Winter Treasure Hunting in Upstate New York, page 7
Attempting to Locate Fort Site in the Field by Searching for Nail-Infested Spot
After the folks left, I suggested to Rodney to leave his project until better (warmer) times, and to metal detect shallow targets like I did. So he began moving towards the crossroads. I decided to move into the field and to a highest point which could be a good strategic point for establishing the fort. If I could locate a nail-infested spot there, Rodney and I could come back to the site later and relic hunt under normal conditions.
As I mentioned before, the only problem I had was the 7-inch search coil which was too small for field reconnaissance. Having no choice, I used everything available to me - actually just two controls: Discrimination and Sensitivity. I set the Discrimination level at minimum, cranked up Sensitivity, grabbed my shovel to use it in case I hit a 'soft' spot, and began exploring a vast area.
Site of Fort Paris Was Somewhere in This Corn Field
To tell you the truth, it was a bummer. I came across many beer bottle cups, pieces of wire, modern nails and all other kinds of junk. Not a single wrought-iron square nail! And only after a couple of hours of feeling like a real loser, I dug up (I found a soft spot!) a musket ball of the Revolutionary War period. It had a characteristic white patina.
A Musket Ball of Colonial Type
I circled the area around the spot of my relic find, but there were no other musket balls or anything that old. Most likely this musket ball was just a "one-hit-wonder" - it could be a single shot fired from any direction and fly any distance just like during hunting. The signs of being fired and hitting soft flesh - either an animal or human, were visible on the musket ball but did not add any clue to my investigation.
And that was it for our searching for the fort. Rodney and I barely covered 5% of the area containing the fort site, and we were exhausted. We could have missed the hot spot by a few yards, or the place could have been heavily pounded by experienced relic hunters at some point in the past. With minimum resources we had, winning a 'jackpot' would be next to impossible anyway. And, once again, our hunt's outcome confirmed a simple rule: "no research, no "jackpot"!"
Despite poor results, Rodney and I nevertheless accomplished something - we started our metal detecting season in February and did not give up while facing real challenges! That was worth of celebration! And that was what we did - three of us, Rodney, Rodney's wife and I, went to a local bar where some rock band was having a gig, and had a ton of fun.
Rodney and Sergei at Local Bar