If you are new at this…

8 Jan

This post is for new people to the hobby of metal detecting. It is also for people who are considering entering the hobby of metal detecting. I’ve decided that after a year and a half of detecting, I have some wisdom (which I acquired the hard way) to impart.

First, know this; what you see in almost all blogs and forums are the success stories. You will see many, many posts about the great treasures being found and few to none posts about the great trash being found. You will also not read much about hunts where nothing of value was found.
The omission of our failures in our blogs and forums is really not done with malice. The reason you will not read about our failures is that failures, albeit tremendously informative, are really boring. Who wants to read about the 25 pull tabs you dug up on your last hunt? Nobody, that’s who.

So reading blogs and forums can be misleading, making you think that people find cool stuff every time they go out when that’s not really the case.

Also, disregard the hype about detector X or detector Y. The formula for success in metal detecting goes something like this:


Let’s touch on the variables of the formula a little:

If you don’t have patience, it won’t matter if you have the all the other variables covered. Many a time I’ve hunted when I should have stayed home instead. The hunts when “my head wasn’t in the game” as my friend Stevouke says, were a total waste of my time. On those occasions, I rushed through, sloppily swinging and missing 90% of the targets. Slow down. Cover the ground thoroughly. Listen to the signals carefully. Strive for an attitude of curiosity.

You have to hit the sites over and over sometimes before it pays off. I have lost count of the times when I’ve returned to a spot that I’ve hit many times before and found a cool coin, relic, or piece of jewelry. Do not give up.

Get to know your machine. This point was driven home for me just recently. My Deus was telling me where the targets were but not always in the manner I wanted; i.e. with nice, unambiguous signals. You will have to dig a lot of targets to fine tune your knowledge of your detector. Know the basics that apply to all machines, like ground balancing. You will be surprised how much more depth you will get out of your machine if it’s properly ground balanced. Of course, if your machine doesn’t have an adjustable ground balance then you don’t have to worry about this.

Don’t just mindlessly hunt every piece of turf you find. Research will allow you to maximize your efforts.

So there you have it. You won’t find stuff every time you go out but if you follow my formula you may improve your chances and remember: this is a hobby not a money-making scheme.

Happy Hunting!


10 Responses to “If you are new at this…”

  1. Larry January 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Man! You should give a class on MDing!! You always have great advice!

    • yaquigrande January 9, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      Larry, thank you but I am still learning myself. This hobby can be as extensive as you want it to be!

  2. stevessunkentreasures January 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Did you write this to drive home the fact I haven’t found any precious metals yet in 2013?? Just kidding and great post! I have to agree with everything you say here. It took me 7 months to fully understand my machine and it still throws curve balls due to soil, amount of trash, etc.

    • yaquigrande January 9, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      LOL! I actually wrote it because I found that V nickel at the spot I’ve detected a thousand times before.

  3. lawdog1 January 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Well said, SilverBucket!

    • yaquigrande January 9, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      LOL!!! Well, I have been called a bucket head before…

  4. Greg January 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    You left out the part about changing detectors every 6 months…:)

    • yaquigrande January 9, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Greg, you and I know that one! This is my 5th detector in a year and a half!

  5. stevessunkentreasures January 9, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    We haven’t discussed your stance on a unified mding organization.. We are always too busy detecting.. I am curious what your thoughts are on it.

    • yaquigrande January 9, 2013 at 9:56 am #

      I will do a post about this topic soon but basically, I believe that it is near impossible to accomplish due to various character traits common to most of us hunters.

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