What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

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ElPaso2008
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What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by ElPaso2008 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:13 pm

Hi, my first post here on the treasure hunting forum.

I recently bought a canyon in the Hueco Tanks are east of El Paso. I'm putting up an image cut from Bing 3-D aerial map to give you an idea of the lay of the land. My property is the area to the left of the red arrow all the way to the top of the mountain and all the way back to the end of the canyon looking northward. I've also been named the custodian of the canyon on the right known as Stolen Horse Canyon, so altogether there are about 40 acres of land at my disposal to explore. I'm also attaching a photo showing the kind of rock and soil here. It's pretty much all the same in this little mountain range that borders Fort Bliss.

I have about $700 I could spend on a good metal detector immediately and would like to get started looking for indigenous artifacts, abandoned cowboy items, and whatever else I can find. There are two local rumors about Stolen Horse Canyon that our local historians can't substantiate, one surrounding a horse thieving enterprise and another surrounding a gold and silver find in the canyon.

So that's the environment in which the detector would be used and my purpose for buying it. This is one I am seriously considering, http://www.kellycodetectors.com/fisher/ ... _coils,but I'd have to be a little nuts to just drop that much money without getting some expert advice. Thanks in advance for any you might have to offer.
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Jim Hatt

Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by Jim Hatt » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:07 pm

ElPaso,

Before you spend any serious money on a metal detector, you should spend some time working the washes with a gold pan. If there is any gold in the canyon(s) it will show up in the washes. Find a place where the bedrock is exposed and dig out the crevices. If you don't find any gold that way, you probably wouldn't find any with a metal detector either.

If your mostly interested in the Cowboy artifacts a used metal detector form a Pawn Shop, will work just as good for you as an expensive new one. The more expensive the metal detector, the more complicated they are to operate. If they are not tuned properly (and that's a skill that can take a long time to develop) you might as well have a 2 X 4 in your hand.

That's my opinion based on 20 yrs experience with many different types of metal detecting. Most people do not find enough with their metal detectors to pay for the batteries they burn up in them.

I highly recommend that you borrow a metal detector from a friend, and "Test the water" before you jump in to a $700.00 investment.

Jim

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Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by ElPaso2008 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:26 pm

Jim Hatt wrote:ElPaso,

Before you spend any serious money on a metal detector, you should spend some time working the washes with a gold pan. If there is any gold in the canyon(s) it will show up in the washes. Find a place where the bedrock is exposed and dig out the crevices. If you don't find any gold that way, you probably wouldn't find any with a metal detector either.
Thanks. A gold pan is a lot more affordable, isn't it? By working the "washes" you mean find the bedrock in the bottom of the arroyos and work the crevices, correct? That wouldn't be hard to do since it's mostly all bedrock down there.

Jim Hatt

Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by Jim Hatt » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:12 am

That's right EP,

You might have to haul water in there to pan in. Start at the lowest place in the area. That is where erosion moves everything to. Any gold at that point might be buried pretty deep, but work upstream until you find exposed bedrock. Use something like a screwdriver to dig out the cracks, and pan that material. Also... if there are any boulders that you can roll out of the way, dig down to bedrock under them and pan that material too. The gold you recover that way will probably be no larger that particles of salt or sugar, but it will let you know if there is gold in the area.

If you do find small gold using that method, the gold particles could get larger as you work your way up stream. If you actually start finding Gold Nuggets of 1/4 inch or more... THAT is the time to invest in a metal detector!

Jim


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Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by djui5 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:04 am

Agreed with Jim. Also if you want to find artifacts then you'll need a metal detector.
When you do buy a detector, buy the one in the link. It's what I was going to recommend before I even clicked the link to see what it was. You can find a used one for cheaper if you look around.

Congrats on the purchase.

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Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by ElPaso2008 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:46 am

djui5 wrote:When you do buy a detector, buy the one in the link. It's what I was going to recommend before I even clicked the link to see what it was.
I zeroed in on the Gold Bug II metal detector simply by searching out customer reviews, which were overwhelmingly positive. Many detectors got poor reviews. I plan to look for both gold and artifacts, but I would rather have one strong on finding gold, at the sacrifice of being less useful finding coins, than one that's weak in the gold department.

I plan to do a lot more research before making the purchase, but if it takes time to learn, the sooner I start the better. The first job will be to find the surveyors' stakes on the mountain tops marking the points that define the property line. That's an easy job for a detector because the steel rebar will be right under the top soil, or just have plants obscuring the view. The realtor and I found all of ones down by the road in just one afternoon using his detector.

Thanks to both for the advice. Today I'm going to get down in the arroyo and look for promising places to pan. Fortunately, the rattlers seem to have gone dormant for the year.

Jim Hatt

Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by Jim Hatt » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:35 pm

Don't count on "Fang" being Dormant EP!

If you get a nice sunny afternoon, warm enough for you to pull your coat off, he could come out and do a little hunting for food. I have seen them out in December here in Arizona. They do not go into a deep hibernation for the whole winter like a bear does.

Jim

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Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by ElPaso2008 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:57 pm

Jim Hatt wrote:Don't count on "Fang" being Dormant EP!

If you get a nice sunny afternoon, warm enough for you to pull your coat off, he could come out and do a little hunting for food. I have seen them out in December here in Arizona. They do not go into a deep hibernation for the whole winter like a bear does.

Jim
So very true. But compared to the way things were when I started developing the lot in late-August the reduced activity of rattlers has been really welcome. Diamondbacks are the rattlers most prominent in other parts of the development, but Blacktails seem to have established themselves in the area in and around the canyon. Not a week went by I did not spot one somewhere around here. I got a really great picture of one of them: http://mears.smugmug.com/El-Paso-County ... 0702_5Nawi. There is also a cougar living somewhere nearby. The AT&T guys also saw a cougar and then later a huge wild pig when they were stringing wire into the canyon. Unfortunately, I have not seen either although I've gone out in the jeep hoping to catch sight of one of them.

Jim Hatt

Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by Jim Hatt » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:16 pm

Great Photo!

Nice pattern on him too! Quite different than what we see on "Fang" around here.

Jim

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Re: What are good brands of Metal Detectors in the $700 Range

Post by ElPaso2008 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:57 pm

Jim Hatt wrote:Great Photo!
Nice pattern on him too! Quite different than what we see on "Fang" around here.
Jim
DesertCruiser and Iggy are the ones with all the luck (or skill, I should say) getting shots of wild life. I just mostly carry my camera around all the time. Back to the gold thing and detectors, though. I just went way back into the canyon you see on the leftward side of the 3-D aerial, all the way to where you see the ascent begins at the end of it. I stayed as close to the big arroyo running down the middle as possible, my original intention being to walk in the arroyo. But it's not possible to even get in there because the plant life is so dense. There were two open spots, however, where a man can walk around in it. There are tons of big boulders in both locations, and one of the open spaces looks like it could be or actually is the lowest point of the arroyo. I think I'm going back in a few days with a breaker bar and a pick ax and just see if there is anything laying around under the boulders near the surface. I'm also looking for a good store around here that sells prospecting equipment. I still want the detector, though, because I saw what the realtor did with his finding those survey stakes so easily. Sure I'd love to find something valuable, but it's pleasurable enough just being out there and right now the money is not a big deal. Looks like the one I homed in on might be a good choice.

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