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TOPIC: Finding Those Summer Target Lines

Finding Those Summer Target Lines 5 years 11 months ago #14434

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Finding Those Summer Target Lines

Most beaches that are subject to tidal influence will have target lines, an area on the beach where items tend to settle and collect. Most often these target lines will run parallel to the shoreline but finding them isn't always easy. Yesterday I found one of these target lines and I was rewarded with a pouch full of coins and this awesome designer black hills gold wedding band. So let's take a look at how we can go about finding these summer target lines. Perhaps the best place to start is in understanding what causes these target lines.

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The Target Line Factors

Target lines are created by two factors, the first being the slope of the beach and the second being the force/energy of the incoming tide. Basically, the flatter the slope the lower these target lines, the steeper these slopes then the higher these target lines. Steep slopes are usually created because there is more force and energy behind the incoming tide, this force and energy serving to blast the sand back and up onto the beach. As this increased energy continues to push up the slope it pushes just about everything in its path right up the slope with it. Because this slope is steeper, when the water runs back down the slope its speed and energy is also increased and so it likewise drags everything in its path back down the slope. The key here, however, is the cresting point of all this activity, that point on these steeper slopes where all of this energy begins to subside during the transition from coming and going. Somewhere along this line targets have been routinely stranded and deposited due to the lack of energy to keep them moving during this transition. This is where to start looking for that summer target line along these steeper slopes.

On the other hand these target lines will generally be lower on the beach when the slopes have only a moderate angle, the amount of force and energy here not being strong enough to move items higher onto the beach or to drag them back to sea. This is why large flat areas of beach often hold a scattering of targets, because there isn't enough force or energy in the tidal exchange to move and collect items and so these items remain where they lay. Targets on these flatter sections of beach also tend to sink faster because the summer sand here is generally softer and looser. It's for this same reason that storms can bring about some fantastic hunting, the increased force and energy of the sea redistributing the sand and the items within.

Searching For Target Lines

Today I went to a different section of beach, a popular section with a decent slope leading down to the low tide waterline. I started at one end of this stretch guessing that the target line would be somewhere between twenty to thirty feet above the low tide waterline. From here I simply started working a broad line back and forth from about ten feet above the waterline to about forty feet up onto the beach. I wasn't really all that surprised when I started encountering routine targets in a broad line about twenty to thirty feet above the waterline. Once I found this broad line of targets I simply narrowed the width of my passes in order to keep my coil over that target line as much as possible.

Iron is also a good indicator that you may be over a target line as iron is generally heavy and it tends to settle in the same general area on these slopes. Most target lines will be anywhere from ten to fifteen feet wide depending on the angle of the slope being hunted. Another reason why it seldom pays to hunt below these target lines in the summer is because the sand below these targets is often too soft and too deep to support anything heavier then pull tabs and bottle caps, etc. Most often when you encounter these target lines the sand will be noticeably denser then the sand below these lines.

Today I came away from that first target line with the usual assortment of coins, a large designer .925 star pendent, a .925 “Amore” ring, a heavy tungsten carbide junker, and also a couple of pieces of heavier costume jewelry. No gold today but there could have easily been gold in this target line as well and just might be the next time around.

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The key thing to keep in mind here is that by locating these target lines I'm able to keep my coil over the most productive sections of summer beach possible. The other thing to keep in mind is that gold will be in these same target lines where these other fairly dense items have collected, such being the case with the 6 gram designer black hills gold ring displayed at the beginning of this thread.

And now the part that you're probably not going to like, “most of these targets were fairly deep,” say somewhere between 8 to 10” down. Some of the coins were even deeper. The black hills ring was probably just as deep. Folks, it's just a summer condition that you can't get away from with so much fine sand piled onto the beach. This isn't to say that you can't hunt these target lines with a shallow hunting machine because you can, it's just a good example of the advantage of having a deep hunting machine setup. In the summer these denser targets are going to sink quickly unless they are lost on areas of dense beach, which is a pretty difficult thing to find in all the right locations.

Anyway, just thought I would pass all of this along so some of you can try this summer tactic yourself. Hopefully it will help lead you to some enjoyable and productive summer hunting.
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