You’re going to think I’m nuts.

Jamie Rullestad

Jr. Member
Dec 3, 2020
48
118
Iowa
Detector(s) used
Minelab Vanquish 540, Nokta Makro Legend
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
It has suddenly become paper dry here in Iowa, and no matter how careful you may be, stuff is going to die if you dig.

What the heck, things are dying if you DON’T dig around here lately. Which is why I’ve focused on my acreage here lately. I’m new to the hobby, I live on a farm acreage that I own, I know some of the history, and I should, eventually, find something of interest here. And I don’t care if I kill a little grass.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t try to use good practices here, and I’ve done my best to at least replace plugs as neatly as possible and pack them in well, or at least as well as I can. I try to make sure hinges on my plugs are intact, but frankly, I’m digging in powder. Well, it’ll grow back.

My wife took me aback, however, after mowing the lawn with our smallish 48” zero turn mower. She gave me hell on not replacing my plugs. That frustrated me. I always replace them. Every, single time. But after walking around with her, the plugs were most certainly NOT where the should have been.

What the heck. I’m a rookie. I’m learning. Maybe I screwed up. So I put them back in the holes and called it a day. But I’ll be damned if the next morning, more plugs were pulled out of the holes that I dug. Plugs that I know were there the evening before.

All this, leading up to a simple question. What the heck is happening?
 
Upvote 8

Ocean7

Bronze Member
Apr 15, 2004
1,568
863
SE, PA
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab Explorer II
Garrett MASTER HUNTER 7
Garrett ADS DEEPSEEKER
Compass X100
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
animals can tell where you dug and investigate looking for food or maybe some lost acorns. Could be groundhogs, squirrels, skunks, muskrats, etc. Perhaps they think some other animal buried something to eat later. I've seen this on a bunch of holes dug by a buddy close to a river. Either that or the 'Jackass crew' is pranking you.
 

KSDirtfisher77

Full Member
Jun 26, 2022
186
452
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Whites DFX, Whites V3I
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
It has suddenly become paper dry here in Iowa, and no matter how careful you may be, stuff is going to die if you dig.

What the heck, things are dying if you DON’T dig around here lately. Which is why I’ve focused on my acreage here lately. I’m new to the hobby, I live on a farm acreage that I own, I know some of the history, and I should, eventually, find something of interest here. And I don’t care if I kill a little grass.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t try to use good practices here, and I’ve done my best to at least replace plugs as neatly as possible and pack them in well, or at least as well as I can. I try to make sure hinges on my plugs are intact, but frankly, I’m digging in powder. Well, it’ll grow back.

My wife took me aback, however, after mowing the lawn with our smallish 48” zero turn mower. She gave me hell on not replacing my plugs. That frustrated me. I always replace them. Every, single time. But after walking around with her, the plugs were most certainly NOT where the should have been.

What the heck. I’m a rookie. I’m learning. Maybe I screwed up. So I put them back in the holes and called it a day. But I’ll be damned if the next morning, more plugs were pulled out of the holes that I dug. Plugs that I know were there the evening before.

All this, leading up to a simple question. What the heck is happening?
Lol maybe it's a spirit trying to tell you to keep digging? Maybe it's a spirit trying to tell you to stop?🤣😂🤣
 

DizzyDigger

Gold Member
Dec 9, 2012
5,190
10,036
Concrete, WA
Detector(s) used
Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
animals can tell where you dug and investigate looking for food or maybe some lost acorns. Could be groundhogs, squirrels, skunks, muskrats, etc. Perhaps they think some other animal buried something to eat later.

Agreed.

Every time you disturb the dirt, especially if you create a hole, whatever
critters that pass by there are going to check it out. Digging a hole and
bedding a trap in front of it is a common technique for fox and coyote
trappers.
 

DigToChina

Bronze Member
Sep 9, 2016
1,087
2,168
GTA East, Ontario
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AT Pro, Fisher F2, ProPointer AT
Just like O7 and Dizzy say. I had discussed in a post a couple years ago that when I was night hunting a park I’d come back the next night to plugs all over. It was the foxes, however, when I switched to morning hunting, that stopped. I’m purely guessing that the heat of the day and time dissipated the attraction of the dug dirt 🤷🏻‍♂️

Maybe a switch to early day hunting would help you too?
 

releventchair

Gold Member
May 9, 2012
18,024
43,534
Primary Interest:
Other
You stimulate scent by cutting a plug.

Varied critters investigate. Squirrel , skunk ect..

IF you have enough moisture to still allow flexible roots , a hinge type plug can help. Where one side is not cut and you rock the plug towards it to open.

One park I hunted a lot thier equipment can pull a plug when mowing.
I went to bigger plugs and no problem. I know that is contrary to being discreet as possible. But a well replaced , tamped and blended plug stays.
I've seen dried plugs laying loose from others plugs before mowing. With squirrels top suspects. Another park had skunks for sure. Often leaving a fan shaped / inverted V pile or at least thin layer of soil where they paddled to dig.

Do plug holes collect grubs /worms like mole tunnels made for such can?
Maybe. If so it would increase the scent and appeal to foragers.
 
OP
J

Jamie Rullestad

Jr. Member
Dec 3, 2020
48
118
Iowa
Detector(s) used
Minelab Vanquish 540, Nokta Makro Legend
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
You stimulate scent by cutting a plug.

Varied critters investigate. Squirrel , skunk ect..

IF you have enough moisture to still allow flexible roots , a hinge type plug can help. Where one side is not cut and you rock the plug towards it to open.

One park I hunted a lot thier equipment can pull a plug when mowing.
I went to bigger plugs and no problem. I know that is contrary to being discreet as possible. But a well replaced , tamped and blended plug stays.
I've seen dried plugs laying loose from others plugs before mowing. With squirrels top suspects. Another park had skunks for sure. Often leaving a fan shaped / inverted V pile or at least thin layer of soil where they paddled to dig.

Do plug holes collect grubs /worms like mole tunnels made for such can?
Maybe. If so it would increase the scent and appeal to foragers.

Here, currently, big plug or small, it just doesn’t seem to matter. It’s so dry that the hinge just crumbles, cracks, tears, or just plain breaks.

Ive tried slanting my shovel as I cut the plug, I’ve tried a straight down 90 degree cut, wide hinge, narrow hinge, and nothing much changes, I’m able to keep the hinges intact about 4 times out of 10, and the varmints tear them out anyway.

Very frustrating. And my lawn mowing wife is getting a little ticked. We don’t have a great lawn out here, but driving those high speed zero turns over an open hole can be a spine jarring experience.
 
Last edited:

releventchair

Gold Member
May 9, 2012
18,024
43,534
Primary Interest:
Other
Here, currently, big plug or small, it just doesn’t seem to matter. It’s so dry that the hinge just crumbles, cracks, tears, or just plain breaks.

Ive tried slanting my shovel as I cut the plug, I’ve tried a straight down 90 degree cut, wide hinge, narrow hinge, and nothing much changes, I’m able to keep the hinges intact about 4 times out of 10, and the varmints tear them out anyway.

Very frustrating. And my lawn mowing wife is getting a little ticked. We don’t have a great lawn out here, but driving those high speed zero turns over an open hole can be a spine jarring experience.
Ahh. Bone dry.
Gonna be dusty divots then.
 

cudamark

Gold Member
Mar 16, 2011
12,178
11,894
San Diego
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Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Try just cutting a small slit instead. I've done that in areas where cutting a plug is prohibited.
 

Treasure_Hunter

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 27, 2006
46,175
49,229
Florida
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Minelab_Equinox_ 800 Minelab_CTX-3030 Minelab_Excal_1000 Minelab_Sovereign_GT Minelab_Safari Minelab_ETrac Whites_Beach_Hunter_ID Fisher_1235_X
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Try just cutting a small slit instead. I've done that in areas where cutting a plug is prohibited.

that is what I noirmally do when I land hunt, I cut a slit probe and recover the item, I put the soil in a towel then return it into the ground and pinch the slit back together. No plugs to die.
 

DizzyDigger

Gold Member
Dec 9, 2012
5,190
10,036
Concrete, WA
Detector(s) used
Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
Raccoons with do that.

Yep..they sure do. Got a bunch of those holes in my front yard right
now. Little beasties will dig 'em when looking for worms/bugs to eat.
Seeing that I've got a beautiful lawn of about 50% moss, it really doesn't
bother me all that much.

On the plus side, here it is July and I've seen a total of one (1) Carpenter
ant this year. I think the coons consider them like M&M's...:laughing7:
 

Earl Bates

Newbie
Jul 1, 2022
2
7
It has suddenly become paper dry here in Iowa, and no matter how careful you may be, stuff is going to die if you dig.

What the heck, things are dying if you DON’T dig around here lately. Which is why I’ve focused on my acreage here lately. I’m new to the hobby, I live on a farm acreage that I own, I know some of the history, and I should, eventually, find something of interest here. And I don’t care if I kill a little grass.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t try to use good practices here, and I’ve done my best to at least replace plugs as neatly as possible and pack them in well, or at least as well as I can. I try to make sure hinges on my plugs are intact, but frankly, I’m digging in powder. Well, it’ll grow back.

My wife took me aback, however, after mowing the lawn with our smallish 48” zero turn mower. She gave me hell on not replacing my plugs. That frustrated me. I always replace them. Every, single time. But after walking around with her, the plugs were most certainly NOT where the should have been.

What the heck. I’m a rookie. I’m learning. Maybe I screwed up. So I put them back in the holes and called it a day. But I’ll be damned if the next morning, more plugs were pulled out of the holes that I dug. Plugs that I know were there the evening before.

All this, leading up to a simple question. What the heck is happening?
Wait till she goes to bed then go ut at night its not like you need much light to metal detect.
 

Chilli

Hero Member
Feb 10, 2022
518
1,893
OZ
Detector(s) used
Xterra 705
animals can tell where you dug and investigate looking for food or maybe some lost acorns. Could be groundhogs, squirrels, skunks, muskrats, etc. Perhaps they think some other animal buried something to eat later. I've seen this on a bunch of holes dug by a buddy close to a river. Either that or the 'Jackass crew' is pranking you.
Absolutely. Here in Oz i can go detecting, dig, fill em in. Then a week later see my hole excavated! I used to think "huh"!
I learnt that many animals see and smell then check it out and dig it out.
I need zero convincing they do it now.
Many of our scrounging birds do it and some of our marsupials do too.
 

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