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Thread: Park hunting questions

  1. #1
    Candidate Member
    Join Date
    May 2021
    SE Michigan

    Park hunting questions

    OK, newbie questions here.

    I've got about 20 hours at local parks and need some sanity checks.

    1) Do you guys just ignore the Zinc Pennies? One park I go to must have been the site of a 'Throw your pennies party'. There is a section of that park that must have a zinc penny every 2 feet. I was there last night and must have ignored 200 18-20 signals! I'd dig one every 15 minutes just to prove to myself that I was ignoring the right stuff.

    2) What do you do when you find a small area (3'x3' or so) that has several signals that are promising (but don't repeat in 2 directions) and have iron underneath? Is this the famous 'Iron Halo' that I've read about? I don't want to make an excavation in the middle of the park!

    3) One of the parks I've been hunting has fill on one end of it, I find only 80's and newer coins up there, but found the Merc yesterday right at the point that the fill stopped.
    a) Do you just ignore the filled areas? Or is there a way to get past the layer of zinc pennies down to the buried silver? Perhaps wait until really wet weather?
    b) The ground balance is vastly different between the filled areas and the non-filled areas (from 60s in filled area, single digits in non filled areas). Do you use auto ground tracking (I use a Nox), or do you just focus on each section and manually balance?

    4) There is a lot of can slaw and pop tops (old style and new) at this park. In addition to all the pennies, I could dig a target every 2-3' ! Currently, I'm only digging targets that ring the same in 4 directions and aren't 18-20 signals (ignore pennies). I also ignore everything under 12 because there are just so damn many aluminum shards. Any hints or corrections to my process?

    That's all for now. I found 3 construction stakes under the sod at this park (I think they were used to set depth for fill. On one end, the top of the stake was 12" down! On the other end, the stake was just under the sod. I found my Merc about 10' from the lower stake where I don't believe they filled at all. The Merc was laying about 1" above the clay/gravel layer about 6" below the surface.

    Thanks all,
    Last edited by AJ Peacock; 06-15-2021 at 07:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Bucknut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    SE Michigan
    All good questions and they all have multiple answers in my opinion...

    1- Yes I ignore those 19-21 signals in parks BUT only if they are shallow. 19-21 is in the indian range so you need to know where you are hunting in terms of its age. Also you can run the risk of skipping a chunky gold ring or a thin silver ring.

    2- I bet you are right about a big iron signal. However to be sure it is not multiple good targets mixed with multiple iron or bad targets you will have to dig it all up. Big iron that is 2 ft deep can give you a signal like that.

    3a- I typically ignore the fill areas at first. But I eventually detect them with a large coil to get past the fill. But you never know, the fill can have old stuff in it...I found a seated quarter in fill dirt at a hammered park and it was 3 inches down and gave a clear signal.

    3b- I use the tracking feature on my Nox and I noise cancel regularly. If you do not use the tracking feature I would recommend ground balancing every so often especially if you venture into different areas. Balancing helps the detector see through the dirt better.

    4- If it is a newer park (1930's or newer) then I only coin shoot (12-13, 21-40). If the park goes back to early 1900's then I look for deeper 18-20 signals too since Indians are a possibility. If the park is 1880's or older I tend to dig everything 10 and up since there are some weird coins that are possible and all kinds of relics. BUT skipping 14-18 I am running the risk of missing gold rings and I am sure I have gone over many of them. Gold can go anywhere on the scale from 1 (thin chain necklace) to 25 (my mom found a 23k ring last year that rang up this high...I thought for sure she was wrong until I saw it). Since you are digging solid 12 and up I bet you will find some gold sooner than later.

    I think you are doing all the right things to be successful...mainly detecting a lot and when you hear a beep you dig it.
    Detectors I use: Minelab Equinox 900 & Manticore
    Favorite finds I have made:
    1,000+ silver coins
    92pcs of 1700's Trade Era Silver
    Copper Culture Indian Artifacts
    125+ War of 1812 Era buttons and relics
    My wife
    (probably should have started with that one)

  3. #3
    Candidate Member
    Join Date
    May 2021
    SE Michigan

    Thanks for the great info, I started digging more non-traditional signals (not just coins) and found a BUNCH of pull tabs. (Patience Grasshopper!) I found this last night, rang 8-9 in Field 1 in the middle of a park, down about 6-7". 30 years wasn't kind to the plating, but it's one step closer to my first gold ring. It is tough to see in the picture but it has a red stone (glass) in it.

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