I get a fantastic signal, my mind thinks “oxen shoe”, my machine reads “oxen shoe”, but can I ignore it? Nooooo! I dig, and dig, with the anticipation of a fantastic find spurring me on, until finally my treasure is revealed…a lowly oxen shoe. Sigh—I move on…
The first one I found was an enigma. A rusty whatchamacalit that because of its odd shape, I figured it must have a purpose and tossed it into my “your guess is as good as mine” box to keep all of the my other unidentified metal objects company.
As time went on and my finds increased, so did my collection of these rusty odd shaped items. Then one day, purely by accident, while researching old farm tools online, I did a double take on a photo which resembled my rusty enigmas. Alas—they did have a purpose, and a name…oxen shoes!
Puzzle now solved, I did a little research on them.
Back in the day (way, way back), because of their strength, oxen were the farmers animal of choice for clearing the fields. It seems the oxen did such a good job of clearing the fields that by the 1850’s, their demand and use on the farms declined. So if you find an oxen shoe, remain optimistic as it usually means you are hunting in an old area.
I’ve since gotten rid of my vast collection of them, but I’m not worried, I’m sure I’ll dig more. And you never know—one day that signal could turn out to be a golden oxen shoe—Happy Hunting!