Whether you’ve been metal detecting for many years or are just learning how to use a metal detector, finding the best treasures that have been carelessly dropped or abandoned should always be the passion of your searches. While looking for metal treats in commonly known areas, such as dirt pastures, around houses, beaches, parks, schoolyards, or playgrounds, it is important to consider five places that the average metal hunter does not usually consider.
1. Old trees
Metal detecting enthusiasts should be drawn to large trees that have been standing for many years, even centuries. These natural landmarks are potential places to search for coins, jewelry, and other personal items, because people tend to congregate below them for social activities. Additionally, relics from the American Civil War can be found around the trees where both Union and Confederate soldiers rested from the war, preparing for future skirmishes. It is also possible that these trees were hit by bullets when soldiers hid behind them for protection. So the bullets are probably still lodged in those trees.
2. Uprooted trees
Hurricanes and tornadoes can cause large, old trees to topple to the ground. In the process, roots are pulled out of the soil, exposing soil that has not seen sunlight in many years. Within the soil below the root systems, you may be able to find old metal relics that were dropped before or while the tree was growing.
3. Basements of old houses, taverns and inns
You will likely find many types of lost and found where houses and taverns were located many years ago. Although these structures may no longer be standing, the large deep holes that were once basements are all that remain. To locate these structures, you probably need to do some historical research because the houses were generally built off the beaten track, mostly in the woods. In the northeastern part of the United States, you will discover older foundations dating back to the 18th century, when they were part of the colonies of England. In recent years many historical items have been recovered, such as: rare colonial coins, bullets, buttons, lead pipes, tokens and even gold and silver rings.
Over a hundred years ago, people used thin wooden outdoor cabinets called latrines for bathrooms. No one had discharge systems back then, so the waste simply went into a pit previously dug into the ground. When people used the toilets, coins could have fallen from their unbuttoned pants as they crouched over an opening in the well. Latrines were also used as garbage collectors, because garbage collection services did not exist at the time. So people threw away old bottles, horseshoes, and many other used household items. Excavating latrines can lead to many great finds, but you have to be willing to dig up old feces! Eww! Locating old outbuildings often requires investigation. You can usually find them by looking for old houses because the owners built that extra “shed” to do their private “business”.
5. Swimming wells, rivers and streams
Camping, swimming, kayaking are some of the activities that many outdoor enthusiasts engage in in the summer and fall. Many lose personal items when having fun in the water, especially coins, keys, iPhones, and wallets that fall out of people’s pockets when moving through the water. Rivers and streams have also played a role in American civil and revolutionary wars. Soldiers who fought, crossed, and camped have lost bullets, pistols and rifles, buttons, box plates, belt buckles, and coins.
Successful metal detecting often leads treasure hunters to “secluded” or naturally hidden places. Searching for historical data can lead hunters to places that have been abandoned for years, such as old house foundations and latrines. Old trees, uprooted ones, and popular swimming areas are natural places that attract people for fun. Of course, when necessary, always ask permission to hunt. You are not guaranteed to find anything, but the fun of metal detecting is the search itself.