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  #1  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:45 PM
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Question In the woods and open fields we go...

I've never understood why some detectorist swing a detector in the woods and or open fields...AND actually find coins, etc.

My logic screams "hunt where people obviously were". NOW, over time I'm trying to grasp the logic of hunting were people "might" have been. Can someone enlighten me...PLEASE? TIA!!

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  #2  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:41 PM
waltr waltr is offline
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I have had pretty good luck in farm fields or parks that were farm fields.

Finds have been scattered and vary greatly in age, A 1700's copper then a Zincoln within feet of each other.

Never figured out why people were actually in those fields with coins to lose but the coins are there. Maybe lost while tilling, planting and harvesting or while hunting.

Also do find lots of bullets and shells so hunting was taking place.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:55 PM
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One thing this hobby has done to me and I suppose others...can't drive by homes or open fields and not wonder "what's out there?".

Another thought I've had is..."over the years, how much coinage (total $) have we detectors returned to the 'money supply'?" that the Fed is unaware of.

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Old 05-23-2020, 05:42 PM
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People have been farming fields for hundreds of years, sort of seems logical to me. For woods, Iím sure people do research for old settlements and not just wander in random spots.

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Old 05-23-2020, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamflicker View post
People have been farming fields for hundreds of years, sort of seems logical to me. For woods, Iím sure people do research for old settlements and not just wander in random spots.
True. But in my mind one, two, three or four farmers plowing several acres over several years doesn't equate to "lots of coins", i.e., too many acres, too few persons with typically, a limited no. of coins. Western Europe and the North Eastern US maybe, but where I live Central Tx (pasture on one side and crops on the other) I can't even begin to guess which direction to start hunting.

I was just wondering how these other detectors make that decision????

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Old 05-23-2020, 06:34 PM
Lee1968 Lee1968 is offline
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I hunt a lot of fields and woods, and my best finds have been found there. I am not about randomly hunting them though. There has to be a history I can find about the location. You are right, the number of coins is low, but the quality can be high. In one area of a field, I found 2 Shield nickels, a half dime and a seated quarter. From the surface, it just looked like a bean field, but research showed a homestead there in the 1800's.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:23 PM
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You have to think outside the box to be good at this hobby. What is woods now may have been a farm or home site 200 years ago. A lot can change in that period of time. And you never know where hunters may have been back then. They went everywhere in search of game.

Bottom line, you won't find a ton of coins, but you can find some amazing coins deep in the woods or in fields. Not to mention flat buttons, musket balls, colonial shoe buckles and so on.

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Old 05-23-2020, 07:24 PM
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what is a field now may not have been a field 150 years ago. same with woods, woods grow up over time and home sites, civil war skirmish sites are lost to history.

I never hunt a field or forest without some decent research that tells me there was a home site, store or CW skirmish, camp site was located in that field or forest.

Good research is the key to getting good stuff under your coil.

Of course those fortunate to hunt in the UK, it seems to me any field is good to turn up some ancient metal. This is because they have many thousands of years over a small island where metal coins and artifacts were lost. We in the US have around 200 years and in the thousands for copper age Indian artifacts like copper spearpoints.

hope this helps.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Monkeys Uncle View post
True. But in my mind one, two, three or four farmers plowing several acres over several years doesn't equate to "lots of coins", i.e., too many acres, too few persons with typically, a limited no. of coins.
It think it just depends on what type of farming occurred there and how much history the land has. On some farms migrant workers have been used to harvest crops since the 1800's and they did drop coins and artifacts while working the fields. Farming families hunted, rode horses and traveled across those fields and things were dropped / lost. Newer farms that have only used mechanized farming techniques generally don't produce much.

I do farm hunts and I normally don't find "lots of coins". Around here, the older farms will produce some buckles, buttons and other relics but coins are few and far between in most cases. I'll hunt wooded areas if the topo or aerial maps show old homes or activity there but I don't hunt random woods generally.

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Old 05-24-2020, 12:31 PM
zeemang zeemang is offline
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Research and knowing what to look for in an otherwise wide open boring landscape. Flowers where there should not be that type of flower? Glint of glass in the sunlight?

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  #11  
Old 05-24-2020, 02:30 PM
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Good post !

Originally Posted by Estima8tor View post
..... Newer farms that have only used mechanized farming techniques generally don't produce much....
Correct. Since the advent of mechanized powered tractors, there is less and less manual labor in fields.

Originally Posted by Monkeys Uncle View post
...Western Europe and the North Eastern US maybe, ...
Yes. In England, for example, they can go into ANY FURROWED PLOWED FIELD, and have a chance at coins. That's because those fields have had 3000 yrs. of continuous cultivation. Not the same for the USA, where our history is only 300-ish yrs. old (of which the last 100-ish were mechanized). And on the west coast, it gets worse yet : Only 150-ish yrs. of crop cultivation, for the most part (Ag. didn't pick up here till the later 1800s, generally speaking)

So it is utter folly to simply go to "any random farm field" or "any random forest" and start detecting here in the USA. You need to know that something went on there. Eg.: picnic site, stage stop, home-site, or whatever.

Example: There is a cultivated row-crop area in CA, that I know used to be a mission period Indian rancheria . It fizzled by the late 1830s. And became row crops (sugar beats, etc...) starting in the 1890s. We go there to look for reales and buttons. We have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to find modern coins or modern silver, etc.... But occasionally , yes, by accident, someone finds a wheatie, or a buffalo, or a clad dime, etc.... Those , of course, were lost during the modern Ag era. In fact, I even got a silver washington out there once (woohoo).

But as I looked back over all the years, and thousands and thousands of items found, and thousand and thousands of hours spent, I came the realization that : If it hadn't been for our primary objective (the 1790s to 1830's village site), then the occasional fluke wheaties and modern silver would not have been worth the time. Ie.: Even though, yes, a merc or wheatie "can pop up in the middle of nowhere", yet .... let's be honest: There are better places to spend your time. Do you really want to look for a week, to find a random single wheatie or silver washington ?
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2020, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Monkeys Uncle View post
True. But in my mind one, two, three or four farmers plowing several acres over several years doesn't equate to "lots of coins", i.e., too many acres, too few persons with typically, a limited no. of coins. Western Europe and the North Eastern US maybe, but where I live Central Tx (pasture on one side and crops on the other) I can't even begin to guess which direction to start hunting.

I was just wondering how these other detectors make that decision????
How do we make that decision? Old maps, old aerials and old stories. Simple as that. In a nutshell "research" most dont detect an open field without a reason. Secondly relic hunters will have a different view of the site than coinshooters.

I hunt fields, but only if they held an old house site, school, church or ghost town so to speak.

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  #13  
Old 05-24-2020, 04:04 PM
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Here's a reason to hunt woods. Just found a Louisiana civil war button in the woods behind my house.I'm in Connecticut. 2 days ago i found a 1926s commemorative silver half dollar. i've found large cents, reals, silver coins,IHP's and many buttons. Lots of people have passed thru here for a longer period of time, plus the terrain is vastly different than Texas. Don't get me wrong, I might not find anything of value for 3 or 4 hunts, but it's peaceful and for the most part i'm not in the public eye. Even in parks i gravitate towards the wooded areas. I guess i'm willing to go places that others don't. Down side to woods hunting is shotgun shells and rifle casings. they sound good and you almost always have to dig them.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2020, 09:34 AM
waltr waltr is offline
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Yes, I think there would be a big difference between fields and woods here on the east coast verse Texas or the western states.

East coast has been settled for much longer time and seems there is no where that people haven't at least walked through. So chances of good finds are better.

The mid-western states did have smaller farm steads when first settled which got bought up to become larger farms. There research and looking for the old farm steads, farm help dwellings, etc. Same with some of the southerner states.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:22 AM
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I decided to hunt my fields and woods because the fields were cleared by hand and the cobblestones used to make fences between fields and property.

An old one room schoolhouse once stood on the property bordering mine, and I'm sure kids must have played in the woods, took shortcuts across the fields etc.

I have concentrated mainly on the perimeter, next to the stone fences, huge old maples on the edge of the field.

My house appears on an 1864 map, but the title says 1870.

certain areas of the field have a very large amount of iron nails and iron spikes, ceramic, glass and a clay pipestem, about 1/4 mile away from existing house, which leads me to believe there was a structure there once that didn't appear on the 1864 maps.

As far as woods, I like to hunt. Parts of my woods were logged probably 150 years ago, but have since grown back, I have even found a section of corduroy road probably used for logging or hauling out maple sap.

The trees will come and go, but the topography of the earth under the vegetation changes very slowly.

Deer like certain aspects of topography. People hunted them back then, no doubt lost items from their pockets just as we do now.

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