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Am i in a deadzone?

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  • Am i in a deadzone?

    I've been hunting pretty persistently (erie, pa) for a couple years and have found absolutely nothing. I've hunted ditches and streams and bluffs...about the only place I haven't tried is plowed fields. I've studied topographic maps and found areas where 2 streams meet with no luck...I've tried spillways and have studied local history and hunted areas that were known camps...nothing! I'm thinking I am either in some kind of dead zone...something unique about my area that either makes artifacts difficult to find or that it was used as temporary hunting camps but not for a permanent large settlement over a long period of time. The Erie people did live here...that much is certain...I have read that they were only here for a couple hundred years and didn't have a large population. There are also records of hopewell style mounds here which have all been destroyed. Possibly this area right by lake Erie was swampy for a long period of time and almost uninhabitable? The winters are extremely harsh also. Or maybe I am just unlucky? Any advice?

  • #2
    You're doing what you need to do - being persistent. I walked this mountain for months before I found my first artifact. I wasn't sure what it was and it was totally by accident but it turned out to be an authentic artifact which was broken

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    It took me awhile to catch on to art of the hunt. I next learned what to look for and when to hunt. I very seldom dig for artifacts because where I'm at it would be a real shot in the dark to choose the right area. I surface hunt because we have a lot of washout here. Firstly, most new arrowhead hunters go out looking for the shape of an arrowhead or something similar but because there is so much ground clutter they would probably miss it if it was in clear sight. I learned to look for color - anything that was off color from the surrounding ground. In my area it is a dark clay color so the dark browns/black, grey and white standout really well. Anything that was off color, I carefully removed it from the ground or turned it over with my walking stick (I have a cutoff nail in one end to make it easier to flip chert or flint pieces). Learn what a "human worked" piece looks like because that will be your next clue. If you look at insitu posts on AH you'll get the general idea about color and "human worked" pieces. Next I learned, particularly in my area, to hunt after a hard rain because all of the pieces I have found were washed out from higher ground. Once you make your first find you'll have identified an area to hunt but don't just confine your hunt to that exact area. Branch out around that area and keep looking. Patience and perseverance is the hunter's best friend. ...Chuck
    Pickett/Fentress County, Tn - Any day on this side of the grass is a good day. -Chuck-

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    • Gentleone444
      Gentleone444 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks chuck great advice. So you don't think I'm in a dead zone?

    • Scorpion68
      Scorpion68 commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't think so. You've established the Hopewell presence in your area so there should be some artifacts remaining. See if you can contact any archaeologists in your area that may be able to refine their time period and presence even more. Often you can find an archaeologist at the state university or local college. Under normal circumstances you won't find the ground littered with artifacts but they'll be scattered over a larger area. In my area they're scattered over about a 2 square mile area. I've also contacted local farmers and loggers for permission to search their property with success. Good luck.

  • #3
    Well said Chuck. Check this new post out Gentleone. I think it will give you hope.
    All my life, I've looked for indian artifacts in the Philly area and found zilch. Around the beginning of this year, I started seriously looking and I found one

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    • Scorpion68
      Scorpion68 commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent post for GO444 to see. Tks Coach.

  • #4
    You mentioned "about the only place I haven't tried is plowed fields". IMHO, that should always be the first place you try. The ground is turned over every year. Unless it's no till, or, as in my area, farmers are growing crops under plastic now and hiding the dirt. Otherwise, locate agricultural fields near sources of fresh water. Get permission from landowners and farmers. Hunt such fields after heavy rains. Unless a plowed field is pounded with rain, the points will be all but impossible to spot. The fields I hunt are getting significantly played out, after generations of hunters. The same may be true in your neck of the woods, but you won't know unless you try. My wife and I, and our friends are able to walk the beaches of our resource rich salt water estuaries. We had to, to make up for sparse returns in fields walked for generations. But others of our friends do well in the fields they walk. Obviously, wherever there's dirt, you may stand a chance of good luck. But a field near water? Acres of turned over soil? That's the first type of terraine I would tell anyone to try.
    Rhode Island

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    • Gentleone444
      Gentleone444 commented
      Editing a comment
      Great advice. We have lots of agriculture fields here...my only problem is that I am somewhat intimidated being that I am very heavily tattooed and I feel like no farmer is going to like me knocking on his door. I could be wrong about that never having tried but that's how I feel.

    • Scorpion68
      Scorpion68 commented
      Editing a comment
      GO444 - You might find that most farmers are more accommodating than other people you find in the cities. The worst that can happen is they tell you no. But once you get a local farmer to give his permission, it will be easier to get others. Give it a try - you have nothing to loose. In fact, I'm gonna give it a try here in Tennessee cause I could use another source to hunt. Good Luck ...Chuck

    • Cskelton
      Cskelton commented
      Editing a comment
      Wear long sleeves and a tie!!!😏. Couldn't hurt....

  • #5
    Good advice here keep up the hunt!
    And like others said all they can do is say no, you may find that a polite attitude and a clear explanation of what you would like to do gets you further than what you might think. Good luck!
    Josh (Ky/Tn collector)

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    • #6
      Thanks guys! Your advice is fuel for the fire for sure!

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      • #7
        I'm just guessing at the length of time, but you have to remember, people have been pickng up artifacts for over 200 years. Erie Co. was the home to Indians from the Paleo Indian culture up to the historic times, mid to late 1700s. There have been thousands of artifacts found in Erie Co., and that doesn't mean there aren't any left, but just that fact means there are a lot less to be found today. There are numerous other factors. Some good fields may now be parking lots, roads, business complexes, etc. Add to that, farming methods have changed so much, there's very little plowing done the old way which would bring artifacts to the surface. They will never all be found, but there are so many changes to the land, that you just have to look harder for good areas. Your not in a bad area being in Erie Co., good sites have just vanished for many of the mentioned reasons, and once an artifact is picked up, it can't be replaced, so the number of artifacts you will find now has it's limitations. I'm sure there are a few excellent fields left, it may just take you a little longer to find them. Just don't give up!!
        http://www.ravensrelics.com/

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      • #8
        My Son is tatooed shoulders to his knuckles on both arms. He has tatoos on his Legs, chest and back too. He has gauges in his ears a little bigger than a quarter dollar in diameter. He us 6'3" and 320 pounds. He is 30 years old , a large and intimidating looking critter. Guess what? He is straight edge. When I visit him back in CT we go out for a steak at Texas Road House and he orders a Shirley Temple to go with his steak every time. LOL What I am saying is dont let who you are stop you from trying. You are who you are and if you are a good person inside then what you look like means nothing at all. Some people might judge you by your outward appearance. Shame on them for doing that! They are the ones who loose out on meeting someone different. If you feel it is a strike against you then wear long sleeves. Dress the part. Choose plaid, Working mans blue collar type clothes , Jeans and plain tee shirt. Jeans and buffalo paid flannel. Work boots. When meeting a person always make eye contact and smile a lot. Shake hands like your old friends. No loose and sloppy handshakes. Firm. hand shake. Farmers work hard and often do so with their hands and they appreciate a hardy handshake. Want a great ice breaker. try this out. Go to the farm stand buy some plants. No need to spend a lot. Then say I love farms and old history when I was a boy my dad took me to an old dairy farm and I found an arrowhead. Then just ask if they ever find any on the farm. If they say yes. ask permission to look. They might just point right at the best place to look. If they say no then you are at the wrong farm. LOL Good luck!
        TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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        • Gentleone444
          Gentleone444 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you great perspective

      • #9
        Another thing you can try is offer to help around the farm one weekend a year in exchange for permission to scout the property for artifacts. Besides finding something you might learn a little about farming as well as make some new friends. Good luck in the hunt.
        TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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        • #10
          Payola usually works too...if you see a good field that has promise you can ask the landowner and offer him some money to look on his property....I know a place in PA that charges 75 bucks for the day to walk their fields...

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          • #11
            I'd say just keep looking. It took me forever to find anything and I live in a sprawling city that's just buildings for miles and miles around! If you keep looking in the same spot, it's possible there is just nothing there, it's too far and few between or buried. I'd love to hunt farms, but there aren't any around here really. One tip I can offer is that if you're searching a rocky beach, search at the top where the tide / waves stop... Around where the sticks, debris, etc. gather. I've found very few pieces that were not in that location... One last piece of advice, which I'm sure you've done, is to research where stuff has been found in the past and look there. That's how I found my spot.
            Last edited by filmiracl; 08-09-2016, 07:20 AM.

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            • #12
              Don't worry about your tattoos, those are only skin deep, and when you got those, even if you get more, it's just part of your character and what you like. Farmers don't care. Here's what I do. I take a small cardboard frame of maybe a dozen local found points with me. I find a likely looking good spot, like a filed with a rise in it next to a good water source, a creek, river, or even a good spring. I knock on the owners door, and present myself, and give my name. And proceed with, " Howdy, I collect Indian artifacts, and your farm looks like it would be a great place to find something. Have you ever looked or found arrowheads? ( Then I show the case ) This is what I'm looking for, and was wondering if I could take a quick stroll and see if I can find any thing. " After they see the points in the frame, 99.9% of the time, they get extremely interested, and would then like to know if there are any on their land. All I do is tell the farmer if I find anything, I will give you half of what I find. I've only been turned down maybe 1 out of 100 times. They sometimes don't know what you mean by " looking for artifacts ", that's why I take a small frame with me to show them. If someone wouldn't interact with you because of some tattoos, then that person isn't worth knowing anyway!!
              http://www.ravensrelics.com/

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