Grid hunting and why so many miss targets

30 Aug 2010

Most successful detectorists are fanatical about hunting in grids as there are so many variables that can mask a signal. Mostly this is due to the orientation of the target in the ground, however there are a number of other reasons such as momentary interference from another detector or other noise source, swinging the coil too fast or not overlapping your swings.

Gridding an area is quite simple and can make the difference between finding or missing a few targets per trip. Once I’ve established a patch that I’m going to hunt I mark the corners of a grid, which is never any larger than 30x30ft. Using poker chips, sticks or a couple of rocks at the corners gives me a quick reference point for my turns and possible chaining. For those that are not familiar with chaining, it is an old practice of dragging a small chain behind you that will leave a pretty good mark on the ground to clearly show exactly where you have detected. Most of the time I just make boot marks at the furthest point of my coil swing, but in open desert areas chaining is a great way to go, so you never miss the dirt with your coil.

From this point I will work the grid area North to South, West to east and SW to NE.

metal detecting a patch

Gridding a Patch

In doing this I cover every inch of the ground keeping very aware of maintaining the same coil speed and overlap at all times.

I have been known to spend hours in a single grid and in one case a full day! Spending a lot of time in one grid is especially important when using a detector like the GPX that has so many Soil/Timing and coil options.

Patience is a must when hunting a productive area and missing good targets should never be an option.

See you out there,

Kevin Hoagland


A good reminder Kevin. It seems to be even more important to do this with the GPX series. I've found that as I force myself to slow down, I am getting deeper and smaller pieces that only elicit a response in one coil sweep direction. They seem to be odd shaped nuggets or at the limit of detection for their size. Thus to be even more meticulous one needs to do a left and a right sweep for every step.

Posted By: kejam on August 31, 2010 06:37am
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