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|