A note of inspiration for new folks - Long and boring


Forum Supporter
Apr 23, 2008
East TN
We have a lot of new people on the boards. Heck, I have only been seriously swinging since June and I already feel like a vet around here. I had an interesting weekend detecting I learned a very valuable lesson and wanted to share it with our newest members.

Our hobby has a very high turnover rate. In my opinion, most attrition is caused by people getting discouraged when they fail to find anything during a couple of outings.

I don't know how many hours I've detected but it's a lot considering my length of experience. In addition, I have a couple of things working against me. I am in a small town, that while old, has always been small. My wife and I recently moved here, so I havent had enough time here to develop a sound understanding of town history. Still, I am learning.

Saturday I headed out with TNHunter. He obtained permission for us to hunt a farm where CW relics have been found, including a plate. We know that there was civil war activity in the area. We even had the find are pinned down to a 1/4 acre of pasture.

We spent 6 hours detecting non-stop. We hunted hard. In the end, my take for the day was a potentially old fired mini ball and a 2005 memorial cent !

I got home and decided to head back out. I have a partner in the contest and he is is responsible for the majority of our score. I know I don't have the experience that he does. Still, I have been pouring my heart and soul in to my hunts to support the team in whatever capacity I may.

I went to the lot down the street from my house. I have found a number of wheat cents and also my first liberty dime (1942). While pickings are slim, just a few older coins here can help with our score.

Four hours later, I had a few clad and nothing else exciting. I went home pretty dejected. Ten hours of hard hunting, digging every signal and I had little to show for it.

I woke up Monday morning really sore. Explained to my wife that I needed to head out again as I had to put some points on the board or die trying. I decided that I had beat down many of my regular sites and needed to try some new locations. I perused the net and my notes and saw a couple of old schools that I had never gotten a chance to check out. Popped a few aspirin and headed out.

I hit three locations. The first two were very clean. It was clear that someone regularly worked the area. Heck, I wasn't even finding can slaw which told me that the person or persons detecting were very thorough. I did have to silently tip my hat to them. Any time a site is this thoroughly worked, I smile. You learn a lot going over previously detected spots. You get an excellent feel for the level of experience of those that have detected before you. You recognize the good detectorists.

The third location was the same. Nary a quality target. I had a box full of trash but my pull tab count was 4 times higher than my clad count.

I was done. I walked back to the truck beat up and filthy. As I sat in the car scratching my mosquito bites and enjoying the air conditioning, I spied a small set of bleachers not 20 feet from the car. I just wanted to go home and get a shower. I remember thinking that a serious detectorist would drag those bleachers over a bit and have at it. Still, the thought of crushing three vertebre to find a few more pulltabs did not sound like fun.

Grumbling under my breath, I dragged my sorry carcass out of the truck and grabbed my detector. I meandered over to the bleachers. Just as I had suspected, someone had already moved the bleachers. I could clearly see the drag marks in the grass. I started to head back to the truck and then decided to move it anyway.

So I huffed a puffed away, bent over, dragging each side of the bleachers six inches or so at a time. Even though I was out in the field, I was embarassed by the fact that my shorts were slipping and I was sunning waaay too much butt crack. And we all know that crack kills ! :lol:

I fired up the detecter yet again. Swing, swing, beep, pull tab. Swing, swing, beep, can slaw. Swing, swing, beep, WTH ? I got an 89 VDI reading. Silver. Now an 89 doesn't ever show on my VDI. If you spend enough time with your detector, you become very familiar with common readings.

I swung at 90 degrees assuming that someone had buried a large VW in the field. 89 again. Interestingly, the signal was coming from the exact spot where one of the bleacher skids rested.

I dug a plug, peeled it back and looked in disbelief at a ring staring up at me. I just sat there dumbfounded. I picked up the ring to get a better look. It was a man's ring and large. It said DAD. I cleaned the dirt off and saw that it was stamped inside 925 and India ! Finally, some redemption !

Now we all know that the ring has no real material value. Still, you'd have thought I just found a cache of double eagles. Oh yeah, I did the dance.

A little Fred Astaire followed by a Gene Kelly Singing in the Rain move off the bleachers. I then had to bust a move on some MC Hammer, and close with a little Icky Shuffle. There where far too many ant piles or I would have surely closed with a little Rock Lobster roll on the ground.

I told this stupid story about a mediocre find as I learned a very valuable lesson. Everyone has lulls. The successful folks on our forum work through those lulls. They change locations grind through it. That's what separates those that find from those who don't.

I hope this helps someone. Hang with it. Your next find is just a swing away. Or 5 swings, or maybe 500. Still, your treasure is there. Quietly buried and waiting for you to shine a little light on it.

Here's the only pic I have right now. Camera died.

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well spoken

great story Tinfoilhat , i've been detecting for about 6 or 7 years now and slumps are just part of the challenge of this hobby and i still go through'em a few times a year and it seems like the longer the drought lasts the bigger or better the find will be when its over .preserverance is the name of the game and sometimes you have to think outside of the box , and congrats on hanging in there and on the ring my friend.Dan
Great post Tinfoilhat. I've been at this for 20 years and some days are great and others you want to forget, but the most important thing to remember is not to get discouraged and keep at it.
This was inspirational. You are a skillful and entertaining writer. Thanks. I needed that.

Great post had a few of those days and have'nt been at thiss long, the kids will get tired of it and leave if the finds are'nt coming regularly but the sun has a way of shining in the end and the good / interesting finds that make you say "how did this get here" show up and all the dirty hands,sore knees and dead batteries all seem worth it. And after all the hard work I hope you did a little rock lobster cause the B52's still got it God Bless and good hunting Chris Rammy and the boys
"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you."

GREAT POST TINFOIL!!!!!!! I could have used it yesterday...the bear was chewing on my pulltab covered shoe.

The "Dark Art", as I like to call treasure hunting, is can really be filled with moments just like you described so well. Gold panning, windsurfing, golf, etc...all are filled with many moments of disappointment, puncutated with those golden chances to "do the dance". Hopefully, thanks to your post, we'll all be waiting for the music (VDI=89) to start again.

Thank You,

You have a lot of motivation! I would have given up long before then! Especially with the heat.

I spent a half hour at the beach today and found nothing. I really didn't care. I'm sticking to the schools/parks from now on and staying in the grass. Too many spots, not enough time. Winter will be here soon, and lots of work needs to be done on the house (new front door, new basement windows, yard work...it never ends). While i don't see myself stopping MD'ing, i think the way i've done it is too much, too quick. In very similar to deer hunting (bow). Luckily that has a season, and it ends!
Hey Tinfoil,

Excellent post and oh so true. In addition to the slumps, this hobby does have a learning curve and getting through it means a lot in terms of your success rate.

For example, I bought my first detector (Fisher CZ-70) 5-6 years ago. In the first 2 years of using it, I found only 1 ring (plated and nothing special). You wanna talk about discouraged. Obviously I didn't speak my detector's language and probably wasn't hunting in the right places.

Fast forward to the present and my success rate these days is much better. I attribute that success to spending lots of time swinging my detector and spending the rest of the time reading posts on this forum. It's called studying and it's not just for school kids.

We've all had days like TinFoil described. It's all part of the adventure and how you deal with the bad days is key to your success in this hobby. My advice to people new to detecting is to be doggedly persistent and study the habits of those who are successful. There are hundreds, if not thousands of tips on this forum site alone - and any one of them can make the difference between a good day and a bad day out detecting.

Learning to speak your detector's language is no different than learning any language. At first, everything sounds foreign, then little pieces start to make sense, and eventually you understand the data stream and subtle nuances coming through your headphones.

Happy hunting!
I told this stupid story about a mediocre find as I learned a very valuable lesson. Everyone has lulls. The successful folks on our forum work through those lulls. They change locations and yes, they grind through it. That's what seprarates those that find from those who don't.

Yep, sometimes it is a grind. Detecting 6 hrs and finding nothing can do a number on ya. Some days I was lucky to find a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. Came home empty handed many times. The thing is... there's always a next time.
AWESOME post 'foil! And i seriously LOL'd during the whole "dance" section. Got some wierd looks in the office. Very funny, and WTG!
Very nice post , put very well . I hope no one was watching you dance .
I have more slow days than good ones but I keep at it cause it helps me health wise and keeps me from spending all my time sleeping . I know what you mean about the contest points also , sort of discourging when my team has a little over a hundred points and others have over 1500 . Very good story . HH Harold
Great story Tin, it's ones like this that really get me eager to get out and hunt (soon hopefully very soon.) Thank you for sharing :-)
Thanks Tin, I needed that!! I get discouraged as well with my finds as of lately but need to remember that this is my hobby not a job..

Thanks again for the fine post,

Outstanding post TFH.... we all have those periods... perseverance is what gets us through.... and you showed it clearly... RickO
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