Patience and Metal Detecting


“Why can’t I ever find anything?” my buddy asked.

My first thought was well, if you wouldn’t walk like you’re late for a bus, you might…

But that’s not what I’d said to him last fall. I’d watched my friend, who detects sporadically during the course of a year, scan a section of a local park while walking and swinging his coil at a rapid pace; I guess he wanted to make sure he covered all of the park’s open ground in the time we had to metal detect. Mentally, I shook my head.

“You need to slow down”, I told him. “You’re missing all the faint tones, the deep ones.” As we know, deep usually equals good.

He slowed his pace….a little. He ended that day with a ’56 wheatie, a few clad coins…and a lot of iron trash. Me? A merc, a silver Rosie and an 1893 Indian Head cent. All three of my keeper coins had been dug at least five inches deep, signals I would have surely missed if I had adopted his style of detecting.

That’s the key when looking for those deeper targets…patience and knowing your machine. You can’t get a feel for your detector if you only hunt a couple of hours every other weekend.

I’m fortunate in that I am retired and can pretty much hunt when I want. When I do get out, I get the sense that I’m just a skoash bit better with my AT Pro than I was the last time I hunted, and that feeling only comes from hours put in swinging the coil. There is no replacement, no accelerant for time spent with a detector in your hand.

This same pal and I hunted for three hours a few weeks ago, during a mild break in our winter weather here in Ohio. He’s slowed down even more but is still too quick. We hunted a wooded area with a lot of history that day, an old place that was populated in the mid-1800s. At the finish of our hunt I possessed a couple of pretty cool relics and a few as-yet-to-be-identified objects; Paul ( not his real name ) had only found rusted iron.

As we headed up the highway, he asked “So what am I doing wrong? How do you find the good stuff? Where should I be looking?”. So I told him, once again, the closely-guarded, ark-of-the-covenant-like secret to making good finds….

“You need to slow down.”


Author: timteamohio

Retired cop embarking on new adventures, seeking to recover the history beneath us.

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