It’s been collecting targets for over 100 years, coins and jewelry and also the typical trash. In one area of this beach the tones can change with every scoop, the recovered target in your scoop often revealing yet another. Here there is frequently targets on top of targets, often something old and new in the very same hole. Chirps, barks, screams, tics, pops and little farts, all of these sounds frequently resonating from under, over, and between all of the shallower and fairly modern coins, bottle caps, pulltabs, nails, shell casings, lead fishing weights, old cans, metallic halos, etc., etc. It has taken us many hours of frustrating trial and error to learn how to effectively hunt these places but we’re oh-so glad we stuck it out, the fruits of our labors starting to fill our treasure coffers with greater routine.

Today we were both using small coils, much easier to separate and to isolate targets, much easier to work these coils IN the layers of muck and silt whenever it’s encountered, also much easier to keep working these coils further into the bottom of the holes we dig. Soon what started out as a tic or chirp or a curious bark becomes something else, a solid repeatable tone that we can easily pinpoint in the depths of our holes.

We employ large scoops, large enough to allow our small coils spacious entry into our newly created clay and stony pits. This is generally where the good stuff is found, the typically older and/or heavy. We begin our hunts in silent disc mode, those “edgy” chirps and barks and tics checked out further in Pin Point mode so we can attempt to count the number of those edges, Pin Point mode often allowing us the ability to do this, more then two edges generally a sure sign of a masked target generating the chirp, bark, or tiny tic. It is very slow hunting, methodical and extremely testing at times.


VDI will serve you no purpose here, the platinum diamond ring range up in the 80’s, the three gold rings range up in the 30’s, 60’s, and 80’s respectively. This type of hunting is all done with the ears, the matrix, dark patinas, rust and contamination causing all manner of false readings, this only being compounded as the depth of the targets increase. “Dense” and “sharp” target edges is what we’re focused on, regardless how faint those dense or sharp edges might be. Whenever these dense and sharp returns are encountered, regardless how small or tiny or faint or broken, we always go probing for the source. More often then not it is a target of value, be it a coin or piece of silver or gold jewelry such as a ring, pendent, or even a chain. Sure we also collect our share of junk rings like titanium, carbide, aluminum, copper, etc, but we get far fewer of these here then one might expect to find at today’s modern beaches.

This type of hunting isn’t for everyone and I readily admit that there were many days when we almost tossed in the towel but I’m glad we didn’t. Not everyone can cope with spending six-hours in the same 30′ x 30′ section of water, “for the third time.” However, once you get a feel for the true potential of these places and eventually see the rewards in your scoop, well, it’s much-much easier to bear. One of my early targets today was an early 1900’s “V” nickel and I knew right then that even more goodies were sure to follow.

Hope this article helps, and as always, be safe out there!


2 thoughts on “Hard Targets

    1. I spend “a lot” of time with new detectorist and as you might expect, they’re all focused on machines instead of being focused on putting the one they’ve got over good productive ground. There are a few exceptions but it’s very rare.


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