When I first started metal detecting many years back I learned a really valuable lesson that has resulted in many good finds over the years and I think is worth sharing. I was metal detecting a school from the 1920s and I hadn’t found much there after many hunts. I kept going back because it was close and convenient. I had known several people in the local metal detecting community who had hunted it but when I had nothing else to do I would metal detect there, determined to find a few keepers.
One day I was about to give up and as I was walking to my truck I decided to go out back and look around. Behind the school was thick brush and woods and as soon as you entered it dropped off steeply. Most of it was brush and hard to even penetrate it. Within just a few feet in the brush I started finding old coins. Wheat pennies, Indians and silver coins. I was shocked at how many coins came out of there and it taught me a very valuable lesson.
So many people will hunt the nice, manicured grass but so few will get in the harder to reach places. Hunting in that thick brush was aggravating but very rewarding. Limbs and brush pulling off my headphones, getting wrapped up in vines, poked by thorns but all the great finds it gave up was more than worth it!.
After that I always looked for other spots that detectorists would most likely overlook. Looking for brush, overgrown fence lines and whatever else I thought your average hunter might not want to do because it was to challenging and I found it to pay off over and over again.
Not long after learning that lesson I went back to a local school that was built in the 40’s that is still in use. I had never pulled anything good out of there either but I had a few hours to waste and nothing else lined up so I decided to give it a try. I had hunted this spot many times before and had never paid enough attention but along the large playground area was an overgrown fence that separated the playground from the farm field next door.
I worked from the front, slowly working my way along the fence line stomping down the brush, pulling it out, holding limbs out of the way and getting as close to the fence as I could. Within about 20 yards from the front I found my first silver coin, a silver Washington. By the time I worked all the way down to the end I had 4 silver coins to show for it.
The simple method of looking for places most won’t take the time to mess with has paid off over and over throughout the years. I have hunted many urban parks that are pounded by locals and have been rewarded over and over again by looking for places that most will pass up.
One of those places that rewarded me greatly was an urban park that had been detected since the invention of metal detectors. I had seen clubs hunt it and it’s rare to drive by and not see someone there with a metal detector. This park supposedly went back to the early 1800’s and although I had hunted the park many times I had never found anything nor had I hunted with anyone else who ever found anything worth mentioning. Along the one side of the park it was very over grown with tall grass and brush and I knew I would have to detect it. I can’t even recall all of the great finds that came out of there but I do recall some buttons, several Indians, a few large cents a handful of silver, including a couple seated coins and a handful of awesome relics.
A few years back a friend invited me to do a cellar hunt in the woods he had hunted many times. Although it had given him several great finds we weren’t finding anything, he had covered it really good after several times hunting it. As soon as we got back into the woods to hunt it I had noticed a grown up area that looked impenetrable and I knew just what I had to do. I slowly worked my way into it. Pushing branches away from me, ducking through it, fighting the brush as it beat on me and my equipment. Although nothing spectacular came out of there but a few really nice buttons, a couple tombac buttons and a large cent I could tell I taught my friend a great lesson that day!
If you didn’t know this already I bet if you think about it you can recall some of the places you’ve hunted you can come up with some spots worth trying this out on. If you find something let me know!