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Shadow Research Center

Hunting In Severely Mineralized Soil

You are right about that ground! The site that you are referring to is about the most extreme conditions you can put a metal detector in. This red dirt not only has a very high iron oxide content, but it is also full of negative hot rocks plus an abundance of rusty iron items of all kinds found in typical CW winter camps. This combination makes detecting with any detector extremely difficult for either All-Metal or Discrimination modes. In the All-Metal mode, detectors can cut through the iron mineralization and negative hot rocks fairly well, but then all the rusty iron trash presents a problem. In the Discrimination mode, detectors see the severe iron mineralization as one big target and then the problem is compounded with negative hot rocks. The good news is, even after all the hunting pressure this site has seen through the years, it still has relics to be found, but only because of the ultra bad hunting conditions. This site is even worse than the GNRS hunt site that was held at Brandy Station a couple of years ago.

Now, there are a couple of things you can do with the X5 to help overcome these bad conditions but please don't expect the relics to just start jumping out of the ground or to see great depth. You still have to hunt hard and pay more attention to marginal signals in these adverse conditions.

1) Coil size becomes very important in these conditions. The-smaller-the-better is the rule. Larger coils see too much of the iron mineralization in respect to the small targets you are looking for.

2) Unless you want to dig a lot of the iron trash, then it is best to search in the Discrimination mode and to tune-out the hot rocks with the Ground balance control. Find one or two of the pesky hot rocks and place them in a trash free spot on the ground. While in the Discrimination mode and the Disc set to approximately 4, adjust the Ground Balance control by swinging the coil back and forth within an inch or two above the hot rocks and adjust the GB until the hot rock signal disappears. In most cases the hot rock signal will disappear about 1 to 1.5 turns clockwise from the normal ground balance point, depending on the hot rock. Now you are ready to hunt in these conditions.

3) Remember that the ground conditions are really bad with mineralized ground, hot rocks and iron trash so your sweep speed must be reduced for best results.

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