The targets of our search
It became obvious to me after I got into metal detecting that it was one of those activities that many enjoy in limited fashion but where a few excel beyond normal expectations. I think it challenged my competitive spirit and tasked me to find a way to apply myself to see if I could place among the best in our hobby. This presented me with some severe problems. To start with, this area never has had any old coins or much silver to speak of and my ability to excel was dependant on the targets available to me. To hunt the “old” parks you would be extremely lucky to find even an old wheatie much less any valuable coins and as far as artifacts go there has been only the most limited skirmish from the Civil war period leaving little trace of evidence that it ever occurred.
This meant that I was going to enter the field with a severe disability and that I should face the reality that I may never be able to find anything of historical value or much current value for that matter. Nevertheless I began by searching for coins and of course they were all clad coins if even they could be found. There is so much competition here that even clad coins are hunted to extinction and you would almost have to follow a crowd to find anything. Depressing? Yes, but not enough to overcome my desire to succeed. This only meant that most of the other hunters would discover this and then either give up or just hunt clad to get out of the house.
Many hunters have reduced their activities to club hunts and perhaps finding an old house that has been moved and checking around the yard for a few pennies. I share their disappointment because it is hard to try to research or look for new areas in an over hunted barren area. This may be the future of metal detecting as more and more people work the fields there is less and less good finds for the new folks to find. For a time we hoped that a super detector would be available to extend our search to deeper realms but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.
To succeed in a field that is that poor means you are going to have to press harder than you ever wanted to do to find a way to break through to find satisfying rewards. That is enough right there to stop 95 percent of the hunters as they are limited by their time to apply themselves to hunting or researching places. You will have to be unconventional to get ahead and if you just follow the crowds of other hunters for ideas you will never succeed. It is a good idea to pay attention to other peoples finds and not just the great old coin that never can be found again but the repeatable finds of value. You may have to reject what other hunters strive for when everyone tells you how important is is to find some old coin or artifact. You need to look for something that will please YOU not someone else! You need to look for something that you can find even though it takes a lot of effort to achieve success. Too often we listen to others go on about finding an old seated liberty, or a gold coin when we know that we could hunt for years and never see one. That of course means that we are going to be more or less unhappy for most of the time. Search instead for something that will delight you and bring a grin to your face. This could be something of great value or little value to anyone else but in your mind it will be valuable to you. Success or failure is after all most important to you as everyone else just expects you to fail anyway!
Then you think that there are few people that you ever hear about that ever find very much. Do not let that discourage you as the key thing to remember is that the better the finds the less you hear about it! Think about it…. If you are finding a good sized amount of valuable gold are you going to tell everyone about it? Not for long before someone takes it from you. I have heard whispers about things that were found that would shock you! Consider that…. someone who is doing so good that they can’t talk about it. There are more people who have safety deposit boxes full of gold and silver that will never tell anyone than you could imagine!. Do you still think you will just put the detector in the closet because your yardwork is more important? Please do not think when someone shares a secret with you that they are just bragging. They may be doing you a big favor by trying to let you know that you really can win the prize and outpace the competition. You have to believe that it is possible and that you too can do it before you can apply yourself to the task.
There are two types of hunters that stand out. Those that are in it for the social benefits who want to talk to everyone and perhaps convince everyone that they know a lot about the subject and those who are quietly leading the pack and continuing to find satisfying rewards for their efforts. Both are on different tracks and running the race for different rewards but both may look the same to the new hunter and thereby be a source of confusion for the new detectorist who demands real answers for their questions. If you are the new hunter then I suggest you learn to separate the two quickly and learn from the leaders instead of the followers. The more that anyone succeeds in our hobby the quieter they get about their discovery. Do not be discouraged by the apparent attitude of failure that may prevail among your friends at the club but strive to succeed for yourself and not to announce to the world that you have done good but to please yourself and to find delight in your experiences.