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Old 09-16-2009, 01:38 PM
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Default Coin prospecting the creek by the old mining camp

I have searched the area around an old mine location, and found very little. This mine was open around the middle of the 1800’s. Found a few old bits of iron and copper, possibly old tools. Maybe an old file, and an old punch or die. Also found part of a carriage bolt and a large iron spike. Not sure how old these items are.

Well, at the bottom of the hill right by the old mine, there runs a stream or creek. This is the only water source, unless a well was dug. People must have walked down to the creek to wash clothes, take a bath, swim, whatever. I thought it might be interesting to check the bottom bed of the creek. I bagged up the electronics of my MXT , grabbed some water shoes, and headed out. It was a little bit of a walk to get to the creek. I was hoping to find some old coins. The dirt area around the creek is very soft. Earlier exploring revealed that coins and such sink very fast, pretty far down. The bottom of the creek is solid gravel and rock. I was a little afraid of stumbling and risking my MXT. I was not afraid of turtles, leeches, snakes, mosquitoes, or quick sand. I did find some deep muck that almost stole one of my shoes. Well, after 2 hours, I found 3 coins, and one more on the bank of the creek. Two dimes and two pennies. I was excited about the dime in the creek, but alas, they were all just clad, the oldest being a 1970 penny. It was pretty tarnished from the water. The dime was a ’90 something and looked like the clad I shake in salt and vinegar to clean them, sort of pink. What a bust. I am feeling pretty discouraged this year, finding only 3 silver coins and two Indian head pennies after over more than 100 hours spent searching old sites. I did my research, bought a better 10” DD coil for the MXT, hoping for more depth, but not much found so far. I could have found all the coins with my $90 Bounty Hunter Tracker IV. Next year will hopefully be busy with work, so I will have little to no time for detecting. I think I could do better by devoting all my detecting time to searching for gold and silver at the playgrounds, then buying some old coins with the profits. Not sure where to go from here……the ice and cold are only weeks away. -Jim from SW Wisconsin

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Old 09-16-2009, 03:47 PM
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I'm curious as to what sort of mining they did in Southwest Wisconsin. BTW, I went to High School in Prairie du Chien. Are you near there?

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:37 PM
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Default Hang in there Buddy!!

Jim,
Don't get discouraged, hang in there we all have our droughts. Then the good finds come when you least expect it making them that much better. If your in a rut, try a change of pace or change of scenery. Maybe a little door knocking could get you in some nice old yards or something. If I were you I would head out so some of those real small old towns down where you are at. You are in a very old and historic part of the state nd I am sure you could find some things in some of the small town rural parks or fairgrounds. Anyway I wish you the best of luck and hang in there! I hunted last year until early December, even if I need a crowbar to dig a hole when the ground got frozen. I hit the woods when the ground started to freeze where it didn't matter what kind of hole I dug. HH!

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_c View Post
I'm curious as to what sort of mining they did in Southwest Wisconsin. BTW, I went to High School in Prairie du Chien. Are you near there?
Some of the earliest settlements in Wisconsin were in the SW part of the state from the 1820's to 1840's. These were mostly south of Prairie du Chien in Grant, Green, and Lafayette counties. The mining activity was for lead and the miners become known as "badgers" because of the way they dug into the side of hills to seek the lead deposits. This is part of why Wisconsin is known as the "Badger State".

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Old 09-17-2009, 07:35 AM
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"Keep the Faith" Jim, that's what I try to do. I read all the posts in this section of the forum as they're posted and see WONDERFUL things. I think to myself, "My turn is coming around soon". You'll be back on track and digging some great things before you know it!

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Old 09-17-2009, 10:32 AM
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Hang in there, most of us have never found 'the big one', but we keep looking. And we do not find gold and silver every hunt.. so, relax, keep at it and good stuff will show up. HH RickO

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  #7  
Old 09-17-2009, 12:34 PM
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While I am still pretty new at this - I was impatient to find some silver. What I did was limit my digs to only things that rang dime and above on my Ace 250 - I filtered the rest out completely. I got much fewer opportunities, covered more ground, but when I did dig it was increasing the chanves of silver - so I believe. Once I got my first silver I went back to all coins setting. I still occaisionaly filter everything out if I get tired of digging pennies, but it did the trick to re-energize me. Probably missed some things of interest but I'll be back!

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