How To Dig a Plug

One of the first places that new metal detectorists learn how to dig a plug is in their own yard. Digging a proper plug is important in more ways than one. The goal is to retrieve a target without leaving holes all over the place in an effort to leave the area in as good of shape as it was when you found it. It’s common knowledge that the fastest way to get our hobby banned is to leave holes all over the place.

One way of making sure that the grass doesn’t die is to cut your plug straight up and down and not at an angle like cutting a pumpkin top. The idea is to cut far enough through the root layer so the least amount of damage is done to the root system. Likewise, by cutting your plug straight up and down, only the outside edge of the root ball will be disturbed allowing the root system to mostly remain intact and spread easily.

Cutting a wider plug can be beneficial in two ways. First, by cutting a wider plug you leave enough distance from the target and edge of the plug which helps avoid scratching a valuable target with your digger. Secondly, a wider plug will keep the grass from being ripped out by a lawn mower and there will be more chance that the grass will live.

GoneHunting73 demonstrates the Proper Target Recovery technique in this video:

There are a few ways that you can make a plug. Some detectorists cut an O shaped plug, and remove the plug entirely. Others like to make a U or V shaped plug, leaving the back side of the plug to act as a hinge so that the plug can be replaced easily. I prefer the latter U shaped technique because it helps keep the plug from being thrown by a lawn mower. If I am woods hunting, any style plug will do, as long as the dirt is replaced back in the hole, I’ve done my job.

Someone once asked if they absolutely have to replace their plugs when in the middle of the woods. The answer is simple: If the area is good enough to metal detect, then it’s good enough to warrant filling your holes.

Basketball Hall of Famer John Wooden said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

Happy Hunting my Friends!


Garrett Edge Digger $33.96 Lesche Digging tool $49.95

Sampson T Handle $63.95

About Ozarks

I enjoy Metal Detecting in The Ozark Mountains and surrounding areas where I primarily detect for relics and coins. I have tested and used over 20+ metal detectors as a dealer and Company Sponsored 'Pro Staff' Product Tester. Previously Senior Editor of Detecting365 Metal Detecting Magazine for 7 years. I have authored over 200+ articles published on multiple metal detecting websites and magazines. I have real world experience testing metal detectors in the field and enjoy teaching others how to become better metal detectorists. Questions? Shoot me a contact email! Check out my Recommended Metal Detecting Supplies here:
This entry was posted in Arkansas Metal Detecting, Detecting Videos, Doing Good, Metal Detecting, Metal Detecting Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How To Dig a Plug

  1. Joe says:

    Very educational video on how to dig a plug! Love the blog its one of the best metal detecting blogs out there!

  2. DacksDigz says:

    Well written written content , appreciate the information!

  3. Erick Dutkiewicz says:

    Absolutely indited subject matter, Really enjoyed reading!

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