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I’ve done told you

27 Jun

Regardless of the heat, at lunch time today, I went to the place where I’ve found a number of old coins in the recent past. Saturday morning I took my Tesoro Compadre and cleaned a bunch of trash from the first 5-6 inches of soil. The spot is a bear in terms of iron. But it wasn’t the iron I was after, I was after all the freaking aluminum foil. As it happened, I removed a bunch of iron that was near the surface as well.

So today I took my time and decided to dig only the choosiest of signals. I was fooled a couple of times with rusted nails and I even got fooled a few times with small aluminum foil that I missed with the Compadre. By the way, I decided to take the XP Deus on this hunt. Towards the very end of my lunch hour I got a nice signal among iron. Nice and repeatable. After I dug up my obligatory 9 inch hole I stuck my pinpointer in and got an iffy bing at the bottom of the hole. This always makes me smile because that means the object is deep. Incidentally, in an effort to avoid holes-to-nowhere, I dusted off my DetectorPro Pulse Induction pinpointer. It has a reach of about 4 inches for a quarter size coin and a solid 3 inches for a dime sized coin so if I miss my pinpointing with the Deus, I can still find the target in the hole.

This particular target was about 2 inches deeper. I know, I ought to quit talking about depth. It means nothing to anyone else but me. Be that as it may, I pulled this nice 1905 Indian Head cent out of the dirt:

This IH was dropped shortly after it was minted. You can see part of the word Liberty on the headdress and the reverse has nice details on it.

And now comes a bit of ranting

Here is the list of all coins found at this relatively small spot at this park: I’d say is about 15ft x 15ft. You can see the pictures of these coins in the last 10 or so posts:
1919 Wheat
1918 Wheat
1915 Wheat
18xx V nickel
189X V nickel
1890 Indian
1905 Indian
1917 Type 1 Standing Liberty
1894 Barber quarter
1901 Barber dime
1912 Barber dime
1904 Barber dime
KS Tax Token

This list does not include the coins found by Redd and KSDave three years ago, many from this very same spot, one of which was a Seated dime.
Also, keep in mind that this park has been hunted a quadrillion times by a thousand detectorists since the hobby came about.

My point is that our old parks are choke-full of old coins but these coins are not easily accessible. You most definitely will NOT find these coins if you:
Swing too high
Swing too fast
Lift the coil at the ends of your swing
Listen poorly to the tones
Use a detector not built for these environs
Use a detector you do not know well
Do not learn from the trash you dig

I am not trying to be an ass. Really. I am just saying those of us who came into the hobby in the last 10 years have a different reality to contend with. Unless you are only hunting private properties (lucky you), you need to approach our city parks with a fresh set of expectations, philosophy, and equipment.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

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Are you a treasure hunter?

22 Jun

I went out this lunch hour in the 95+ degree weather to clean up a site that it is promising. This task was assigned to the Mighty Compadre. I just love that little power-house of a detector.

After an hour, I had a respectable amount of wire, nails, foil and even some pulltabs in my pocket. I wasn’t expecting any coins as I know those are beyond the depth capabilities of the Tesoro Compadre and its five inch coil. No matter. I considered my hunt a success. Now I can return with the Bliss and the 15 inch coil to explore the depths of that dirt.

On my way back I began to think about what a different detectorist I am today. Five years ago there is absolutely no way I would have done what I just did. No way José. So what’s different?

I believe the answer is that I stopped being a treasure hunter and became a detectorist.
Wait a minute pullTab!, I hear you say; aren’t those synonyms?  Well, not in my way of thinking they are not.

See, when I began to detect for fun and profit, I was really mostly going after the profit. Finding things that could not readily be turned into cash would just ruin my day. I was rather petulant about it if I am to be honest. I did not accept the reality of metal detecting; and that is that the ratio of trash to good stuff is somewhere in the vicinity of 1000/1 and in some parks around here, that’s actually a pretty good ratio!
I was in other words, hunting for treasure.

Later, as I packed in the hours detecting, I began to relax a bit and began to explore the signals for the sheer pleasure of exploring them. Don’t get me wrong, I still love that shiny silver and gold but now I can really enjoy a sortie even when all I find is junk. I believe now I can really be described as a detectorist true and through. You could say I am no longer one dimensional when it comes to our beloved hobby. I’ve grown wiser… Ok, I’ll stop making myself look good.

Thank you for stopping by.

Deploying the BIG GUNS

10 Jun

*** Before you read this post, read this post about the time Dick Stout spoke to Congress about our hobby. Plus, check out the eye candy. No, I am not talking about the pictures of Stout.***

I decided it was time. No more pussyfooting around. It was time to dig deeply and carry a big coil.

I am not, generally speaking, a fan of large coils. As a coin shooter, I have never found a use for them. An 11 inch coil has been the limit for me. However, with my recent acquisition of the Blisstool V3, I became the proud owner of a 15 inch coil. This thing looks comical and to quote my fellow hunter Steve Ukena, it looks as if I am compensatin’.

Yet, there is a spot at a local old park. I hunted it once or twice with no good results. This spot is a sea of bottle caps. It is interesting how some areas of our city parks will get a certain personality. Sometimes it is pull tabs, sometimes it is bottle caps, and sometimes it is both.

So I drive by this particular area and think about the next time I will hit it. You see, this area has always been open. Since the very beginning of our city’s history. It never had any structures. I know, as I have been told by someone in their 80’s, that after swimming in the river or in the municipal swimming pool that stood nearby, people would sit in this very spot and have pick nicks. I can see how this may have happened all the way back to the late 1800’s.

There is evidence that this spot has been covered with silt from the river during the many pre-1960 floods that occurred here. There is a layer of clay on top of what I surmise to be the original sand.

This has led me to believe, that the very old coins and stuff are buried deep under the silt and the bottle caps. I spent some time with the Deus and the Bliss with the 11 inch coil but I am not penetrating deep enough; thus my decision to apply the 15 inch coil to the dirt here. I did the first excursion yesterday at lunch.

I was happy with the coil’s pinpointing ability. The Blisstool doesn’t have an all metal pinpointing feature. You pinpoint the old fashion way. I like to use the front of the coil
and use the wiggle method. I tested this yesterday and was able to pinpoint relatively shallow targets with precision. Of course, I had to work spots from every direction because of the coils large footprint but this does not represent a hindrance to me. I worked to empty a large enough area to be able to manually ground balance the Bliss but although I dug 5 pieces of trash from a 2×2 area, more trash was revealed that was previously masked. Such is the ground I hunt.

Last  I want to mention a phenomenon that I will call the “Now you don’t see it, now you do” syndrome. I have experienced it several times in the last 5 years. I select an area somewhere that’s utterly hopeless. I stick to it and after a number of excruciatingly painful hunts I cross a certain threshold and voila! keepers! It goes beyond removing trash; I believe it has to do with my brain getting to know the particulars of the dirt, almost as if a psychic connection is made between the site and me; as if the ghosts of the past finally break through the mist and whisper in my ear…
Laugh all you want, but I believe this is why I consistently pull silver out of certain parks where others don’t.

Anyway, it’s getting hot out there. The dirt is beginning to harden and time’s awastin’. Time to dig!

Thank you for stopping by.

Memorial day

30 May

I went out this morning to Linwood park where I’ve been finding old coins for a while now. I left the Bliss home and took the Deus instead. I just wanted to hunt and not worry about the new detector.

The very first signal was a nice 1904 Barber with no mint mark. Then I dug a bunch of deep trash. Last I got a crackling more than a signal. The only reason I dug it is because the all metal mode told me there was a definite object down there. The target was a 2 mil Kansas tax token.

mem-day

I really like my Deus. I know it. I know what it’s telling me. I just wish I could find deeper coins. 9 inches seems to be the limit for dimes. It can go deeper on larger coins of course but dimes are so much more common.

At any rate, I found that dime in the same 5×5 area around this young tree where I’ve found a number of old coins before. As you can see, there is no lack of trash. All that trash with the exception of the bottle cap was deep.

More rain is in the forecast so I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to detect.

Thanks for stopping by.

Дълбок сребърен парк (the deep silver park)

20 May

Pardon my Bulgarian. Nah! I don’t really speak Bulgarian but I did teach myself to read the Cyrillic script. Incidentally, that last word, with four characters, spells the word ‘park’ just like in English.

I returned to the deep silver park at lunch today. Now that I can ground balance the Bliss like a boss (OK, maybe not like a boss but well enough) I wanted to let my Blisstool V3 metal detector loose on a patch of park where I have gravely removed all targets but the iron. Mind you, I have removed a lot of iron as well.

Right away, I began to get nice solid signals. I am not shocked that I found the aluminum foil. In this spot, there stood a swing set from about the 30’s to the 60’s. I have found close to a hundred of what appear to be aluminum seals for old timey milk and juice glass bottles. I remember those suckers from my childhood. Somehow I missed them with the Deus. Most were at the 7-8 inch mark. They could also be from Boy Scout and Girl Scout camp outs as I have also found a good number of Scout related items at this spot in the past. They are distinctively round and gold colored.

I was rather surprised however to pull that beaver tail pull tab. I could swear there were no such signals left here. Then I found that 1946d Wheat cent. No matter how many times I declare this spot coin free, I am proven wrong.
hunt By the way, I intend to keep on posting my Wheaties. First, because I want to prove that you can use the Blisstool V3 to detect trashy parks and still find coins. Second, when I start finding the really cool stuff, and I will, I want all the haters to know I don’t plant coins for my self-glorification and if I was to do that, I most certainly would not plant Wheats from the 40’s!

1944d

I am pleased with the progress I am making with Dragomir. I have a very good feeling about this machine.

Thank you for stopping by.

Dig

15 May

I went out this morning for a couple of hours with my Blisstool V3 metal detector to the small park I’ve been hunting lately.

My plan was simple: dig.

It is my opinion that you cannot learn and master your metal detector unless you dig a lot of trash. To train my ear, I dug and dug and dug until I could dig no more. I dug a lot of shallow targets. By doing that, I could see that the discriminator circuitry works really well when it comes to targets down to about 7 inches. I dug  some deep targets too and past 7 inches the discriminator got fooled a few times but still it was impressive.

I am slowly honing in to the sweet signals. The 1910 wheat pictured above was such a signal. This tiny park still has a lot to give up, and I am just the guy to get it.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

O.T.C.

13 May

I am a coinshooter. To a coinshooter, things under the ground are either coins, or Other Than Coin (O.T.C.)

Today at lunch, I took the Blisstool metal detector, Dragomir, to the park I hunted yesterday at lunch, with the hopes of pulling that elusive Seated coin. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Instead I dug O.T.C.

other_than_coins

This is all the OTC I dug up on my lunch hour. Generally, I don’t post about OTC unless it’s a really cool object. I wonder what the cylindrical object is. It is only one half of it. It may have been part of a cigar container. The flat brass object was in the hole with it ***UPDATE…It just occurred to me that this is the end of a pocket knife*** . The bullet case must predate the park, unless it was perfectly OK to shoot your gun at the park in 1884. Bird shot has appeared in my life again. It seems every time I get a new detector and begin to learn its language, I dig a bunch of bird shot. It sounds really good and with the Bliss, I dug those suckers at 5 and 6 inches deep. The square nail and the wire were experimental digs, just to see what the Bliss was telling me. I wonder why they didn’t get caught by the discrimination circuit.

Very early on in Wichita, the Chisholm creek ran a very close to where this park is. Just 2 or 3 blocks away, one of Wichita’s earliest mills was built at the edge of the creek. I imagine that people came hunting around the creek as wild life would have concentrated here. I have found a good number of old bullets at this park, including a large .58 caliber mini ball from a Springfield rifle.

At any rate, I am getting a little better at listening to the signals Dragomir produces. The Seateds are not far behind.

Thank you for stopping by.

Getting to know it

12 May

It was nice and sunny today at lunch so I took Dragomir, my Blisstool V3 metal detector to the oldest park in the city. I’ve talked about this park before. It is a small park, smaller than a city block in fact but it has produced some nice silver and other old coinage for me with a variety of metal detectors.

As far as trash, this park is at DEFCON 4. It is hard to hunt with any detector if you don’t have the patience. Definitely it is the kind of park where a small coil would be indicated. Except that the coins I am hunting are too deep for a small coil. So I must endure the cacophony of beeps.

After I successfully ground balanced the Bliss manually (I had to clean a spot using auto ground balance in order to do it) I eventually got the kind of signal I was looking for. I decided to implement the Money Maker Protocol because now that I can manually ground balance the machine, I get fooled by shallow small aluminum. At any rate after making sure that it was no shallow small aluminum I kept digging until I got to the target:

1916D

No silver but yet another old coin. 1916 D Wheat cent. No too badly worn so it must have been dropped closed to its mint date. This cent was minted when the U.S. had not yet entered WWI and Wichita was experiencing a growth boom.

With time and practice, my ears will become more attuned to the winning signals.

Thank you for stopping by.

Is the Blisstool a ‘park detector’?

5 May

I have a park in our city where the coins from the 1940’s and before are buried under more than 12 inches of dirt. I know this because the coins from the 50’s and 60’s are found between 7 and 9 inches deep. Why this is is anyone’s guess.

So after I dug up more than a 100 silver coins and countless wheats and nickels from the 50’s and 60’s  from my deep silver park,  I began the search for a detector that could get me to the coins dropped in the 40’s and before. My choices were pulse induction (p.i.) detectors and the Blisstool. No sooner I began my search however, people began to tell me that p.i. detectors and the Bliss were not ‘park detectors‘. Whaaaat??!!

No one ever told me what a ‘park detector‘ was. To my way of seeing things, if the detector beeps when the coil is over a piece of metal, then it is a park detector; and a field detector; and a private property detector. Come on. The Tesoro Compadre is a single tone detector with no depth indicator and no visual i.d. system and NO ONE is saying the Compadre is not a park detector. On the contrary, the Compadre is a perfect park detector. So what gives?

Hunting parks in this day and age is a trying exercise no matter what machine you are using. The real question is not whether your machine is a ‘park detector’ but whether YOU are a park detector.  You are the real detector (and your digger is the only 100% accurate discriminator). If you are willing to pay the price to get to the juiciest finds in our city parks, then the metal detector you use is just a tool.

I spent an hour at lunch time digging deep rusted iron and shallow can slaw with the Bliss today. It reminded me of the hours I spent digging deep rusted iron and can slaw with every other detector I have owned! I know that with patience and with time, I will learn what the Bliss is telling me and then I will begin to dig some really good stuff. I mean, I already dug up a couple of old coins with it and I have no idea what I am doing. Disclaimer: I have never known what I’m doing.

So there. I, pulltabMiner, here and now and in somewhat acceptable use of my faculties, declare that the Blisstool IS a park detector. Let it be known far and wide that I have thus spoken.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

The Key To Finding Old Coins

18 Dec

The key to finding old coins is to go to a place that has them. Really.

I returned to the old coin park. I hunted in the same general area and the very first deep target was my first and only Indian cent of the year.

1890

A couple of pieces of deep rusted iron later, I hit upon this key

key

I have found a few of this very same kind of key before at other old parks. This company must have been a very popular place to buy keys back in the day. I am not sure how old this key may be; I am thinking maybe 30’s.

Anyway, the rest of the hunt produced only rusted iron and a number of very small pieces of aluminum foil from picnics of days of old.

I tell you, I am not afraid of telling the world about this since I know the kind of discipline and focus that it takes to hunt deep whispers. As long as I continue to pull the occasional  old coin from my excavations I will continue.

By the way, if you do decide to look for deep signals in the park, please use a dirt towel or some other way to hold the dirt. It is hard to put a deep hole back together and the towel will help.

I am going to try to take advantage of this super mild Winter courtesy of El Niño (I think) and hunt more before the year is up.

Thank you for stopping by.