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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2008
    Kalispell, Montana
    17

    Montana metal detecting

    The ground up here in NW Montana thawed early this year and I have been able to start detecting earlier than normal. I have put together this long post to first talk about my finds from the last month, but also to describe metal detecting in this somewhat remote part of the US. Many of the more interesting post I have read in this and other forums have not only showed me interesting finds, but also described the unique aspects of our hobby in different areas. For example, I have been captivated by stories about hunting along the beaches of Florida and California, and the thrill it is to hunt areas in New England where Revolutionary War relics and 300 year old home sites exist, or about finding and exploring Civil War site across the South, or about searching ghost towns and gold sites in the desert southwest. Learning about out these different aspects of this hobby is one of the great things about reading forums.
    Any way, NW Montana has its own unique metal detecting character. One of the first things people think about when they think of Montana is cold and snow, but that is far from unique across the northern tier states. What is more unique is the vast empty spaces up here. The state is the fourth largest in terms of territory, but has less than a million people scattered across it. The whole state only has one telephone area code and only sends one member of congress to Washington.
    Briefly, Lewis and Clark were almost the first white folks to explore the state in 1804. Gold was discovered in the 1860’s and that brought the first significant settlements. The next “big” influx came when the Great Northern railroad pushed through the state in the 1880’s. Much of the state still relies on ranching, farming, logging and mining for its existence. As a result there have been many booms and busts leaving many abandoned homes, towns and regions.
    My first outing this year was to try to get back into a ghost town I had discovered last year. It is a thirty mile drive out dirt roads that are seldom driven, especially early in the spring because of snowpack in the passes. Below are a few pictures I took during my last visit. The history of the place is that it opened in around 1909 and closed for the last time (I thought) in 1965.











    One of the unique things about detecting here is that when you are in the mountains thirty miles from the closest paved road you are not at the top of the food chain. Montana is the only place in the continental US where grizzly bears are expanding their territory, one of the few places where wolves have been reintroduced (there are several packs in this part of the state), and where mountain lions are numerous (they hunt by ambush and hit their prey running at full speed to try to break its neck). This is all a consideration when you are planning to be alone in the wilderness wandering around wearing earphones. The pouch belt I wore was somewhat different than most in the rest of the country (see picture below).



    Unfortunately, when I got close to the area there were several new “No Trespassing” signs on the road, so it looks like it may be getting reactivated. I of course respected the signs and drove the thirty miles back out. I have another mine site I have not yet found that I will be trying for in the next month or so.

    So far this year most of the rest of my detecting, and all of my keepers have come from the old downtown section of my town that was established around 1890. I have posted pictures of most of my keepers below.












    I hope this was as interesting to you as reading other posts has been to me. This hobby is so diverse that almost everyone has a unique story to tell about it. Happy hunting.

  2. #2

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Nice story. Good Luck in your hunts, and WELCOME to T-Net. "The Hogge" Bummer about driving all that way.
    1783 CFT. KG III 1/2 Penny (25-83A)-1 of 3 known *Sold $3,750, Vermont Landscape Coppers Ryder 6 *Sold $760, Ryder7 (Avatar)** Sold $1,275*,1st Batt Royal Artillery Cartridge Box Sling Belt Tip* SOLD $1,583*,(3)- GW Inaugural Buttons-2-Cobb# 17-J.* Sold both--$405 and $400. *GW Button Cobb 17-I-*Sold $316- New Jersey Copper M14-J Sold $125- Continental Army Button *Sold $800.....To be continued

  3. #3
    RPG
    RPG is offline
    us
    Jan 2009
    Alabama
    Silver Umax, Compadre, Vaquero
    2,193
    26 times

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Nice finds. Looks like Montana is a good place to hunt. I've seen some good finds from there on T-Net.

    Your pictures are great, maybe a little big , but clear as a picture.

    What camera are you using? I'm in the market for a new one. Those are some of the best pics I've seen.

    Good Luck
    Randy

  4. #4
    us
    Jun 2008
    Kalispell, Montana
    17

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    RPG,
    Sorry about the size of the photos. I should have copied them as smaller files.

    I use an older Pentax Optio WP. It is water proof and a great outdoor camera. I shoot the coins at only 2MP (macro focus) and the landscapes at 5MP. I use Photoshop Elements to do the mods. The trick to using this camera for the coin shots is to get enough light and a steady enough stand. I use a small tripod and lots of light aimed at an angle to the face of the coin, with some white cardboard to put across from the light source to eliminate as many shadows as possible. I then take several shots of each coin, spining it to change its orientation to the light source and pick the best one to modify and keep.

  5. #5
    RPG
    RPG is offline
    us
    Jan 2009
    Alabama
    Silver Umax, Compadre, Vaquero
    2,193
    26 times

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Quote Originally Posted by MT DFX
    RPG,
    Sorry about the size of the photos. I should have copied them as smaller files.

    I use an older Pentax Optio WP. It is water proof and a great outdoor camera. I shoot the coins at only 2MP (macro focus) and the landscapes at 5MP. I use Photoshop Elements to do the mods. The trick to using this camera for the coin shots is to get enough light and a steady enough stand. I use a small tripod and lots of light aimed at an angle to the face of the coin, with some white cardboard to put across from the light source to eliminate as many shadows as possible. I then take several shots of each coin, spining it to change its orientation to the light source and pick the best one to modify and keep.
    Don't worry about the size. Those are great pics. Especially for 2mp. Steady is the key word here, as well as the set up. Never thought about the white cardboard to eliminate shadows. Thanks for the tips.

  6. #6
    us
    Mar 2003
    NW Montana
    62
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Nice finds!
    I am also in NW Montana Libby/Troy/Yaak area.
    Lots of good detecting sites in this area if you like ghost towns and mining camps.
    Nice to see a fellow Montanan here

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2005
    Bavaria Germany
    Minelab XT70, Fisher 1280, Garrett Ace 250 and MH5
    8,312
    77 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Enjoyed the post and pictures! Too bad you couldn't detect it. Those old outhouses would also be cool to dig out. HH, Mike

  8. #8
    us
    Jun 2009
    Long Island E-end
    Minelab Sov GT,Sovereign xs2-pro Fisher CZ21 Custom Skullies , Stealth 720-i
    2,805
    63 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    The Treasure State" and "Big Sky Country beautiful state Good finds i like that token those silvers look great nice find and pics Dd60
    If Mother Earth give,s us precious metals like gold silver copper and iron why leave them in the ground to disappear forever , dig them out and save History !!

    4-12-2011 Retired from the Rat Race by Choice

  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2007
    Montana Prairie
    White's M-6
    93
    10 times

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    I'm about as far across the state as you can get. Our winter was relatively mild also, and I've been able to get out earlier than expected. Finding spots is tough in our little town, but I've got permission for 4 houses and old church so far. I've got 4 silver finds for the year, a sterling silver ID bracelet found at on an old baseball field, 2 Rosies, and a no date SLQ, so I'm happy. Hope to get out after work tonight for a few hours, it's really warming up here.

    Best of luck to my fellow Montanans, , let's keep 'em swinging and the dirt turning, take care...

  10. #10
    us
    Dec 2008
    South Korea
    Cobra II/Minelab Sovereign
    1,263
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    You are right. Being introduced to so many different types of detecting, and the finds from each area, is an education in itself.
    I really liked your pictures. I live in S. Korea, but home is Eastern Oregon, and your pictures could have been from there.
    Same evergreen trees, same old wooden construction. And, many of the same finds.
    Good post. Looking forward to hearing from you, as you seek out the old abandoned towns/settlements.
    (Have you looked for any of the early 1800 meeting places of the trappers/mountain men/indians? Rendevous, I believe they called them. If you could do some
    research, and then locate the site, it should produce many, many good finds. And I think that I have read that some of those
    meeting places were held in Montana, along some of the larger rivers.)
    Good hunting.
    Can't find it if you're watching tv at home, your machine isn't on, and the head of your detector is pointed up!!

  11. #11
    us
    Feb 2010
    Eastland Texas
    Whites V3i - Ace 250 (backup) - Garrett Pro Pointer - Lesche Digger
    1,818
    123 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Oh I love your pictures they are beautiful! I am stuck down here in Texas and I only get to the mountain once a year I miss them so... Welcome to T-Net and Happy Hunting!

    Chukers
    My Personal Metal Detecting Blog www.facebook.com/coinshooting

    ................

    If you haven't tried Groupon you need to... Saves you money! http://www.groupon.com/r/uu23569530

  12. #12
    us
    presidential campaign items, 1860 JOHN BELL-EDWARD EVERETT tin type pic token, 1888 Benjamin Harrison pin. 1876 CENTENNIAL REVOLUTIONARY WAR MEDAL WITH BARON VON STEUBEN AND GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON. CW RELICS 1864 Union store card,3 I,1 R, eagle buttons

    Dec 2008
    ILL
    Minelab Safari, Garrett pro pointer, bounty hunter 202 with a 10in magnum coil, Automax pinpointer,
    4,251
    45 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    wow nice finds!!!! i would be all over a plce like that MR TUFF
    oldest dug 1831 William IIII. 1844 1/6 Skilling. 1834,51,72,76,84-86,89,1900o-94s,97-11,13 Dimes. 1854,56,76s,94,99,1902,06,09d,11,15s Qtrs. 1864,65 2cent. 79,83cc Morgan. 1867,68,69,75,82,87,88,90,91,93,95,97,98,1900,02,0 4-09,11,12d Nickles. 1848,56,59,61,64-67-69,73-75,81-85,87-09 Cent.

  13. #13
    us
    Aug 2009
    White's MXT300 D2, 950, 6X10 DD, 4X6 DD, detech ultimate 13" DD coils
    1,575
    177 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Montana metal detecting

    Great finds congrats.

 

 

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