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A moment in time

3 May

I stopped by Riverside park on my way to my karate class last night. I was swinging Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector, looking for the very deep stuff that other hunters have left in the ground. At one point I got a deep target that sounded good to me so I dug. This target was particularly deep and at the depth of 11 inches I finally got to feel the target with my fingers. I extracted a round object and for a moment I thought I had a large cent. Ha! keep dreaming!

Instead, I got a shot shell. OK, I don’t get excited about shot shells anymore but still, it was a cool find. I covered the hole, stood up and swung again and bam! another deep target. I dug another deep shot shell of the very same gauge and make as the last one. Repeat and again, pow! another deep target. I pulled yet another shot shell exactly like the other two. All three shot shells were under the same square foot of dirt and all three were UMC Co. gauge 10 Club. **According to Cartridge-Corner, this stamp dates from 1867 to 1911. The neighborhood was already established by the early 1900’s and there was a race track in that area of the park as early as the mid 1880’s so I stick with my drop date of the mid to late 1870’s**

shells

How cool is that!? I was standing approximately in the very same spot where a person stood back in the late 1870′ or early 1880’s (by the mid to late 1880’s, the area was already a city park) and got off three shots with his (or hers) shotgun. The drop happened within feet of the little Arkansas river. I imagine this person was hunting ducks. I picture the flock of ducks taking flight after being surprised by this hunter and then bam! bam! bam! three fatal shots and dinner soon after.

I’ve seen a picture of Wichita at the time of its incorporation; 1870. There was barely a hint of a town there. By the early 1880’s however, the city had paved streets, brick buildings, banks, commerce, and two or three city parks.

Very cool. I dug up a moment in time. Two hunters, 140 years apart, connected by three shot shells. I like it.

Thank you for looking!

Masked Barber

24 Apr

I met Steveouke at lunch for a quick hunt around the spot where I found the Indian Head yesterday. I got there a couple of minutes before he did and got to swing the detector a few times before I got a solid nickel signal. I dug a relatively shallow hole only to find an old piece of tin instead of a nickel. I ran the coil over the hole out of habit before covering it again and I got the sweet, silky, tell-tale audio signal and a solid VDI of 91. Gasp! This signal did not exist prior to me removing the tin from the hole! I dug maybe an inch deeper and out came this pretty thing:

1900-dirty 1900

I was taking the picture of the dirty coin when Stevo arrived. He was just in time to see the coin with the fresh dirt on it.

When I find a coin with very little wear as this one, I infer that it was dropped soon after it was minted. So someone lost this precious in the early years of the 20th century. How cool is that?

Soon after, I dug a signal on the wheat range and I found an old bullet. Now, about 100 yards away from where we were hunting, there is a row of houses. I know for a fact that one of those houses was built in 1901. Would someone be firing their rifle so close to these houses? I’d like to think not and I’d like to think this bullet is pre 1900’s.

bullet1

It looks as if the bullet hit the Buffalo.

My lunch hour went much quicker than I like and I left Stevo hunting in the park.

AT ANOTHER PARK, AT AN EARLIER DATE

I hunted my deep silver park the other day and found a bunch of wheats as always and these two things.

tax

I remember the first time I found a Kansas tax token. I was so intrigued by it. Now, they don’t excite me as much although they are an old and cool find. This one is one mil. Rarer for me are the 2 mil ones. They are made of aluminum and they never come up in good shape.

During that same hunt, I dug a deep iron signal and I found this:

saint

A tiny lead Saint Christopher. The fact that it is made of lead and the fact that it was over 8 inches deep tells me it is an old relic. The mystery to me is that it doesn’t appear to be part of a pendant but rather it seems to be a tiny statue. As you can see, it has a flat base that allows it to stand. There are remnants of the black paint that covered it at one time and the word GERMANY is stamped on the base. The Barber is used for size comparison. Interesting.

I am taking a trip this Saturday to the Eastern Kansas border for a Karate tournament. I hope to have an hour or so to hunt an old park I know about.  I am going back to the 1840’s and 1850’s time-wise and maybe, just maybe, I may be able to find a Seated coin.

Wish me luck.

Silver; finally!

17 Feb

I went out today with my Deus metal detector and with the express goal of ending my two week silver slump.

The first target worth mentioning was a  cool Buffalo Nickel with no visible date. I love finding these. I didn’t keep count of them last year but I will this year.

Buff

Before I covered the hole, I stuck the pinpointer in to check for additional targets and I got another hit. I was hoping for a silver coin but what I got was pretty cool too.

pony

I feel bad for the little boy who lost both his nickel and his cool pony badge. After I cleaned it, it still had some of the golden gild on it.

After a little while I got a sweet signal mixed with mid tones with a jumpy VDI. I almost didn’t dig it but the sweet part of the signal convinced me to go for it and I am glad I did! Had I kept on walking, I would have missed a 1943 war nickel.

A few minutes later, in a section I’ve hit many, many times before. I got a strong dime signal. Expecting a clad dime, I got a 1961 Rosie instead, only about five inches deep. I sure do love to see that dirty silver disc poking through the dirt!

in-situ

It’s unusual for silver coins to be this shallow at this park and I sure don’t understand how it is I missed it before.

silvers

cool-stuff

Not too bad for a 2.5 hour hunt.

hunt

Not pictured here are the pulltabs (I was looking for gold as well) and the wine screw caps that sound ever so sweet when they are deep.

Thank you for looking!

The old bullet

13 Feb

Yesterday at lunch time, I met up with Friendly Metal Detecting Forum member, Stevouke for a quick hunt at the oldest park in Wichita. Stevo was sick with the flu but he gallantly charged on.

After 45 minutes or so and after having dug two wheat cents and an assortment of rusted iron bits, I got what I thought was a good dime signal. I dug the plug and somewhere between six and seven inches, I found this:

Civ

I don’t ordinarily get excited about bullets as I find so many of them in our parks (!). In fact, during this hunt I found another bullet, that one with the cartridge attached. However, the bulk and weight of this bullet, plus the rings at the bottom, were strikingly reminiscent of Civil War bullets dug by the guys down south.

Obviously this is not a CW artifact as it was found in a most definite non-civil war site, but it could be from the period. I know next to nothing about bullets but Stevo found a web site with excellent pictures of various bullets used during that terrible conflict. There was activity in these parts around that time. Traders and others were venturing across the plains before the Civil War even started. The Chisholm trail cuts right through Wichita and other trails ran nearby.

At any rate, I now understand the excitement the relic hunters feel when they find stuff like this. Relics, I’ve said before, connect you to the past in a much more personal level than coins do.

length width

My boys were very excited to see the bullet and this led to a conversation about the Civil War. They were both solemnly silent as they felt the heavy weight of the bullet in their hands. I could see their imagination churning as they admired the massive projectile. And even though we are not gun owners or gun fans, the history that was brought to life by this bullet, made the bullet the coolest find of the year thus far.

Thank you for looking!

Wichita Intra-Mural

28 Jan

Today, I met lawdog1 from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum at a local park for a lunch-hour hunt. In the interest of public relations, we decided not to use our shovels to dig in this park. Unfortunately, the dirt there was tricky and hard to dig in. Or maybe I am a spoiled wimp who cannot dig a hole anymore without his shovel.

At any rate, the park has lots and lots of iron and so I was in signal heaven but unable to dig a hole deeper than five inches. Eventually I hit a signal that was in the six inch range and I was able to extract it

pin-size

 

pin

 

I am surprised I didn’t break the pin off as I often do with this things. There is no year anywhere on the pin but it looks old. I need to research it a little more. The park opened in 1920 but I am sure it was used by people before then.

I wish I could carry my shovel at this park without fearing a mob uprising. I am sure there are some old cool coins mixed with all that deep rusty iron.

Thank you for looking!

Hunting the deep 98’s

17 Jan

I read in a forum that when you hunt with the XP Deus metal detector, you should dig the deep high tones that VDI at 97-98. In the past, I never dug these signals because I believed them to be iron wrap-around.

Well, this XP guru says that I am missing lots of goodies by not digging the really deep high-toned 98’s.  So today at lunch I began to dig those signals in earnest.

Right away, I noticed two problems:

1. If you are hunting an open field and you dig the deep 98’s, the field will be no worse for it. However, if you are a city coin-shooter as I am, hunting the deep 98’s at an old park will crater the heck out of the park. The sheer number of this kind of signal at a very old park means you will be digging a hole every six inches.

2. The second problem is related to the first in that if you are hunting an open field, you are likely looking for relics. I am primarily a coin-shooter; so what’s the problem? The problem is that all the deep 98’s I’ve dug thus far have been little odds and ends such as small bullet casings, small gears, tiny buttons and such. Nary a coin in the hole.

In conclusion, digging the deep 98’s is great when I am in an open field but it is back-breaking labor at an old city park.

By the way, I hunt on Deus Fast with 12KHz and zero iron volume. I will continue to investigate this deep 98 situation and play around with the settings. It is entirely possible the Deus guru didn’t give me all the information he had.

wheat harvest

13 Jan

I braved the cold this morning and hit a park I don’t hunt often. This park yielded a large number of silver coins last year to many hunters including me. I know a guy who found a silver dollar there.

Anyway, no silver was to be had today but not for lack of trying. I dug eight wheats and a number of interesting bits of old metal. My hunts need to start producing multiple silver coins if I am to meet my goal of 100 silver coins for 2013.

hunt

FM_ring

Stop and smell the Rosies

12 Jan

I managed to hunt for an hour and a half this evening before the sun went down. I went down to Riverside park again since it is near my house.

The very first diggable signal I got I thought was a trigger for a gun but when I got home and cleaned it it looked like this:

shoe_trigger2

It is a shoe! I still think this was a trigger to a gun but I cannot imagine why they would have shaped it like a shoe. If it isn’t a trigger for a gun then I have no clue as to what it may have been used for. The style of the shoe makes me think this relic is old.

shoe_trigger1

shoe_top

shoe_bottom

****UPDATE***
The shoe is an antique lady’s pocket knife missing the blade. It was made by W. H. Morley and Sons. Thanks go to John M who identified the shoe.
**************

Then I found some clad including a number of Jefferson nickels. Then I hit a 1939 wheat. I just love finding old coins at a “hunted out” park. I also
found a Peters shot shell of a gauge I don’t see very often –21.

Finally, I couldn’t take the cold anymore and decided to call it a day.  Still, I chose to scan the area where I found the wheat one last time and darn it if I didn’t get one of those iffy signals I’ve talked about in recent posts. I dug the target and at about 6 inches, I found another Rosie; this time a 1953

1953

I just love finding silver at a hunted out park! Oh, and I love my XP Deus metal detector.

Thank you for looking!

Never, never, never, NEVER!…

4 Dec

…skip a site because you’ve heard it has been hunted out.

This year, while hunting a postage stamp-sized park from the late 1800’s with some friends, I found a gold bracelet that at 10K –the bracelet was unmarked, will bring around $400 U.S. once melted. The park is notorious for not yielding anything anymore and yet, there it was, under the coil of my XP Deus metal detector.

The reason why a place is likely to never be hunted out is three-fold:

1) People continue to use a site, even empty lots, and thus the site is replenished with new drops.

2) People who have hunted the place may not have been at the top of their game and thus missed lots of stuff.

3) Considering that a typical target takes up about a square inch of space, well, you do the math.

Plus, there is another mystery to consider here. I don’t know why, and I doubt anyone else knows either, there are many targets that will only be detected at a very specific angle. I had read about this phenomenon from day one but I experienced it first hand well into my first year of detecting. I had hit a private yard from two directions perpendicular to each other (90 degrees) and had returned to do a diagonal search. Going over a spot I had gone over twice in the previous hunts, I got a sweet signal on the AT Pro (my machine at the time) and a VDI that said quarter. I couldn’t believe that I had missed this before. So I decided to go around the target and run my coil over it from different directions. To say that I was shocked is an understatement. I only had to deviate about 15 degrees before I lost the signal completely. COMPLETELY! Not a peep. Not a grunt, whisper, moan. Nothing. Unless I hit the target from that very narrow angle. I dug the hole and at about 4 inches or so, if memory serves me right, I pulled a dateless Standing Liberty quarter.

So lets now think about the fact that a typical target will occupy about 1 square inch of space. Even in a small park, or lot, or yard, we will have a sizable number of square inches to contend with. Add that to the fact that the majority of hunters don’t grid as carefully as they should, or if they do, they eventually tire and get careless, and now you’re beginning to see why there are still good targets left everywhere. Now, remember those targets that will only sound off at a very specific angle and my point is made.

Last, I want to mention something Tom Dankowski says (Tom is a legend of this hobby). “80% of all dropped coins ever, are still in the ground”. He says this because there are several factors making these coins undetectable, the main one being masking. Another one is depth. Tom says that these coins will yield only to the very experienced hunters or to metal detectors of the future.

So there. Don’t be discouraged, the stuff is there. Go get it.

***you can tell when I am not hunting or when I am not finding anything because I start waxing philosophical LOL!***

Thank you for looking!

Getting a little too full of myself

1 Nov

Ok, I have to come clean. I don’t always post my finds.Not because I don’t have time, although often that is the case. It’s just that I don’t deem the finds worthy of a post. After you post the same finds over and over you start wanting to make your posts memorable. If I was finding silver coins every day or gold rings or really cool relics, I wouldn’t be like this. But as it happens, my usual finds are always the same; bullets, clad, crap. YAAAAWN….

Somehow, silver rings got in the category of boring finds in my mind. So I haven’t been posting the silver rings I’ve been finding. Just in the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve found three silver rings that I haven’t even been telling my friends about.

I will remedy this however. I need to get out of that mind set and return to the days when everything and anything I found was exciting.

So here’s a picture of a silver ring I found at lunch the other day, along with the clad and, yep, a bullet. I hadn’t yet deleted this picture from my phone. I did tell Steveouke about this one though.

coins, bullet, and silver ring

The loot

So I hope I continue to find silver rings to tell you about.

Thank you for looking!