Help in searching for abandoned wasted hunting cartridges


#1

The area where I live used to be sparsely populated until recently. There are still many abandoned hunting tree stands in the forest. Since I do not hunt, I have the following question. Do hunters pick wasted ammo from the ground? Does it make sense to probe the area around tree stands with a metal detector?


#2

Hey Vlad

Can’t imagine much of a search went on for any cases ejected into the underbrush. Focus would have been on the target which, generally, was in a hurry to leave the area. There might be a couple or three .30-30s or .270’s or .30-06s in and around those old stands. Other than the joy of being about in the woods, can’t imagine much gain in finding the spent cases.


#3

Are they or were they allowed to hunt with rifles? Or just Shotguns and Bows?

Steve


#4

Vlad–I would not waste my time today, as an adult, searching for fired cases in the woods, but that is exactly how I got started collecting back in 1958. I grew up in Northern Michigan and practically lived in the woods during the summer. I started out picking up empty cases found on logging roads (or two-tracks as we called them). Moved from there to raking the ground around hunting cabins and blinds. Not even sure if Metal Detectors, except surplus military ones, were even available back then, but I sure could not have afforded one even if they were. Found lots of old cases. Some dating back to the 1920’s. Occasionally even found a live round accidently dropped or ejected. Of course, by my standards as an adult, those childhood “Treasures” were mostly junk, but I spent MANY hours of enjoyable time in the woods looking.


#5

Good point.
Many States have to regulate the weapon options. Excessive range being the issue. Probably just shotgun shells or bits of archery items left and buried. Used to get to filch around Ft. Dix whilst a Cub Scout on camp-outs. Lots of blanks and enbloc clips collected back then. C-ration leftovers. P38s. The detritus of war.
I imagine that’s no longer a Merit Badge qual. :-)


#6

I think Ron hit the nail on the head, even if your expectations are not high its great fun looking.


#7

sksvlad, as a once avid hunter and now more of a collector, I commend you for thinking up ways to improve your collection! But I doubt you will find many treasures around old hunting stands. In many years of stomping old and well used hunting grounds I found only 1 old shell case… or part of it. Only the head of an old Nitro Club shotshell remained and I still have it somewhere. Brass cases will last longer but most likely will be fairly new stuff.

A better place to look is in old buildings around old country homes. Here in SC there are many old plantations where outbuildings remain. Some really neat stuff has been found in them. Of course, you need to get permission from the owners first and many will turn you down but others will not. Lots of these old properties are bought by outsiders who don’t want old ordnance around and eagerly invite you to search and remove.

Since I started collecting seriously, I have mentioned it in social settings and the goods have just rolled in! Granted, most is of little value, even to me, but some has been pretty cool. One fellow brought me an old revolver with 5 .32 RF rounds STUCK in the cylinder. It had been his Grandmothers and she was the last to load it! So all kinds of things come out when people know your interest. Of course, I do not socialize with the Brady Bunch.

Good luck and happy hunting!


#8

Vlad

As a used-to-be metal detecter I can tell you that it is an enjoyable activity, out in the fresh air, and you’ll be surprised at the things you will find.

One word of caution - do not metal detect on any public property. Most cities, states, and the federal govt have very strict laws concerning artifacts and you can get into big trouble in a big hurry.

Ray


#9

On the other hand, you never know! Back in the 1960s, I was shown 5 or 6 fired Smith Rubber cases that were found buried in the dirt below a window of an old adobe wall standing out in the desert of Arizona. Wish the cases could talk!


#10

Any time spent in the wood I view as a good time…finding cartridges make it even better!!!

Steve


#11

Metal detecting is good fun and you will find lots more than just old cases. You should consider it seriously

However, they are cursed by the establishment archaeologists because they strip the areas bare.

Here in Britain the mainstay of the metal detectors still seems to be Roman coins which are found in amazing numbers. You might think because of their age they would be valuable but they only fetch the equivilent of a dollar or so.
Any old piece of junk is interesting if you dig it up yourself.


#12

It depends what Roman coin it is. The ones seen for sale cheaply often have no surface stamping left on them, but the silver and gold ones can be much more valuable.


#13
  • @ sksvlad: Back in Romania when I was a kid I was able to find [in the woods, mountains, etc.] a lot of old shell cases from WW1 and WW2 [6.5X53R Mannlicher, 7.92X57, 7.62X54R, 9mm Steyr, 7.62X25 Tokarev, etc.] The trenches of WW1 were barely visible in 1960s but it was no need of a metal detector which I could not get anyway. The area aroud the town of Ploesti was full of fired shell case hidden less than one inch into the ground [.50" / 12.7X99 from the USAAF planes which had bombed the oil fields of Ploesti in 1943-44, .52" / 13.2X99 from the Romanian planes and 13.2mm AA guns and 20X138B and 37X263B of German manufacture, etc.] I was extremely happy to see that some of the .50" /12.7X99 fired brasss shell cases had my initials “SL” on the headstamp. You’ll never know what you can find just looking down to the ground when you walk into the woods or other areas. Liviu 03/03/09 P.S. I do remember taking a close photo to an old WW1 7.92X57 broken round as I found it on the ground after 60 years on some mountain trail.

#14

Living in Colorado, my wife and I walk the hills on weekends and finding an empty brass, we stand and look around and try to figure where the game animal may have been standing when the shot was taken. In our remote area I have found a ridgetop that had a game trail close by and on top of the ridge found many tarnished and trampled 40-82 WCF emptys. Must have been some oldtimers hunting spot for years. Since then if I fire a round at a game animal I leave the empty for posterity. Buffalo still can be found here in private herds and occasionally the herd has to be thinned. The one I took I used an original Sharps MODEL 1863-1864 carbine I borrowed and used an early unheadstamped original round of 50-70 ammo. I left the empty where it fell. Someday someone will find the empty and knowing this was buffalo country may conclude a buffalo was shot with this round which it was ,only 130 years after the round was made.


#15

The Romans used to throw small denomination coins away for luck, as a gift to the gods to buy favour or what ever. The idea still survives to the present day in the idea of dropping coins in a wishing well or tossing salt over your shoulder for luck. Roman soldiers were paid in salt, the origin of the word salary.
The areas round Roman settlements and roads give up a lot of these coins but modern agricultural chemicals have done more to corrode them in the past 20 years than the elements have managed to do in the previous 1800 years.
This corrosion aspect has implications for anything else that lies buried including cartridges.

If anyone is interested (Sorry, I know its off topic) search for “roman coins” on ebay. You will find loads being sold as found and ungraded.


#16

They also used to bury their money before going off to battle. Thats why you find bunches of coins together.

Steve


#17

[quote=“Vince Green”]

The Romans used to throw small denomination coins away for luck, as a gift to the gods to buy favour or what ever. The idea still survives to the present day in the idea of dropping coins in a wishing well or tossing salt over your shoulder for luck. Roman soldiers were paid in salt, the origin of the word salary.
The areas round Roman settlements and roads give up a lot of these coins but modern agricultural chemicals have done more to corrode them in the past 20 years than the elements have managed to do in the previous 1800 years.
This corrosion aspect has implications for anything else that lies buried including cartridges.

If anyone is interested (Sorry, I know its off topic) search for “roman coins” on ebay. You will find loads being sold as found and ungraded.[/quote]

I had heard that about the word salary before. The only part I don’t know is what were the soldiers expected to do with the salt once they had been paid in it. Apparently it was considered valuable at the time, would they sell it on?


#18

Falcon, what the heck, I’ll deviate from original topic too. Salt is a crucial nutrient, animals lick salt off the ground for a good reason. Salt was in a short supply years ago, and very valuable. Remember Gandi and his march to the ocean to get salt? Brits knew what they were doing by contolling salt prices. Anyhow, the best way to see salt is through German language. “Soldbuch” means “paybook” and “sold” looks like “salt”. Look here for history wehrmacht-awards.com/documents/soldbuch.htm


#19

Sksvlad Where in New York State are you referring to with this thread?


#20

So would the average Roman soldier have gone and sold his salt once he got home from the battle?