Detecting in reverse
There are times when normal detecting practices will not function. One case like this is when there are loads of metal trash covering the area you wish to hunt. In these cases you will find that detecting in reverse will be the cure.
Yesterday I stopped at an old house site and took the detector out and switched it on. It was a constant scream of signals. An insanity condition where a sensitive detector was trying to feedback to the user all that was under the coil. An experienced hunter will realize that this effect that occurs is called “masking”.
Masking is like placing a sheet of iron between your coil and the coin you wish to find. So much metal in the ground will mask out any good signals, even if you have that new fancy beeper that you paid too much for. Most people would just put the beeper back into the car and drive off in search of a better place to hunt.
Some places like this however, hold a wealth of good targets lying under loads of metal trash. If you are one of those folks that do not give up easily then there is a way you can still hunt.
Normal metal detecting is generally searching over clean ground and then hearing a loud beep when a target is found and then pressing the pinpoint button to locate the center of the signal to dig.
Reverse hunting is just the opposite, not walking backwards! We press the pinpoint button first and hold it down as we move around the trash. You won’t find coins under the metal but there are spaces between the junk that might contain a good old coin. The trick is to listen for the tiny pinpoint as opposed to the broad loud signals. Once you have the tiny pinpoint then perform a target profile to image the target in your mind and see if it fits what you are looking for. For instance a small nail would be very easy to discern in this mode if you were a careful hunter.
When a good target is found then flip to discriminate to read the probable target ID. If you decide that it is worth digging then bring it up and you may discover that this method of hunting opens up some of those good but forbidding sites full of metal trash. Also another note to remember. To avoid masking when you have a good target close to metal junk raise the coil. Remember that the field is in a cone shape which will narrow the detection field and avoid the junk. As my ole mother said “When there is a will there is a way”!
Some machines are far better in pinpoint mode than others and still others don’t even have a pinpoint. Some might think that you can just use the “all metal” mode but in most cases this is far too broad and will result in the same as masking in discrimination mode. Choose a machine that has a deep but fine pinpoint and one that is accurate. There is nothing worse than a broad pinpoint for this purpose. Your pinpoint should be sharp and you can narrow it to a fine point by raising the coil. Use 8 inch or smaller coils, the big ones will not work like this.