claim to find coins in heretofore hunted out sites
that other machines couldnít find, and you say, " Sure, in a
Well I say "baloney" to all this and in this column and
next monthís column Iíll attempt to show you why no site is ever
totally hunted out, that is unless you remove every square inch of
top soil down to a given depth and sift every grain of it. Iíll
also show you how to better your odds hunting in those alleged
hunted out sites.
The one failing grace of every coinshooter is the inability to
comprehend the sheer logistics of coinshooting, and understanding
these logistics will determine whether you go home with a full pouch
- or go home skunked.
The average coin or ring will fit into a none inch by one inch
space. If you are hunting a patch of only 20íX 20í this equates
to 57,600 square inches or that many potential targets.
Letís say your machine is equipped with an eight-inch coil and
you make a four foot pass with each scan. Even if you overlap each
pass you will more than likely miss a minimum one-inch strip each
scan ( 48 square inches or targets.) Say it takes fifty passes to
cover the twenty feet, then you make four more passes up and down to
cover the 20íx 20í area, for a total of five passes. Each pass
you sacrifice 48 square inches, times 50 passes = 2400 square
inches. Five trips up and down the site times 2400 = 12,000 square
inches or 12,000 possible targets you missed scanning this site. If
only one percent of those 12,000 square inches actually contained a
target, you left 120 targets behind. Multiply that by every 20íx
20í patch contained within the area you are hunting ( such as a
park ) and you begin to get the picture. Scary ainít it? And you
thought you were doing so good.
|It gets even scarier when you consider how much
you are missing at peak of depth for your particular detector
but weíll talk about that next month. This month Iíll
try to help you reduce that number of possible targets you are
A few years back I hunted a fair sized knoll in front of a
high school auditorium. The first time I hunted as most
detectorists do and pulled out over $7.00 in coins. Then
practicing what I preach I crisscrossed the site north to
south, east to west - then diagonally two ways and pulled out
another $4.85, and I still left coins that I recovered on
future trips. The crisscross/diagonal method will recover the
most coins over a given area - but will still not get them
all. These methods take time and patience but are rewarding
and your chances of recovering old coins improve greatly.
large areas ( such as parks ) I use a random search method to
locate spill patterns or coin groupings. I wander around until
I find 1-3 coins in one area, then I work a circle out from
that spot. If more coins appear then I go to the
crisscross/diagonal scenario. Swinging your coil in a straight
path in front of you ( instead of an arc ) or in a figure
eight will offer more coverage per scan.
When doing a random search I employ a wide, 180 degree coil
swing to cover the most ground in the shortest amount of time.
There are pros and cons on scanning methods but this works
best for me in a random search. This also works well when
paralleling your last search path as you will swing back into
the edge of that path and often hit coins you missed before.
You wonít cover every inch of terrain with this method, but
it will enable you to locate coin groupings in large areas