Beach and Shallow Water Hunting – Buying Sand Scoops for Recovering Targets More Efficiently
In the previous column in this section we covered some tips in selecting the right water detector. This month we will cover the tools needed to recover the targets your detector has located.
A recovery tool of some sort is the most important piece of equipment that you will use in your searches, second only to your metal detector. Selecting one that doesn’t meet your needs will only lead to frustration and missed targets. So, even if you already have a scoop, this article will give you some points to consider in terms of what makes a good tool which will help improve your in-field success.
For wading, a long-handled scoop is preferred by most hunters. While several plans have been published showing how to build your own scoop
, a “store-bought” version using a field-proven design will last longer and save you hours in construction time. The scoop should be made of materials that will hold up under even the most demanding conditions. A heavy gauge steel or stainless steel is recommended. The bottom of many abandoned, and even some in-use, beaches will be comprised of rocks, shells, clay, and other debris. A Lightweight scoop which may work fine on a sandy beach will quickly become bent and damaged under these conditions. Even sandy beaches such as those in Florida will ruin a scoop due to the depth most of the new detectors are capable of finding targets at. The better scoops will have a strong bucket which will allow you to push it into the bottom with your foot without damaging it (the bucket that is.) One thing to balance however is the weight of the scoop versus the durability. You want a scoop that you can use for extended periods of time yet will hold up over time. There are some scoops that are virtually indestructible; however, they weigh almost 10 pounds. Add in a full bucket of wet sand and you need to be a weightlifter in order to recover a target!
For recovering targets in the dry sand area of the beach, a hand scoop is the best piece of equipment for the job. Scoops can be purchased in a variety of designs and are made from either metal or plastic. While a metal scoop will be more durable than one made from plastic, a plastic scoop does have one distinct advantage. Once a plastic scoop has been filled with sand, you can sweep it across the top of the metal detector’s search coil to check if the target is in the scoop. This is especially helpful in those cases where more than one target may have been located in a small area.
Some beach hunters use a light-weight metal scoop with an adjustable handle which allows them to recover targets from the dry sand areas without bending over. If you are planning on searching for extended periods of time then this design will be mush easier on your back than other designs.
In summary, take your time in selecting the tool for recovering targets from the beach or shallow water. The right one will make you life so much easier and your target recovery rate will improve.