5 Unusual Places to Metal Detect

1 December 2016

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 left, should always be the passion of your quests. While hunting for metal goodies in commonly known areas, like pastures of land, around houses, beaches, parks, school yards or playgrounds, it's important to consider five places where the average metal hunter may not typically 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 look around for coins, jewelry and other personal items, because people tended to congregate beneath them for social activities. Also, relics from the American Civil War can be found around trees where both Union and Confederate soldiers rested from war, preparing for future skirmishes. It's also possible that these trees got hit by bullets as soldiers hid behind them for protection. So, bullets are probably still lodged in those trees.

2. Uprooted Trees

Hurricanes and tornados can cause large, old trees to topple and fall to the ground. In the process, roots are pulled up from the ground and soil that has not seen sunlight in many years, is exposed. Within the ground beneath the root systems you might 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 are likely to find many kinds of lost objects where houses and taverns were located many years ago. Although these structures may no longer be standing, large deep holes that were once basements are all that remains. To locate these structures, you probably need to do some historical research because houses were typically built off the beaten path, mainly in forests. In the Northeastern part of the United States you will discover older foundations that date to the 18th century when they were parts of England's colonies. In the past few years, many historical items have been recovered, such as: rare colonial coins, bullets, buttons, lead smoking pipes, tokens and even gold and silver rings.

4. Outhouses

Over one hundred years ago, people used thin wooden outdoor closets called outhouses for bathroom purposes. Nobody had flushing systems then, so waste simply went into a previously dug pit in the ground. When people used outhouses, coins might have fallen out of unbuckled pants as they crouched over an opening to the pit. Outhouses were also used as trash collectors, because no trash collection services existed then. So people threw old bottles, horseshoes, and many other used household items into them. Digging outhouses can lead to many great finds, but you have to be willing to dig out old feces! Eww! Locating old outhouses usually takes research. You can usually find them by searching for old houses because owners built that extra "shed" to do their private "business."

5. Swimming Holes, Rivers and Streams

Camping, swimming, kayaking are a few activities that many outdoor enthusiasts do in the summer and fall. Many lose personal items when they are having fun in the water, especially coins, keys, iPhones, and wallets which drop out of people's pockets as they move about in the water. Rivers and streams have also played parts in the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Soldiers who fought, crossed and camped have lost bullets, guns and rifles, buttons, box plates belt buckles and coins.

Successful metal detecting often leads treasure hunters to "out of the way" or naturally hidden locations. Searching through historical data can lead hunters to locations that have been abandoned for years, such as old house foundations and outhouses. Old trees, uprooted ones and popular swimming areas are natural spots that draw people for having fun. Of course, when necessary, always ask for permission to hunt. You aren't guaranteed to find anything, but the fun in metal detecting is the search itself.

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