I can honestly say I've never had a day of metal detecting quite like today. On the way back to the truck at the end of day two, I talked with Keith Leppert from Fort Bedfort detectors, and invited him back to the bullet patch for the morning of day three. I explained about finding yesterday's bullets, and how the are had been scoured with the GPX for deep bullets - a perfect testing ground for his new GPZ detector. He was down to try it out, so we hit the field running and went straight to the bullet patch.
The GPZ (I lovingly call it the Zed in honor of our Aussie friends) is meant to have greatly increased detection depth over the already impressive GPX. The area had been checked thoroughly with the GPX and stock coil, but it didn't take long for new signals to jump out from the Zed. We took our time comparing signals between machines, and carefully measuring actual bullet depths as they were recovered. All the signals were discovered with the GPZ and marked, and we took turns recovering them.
I can tell you this - the GPZ is a BEAST on deep lead! If I hadn't been there to see it, I would have trouble believing it myself. Targets at 16 - 20 inches gave a powerful response every time. I was able to hunt with the GPZ for a short time, and located two extremely deep bullets easily within a matter of minutes. We invited Russ (TDI) and Phil (GPX with SEF coil) over to check some signals as well. From our estimation, about one third of the bullets we found as we expanded out from the bullet patch into the nearby brush could have been heard as faint signals on the GPX. Another 1/3 could be heard by the GPX with the larger coils, but only with significant tweaking and knowing exactly where to swing. Under normal detecting circumstances, they would have been incredibly difficult to hear, and the stock coil missed many of these completely. The last third of the strong signals we got with the Zed wouldn't make any signal on the GPX with either coil, no matter what we tried. Needless to say, we were all somewhat dumbfounded by the power of the GPZ.
In addition to the 28 bullets I found yesterday, we recovered an astounding FORTY THREE more in the same area! We had expanded the search from a 6-8 foot circle to about 20 feet, but many of the new bullets were discovered either directly in, or within a foot or so of the original search area. My take from the bullet haul was 18 three ringers. By the end of the day we were all exhausted from digging so many deep targets, but it was some of the most fun I've had in this hobby. Many thanks to Keith, Russ, and Phil for such a great day!
And with that, the Excelsior hunt has come to a close. All of my finds from the three day hunt are shown above. I'm tired, stiff, and sore - but ready to do it again tomorrow at Brandy Rock Farm! Stay tuned!