Those Darn Oxen Shoes

oxen shoeWhy is it, after all the time I’ve spent hunting and learning my machine, those darn oxen shoes continue to fool me?

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!

7 thoughts on “Those Darn Oxen Shoes

  1. Definitely dug two Saturday and possible a third, I’m cleaning that one to make sure it’s not something else really really cool! Thanks for the education once again!

    1. The dreaded oxen shoe’s sure do sound like a decent target but the signal almost always has a mild scratchy sound to it. They do not a emit a smooth clean sound like most good targets do. I have dug 100’s and the only reason I continue to do is that they may be masking a better target. Btw, great site Allyson

      1. Scratchy or not, I try to hold back, I say “don’t do it…don’t dig it”, but I just can’t resist:-) You’re right about the masking, could be hiding something better to make the initial disappointment worth the effort.
        Saw the pics of your buddies GW’s. Congrats to the both of you!

    2. Wow–you beat me–I’ve only topped out at two in one day. If it makes you feel any better, all I got Saturday was a horseshoe and some clad. Win some, lose some. Glad to be of service educating folks in identifying their rusty whatchamacalits. Happy Hunting!

  2. I suppose there are a lot of those around considering each ox had eight — so a team would have sixteen shoes! I would think an ox shoe would be a pretty exciting find. But that may be because I don’t own a metal detector, but I do own an ox!

    1. You are the first person I know of that owns an ox–that’s so cool! Perhaps if we owned oxen and could recycle the shoes we would be happier to find them. If you’re in need of some extra shoes, I know a bunch of people who would gladly donate them 🙂

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