There is a good chance that you have heard the popular expression, “Don’t judge a book by its
cover.” This expression rings true, and it is great advice when it comes to metal detecting. You can’t really look at an area and instantly determine that it will be a bad place to hunt. You have no way of knowing what may or may not have happened at a particular location in the past.
Here is the perfect example.
My son and I were metal detecting a section of woods that sees regular use. There is a nature trail and a lot of locals use the trail for things like bike riding, walking and jogging. At first glance, the area seems like a great place for a nature walk and that’s about it. You would never think there would be anything of value buried here by just glancing around, but you would be wrong.
We followed the nature trail for quite a while. We were not finding much at all. I decided to venture off the trail and into the woods. Within five minutes I found an area of woods that was
simply loaded with good signals. In fact the signals were everywhere. I couldn’t move my coil more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) without getting a signal.
The first target we recovered was a bullet. The next target was a bullet casing. The area was loaded with bullets. We couldn’t tell the age of the bullets, but our next target gave us a very
good clue. It was a coin from the early 1900s. This coin sat buried in this section of woods for
around 100 years. I was amazed at our discovery.
The old coin got our blood pumping, and soon my son and I were pulling old coin after old coin out of the ground. Then the targets just stopped. We back-tracked through the woods and moved in another direction. The finds continued for a good hour and a half in the other direction, but they were not just coins, there were also plenty of great relics that started to give us a clearer picture of the history in this small area of seemingly empty woods.
The first clue came when we uncovered a large sheet of metal roofing. Ahhhh! There was a house here at some point in time. Then we started finding old silver spoons. Three of them to
be exact. We also uncovered an antique vintage copper flashlight from the early 1930s.
At one point in time, there was a group of people living here in a house, but you would never know it by looking around. The house was gone. Everything that remained was buried beyond
sight. The surrounding plants and foliage had taken over any prior signs of civilization.
The moral of this story is this. Don’t let your eyes tell you an area is no good. Get out there and see what your metal detector tells you. You just might be surprised by what you find.
Start In Your Own Backyard!
There is no better place to get started than right in your own backyard. It doesn’t matter how long you have lived at your house. Your backyard could be a literal gold mine, but you will never know unless you get out there and start searching. I have found plenty of great treasure right in my own yard. I even found an old gold ring!
Your backyard is also a great place to get a feel for your metal detector. Go ahead, spend some time in your own yard before you go out for a big hunt. Just be careful of things like: electrical lines, gas lines, phone lines, water lines and sprinkler systems. Cutting into any of these with your recovery tools will cause all sorts of trouble.
Go Where People Gather
I am sure you can think of plenty of great places where people may gather on a regular basis.
Any place where people have spent any considerable amount of time will always be a good spot to metal detect. Here are a few spots that are always worth hunting:
- sports fields
- playgrounds or tot lots
- freshly plowed fields
- ghost towns
- picnic areas
- swimming holes
- old homes and buildings
- RV parks
- around old mailboxes
- parking meters
- hunting or fishing camps
- the woods
- old factories
While most of these locations may seem rather obvious, there are other locations that offer great metal detecting opportunities that might not be so obvious.
Not So Obvious Metal Detecting Location Opportunities
I always try to make it a point to bring my metal detector with me no matter where I go. You just never know when a good metal detecting opportunity may pop up. You may drive by a place and notice an old foundation, or you may happen upon one of the best kept metal detecting secrets that exists: demolition.
I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped at areas where an old building has been demolished only to find more than my share of old coins and relics. Of course I made sure it was okay to hunt the area where the building had once been. There are a few other great places just like this one.
Anytime they tear out an old street to pave the new one, you can bet good money that there will
be loads of treasure underneath that old street. Just think of how long that road has been there.
It may have been there for 20, 40, 50 or 100 years. All of that soil that is freshly exposed from the road tear out has not seen the light of day for a very long time, and you can bet there will be
plenty of treasure underneath it.
The same goes for sidewalks that are being removed. If you have your metal detector in your car, then you can stop anytime you see these great opportunities and score plenty of great treasures. You never know when these types of opportunities will show up. Keep your metal detector handy.
Large old trees almost always hold some great treasure tangled somewhere in their massive maze of roots. It can be hard to determine the history of an old tree, but think of the things that may have happened around a tree that is hundreds of years old.
Think of all the people who may have sat under that tree in order to get some much needed shade. They could have been soldiers, politicians, royalty, Indians or someone with a pocket full of change. I never pass up an opportunity to metal detect around large old trees.
This should give you plenty of great ideas to start hunting.