By: Wesley Bauerle
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  • Don’t be afraid to get your coil dirty! I see people metal detecting with their coil 4″ or more above the ground and you’ll be lucky to find anything at all that way! Let your coil touch the ground and you will get much better results. Get a coil cover if you want and try to avoid banging the coil on rocks and other solid objects. Someone once told me that my detector is not a museum piece! It’s a tool, use it!

  • Metal detect near benches and other things that act as seats like logs or stumps.. I find that people like to sit on logs and I usually find things in the sand nearby. Even next to large trees.

  • Go to the beach while it’s busy and get an idea where most people seem to hang out, Keep those areas in mind and detect there later when it’s not so busy. Also look at the paths to and from the beach. People lose things when getting in their pockets for car keys or their phone.

  • Go metal detecting in the evening as people start to leave. I have found that if I detect earlier in the day it seems to bother people if you get too close they seem to pack up and move, I guess it makes them uncomfortable and I don’t want to do that. I like to go about 7:00PM or later and detect until after sunset. Bring a flashlight and be safe! Some places are lit and you can stay much longer!

  • Be courteous. Metal detecting and gold prospecting is a hobby that will benefit from you creating a good image. Pack out detecting garbage found on the beach and dispose of it. Leave your hunting grounds better than you found them and fill in your holes. This benefits all metal “Detectorists”. People are less likely to vote for laws restricting us if they have good experiences when they encounter us!

  • Be patient and thorough while detecting. Take it slow, swing wide and at a decent speed, not too fast, not too slow. Don’t be afraid of overlapping your swings. If you get impatient and try to cover too much ground too fast you will miss a lot of targets! and I will follow you finding them all..

  • If your metal detector has discrimination settings don’t set it too high. I like to only discriminate iron and foil. I dig everything else. Many times I have found jewelry with a pull-tab signal. Once you get really familiar with your detector you are safe to be a little pickier. It takes time to learn the sounds of garbage verses treasure. at the beach digging any iffy targets is easy as scooping it up!

  • Make sure to adjust your metal detector to the beach. If you have a Pulse Induction detector then you can probably handle wet beach sand, if you have a VLF detector I would avoid wet sand or your detector will drive you crazy. I have a white’s MXT and I like to set the gain to default and turn the threshold down until it’s quiet. If you do try the wet sand then lower the sensitivity way down and you should be OK, but you will hear lots of chatter.

  • Have fun and be SAFE. Be patient, remember to look up and take in the scenery. Try to enjoy the act of metal detecting and don’t focus on finds alone! But if you are getting skunked you would be surprised how finding a quarter can recharge you and keep you detecting longer! Also try to rest every few hours, drink a little water, eat a snack! then get back to finding stuff.

  • When you find an area where you are finding older deteriorated coins and relics, keep searching thoroughly and slowly and come back again if possible. I have continued to find coins and rings at a certain location even after I thought I got all the targets!