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Relic hunting at DIV...........

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Diggin' In Virginia XLII
November 12 - 14, 2018
Diggin' In Virginia XLIII
November 15 - 17, 2018

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Please use the other forums on the Spot for non-DIV related post.
Diggin' in Virginia is in NO WAY affiliated with any other "organized" hunts.
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Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 20, 2015 07:38AM
What makes DIV different from 99% of treasure hunting in the US is that we do our best to hold the events on winter encampments. There are literally thousands of short term Civil War camps in Virginia and other states. In those short term camps you will usually find scattered surface relics. A winter camp was occupied by large units for 3 or 4 months. These camps are well documented and have been hunted by folks with permission but mainly without....the landowners have been assaulted by permission seekers until thay are sick of it and almost never grant permission. In the case of Coles Hill, almost the entire Army of the Potomac, 2nd Corps was there. Probably 30,000 troops. There was also a good sized Cavalry engagement in the opening stages of the Battle of Brandy Station. In the case of Beauregard Farm you had the 6th Corps mainly but also large portions of the Battle of Brandy Station and some Confederate Infantry and Cavalry camps. Brandy Rock is also 6th Corps, Confederate Infantry and Cavalry and portions of the Battle of Brandy Station. Folks are always after me to get "new sites"...."new sites"...."new sites". What they don't know is that these old sites hold more relics than DIV could ever recover in a lifetime of hunts. I am always looking for new ground, we did a ton of surveys this year, but after all is said and done the tried and true sites are where we feel the average detectorist will have the best chance for success and the ones who "have it figured out" will lead the pack as always. Take for example Brandy Rock. Tons of relics were found at the last hunt. We have been there numerous times.....yet Tony H., in a well hunted area, dug almost 600 bullets from one hole and an ID disc right next to it.

People who know very little about winter camps in VA will tell you DIV has hunted these spots to death. They will tell you that there is very little left to find. NOTHING could be further from the truth. This VA red clay protects its relics very well and changes in moisture, farming operations, clearing areas, and even sun spots affect our ability to recover them. Not to mention advancements in metal detector technology. I would venture to say that 90% of DIV participants, not knowing how our WED DUT affects a detector, will walk over MANY more good targets than they dig for the simple reason it sounds like junk. I have watched (on many occasions) Marc, and others who have "figured it out", spend an entire day or two in an area the size of my living room steadily digging relics and filling up display cases with good stuff. These folks have it "figured out"! They detect SLOWLY and dig every signal. Then you have folks that are always looking over the next hill and run hither and yon and don't do nearly as well. Sorry to say most folks are like the cow that has to have that clump of grass just out of reach on the other side of the fence. I have said all this dozens of times but when the hunt starts, you would think you were at the Marine Corps Marathon!

I would venture to say that there are more relics left at the 3 previously mentioned farms than have been recovered thus far. It's deep, it sounds like junk or it has never been covered due to underbrush, sticker bushes, etc. I have seen SO many cases where someone has opened up a hole, struck iron "junk" and and walked away only to have someone who has it figured out come along and dig the GOOD stuff that was hiding under that junk. At Cole's Hill a bent rusty nail led to over 400 bottles and who knows what else (plates and buttons, bullets, canteens, etc etc).

Granted, you should not expect to find the mother lode.....some do, but the majority won't. Like Doc said down below....the chance is there and I'm gonna say it again...GO SLOWLY, DIG EVERYTHING, try to maintain a positive attitude (the next signal may be your find of a lifetime), relax and enjoy the history, scenery, and friendship. Don't fret and if you feel overwhelmed, stop and ask for some help or advice. Everyone wants everyone else to be successful. RELAX! RELAX! RELAX!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 20, 2018 08:57AM
Very well stated good words of advice!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
February 15, 2018 09:00PM
Just signed up for the next one. Was not able to make the Winter Hunt.

This one I will be there if I make the cut, so excited
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
January 30, 2018 10:16AM
Hello all, My name is Tim, I am new to the site. I was searching the web for organized relic hunts and came across this. It is exactly what I was looking for. I have heard about hunts like these but never have never attended one. I see there is a hunt in March and did not see a place to sign up so I assume its too late. If there is a way to get added to the list I am interested in 2 spots.

Thanks and HH
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
February 08, 2018 07:56PM
First I'd like to say this is the best hobby/activity one can get into nowadays. The great outdoors, fresh air, exercise, etc... the list is long. And then you might actually first a piece of history!!! I love the rush you get after you recover a Civil War artifact. I've been hooked for about 4 years.

I'm in the Tri state area of PA, MD & WVA, both armies were through here a number of times and a few other well known battles also happened in this area. IE Antietam; South Mt..& THe Battle of Funkstown, LOL.. My favorite is the Gettysburg retreat and the 10 days it took old Bobby Lee to get out of the North and back into Virigina. He had a 9 miles long line created from south of Hagerstown, MD, past Downsville, MD to the Potomac River. I believe it was manned by around 25,000 Rebels. Currently have access to a large plot of land (with permission) and the Confederate line runs through it, if only the ground wasn't frozen. Only been out twice, for a few hours, but the first finds are encouraging.

I've been interested in getting involved with DIV, but I've heard it's difficult to get "selected" to a hunt.How does the process work??

Thanks and Happy swinging!!!

Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
February 08, 2018 08:20PM

Welcome. Simply keep your eyes peeled on this forum for an announcement by Rose K. for signups for the next hunt in the fall, typically. But anything can pop up so it pays to visit the site early and often. Signups for the fall can occur just about any time in mid-to-late summer so you have to be vigilant. There sometimes is a warning post notifying folks that a signup list may be posted soon. Just read Rose's instructions in the signup thread to the letter and then cross your fingers. John and Rose try to ensure that a number of new DIVers get selected for most hunts, but it is a popular event so there are no guarantees for newbies or veterans alike with regards to getting picked up. Great, great folks running and participating in DIV. More information is in the FAQ on the banner of the DIV forum. Sounds like you got a great permission to explore. PM me if you have any further questions or post a general question on the forum as a thread starter. Welcome, again, good luck, and Happy Hunting.

Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
January 30, 2018 07:03PM
This hunt has a waiting list of over 100 people and signups deadline was in December. Set your sights on the fall and keep visiting the main DIV page for the signup announcement thread which typically occurs sometime in late summer for the fall hunt. In the mean time check out the FAQ and other informational document links about DIV in the banner at the top of the forum and posts in the forum for more info. Good luck.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
January 30, 2018 09:30PM
This hunt has a waiting list of over 100 people and signups deadline was in December. Set your sights on the fall and keep visiting the main DIV page for the signup announcement thread which typically occurs sometime in late summer for the fall hunt. In the mean time check out the FAQ and other informational document links about DIV in the banner at the top of the forum and posts in the forum for more info. Good luck.

Thank you for the info. Im looking forward to the fall hunt.

John, you're exactly right, you can't be these camps
December 05, 2017 12:05AM
Thanks John and Rose for hosting this, you are exactly right, these huge camps have more relics than a 1000 camps that were used for just a day, or a few days. While those places are probably truly "hunted out" these huge winter camps will yield tons of relics, for at least our life time. Thanks for the good advice and I look forward to the March hunt! I'm very excited, I didn't get picked for the Oct hunt but thanks for picking me for this one....I'm pumped!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 27, 2017 09:13AM
I agree John.
The experience is an important part. Don't have to meet deadlines, answer emails or a phone. The air is sweet and the pace slow. Enjoy it all.
Very well said John ! I look forward to being picked for the next DIV! (n/t)
November 09, 2017 08:48PM
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Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 15, 2017 05:57AM
I have not found the mother load but I come away from DIV every-time satisfied. There is no guarantees in this hobby it takes patience and a little know how with a touch of luck. Building friendships and the adventure of diggin with the DIV family builds life long memories. Looking forward to attending this hunt! And John to you and Rose many Thanks!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 13, 2017 06:29AM
Due to family circumstances I have only been to one DIV, but things are getting better. Good information to know for the next DIV I make which I hope to be in the Spring. Looking forward to see what finds are posted from this new location you all found. Enjoy
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 02, 2017 07:08PM
Not new to detecting, but it's always good to be reminded to slow down and dig everything. keeping my fingers crossed to make a DIV hunt.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
July 29, 2017 06:07PM
Only been to 1 DIV, but it was a great time. Hope to make another trip here soon, this time with hopefully with a Minelab GPX
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 30, 2016 02:10PM
Detecting slow and digging everything is the key no matter where your searching, field, Beach, water.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 28, 2016 11:00PM
Thanks for the valuable info - I hope I am lucky enough to hunt these awesome sites soon. I appreciate all your hard work in putting these once in a lifetime hunts together!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 28, 2016 07:11PM
I also am looking forward to my first DIV. Couldn't agree more on slow and steady wins the race in finding the deeper and better targets.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 25, 2016 09:55AM
Looking forward to my first DIV (hopefully March will be my time!!!). This is a great thread and positivity looks to be the common denominator here. I know I enjoy reading all of you're guys and gals posts, Thank You!!!
I believe it! (n/t)
August 25, 2016 08:06AM
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Preserving family history by digging & saving, not bulldozing or disintegrating.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 22, 2016 01:18PM
These places will never be completely dug out no matter how hard we try
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Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
July 14, 2016 07:03AM
Awesome finds, Mike. AWESOME! I want to grow up to be just like you one day. help
There is more below that ground than has ever been found above. (n/t)
July 08, 2016 06:24PM
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You are so right Doug. If we could see what all was...
August 19, 2016 06:33AM
...down there, just for a minute we'd be going nuts. I hope someone develops better GPR technology soon for that area. That is the future of hut/pit digging in those big winter camps.
Re: There is more below that ground than has ever been found above.
July 08, 2016 11:59PM
For sure, there's more stuff at brandy rock and Beauregard than we could ever find.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
July 06, 2016 10:28PM
Very True...
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
March 24, 2016 10:34AM
Some very good post , i enjoyed reading them John and nice pics also, congrats to you Rose and everyone who helped you down there great job.

George Pasvantis
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
March 23, 2016 06:12PM
Once I dragged out half a 5 gallon bucket of broken bottles. ALL but 1 was broken. That stunk.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 03, 2015 06:13PM
As one of the most amateur members of this group, I heeded John (and Tony's) advice last Spring. After a day of hit and miss, I stuck with the plan. After digging a trash pit, I moved over several yards and proceeded to dig a nail, a nail, a nail and then.....a CS TONGUE!!! My first and only plate was dug because I was patient and listened to the wisdom of those more knowledgable. I'm just sharing this story because had I not heeded the advice, I would not be staring at my personal find of a lifetime while I write this!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
October 15, 2015 09:04PM
Wow! Thank you so much for this John! Appreciate it!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
October 12, 2015 09:20PM
cant wait, thanks for all the info
Remember this one? Found in the woods above the HQ at DIV XV under rocks (n/t)
September 10, 2015 08:28AM
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That's one beautiful bird! (n/t)
August 15, 2017 06:05AM
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US Army, M60A3, M1A1, Tank Commander, 82-93
Great grandson, William H Whipkey, 142 Reg. Pa. Volunteers
Re: Remember this one? Found in the woods above the ground HQ at DIV XV under rocks
August 18, 2016 09:28PM
I remember that find. It has always stood out to me as one of the coolest relics I've seen dug. Thanks for sharing again.
Love Foghorn Leghorn!!

"Trying my best to be who my dog thinks I am."
Some people just don't get it.
September 04, 2015 01:22PM
Case in point , one day I ran into 2 relic hunters walking my fence line coming out of the woods. His story was he had permission from the previous landowner for 30 years and didn't know it sold, but he had parked across the street instead of coming up the driveway like he later informed me he used to do. Then he tried to tell me he was on the land behind me, but that's government land. I politely informed him there's no reason for him to be back there on my land or the government's because both are illegal. The conversation continued and he gave me his name and relic club and informed me that he had been to 18 DIV's early on. I asked if he was going to the upcoming Cole's Hill DIV and he said no I'm not going anymore until they get some new spots. I just laughed to myself and thought about the hundreds of relics I've dug from very small areas at recent DIV's and sent him on his merry way. The majority of relic hunters these days have never hunted a winter Corp camp or realize the scope of the relics in the ground. This old-timer has had the experience and still don't get it. It just baffle's me. When I can go to a camp that has been hunted by DIV 5 & 6 times and dig 125 CW targets including a perfect Box Plate from a 50 foot area go back the next hunt there and dig another 110 CW targets in a 30 foot area right next to the last spot (with a VLF), and then go back a 3rd time and wonder around for a day 1/2 exploring new parts of the farm and find my 1st NC state and my 1st Batwing before settling in yet another 40 foot area and digging 75 CW targets including my 1st sling buckle and my 1st 2 CW tokens, THAT'S THE KNID PLACES THAT WILL NEVER BE HUNTED OUT AND I'LL GO AS LONG AS I'M WELCOME.

JDUG Detector Rentals. 301-639-1305

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2015 04:02PM by JDug.
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Right on Honey Badger!
September 08, 2015 11:20AM
I didn't even go into the awesome finds people dig right next to me all the time, like that CS tongue dug between you, Mike C. and me or James digging a Corp badge next to me, or Ambrose digging Cross Cannon and Silver cufflinks next to me, or the whole Excelsior hat pinned, the list goes on and on...........

JDUG Detector Rentals. 301-639-1305
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 26, 2015 11:17PM
This'll be my first DIV. I've been doing nothing but reading reading reading the posts from the past DIV hunts, watching past DIV Videos, and have learned alot. I was in Culpeper for a Spring Hunt and did exactly what they say is the biggest mistake rookies like me make...looking for that "greener clump of grass" on the other side of the hill. Granted, I managed to get a great workout from that hunt, but only found enough relics to fill up 3 spaces in my cotton filled container. I didn't even find a single bullet on that hunt. Was it because I only had a VLF Machine? Or was it because every time I came across a "trashy" signal, I ignored it thinking it was probably just another one of those square nails...and just moved on to try and find that better piece of elusive relic that I never found anyway? Over the months since that Spring Hunt, I made a promise to myself that the next hunt, I would pay attention to the veterans, put my pride aside, slow my a$$ down, and dig everything. I broke down and bought a PI machine and vowed I'd do better at the next group hunt. I've read many posts from veterans of these hunts and will take their advice. Hunker Down, Dig Everything, but most important, have fun and appreciate the fact that there are people like John and Rose K. who take the time to set up an opportunity of a lifetime for beginners like me, who would never have a chance in the first place of even remotely finding a handful of civil war bullets, a breast plate, or a period button, buckle, or coin because there are few places like this for us to hunt where we live. Thank you to John and Rose for setting this up, and Thank You to all the Veterans out there who freely give their advice to beginners like me, and make these hunts more enjoyable.

Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II was my first detector which I still have
Tesoro Compadre
Garrett AT Pro
Whites MXT Pro
Makro Racer
Garrett Infinium LS
Minelab Sovereign GT
Nokta FORS Gold
Vulcan 360 Pin Pointer
Garrett Pro Pointer
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
Lesche RS Hand Digging Tool
Sampson T-Handle
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
November 09, 2017 07:27PM
Great piece of advise for a guy like me looking to go to my 1st DIV
I take everything you say to heart John!
August 26, 2015 09:14PM
This will be my 4th DIV and first time to Coles Hill! I am super excited at this opportunity to dig a hut or pit. I've watched Tony H every chance I've had and have been trying to learn as much as possible. Surface finds are great but I want to dig a pit so bad I can taste it. I know each time I go out with DIV I get that chance! I will keep taking advise from everyone willing to share there experience and one day will be my day. I do owe a big thanks to Tony Hochstetler because he has answered every question I have ever asked him and he has helped me with machine settings and what to look for and listen for. I can't say thank you enough Tony! I can't wait to see everyone at Coles Hill!
The same thing happened to me. Something called me to the Wisconsin camp and once I got there I didn't move much. There were signals everywhere. I spent the last 2 days non stop digging. I spent the whole last day up top in the flat area. It was littered with iron but I was picking out bullets and some buttons. I told my buddies that there had to be a plate hiding in with all the iron and sure enough I dug the skin to a breast plate before lunch. Then after lunch I got lucky and dug a very nice baby US buckle. The first 2 things I pulled out of that hole were large square nails. Then the plate. I guess I was "tuned in". I can't stress enough to go slow, keep your coil as close to the ground as possible and be in the right frame of mind.
Marc you are the man! Good advice for us all... (n/t)
August 26, 2015 04:42PM
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Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 24, 2015 08:52PM
Agreed go SLOW...I joke with John and always say he should only charge me 10% because I typically only hunt about 10% of the property...when I find a relic I do not move and many can attest to that.
very good message there Denny ! i agree take everything you dig with you . (n/t)
August 24, 2015 08:06PM
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1. Believe that you're going to find something awesome, and don't talk yourself out of it.
2. Don't walk away from relics. If you're in a dug-in camp and you're finding the occasional relic, don't get "greener-pasture syndrome" and wander over the next hill! Keep digging! If you find yourself getting desperate and moving from place to place, it's time to sit down, think about where you want to go and commit to it.
3. Having said that, if you get to an area and just don't feel like you're really in a dug-in spot, and you're only finding an occasional scattered relic, be willing to move. Don't feel like you have to grid the area to death to prove something to yourself.
4. Stop and talk to someone. Let them get you excited about digging, especially if you haven't been finding much. Get their thoughts and insights. If they've made more than one trip to that farm, they know where the dug-in camps are. Everyone at DIV is there to help you. There's nothing like another digger's stories and excitement to motivate you to find something.
5. Follow your heart. I know this sounds super-weird, but it works. The first couple days of DIV 30 we were doing OK near the farmer's house. Finding good stuff occasionally, and Doc and I even got into a cool little fire pit. But my heart was calling me to Wisconsin Hill. I can't really tell you why other than that I hadn't hunted it since DIV 10 and I wanted to go back. Plus I knew it was question. I talked to Barry at the end of the day. He'd been hunting it for a whole day and had already dug two pits yielding a breastplate and other goodies (like I said in to someone). I made up my mind to spend the last two days of the hunt on Wisconsin Hill. The result of following my gut and the advice of a friend: 700+ bullets and the ID tag of J.E. Watson from Pennsylvania, plus a number of other relics. I'm sure I would have found relics wherever I decided to hunt, but since I felt "called" to go to Wisconsin Hill I could put my full energy there.
6. Learn to dig faster. If it takes you 5 minutes to recover one target, you'll only dig about 120 targets per day. Whereas if you dig a target every minute or two (which is very doable) you can dig anywhere from 300-600 targets a day. This of course is not an exact science, but the point is, don't mess around. Keep going! Don't get discouraged!
7. For me this is the most important one. Pray. Yes, I believe that a God big enough to create this entire universe with all it's intricacies is big enough to "give good gifts to them that ask him." He loves us enough to make his children happy. I know he has for me.

John mentioned the dug in camps. That can't be over-stressed. One "problem" with dug-in camps is the sheer overwhelming volume of signals. There was one spot I got into at one hunt (I can't wait to get back there) that had so many trashy signals you couldn't set the coil down. The GPX was sounding off so bad that it was impossible to differentiate between the targets. Well, SURPRISE! It was all Civil War trash! All of it! Now it was mostly iron trash from where the regiment had dumped their garbage down over a hill, but there were good relics in it everywhere, and the bottles...oh my one 14" wide hole I counted over 20 pieces of broken bottles! The lesson here is this: if there are a ton of signals, PARTICULARLY in a dug in camp, for Heaven's sake dig it! If it takes you all 3 days that is ok. There is going to be some seriously nice relics there!
Something else of note: if you dig down 12+ inches for a signal and find a lot of ash, for heaven's sake don't cover it up. It's probably a fire pit or hut. If you don't want to dig it, ask someone else and I'm sure they'll oblige you! Coles Hill in particular has TONS of awesome pits and huts still waiting to be dug. At one spot above the barns Tim Collins was digging test holes without even using a detector. He hit an awesome pit that wound up producing a soldier's leather shoes WITH THE SOCKS STILL IN THEM! That still blows my mind. And the awesome thing about it, I know good and well there are another hundred of those pits on that hillside still to be dug. We just have to go do it this fall.
Last time we were there was 19, and there weren't really that many GPX's out there. And if there were, we've learned so much more about them in the meantime that it will make a huge difference. I can't wait!!!
Cumberlandgray is absolutely correct. I've seen a lot of diggers with the "Greener Pasture Syndrome" (love that term BTW smiling smiley ) who bounced from place to place quickly. Slow and steady does win the race in the red dirt.
I've always gone slow...not because I'm smart but because according to my doctor, I was "big boned". Never seen a skeleton with big bones. Anyway, I'm 110 lbs lighter this time around and ready to roll!! I'll still go slow though.

"Trying my best to be who my dog thinks I am."
Re: Great posts, advice and stories.....
August 19, 2016 04:17PM
Thanks to all for sharing advice and experiences! I hope to be one of you after DIV Nov. 2016! Thank you again!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 24, 2015 09:38AM
Great information and looking forward to putting my name in next year and hoping to attend my first DIV. Thanks to all for putting in the time to help others and for the great locations to be able to hunt in.
Great Posts!!
August 23, 2015 08:36PM
Thank you John and everyone for all the good information!
I am looking forward to learning more and soaking in the history of this camp.
Thanks John. (n/t)
August 22, 2015 09:40AM
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Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 22, 2015 06:23AM
i gota agree with you john prime example is brandy rock everyone found good stuff last hunt including my self with my infinium. now yes you have to work a little for it but it there. the last day right before lunch I found a spot that 3 guys where at with there GPX 5000s when I walked into this area all 3 guys where complaining there was nothing there but some button backs and iron welp long story short I go back there spent the last 5 hours of the hunt back there and found over 25 bullets and over 40 pieces of brass. and located 3 huts that need to be done on are next visist. these places are still loaded. and I cant wait to go back
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Donnie Bailey
My Great Grandfather, William Dudley Bailey, was mustered into the 48th Virginia Infantry CSA, on June 20, 1861. The 48th Virginia was assigned to the Second Brigade, Jackson's Division, Jackson's Corp., Army of Northern Virginia on May 20, 1862. Wounded (shot) May 1, 1863 - The Battle of Chancellorsville.
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 21, 2015 10:49PM
D I V -V i was one the frist one,s to use a pulse machine at Brandy Rock and i stayed in a spot about the size of a half of a football field for 3 days and dug a ton of relice John is right when find the frist relice slow down and them beat it to death
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 21, 2015 10:41PM
D I V -V i was one the fiist one,s to use a pulse machine at Brandy Rock and i stayed in a spot about the size of a half of a football field for 3 days and dug a ton of relice John is right when find the frist relice slow down and them beat it to death
Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 21, 2015 08:10PM
Thank you John for that post! Im a Richmond relichunter and the way we hunt here is different than in the Wed Dut! My first dIv was DIV V. And I was amazed at the awesome finds made at that hunt! And even MORE amazed at how my machine I used here was useless! I been an many more DIVs since then and now own a GPX 4800. and I told myself that if I was going to spend that much on a machine, I was going to use it every hunt! Here and there.Im looking forward to taking it to 32 And trust me I will be digging every reading! Thank you for the backround history on that site!
Re: Relic hunting at DIV........... (n/t)
August 21, 2015 07:59PM
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Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 21, 2015 03:13PM
this is true on any good spots that you find we have a spot here in tn that we swear is hunted out every time we go but every time we go we find relics same being said for div if we only had brandy rock and beauregard i would go every time i have been over some of the same spots i hunted at previous hunts and still dig relics out of the area i think on those 2 farms Ive been to maybe 5 places and go back same places every time and find relics the key is slow and low keep the coil on the ground and go slow i have dug every signal and nails signals turn out to be bullets and brass sometimes are nails and some time nails are brass so you must dig everything now i have myself confused these divs are great learning and great fellowship i have come away sometimes with no relics but had the time of my life and now have life long detector buddies from many diff states this being said count me in to anywhere yalllllllllllllllllllllllllllll go
I can say I'm guilty of going too fast.
August 21, 2015 08:49AM
When you get to DIV and see the size of the hunt area, many of us fairly new (less than 5 years hunting), get it stuck in our heads that we have to cover as much as possible. You hear rumors that so-and-so found something awesome somewhere else so you want to work your way in that direction completely oblivious to the fact that you could be on top of your own something awesome. Last time at Beauregard I came across JDug working a small area and digging bullet after bullet because he was going slow. I blew right through the area finding nothing. Problem with a lot of people (assuming there's others like me) is that the longer you go without finding something the more frustrated you become and your speed picks up. It takes self-control to keep a slow pace. But that is the way you are best able to hear those faint signals.
Here's where I would go if I were going: Look at the picture with the wagons and
August 21, 2015 08:15AM
Cole's Hill in the back ground. Look to the left of where the new house sits, that is woods now that is full of farm junk, but I'll bet if someone would take the time to pick thru the trash, who knows what is there! Looks like a lot of huts to me and the 2 times I was there I don't remember anyone doing anything in there but getting frustrated!!! Just my 2 cents.

Good luck,
Re: Here's where I would go if I were going: Look at the picture with the wagons and
September 01, 2015 04:47PM
Kevin,,, Very rocky in there, as in small concentrated rocks that go around a foot deep. So digging is very slow
That's an interesting point Kevin...that spot should be loaded. (n/t)
August 30, 2015 07:06AM
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This photo Kevin? (n/t)
August 24, 2015 12:31PM
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Jeffery Denning

If anyone has a copy of this photograph in high-definition I'd really like to see it.
September 03, 2015 08:46AM
Most of the ones I've seen are a small file size and therefore you can't zoom in without the picture "pixelating." Seems like I remember someone having a really high-definition image you could zoom into, but don't remember who.
Here ya go Tony...
September 03, 2015 01:42PM
Here's a link to my original post of this picture. From there you can go to the Library of Congress site and download the 86MB TIFF version of this photo. It will blow your mind!,428296,428296#msg-428296
Sorry, that Library of Congress link seems to be dead now. Try this one.
September 03, 2015 07:02PM
E-mailed a larger print (n/t)
September 03, 2015 12:33PM
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Jeffery Denning
This is the best i have Tony (n/t)
September 03, 2015 12:27PM
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Jeffery Denning

Re: Relic hunting at DIV...........
August 21, 2015 06:27AM
Every one on here has brought up a valid point. I have been hunting this "WED DUT" for many years and have several "honey holes". It took me a long time to realize that there is no way you will ever be able to dig all the relics from a particular spot. With ground heaving and etc. there is just no way. Several times I have gone right back over a spot that I dug previously and have watched some of the guys I hunt with dig and have still popped out beautiful relics.

To me relic hunting is a quiet time to reflect and as ringfinder stated above look around and reflect. Every bullet, button, or even nail I dig, someone, at some time, long ago held that very item in their hand and either lost it, used it, or died protecting it. By that I mean every buckle, breast plate, or what have you someone believed in what they were fighting for and were proud to wear it.

When we dig a US or CS plate or even button there was an individual standing behind that believeing in their cause and willing to die for that cause. It may sound silly and I don't care but even when I dig a simple dropped or fired bullet someone over 150years ago held that very item, probably tossed it around in their hands (much like we do), stuck it in their pocket or cartridge box till it was needed. There is history all around us, and under our feet.

Ok, enough of me being sentimental... I can't wait to meet all of you and share stories. There's a ton of... or better yet "wealth of" knowledge on here and I'm happy to see that there are those willing to pass on what they've learned so that future generations can enjoy our hobby.

Peter Moznich is easy to fall prey to "wanderlust" by trying to figure out the best spot to start detecting. Like John and others have said above: take it slow, relax and envision the entire corp camped on the very grounds on which you will be detecting. Most large camps have numerous "hot spots", but many great DIV finds have also been made in the "colder spots" simply because someone took the time to detect that spot. There are A LOT of folks who will be there in November who have detected this camp more than once during past DIV's. I have been at Coles Hill 3 times during DIV and can't wait to get back. The veteran DIV folks are happy to give you a few pointers about the terrain, where some of the "hot spots" have been (and still are!) or other tips about how to get the most out of the detector you brought along. Take your time and make a few friends along the way...and take time to remember those who served on these very grounds over 150 years ago.

Happy Hunting,
Thank you John for the info. I'll be sure to make myself slow down. (n/t)
August 21, 2015 12:31AM
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I agree with all that you've said John, good advice for all of us...
August 21, 2015 12:04AM
The red Virginia soil can be unyielding and merciless if you let it get to you. Patience, determination, and a relaxed attitude are the order of the day. My first DIV was 11 at Coles hill, I look back on how green and overly assured I was in myself. Though I've been blessed to have attended many hunts since and am obviously not a novice at this soil, in many ways I still feel like one. You can never learn enough from yourself and the advice of others. Keep an open mind, be patient, go slow, don't be afraid to try new strategies if the current idea doesn't pan out, and above all have fun doing it and don't give up.
I would never be afraid to go back to any of these previously hunted farms either. They are far from hunted out, only a fool would truly delude himself into thinking so. Of that I am certain. The last hunt at Brandy I found a CS wreath in an area of the farm that had been pounded and well discussed on at least 5-6 previous hunts. You have to clear your mind of the negative defeating thoughts and go low and slow. That's the only way to approach it. In a way, my only regret is that it took me multiple hunts racing around spot to spot and getting frustrated to finally "get it" and learn the lesson that the red dirt tells us if we only clear our minds and listen.
My final word of advice to new DIVers is to know your machine. Use it as much as you can and get as comfortable with it as possible, preferably before you hit the red dirt.
The reward can be great for anyone willing to stick with it with the search coil low and slow.
I cant wait to go slllllloooowwwww on that HILL JOHN
August 20, 2015 10:19PM
This past year I found the find of a life time ,,Huntin a yard/field next to and in front of an early 1700 house near Brunswick Maryland in a large Corp camp that had been hunted and found over three decades ago . This section of the area was sssoooo TRASHY that EVERY hunter before PASSED on it . My wife and I dug one piece of Trash after the other until that Iron Brigade 6th Wisconsin Volunteers ID disc . showed up ,,,, Then early Militia Buttons and a US buckle ,, Where there is TRASH and IRON there is RELIC TOPIA , The method I used was too go SSLLLOOOOWWW and DIG DIG DIG DIG , I would bet the Farm you are correct and if every one slows down and digs this DIV has the potential to be a huge RELIC recovery weekend for all of us, Video is of a HUGE Rusty Nail right under the US Buckle I popped out seconds before

Well said John......
August 20, 2015 09:44PM
That is probably one of the best posts put on this site. Everything John said is 100% true. There are so many relics left at Beauragard and Brandy Rock. I get tired of hearing people say those places are hunted out or why don't we go to a new site. Well can a new site guarantee you finds that the other two are producing? Why go anywhere else as long as we have some great sites already known for tons of great relics. It wouldn't bother me a bit if we have a sign up with a location to be determined later. It's DIV and I am going. Period. To me the best part of DIV is seeing old friends again and meeting new ones. Finding relics is just icing on the cake. And hunting slow is going to get you relics. I don't know how many times I seen my buddy Phil working an area the size of your living room and stay on that spot for two days. People would hunt by him swinging fast and off they go. He will find more in that one spot than most will find in three days of hunting. Sometimes I find a lot and some times I don't find as much. I don't go for quantity but more for quality. And that is just attending DIV and seeing everyone. Great post John.
Well Put! (n/t)
August 20, 2015 09:43PM
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a lot of good info there John . i hope to make my first DIV next spring ! (n/t)
August 20, 2015 08:28PM
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hope to see you there. (n/t)
August 20, 2015 09:41PM
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2015 09:43PM by treasurehound.
Great post John (n/t)
August 20, 2015 06:53PM
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Jeffery Denning
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Well said young man,, well sorta young
August 20, 2015 03:00PM
Everyone I know is guilty, guilty, guilty of the run and gun. I have hunted many times with old Greg Toney and we run around 3 days, reflect every night over a cool one and basically have no clue what were going to do the next day. So we walk some more and in the end we ALWAYS say. Dang we should have stayed at that one spot we were digging stuff at.

I guess maybe I just would rather get a work out and walk my butt off than hunker down, I will learn one day I guess...
SLOW is the name if the game along with having a GREAT timeUSAthumbs up (n/t)
August 20, 2015 01:40PM
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Ed has a very good point, Please, Please take anything you dig with
August 20, 2015 08:28PM
you, that includes nails,Especially Nails, scrap iron, Horseshoes you name it, why oh why would you want dig a target and because it's not exactly
what you want, leave it on top of the ground or even worse re-burry it! Take it with you, Like Ed said there are plenty of places to throw away what you
don't want. I can tell you a lot of relic hunters make some really nice Collages with what they find in those junk piles or from what they have dug!

John said some of the really good relic hunters hunker down in one area and take all that they can from that spot. I can tell you, my last hunt here at Cole's Hill, I hit a spot the last few hours of the last day of the hunt, that I hit so many good targets, I couldn't dig them all. I had hit one of those spots where my partners and I Hunkered down and dug every target we could before nightfall! Close to this area, I dug my First ever 2nd Corps Badge, in the Last few hours of the hunt!

Trust me, you are going to be surprised how many relics will show up on the display table at the BBQ on Sunday, it happens at every hunt!

Please take everything you dig with you, without a doubt, we might come back to this site and if we do, why would you want to dig a bad target that you didn't take out of the field the last time, carry a pouch to put your good finds in and the JUNK! M & M containers, some cotton are great for button finds, the really nice ones I use a small plastic container for fishing lures.

Go SLOW, if you think you are going slow, drop it down another notch. I hope everyone of you finds that elusive relic of a Lifetime!

Don't forget to take a moment in the field to stop, look around and think of the Hard times that soldiers endured that camped on the very spot you are standing!

Denny. (Ringfinder)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2015 08:32PM by ringfinder.
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