So many have found that treasure hunting is not the search for treasure but the search for the “perfect detector”, one that locates deep objects, identifies correctly, and pinpoints exactly. There are a lot of detectors on the market that should be junked and you may never find what you are looking for. We live in an imperfect world and life as we know it is mostly a tradeoff between what we want and what we can afford. I think that getting the most bang for the buck is very important and sometimes the most expensive detector fails miserably. We as treasure hunters have one thing in common: we get a kick from looking for a big find and we suffer when we come short. Many just won’t admit failure and continue to haunt the same old places over and over even when there is nothing to find. Nine out of ten places that I have hunted that looked great were stripped of everything or never had anything to start with. The really great spots that had an abundant supply of coins seemed to be just places that for one reason or another were never hunted. Believe it or not these sites do not replenish in one season but are the result of ten or twenty years of accumulation. This leaves me with the conclusion that I will have to search more for sites to hunt than search the ones that I have found. I have narrowed it down to regularly working the sweet spots that I have found that produce regularly (although sparingly) and driving into new territory every week to map out possible sites.
This brings me to point out the difference on technique that I want to illustrate. Many treasure hunters plan a day to hunt the new site that they have located and like many in our midst do not discriminate but dig everything. This means that if the site was a poor choice and has few or no coins the whole day is wasted because this hunter will dig pulltabs all day to find an old wheatie. Some of us are happy with their wheatie and far be it for me to interfere with their fun, but we all like to have that nice feeling of noticing our pockets bulging after we hunt a while. I believe that we cannot help but realize we need a quick readout of all of our potential hunting sites, after all someone else may have his or her eye on the good one. To obtain a quick readout it would be best to use a detector with a target ID and by that I don’t mean these pieces of junk that pretend to have a target ID but one that works and will tell you when it is a quarter or dime. Even if you don’t like to hunt with it you should have one to locate the good places.
School is out this week in my area and that means a free for all for the coins, but which school, there must be a hundred or more in my area. The way I will find the good ones is to set my detector notches all off except for quarters. Why quarters? because they are the easiest ones to find even with a bad detector and if I can fast walk the school grounds in five minutes I will know within five dollars just how much is located there and how much trash there is. If the neighborhood kid has a cheap detector and works the school he may miss some dimes but he will find most quarters. It is rare indeed when I find a school these days that has not been stripped out but I will probably find some, and it is obvious that if I don’t find them first they may not last long because we have more and more new hunters all of the time with better and better equipment!
So if you cannot afford a target ID detector then turn your discrimination up where quarters is all you can find and practice the fine art of scanning sites. You must keep a list of hunting sites because it is impossible to remember all of them, at least in the cities, and rate them after you scan them where you will improve your chances and return with your pockets full and a smile on your face.
I do believe that you should turn the discrimination low to hunt but only after you have found the very best sites. There was a school that I found last winter where the quarters were so thick that I didn’t even stand up to hunt them and it looked like someone took a bushel of quarters and threw them to the ground. It was most likely where the boys wrestled on the deep grass and was also where there were a number of gravel pits and monkey bars to keep the amateurs busy in the kid’s playpens while the real treasure lay wasting in the field. A five minute walkthrough will show you the very best place to hunt coins and where coins are lost many other things can be found. I have found gold jewelry laying in the field at an elementary school
Of course not everyone wants to hunt for coins, maybe they are on the trail of a lost mine or a sunken Spanish ship but I have found gratification in just the small things while I keep an eye out for the big things. I just get a kick every time that two bit belltone sounds on my box and at the same time I chase down stories about pirate treasure buried near my town. Even if I never find the chest of gold I will have a good day looking for coins at some school nearby and in the long run even that will add up.
Success is making each day count and taking opportunities when they are available. The chances are that when you find a successful treasure hunter he or she will not be cussin’ their detector but making the best out of what they have.