My guess is you don’t, and probably think I am nuts. Hey, you are granted your own opinion. Although, hear me out. Our eyes are the best “detector” we have out on the hunt. Whether you swing a 100 dollar metal detector or a ten grand metal detector, it is your eyes that if they are trained can put you over the good stuff quicker than if you hunt blind.
Now I know that some of our fellow relic and treasure hunters are not graced with the best eye sight. So I hope you are not offended because even with terrible eye sight with today’s technology, a digital camera and computer, you can be legally blind and still be able to see enough if you know where to look.
Why do you need to look anywhere other than your find’s pouch and your Metal Detector’s display? Because there are clues all around you. One of the best visual clues is the lay of the landscape. Sunken depressions in the sod or a well compacted path in a park or between the house and the old barn. These are the places where you can visually see that you need to swing your coil there!
Where else do you need to train your eye to look? One of the first tips I remember getting when I started metal detecting was to look for the biggest tree with exposed roots and metal detect around it. The thinking was that that tree has been on this site the longest and if the roots are exposed, there has been no fill added hiding the old coins and relics lost there.
Trees are also a great place to look for clues, signs, symbols and evidence that someone was climbing them, or manipulating them. Indian trail or thong trees were not only used by Native Americans. They were used by many generations of peoples including those nefarious outlaw types.
Here is the post I found this illustration from.
The Best book I have found on this subject of Indian Trail Trees with great pics and a hinting narrative:
Elaine Blohm Jordan
Try eBay for better pricing! I think one of Elaine’s daughters still sells the books but I could not find her memorial site. Talk about a lady who embodied Temerity!
Here is one of my favorite Trail Trees I found in my Grizzly Backyard!
The older the tree carving the harder to decipher it will be, but take a picture and look at it again when you get home. Blow it up big and make it small, change the color to all blue and you maybe happy as hell when the signs and symbols are revealed.
When looking at trees, look for circles, lines that break the barks grain, and locations on the truck where bark has been shaved off. Not all carvings are crisp and clean. Many depending on age are so subtle that if you never knew to look you would never see them even if you pass by that tree 100 times a day.
I have found trail trees in down towns, shelter belts, and in some of the strangest places. Be careful though when your driving, because knowing what to look for, they will jump out at you and you need to make sure you keep the pickup on the road for the safety of yourself and other drivers.
The first image in this post is a snapshot I took of a pine tree bark back in 2009. I was just interested in taking some photo’s with interesting textures for backdrops to be used on my websites. Going through some old photos, this one caught my eye. Do you see what I see on it?
Stones have been very good to me as well. It is a bit harder to gauge the age or era of a stone, but if you look, they will reward you.
This is the Spes et Fides stone I found while hunting 4 private acres adjacent to the Kensington Runestone Park in Douglas county, MN a few years ago now. This is a master work and just one of about 200 stones that lays out a giant fish effigy on the temple mound that shared the Olof Ohmstad farmstead. Olof is the founder of the Kensington Runestone. While there are many Viking images on this stone it is more than likely a KGC or Outlaw Cache site. I found a great many things there, but none of them were of my proud Viking Norwegian heritage. But I only believe in what I find in the ground. The evidence just was not found, but a more nefarious evidence was found.
An even greater find was the Estes Brook Stone I found just last year.
This Estes Brook Stone is just heads and tails above anything I have found to date. It is a remnant of New Spain, has evidence of the Jesuit Fur Trappers, and a few different Native American Tribes. It sits on the trail between Mille Lacs Lake and Rice Lake two major food resources for the native and pioneer alike. In this area roads and cars really did not replace walking for the major form of transportation until after the second world war.
Just passing either of these stones by would of been a tragedy. I pray I inspire you to open your eyes and see what I am seeing in your very own Grizzly Backyard. If you do, please let me know what your finding!