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First silver of 2015 and a remarkable hunt

18 Jan

The weather finally turned enough to dust off Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector, and head to my favorite deep silver park.

At the very end of 2014 I added depth to my hunts by increasing the sensitivity and lowering the speed. Also, I learned about a phenomenon that probably kept from finding some deep old coins in the past. With those two things in mind, I returned to a spot that I cleaned in preparation for the Blisstool v6 later this Spring (fingers crossed). I was thinking I would dig some old iron as I was sure that I had done a fairly good job cleaning all signals. Boy was I wrong!

First I found a bunch of pull tabs, beaver tails, and tiny foil. I was somewhat shocked. Upping the sensitivity got me a bunch of those super small pieces of aluminum. Eventually I hit a nice repeatable deeeeep signal. At past 10 inches deep I found what looks to be a brass accent for a purse or something. It says Russell Co. in old english gothic font. Then I got a fairly loud signal that according to the target I.D was a coin. Instead I found a square electrical doo hickie that says Delco REMY on it. I was shocked that I missed this before. Some clad followed. Crazy! Then I hit a 1945 wheat. Really?? It was the next target that floored me. A 1944 D war nickel. By then I had dug almost 20 targets between trash and the non-ferrous stuff. The spot was supposed to be clean!! But I wasn’t done yet; next I found a transportation token from the 60’s. The last target I dug was a 1940 wheat.
Hunt

Was I hunting on deaf mode before?! I swear the spot was clean! I thought I had dug all obvious targets. I am still reeling from this hunt.

1944D

Well I can’t wait to go back to this spot. I will have to re-grid it now.

Thank you for stopping by!

A different kind of Indian

29 Dec

I have always been mystified by the fact that I can hunt for two hours and not find a darn thing and then, I do a quick fifteen minute hunt at lunch and find something cool right away.

Of course, lately I’ve doing a lot of finding, mostly wheats, because one of the beautiful things about my XP Deus metal detector is that it is a complex machine with many layers and even after two years I am still learning cool things about it. This time, I figured out how to squeak another inch or so of depth and I have been revisiting many spots in our beloved city.

So today after I spent 15 precious minutes of my lunch hour standing in line in front of this woman who was ordering for her whole office (I am pretty sure that if all her co-workers had bothered to come themselves the whole process would have been a lot quicker; but I digress) and then scarfed down my lunch, I managed to still have 20 minutes or so to disturb some soil at Riverside park. Right away, I got a deep signal filled with possibility. At about a little over 7 inches I found what looked like a pin. I could see that it was copper or brass and through the mud it looked like some kind of floral design. After I got back to my office and cleaned it some, this is what it was:

pin-detail

If you are a native Wichitan you’ll recognize that this is a pin from North High School. The pin has writing on the front, right where the warrior’s neck is but it is near impossible to read. I may be matrixing but I think I can see some letters. After a while my brain is torn between seeing the word INDIANS or the word MINAHA followed by the year 1929. On the back I can see the word FAIRGROUND followed by 4 letters I cannot read and ending with the letters KS which could mean Kansas or it could be the last two letters of the second word. If I look at the front from a certain angle, the words seem to be North H.S. 1929.

At any rate, this is not the only piece of North High’s Redskins themed bling I have ever found but it is certainly the oldest. North High opened in 1929 and perhaps that is why I think I see the year 1929 on this pin. Neither the word INDIANS nor the word MINAHA was ever associated with the High School (although admittedly, my research was very shallow) so who knows what really is written on the pin. Heck, at the end it may not even be a North High pin. My reasons for believing it is are that I found this pin on Riverside park, which is very near the High School and that the other two or three North High objects were also found on Riverside park. The only thing I can be sure of is that it is an old relic.

It is also very small:
pin-size

I may be making a big deal about this pin because I have not been out hunting for a week and this is the most thrilling thing to come up from the ground for me in a while.

Happy New Year and thank you for stopping by.

Sweet, sweet pocket spills

14 Dec

I returned to the same over-hunted spot at my favorite city park. Right away I got a signal that I had somehow missed. I don’t know how since this was a loud signal. It was loud and all over the place. No matter, I have selected this spot for clean up and I have been digging up all signals. So I cut the plug and dug my regulation seven inches deep hole. In the plug, towards the tip, I found a 1941 wheat. Nice!. I put the pinpointer in the hole and bam! another strong signal. I put my hand in there with great expectations and pulled out a 1956 Jefferson nickel. Ok, I put the pinpointer in the hole a third time and lo and behold, there was yet another target. I was so sure it was going to be a silver coin but alas, it was another wheat, this time a 1956.

spill

No silver this time but knowing that I missed this spill makes me hopeful that I missed many others and when I find them, there will be silver in the hole.

Thank you for stopping by and happy hunting!

When the bullet gives a tone

29 Nov

I dug a hundred holes yesterday with my XP Deus metal detector. I detected at a spot where houses stood from the late 30’s all the way to the late 70’s. I’ve detected that spot several times before but this time I decided to grid it. I was amazed how much stuff I missed before; I found a number of clad dimes and quarters. I also found a handful of pre-1982 memorials. Of course, I dug up a couple of pounds of house parts as well. The most interesting finds were a couple of wheats (1940 and 1950) and this:
live_round

It kind of makes you wonder what was going on at this place back in the day.

I left all the mid tones alone. Someday I will take the time to dig them all. Being that there were houses there, I am sure a couple of those mid tones are gold.

Anyway, thank you for stopping by

2014

21 Nov

Although it may seem premature to talk about the year as if it was gone, for me, with detecting at least, it might as well be. Between holiday driving and work craziness, my detecting year is practically over. I have a little bit of hope that I may hunt a couple of homesteads in the woods yet this year but more than likely, those homesteads will have to wait until early next year.

In 2014 my hunting time was greatly reduced. I ended with ten silver coins for the year (I think, it may be nine). The best find of the year was my 1867 Shield nickel with rays back in April.  I found no gold this year.

Those sparse results were to be expected though. I hope to do better next year, especially since my boys have expressed some interest in the hobby. I also plan on buying a new detector. I have my eyes on the Blisstool LTC64x v5, from Bulgaria. I love my XP Deus don’t get me wrong but I am ready for a new detector. My Deus will still be my go-to machine and the Blisstool will be my specialty machine.

I feel that in 2014, in spite of the minimal hunting time, I grew even more as a detectorist. Perhaps 2015 will be the year when I really make an effort to obtain permission to hunt private properties. I also plan on traveling a little more.

I thank all of you who stopped by and read my dribble. It means a lot to me to share my hunts with you.

Here’s to a great 2015.

The Good New Days

20 Nov

Recently, Dick Stout wrote a post about the good old days. It is awesome to hear about the good old days. Unfortunately, I am a relative newcomer to the hobby and I only get to live in the now days, pull tabs and all.

Comparing then to now in the hobby is like commenting on a lake that was over fished and then acting as if we didn’t have anything to do with the lake being over fished. Oh how the good old days were better! When the fish were plenty and all you had to do was find a stick and put some line on it and go home with a full stringer! Now you have to buy a special rod with a special lure and a fish finder to find the two or three leery fish that are hiding in the deep pockets of the lake.  Meanwhile, the essence of fishing remained the same. Changes on technology or changes in the fish population  of the lake didn’t change that. The environment changed, the elements of fishing didn’t.

So it is with detecting. The essence of the hobby has not changed, even if we need more to get it done.

All I have to deal with are the new days. I did not come into a situation where most of the coinage in the first four inches of dirt is all silver. What’s left for me are coins that are deeper than 6 inches. Oh sure, If I have the good fortune to get permission to hunt a private property, I may find old coins laying on top of the ground (yes, I am referring to your 1867 Shield nickel, lawdog1). But if a park hunter you are, then you know what I am talking about. So I can not wax nostalgic about the time when men were men and men used probes. Deep coins and heavy masking are my lot. A member of our club who has hunted for 50 years (!) likes to remind us that when he started, he didn’t have to contend with the carpet of pull tabs, bottle caps, and can slaw that we have to deal with on a daily basis. So in order for us to stand a chance we need new tech. We need every bit of help we can get. All things being equal, I just don’t believe the old machines could compete with the likes of the Etrac, or the V31, or the Deus; not in a trashy park of today. We need depth and we need speed. Yes, we also need skill but given the reality of today’s metal detecting, us newbies should not feel bad nor apologize for wanting new, more powerful metal detectors.

We deal with the reality of life as it is presented to us. We can not turn back time. In these times, not the good old days, we the dusty, dirty-knee metal detectors forge relationships with our city’s government. We forge relationships with the State’s Archeologists. We organize hunts and we sit around and talk about our finds. We accomplish this just as in the good old days, by meeting with people face to face.

As for the T.V. shows, well, that’s entertainment for you. No t.v. producer is going to make a show based on the malcontents I hunt with. The child-like excitement we all feel when we find something really cool that’s been buried for over 100 years doesn’t translate well; to any medium. And I am not worried that those shows (greatly) exaggerate the good to bad finds ratio. Any sap who takes up my beloved hobby based on one of those t.v. shows will quickly run into the truth. If that person was born to do this, then they will shrug and go on, if not, then another detector will go in a closet for a grandchild to discover later.
No major harm done here.

Another thing that has not changed since the good old days is the satisfaction of hunting with friends. Yes, my friends and I all use smart phones instead of those old rotary phones but we put them to good use. I cannot go running to my wife to show her my corroded Indian because she couldn’t care less. But I can text a picture of it to lawdog1 or to Steve and I will get an honest reaction, often to match my own. And I think that regardless of what direction metal detecting takes, the Zen of walking along a beautiful park on a beautiful day, just one and the tones, will always be a part of it.

So I celebrate the good old days, as they are described to me by those who lived them. But I also celebrate the now days. The days I get to go out and let my inner 9 year old out to get giddy with the next silver coin dug out of the ground just as it was in the good old days.

Thank you for stopping by.

Toasted

19 Nov

I was sitting here thinking that I had not found an Indian head cent this year and then I decided to go out hunting for a bit.

I took Maurice to Riverside park to dig some deep targets. Towards the end of my hunt I pulled my first Indian of the year. Well, it is mostly an Indian:
Toasted

If you tilt your head just right and make liberal use of your imagination you can see this coin was at one time, an Indian Head cent. No way to get a year out of it but since it was very deep and it was found at the second oldest park in Wichita, I will count it as an 1864 Indian Head…he he he. Ok, it will have to remain undated.

That is all I found of any note.

Thank you for stopping by!

Getting back into it

15 Nov

I have detected more lately and I am beginning to get the old feeling back. I have hunted my deep silver park multiple times recently. I continue to clean up an area with both the Compadre and my XP Deus metal detector and now the coins are starting to show up. Masking is a real problem and it is a problem that us Johnny-come-latelies have to contend with. So removing as many pull tabs, bottle caps, and foil seemed like a good idea to me.

I continue to be shocked at how many wheats there are in this park. I have been digging wheats out of this park for nearly three years now. I counted my wheats a while ago and I was near 1000 of them then. I am thinking about 80% of them came out of my deep silver park. There were many many hunts at this park where I came home with better than a dozen wheats at a time. Just when I start thinking I got them all, more show up. And there is still plenty of silver as well, although heavily masked and often deeper than my detectors can go. Still, I manage to pull a silver out of there now and again. I pulled this baby from the bottom of a 9 inch deep hole Friday at lunch. It looked so pretty in the dirt but I didn’t have my phone with me so I had to wait until I got to the office to take a picture.
stander

It is only my fourth Stander ever and the second one from this park. I know there are many more waiting for me to liberate them from their confinement in the dirt.

Today I managed to hunt for an hour or so in the same area I’ve been cleaning. I found no silver but I did pull three late wheats and a vintage child’s copper ring.
wheats

Also, I had a bit of a situation with a city employee while I was detecting the park but I stood firm and all ended well. I am surprised at how many people have a problem with my beloved hobby. If they only knew the joy it brings, they would see things differently. This encounter was easy as the guy was very nice and very professional. I know it won’t always be that way but I will strive to always maintain my composure. I believe that to be the best way to deal with that kind of thing.

Thank you for stopping by!

Hunting old homesteads with friends

11 Nov

Sunday Steve and I drove down to Oklahoma at the invitation of our friend lawdog1. Lawdog has permission to hunt a bunch of old homestead sites and twice now, he has graciously invited us to go down there and detect.

For me, hunting farm fields is a totally cool experience. I am a park hunter. Park hunting nowadays is not for the faint of heart. We park hunters contend with trash densities not known to pasture hunters, private property hunters, or beach hunters. For a die-hard park hunter like me, hunting farm fields is like cutting through warm butter with a hot knife. Additionally, having friends to hunt with just makes the whole thing even better.

At the end of the day, I managed to find a 1943 Merc, an Oklahoma tax token, and the handle of a spoon that once belonged to lawdog’s great-grandparents; how cool is that? Many shot shells were found, and wheats, and other cool pieces from years gone by.

The real treasures of course, are the moments shared with good friends. Steve brought his 8 year old son (C). I was very impressed with C’s stamina and determination. C found a couple of shot shells of which he was very proud. We also enjoyed a beautiful blue sky that seemed to touch the earth all around us.

Before we left Oklahoma, we stopped and ate some burgers and fries. A good ending.

Thank you for stopping by.

Brutal Honesty

7 Nov

I decided to hunt during my lunch hour today. It was definitely a metal-detecting kind of day; cool enough to keep me from sweating but warm so as to not need a jacket. I found a spot at my go-to silver park that suddenly began to produce wheats, and I started the process of mining the spot. To that effect, I decided to take the Mighty Compadre out for a spin.

As expected, I began to dig pull tabs. I cannot say enough good things about the Compadre. I was digging pull tabs from the bottom of 7 inch deep holes; with a 5.25″ coil. Really. The Compadre discriminates iron like a boss. When I said give me nickels and pull tabs and everything else above that, the Compadre delivered as required. The only bottle caps I dug at lunch, were in the holes with the pull tabs.

And there is something else about the Compadre; its brutal honesty –beep; there is something there; dig it, is very refreshing. Not having to deal with a major influx of information takes me to the essence of metal detecting. Hunting with the Compadre today was downright primordial.

And so in a short time I had a pocketful of pull tabs, a couple of rusted bottle caps and a number of interesting odds and ends that I would have never dug up with Maurice (my XP Deus metal detector) because I would have second guessed myself given all the information the Deus gives me.

So, if you have $160 in your pocket, run don’t walk, to your nearest dealer and get yourself one of these detecting wonders. Oh and by the way, all Tesoro detectors come with a life-time warranty. Yep, I doubt there is anything else in the world with a life-time warranty anymore.

Thank you for stopping by!