How To Search an Abandoned Homestead Site Located in Remote Wooded Area
Metal Detecting Strategy for "Searched-Out" Hunt Site
Just like in the case of searching the "virgin" site, when you arrive at the metal detecting site, focus on the most logical places to conduct your search. But what matters most now is not only how you analyze your surroundings and deduce what actions made people lose possessions and where, but also how you figure out what actions or inactions of previous metaldetectorists could lead to their leaving a few "fruitful" spots undetected.
Homestead Site with A Large Cellar Hole Depression
Of course, you could not possibly have seen who did what at the site before you got there. Many times, all you can see is the proof of someone's metal detecting activity - a pile of discarded metallic objects placed on the foundation corner or dumped next to it.
So, just like in "seeing" the homestead site by the eyes of its former inhabitants who lived here 200+ years ago, try to think which spots other detectorists would start searching first and what spots they would leave for the last.
The latter would be your choice for searching first! Pay special attention to the hard-to-detect spots which most of enthusiasts would not want to bother with. Those spots better be your second priority!
With a few exceptions, most of metaldetectorists would go metal detecting at the easiest and most accessible spots. To search the "hunted out" site successfully, do the opposite! However, "the stick has another end": sometimes the most obvious spot is left undetected by all!
Satisfactory results in metal detecting the "searched out" homestead site can be achieved by applying one of the two following strategies:
1) If you are not limited with time to metal detect the entire site, slow your detecting speed and search all spots, described in a previous chapter, with a small search coil, and later search them with a large coil.
The only difference in searching now would be that you will have to dig every "big" and "questionable" signal produced by an iron target, and preferably in All Metal mode, because a desirable target might be lying under it and be completely or partially masked.
You certainly will be recovering more junk targets unless you are using the most advanced Minelab E-Trac metal detector which can "see-through" the surface layer of iron junk.
If you use E-Trac, you might want to check out My Program for Minelab E-Trac especially designed for the "hunted out" sites.
2) If you do not have enough time to meticulously search the entire location, metal detect with a large search coil fast while moving in a grid pattern of search and look for a "hot" spot surprisingly left unsearched by everybody who previously hunted this site.
"Hot" spot would be a small area anywhere at the site, where a few coins or buttons are still to be found. Believe it or not, but there is always a "hot" spot left by everybody at every "hunted out" site!
I always tried to figure out an answer to this "phenomenon" - why one particular spot at any site gets ignored by all searchers? Is something paranormal involved?
The only reasonable explanation coming to mind is that all previous detectorists would have used too much Discrimination and, therefore, missed some deep coins and valuable buttons which could be partially masked by the iron nails. Many times I was extremely happy to benefit from someone's love for Discrimination!