A friend of mine Jarhead had flown down from Canberra for a bit of detecting so I was keen to hit some good sites, one in particular being an untouched virgin site from around 1840 – 1870. The weather had been pretty ordinary so we saved that site for the second day when it was supposed to clear up. We hit a few sites that I have been going over because they were the easiest to access and not quite as water-logged as some others to see if we could score a few coins and relics. He was swinging the E-TRAC with an eight inch coil and I had the CTX 3030 with the CTX 11 stock coil, this was going to be a good comparison of the two machines. Although there were plenty of targets it was hard going amongst the trash but we both managed a threepence each 1911 & 1943, Jarhead scored a couple of early 1900 Edward pennies and we found plenty of relics.
We were tiring of the trash and headed off across the paddocks to a site where I had found some pre 1860 coins and relics, it was very slim pickings here as well with some boot caps, horse harness buckles and only one coin, an 1857 Victoria young head half penny that was actually quite a distance from the ruin. The day was quickly disappearing so we headed over to an old store site where I have pulled plenty of good quality coins and tokens hoping for maybe a couple of great coins to finish the day on, but again it was really full of old rusty iron and lead which quickly did our heads in and we headed for home. After scraping the mud off Jarhead had a read of one of my books and we earmarked a couple of back up sites just in case the virgin site wasn’t any good. Fortunately it was a good site and we had a great hunt, my first target was a screaming 12:47 that turned out to be a 1797 Cartwheel penny in better condition than any others I have found in the past. This was followed up with a solid 11:41 – 12:41 but it seemed to be a larger target than a coin, I dug out wide and from around five inches out came an awesome cricket buckle with the full English eleven cricket team on it.
Jarhead scored a really nice silver spoon from amongst the relics that he was finding but he was still coin less. He moved over to near where the old building was still standing and from amongst the harness buckles he got a really solid signal, I knew it was something good by the smile on his face as he yelled out it’s a George III penny from 1806 – 1809. I then had a pretty solid signal around 12:38 and from about nine inches a beautiful 1826 George IV farthing showed its head, I stood up swung the coil over the hole to find there was a second target, and an 1842 Victoria young head groat also surfaced. At this point Jarhead came over and we put the groat back into the hole and to our surprise the E-TRAC really struggled to pick it up.
We continued to find targets but they started to thin out as lunchtime was upon us and the lure of the local bakery, we started to head back for something to eat and try a couple of other potential sites. As we walked over the hill we spotted an old fruit tree that looked interesting, as we neared it there were the tell-tale signs of rubble indicating a structure. After a few more harness buckles and junk I heard Jarhead say hey I think I got a dog tag, I wandered over and sure enough it was a tag. I told him you often find a few around the same spot as the kennel may have been there and within a few swings he found his second, he was one happy chap because they don’t find them in his state. We finally had lunch around three o’clock and decided to still have a crack at finding the other sites where the slab huts once stood. We did find it, there were plenty of relics and we only spent about an hour there but that is another story.
Happy hunting, stay positive, enjoy each moment and remember it isn’t he with the most toys that wins but the person with the shortest TO-DO LIST.