Friday, May 25, 2012

The Next Frontier - Relic Hunting in the Water

For many relic hunters, this can be a tricky time of year to search.  Fields are typically in crop, and inaccessible to detecting.  Sites in the woods can become quite overgrown and difficult to get around in, let alone swing a detector.  But for a few die-hard relic hunters, this is the time to detect one of the last great frontiers - water hunting.

Now, water hunting is nothing new, particularly in the ocean for lost jewelry items and the like.  But detecting streams, rivers, and creek beds for Civil War and other relics seems to have been largely overlooked in the past.  Newer metal detectors like the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold, waterproof and designed specifically for relic hunters, have begun to change that.  Now Minelab is getting into the scene with their waterproof CTX 3030 detector.  The results have been truly impressive - check out water detectorist AquaChigger's youtube channel for some incredible examples of water relic hunting recoveries.

Without a fully waterproof detector (it's only waterproof below the control box), I've yet to try any water detecting.  Today found me following the bank of a creek in the woods, once occupied by Union soldiers.  We have recovered a fair number of bullets from one shore of the creek, but never searched the opposite side, and decided to give it a try today.  Unfortunately, the underbrush had grown incredibly thick, and detecting was challenging at best.

From up ahead, I heard Jim call out for me to see something.  As I came around the bend, I saw him standing out in the middle of the creek on a huge flat rock.  It spanned nearly the entire width of the stream, and provided an excellent crossing point.  Jim commented that it looked like a great spot for some water detecting.

I joined him out on the rock, and submerged my search coil in the water.  To my surprise, it rang out with an loud, solid, high tone.  I knelt down on the rock, fished around with my pinpointer in the water, and came out with my only Civil War relic for the day - a piece of carved lead!  I love finding carved pieces, as it has a very personal connection to the soldier who made and subsequently dropped it 150 years ago.  This is my very first water find, and it will always have a special place in my collection.

Results from water hunters like AquaChigger and HomeGuardDan piqued my interest in water hunting.  But my first water relic has really got me excited at the prospects from this site.  Anyone have an AT Pro I can borrow for a weekend??  ;D

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