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An eye-opening weekend

18 Sep

I hunted with some experienced hunters this weekend. I hunted with people who have been doing this for years. They are not afraid of the soil. They attack it methodically, like big game hunters in Africa stalking their pray. They study the terrain and then they apply all their knowledge and all their experience to it. In particular, what sets them apart from a beginner like me is their mental game.

I have no better way to explain the mental game aspect of an experienced metal detectorist than by example. My friend Richard has been detecting for almost 30 years. Where I see a park heavily laden with trash that has been hunted to death, he sees ground with desirable coins and artifacts. Where I hunt with no real expectations of finding anything (but wishing), he sees soil to be explored and conquered. That makes ALL the difference.

So this weekend, I learned that Richard found a Indian Head penny in excellent shape in a park where I would have never believed there was anything left to find. He also found a silver dime there the other day.
Then there is Dave. Dave has been metal detecting for 15 years –if I remember right. This weekend, we hunted a park as a group where I could not get a signal to save my life. Eventually, I started digging pull tab signals because there was nothing else. We spend 3 hours or so in this park. While I was wondering aimlessly around the park, Dave was working ONE area. He was walking slowly with tight, overlapping swings. I know I walked around the whole huge park while he stayed in this ONE area. Only much later he moved to another small area and began the same routine. Earlier in the day, at a different site, I walked around the whole block while he stayed in the same 10×10 foot area.
The result? By the end of the hunt, I had two wheat pennies and he had a silver Roosevelt dime, a Seated Liberty dime, and an Indian Head penny. All extracted from the same sites I hunted.

So I am a man reborn. I have seen the light. It’s not the machine; it’s the man.

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