Digging the Perfect Plug

It seems that Spring has finally arrived. The weather this past week has been beautiful. I hope everyone has been finding some time to get out and dig. This week's blog is about digging the perfect plug. When you cut the perfect plug it not only helps you to recover your target more easily and efficiently, but it also leaves behind very little evidence that a hole was ever even dug in that location. If you master the art of digging the perfect plug, the grass within a day or two will look like it was never even disturbed. You also won't wind up scratching your find.

When digging, your goal should always be to keep the grass looking pristine and to leave behind zero trace that you were ever digging. No one, including yourself, should be able to tell where you dug. You should always use digging tools that are designed for metal detecting. Big shovels not only look intimidating to others, but they make it pretty impossible to cut the perfect plug. With a big shovel, you physically just aren't able to cut a small sized hole. The blade is just too big and it won't allow for you to do so. Digging tools designed for metal detecting have sharper blades and are designed in such a way that they help to minimize any damage to the grassy areas where you dig .

Step 1: Locate the center of the target

Use your metal detector to pinpoint the location of the target. Once you pinpoint the target you are ready to begin digging.

Step 2: Begin to cut the plug

Pierce the soil with your digging tool and make letter U or horseshoe shaped cut. You'll want to make 3-4 inch radius around the center of where you pinpointed your target so that you don't accidentally damage the target with your digging tool. Leave one section of the plug attached, creating a hinge. Doing this helps to ensure that the grass roots won't be damaged from the hole you made. Then simply pop the plug and flip it over so that you’ve opened the hole with the hinge of dirt and grass still connected to the ground.

Step 3: Retrieve the target Rescan the hole. Scan the plug. Locate where the target is. Excavate it from either the plug or hole. Take care to keep any excess dirt in the hole. Step 4: Repair your plug Once the target has been retrieved put all of the dirt back in the hole. Complete a quick sweep across the grass to remove any loose dirt. Put the plug back into place making sure it lines up correctly and then pat the plug with your foot or digging tool so that everything is firm once again. Please, please, please always remember to fill in your holes. Open holes can cause injuries to occur. Not to mention the bad reputation they give our great hobby. When you are finished digging, the grass should look pristine. This will keep the homeowners who gave you permission happy too. When digging in grassy areas, a towel or piece of cardboard can be quite useful. You can dump any loose dirt on it and it will help to contain the mess. Also when it's very hot out in the Summer you should use caution when digging in the grass. I'd recommend on hot days you just avoid detecting people's lawns or public parks all together. Digging in really hot and dry conditions shocks the root system. The grassroots will die and cause patches of brown grass. It won't be pretty. We don't want to give anyone a reason to ban metal detecting in public parks and such so remember to always practice proper digging etiquette and to use appropriate digging tools when out metal detecting. The ESMDA club is planning another Spring hunt in some of our local parks. Last year, we received complaints regarding the size of shovels people were using and the condition people were leaving the parks in. Please, please, please fill in your holes. Other people should not have to go around and repair the mess that someone else made. Thanks! Happy Hunting!

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