Detecting Diary–Weekend 2, April 2017:
I started preparing the night before for our clubs “Fun Hunt” which was secured by one of our club members.
One of the club’s goals this year is to have at least 5 fun hunts. After forming a hunt committee, there are already a few hunts scheduled, and we are only a few weeks into the detecting season. So I’d like to say a big thank you to the hunt committee, your efforts are appreciated–Thank you!
For this hunt, my friend Jo Jo was kind enough to offer me a ride (hence the night before prepping). I didn’t want him to have to wait for my slow self in the morning, so I gathered all my gear together for a quicker than usual getaway in the a.m.
I was up at 5am, with him pulling in the driveway, punctually, at 7am (Oh how I wish I could be like that). We packed my gear, made a quick stop and Dunkin’, then we were off.
The hunt was at a Boy Scout Camp in Ashford, CT, about an hours drive north, and close to the Massachusetts border. If you’re not from CT, you probably don’t realize how awesome Ashford is, so I’ll tell you: just think colonial, with cellar holes, farms & rock walls everywhere–On top of that, I think they said the camp was about 1200 acres, so it was sure to be clad & silver city with a bunch of jewelry and scouting paraphernalia mixed in.
We were also informed there were a bunch of cellar holes on the property, which could possibly produce some nice old coins & relics. This is what we were going for.
It was overcast, with rain predicted, but no one cared–we just wanted to hunt. We were given the rules and then free reign of the property. A group of about 8 of us immediately started the trek to the cellar holes
When we arrived at the site, it was obvious it was an area that had seen some heavy use in the past. There was an old enclosed cemetery, and the cellar holes from an old church, and some other buildings. There were stone walls everywhere, as well as a river with what looked like the remains of an old mill.
My first signal was some type of round decorative item, and I happily popped it in my pouch. My next few signals were nails. Huge square nails that read high silver on my machine, but turned out to be huge disappointments. It was raining, and my VDI was useless, so I was just digging everything, ’cause you never know.
Jo Jo dug up a bell, and then I got an oxen shoe–hurray! I was happy to be able to keep my expert oxen shoe finder status intact. Shortly thereafter, I pulled out some rusty nail clippers?? I decided to move to an area near the river while thinking about where I might sit to have my lunch (or trim my nails?) a few hundred years ago. I spied a small rock ledge that looked like a good spot, and moved toward that area. I got a nice solid signal, and pulled out a coin. I thought it might be an Indian, it was thick–maybe a fatty, but I couldn’t make it out (forgot my glasses again), but it was a coin nonetheless, and it made me happy. I re-scanned the hole, and got another signal–I was like, cool, as I dug up another coin which looked just like the first one. I called Jo Jo, to tell him I found two coins in the same hole down by the river, so he said he would make his way down to have a look (he didn’t need glasses).
I took pictures of the coins while I was waiting, then before I covered my hole, I scanned it again and got another signal. I thought, no way, and stuck my pinpointer in the hole, only to have another coin come out. It was bigger than a nickel, smaller than a quarter, and because of my now common eyeglass forgetfulness issue, I wasn’t sure what this was either.
The guys showed up, and confirmed the fatty Indians, and as the larger coin dried the number 2, as in 2 Cent showed itself. I couldn’t believe it–in all the years I’ve been detecting, I’ve only found one 2 cent piece, and less than a dozen coin spills, so this was like an epic detecting day for me. After that, I didn’t care what else I found because my day was made.
We hunted the area a bit more, and someone found another Indian, and some Dandy buttons were also found. We decided to go back to the main field of the camp where we had started. There were a bunch of people hunting it, and I heard some gold rings, tons of clad, a large cent, and a lot of Boy Scout items were found.
We hunted that field for the last hour, and I came away with a beat up religious medal, a Boy Scout neckerchief holder (not sure what they call them), some clad, more clad, and a bunch more clad.
It was time to leave, and after stopping at the local pizza place, we headed back home. It was still early when Jo Jo was dropping me off, and there were at least a few good hours of detecting left in the day. I offered up our yard for hunting, and it’s in the historic district, so most people are happy to dig there.
I tried to explain the best I could, the trickiness to hunting the yard. It’s 3 acres, with an old barn, and surrounded by homes from the 1700’s, but the soil is fickle, only giving up finds when it feels like it, no matter the size of your coil, speed of your swing, or how many times you grid an area.
We weren’t having any luck, so I suggested we go into the nearby woods. This is also a similarly strange area to detect. I told Jo Jo I had found a few half reales, some large cents, a seated half, and a lot of colonial knickknacks in there, but it depended on the day. I can hunt there 3 or 4 times without finding anything, and then suddenly out will pop a half reale or a copper.
The ground was very quiet, with a rare signal here and there. I didn’t care if I found anything, but I was really hoping that Jo Jo would find something. I was about to give up and tell him we should head over to the barn to hunt when he said something I couldn’t hear, so I turned around and said “What did you find?”, and he says “A Spanish half reale”. I thought he was teasing me until he showed it to me. OMG I was so thrilled for him! I knew there was still a lot of stuff to be found there, but what I thought was going to be another one of those skunkings turned out to be an awesome day. Congratulations Jo Jo–you deserved it!
So the weekend ended with great finds for both of us. It doesn’t always happen that way, but when it does, it is simply, in a word, Awesome. Happy Hunting!