If you’re an avid hunter, consider taking a hunt without a bow or firearm. It may pay off.
We’re referring to hunting with a metal detector. And it could be lucrative if discovering artifacts, antiques, coins, old jewelry or relics that remain in the ground of various areas.
To get started in treasure hunting, you’ll obviously need a metal detector, a flat blade screwdriver or garden trowel. Experienced detectorists use an 8-inch long digging tool often called a pin-pointer. In addition, it would help to wear a carpenter’s apron to stow your finds.
For more information on metal detectors I asked Josh Lantz, of Traditions Media, who represents Vanquish and Equinox metal detectors, the two most popular brands on the market. Said Lantz, “The Vanquish brand offers consumer friendly pricing and they’re popular choices for beginning and novice detectorists. The Equinox Series detectors are, for example, the lightest, very powerful and easiest to use out of the box.”
Lantz goes on to say that once you have the detector and equipment, you’re ready to start. And the first place to start is by practicing in your own yard. If it’s 25 years or older, it could possibly contain lost coins, toys and other metal items for you to find.
To get more practice with the device, he recommends burying some coins, old jewelry, nails, bottle caps or other metal objects in the ground and at various depths. When doing so, each item can be marked with a piece of paper containing the name of the object and depth at which it was buried. Practice detecting each item and take note of the sound each item makes as well as the numeric value your detector is returning on the screen. He says that it won’t take long for you to gain confidence in knowing what your detector is telling you.
“You’ll quickly learn what common items like pennies, quarters, nails, bottle caps, pull tabs and rings look like on your detector. It’s a fun process that will give you more confidence and save you a lot of time you’d otherwise spend digging. Once you find an object and retrieve it, always fill in your dig hole,” said Lantz.
Upon gaining experience it’s time to take your detector to other places like parks, fields, creek banks and if going to the shore, sandy beaches that are always a great place to find items buried in the sand.
Find Civil War relics and they could be worth major money. You could also help a friend find lost property like my neighbor did some years back. A lady who lives a block away lost her engagement ring while walking her dog along my neighbor’s grassy strip behind his house. She knocked on his door to tell him if he should find a ring in his yard, it was hers. My neighbor got out his metal detector and scanned his grass and found the ring in three-inch deep grass.
Unlike hunting and fishing, metal detecting can be done almost any time of the year and there’s no license required. Best of all, the rewards are real and the treasures you find are yours to keep.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.