Sometimes it isn’t easy to break old routines and habits, these things often providing a familiar comfort zone that’s difficult to abandon. However, it’s also this familiar comfort zone that can often prevent us from learning new and better methods and strategies. At some point we’ve all been there, those moments when we realize that changes are required and yet we are reluctant to jump that fence.
Part of this hesitation is due to the fact that in order to make those required changes it means throwing out everything we know and trust in exchange for things that are completely unfamiliar to us that we yet have reason to place any trust in. Sure, there are learning curves that are going to have to be endured, also periods of new frustrations and frequent moments of uncertainty and second guessing. To make matters worse we know all of this beforehand which makes it all that much easier to talk ourselves out of making those changes. Such is human nature. But here’s the thing, if it isn’t already working to our satisfaction as it is then it never will if we don’t jump that fence and leave that current comfort zone behind.
Making changes and adjustments all begins with evaluating our goals and expectations and we need to do this in each phase of our hunting, both in how we hunt and where we hunt. Obviously we’re not going to find gold and silver consistently unless that gold and silver is consistently there to be found. And second, if that gold and silver is consistently there to be found then we’re not going to consistently find it unless we possess the skills and methods required to consistently find it. This is the blunt of it, the reality of the situation.
This is something I had to put into practice for myself this past year, my rate of recoveries not being nearly what I had hoped they would be. Part of this problem was that I wasn’t hunting high percentage locations, the other part of the problem is that I was still applying methods that had worked for me on the crowded beaches in Florida. Yet here I was in Indiana and I was still going about my hunting as if I was still hunting those crowded east coast Florida beaches with long histories. Clearly I needed to make some major adjustments but I just couldn’t force myself out of my typical comfort zones. Sure, I was still making a few good recoveries on occasion but after a few months of this continued struggling it was either time to throw in the towel or it was time to completely revamp things. I chose option number two and the results have been well worth it.
First and foremost I had to change where I was hunting, I needed to find locations with long histories and continued usage by the right type of crowds. I spent hours online looking for such places, as did my hunting buddies and we also made numerous phone calls and inquiries. Slowly but surely we started to locate the type of places we were looking for and just as slowly we started to gain access to some of those places. This, by itself, was a huge improvement. Now we were hunting ground that maintained a long history of use with the right type of atmosphere and human interaction and because these locations were still being used in much the same way these locations were always being replenished with the type of losses we were hoping to recover.
When we stop and think about it successful metal detecting is no different then a successful business, a successful sports team, etc., etc., etc. What it really comes down to is management, how you manage your time and the manner in which you select your places you hunt. In other words it doesn’t matter how many times I return that same old park or school yard or home site if those locations are depleted of recoveries with little or no chance of their being replenished. Sure, we might pluck a few goodies every now and then but they certainly aren’t the formula for consistent success. So how you manage your hunting time and the locations you select to hunt plays a big part in consistent success.
The other area that required quite a bit of adjustment was in how these locations were hunted, those old trusted methods that were part of my old comfort zone not always being the best methods for these new environments and their existing conditions. Of course this is something we can’t determine until we have actually hunted these new locations a few times but if we are observant of the differences then we can more easily make the required adjustments. It does us no good to continue swinging our coils over this same ground if we are applying the wrong coil, the wrong method, the wrong strategy, and the wrong machine settings. So we need to be observant of the different conditions that may exist at each of the locations we hunt as this is the only way we can make the proper adjustments to each of them so we can get the most efficiency from our equipment and effort. Again, it all comes down to managing our hunting time and methods so that we can achieve the best performance and results possible each time we go hunting.
Know your machine! Here again it becomes rather easy to stick with what we know VS experimenting with things that we don’t fully understand. Now I’m not suggesting that we need to know all of the technical aspects of our machine but I am suggesting that we need to understand the action/reaction aspects of our machine features, coils, etc. In other words we need to understand what our machine is doing and how each machine adjustment is going to effect its operation. We also need to understand how the various coil sizes are going to react to the conditions of the ground we are hunting. Unfortunately, our understanding of this stuff is the only way we can make the appropriate adjustments in the field. There simply are no shortcuts here, we must take the time to learn all of this stuff if we want to get the most from our hunting time and our equipment.
Where we hunt. How we hunt. How well we understand our machine & equipment. These three areas are critical to our success. So what are your expectations and personal goals? By evaluating and then managing these three areas you should eventually be able to reach those expectations and goals. If what you’re doing now isn’t meeting your personal goals and expectations then what do you have to lose? You can either jump that fence and make the required adjustments or you can except being content with your level success now. It’s really that simple.
Hope this article helps, and as always, good luck and be safe out there! ………..Cheers!