Before driving to help someone find a ring, these are the questions I ask so that I know what I’m getting into and to lead the discussion. It’s important that the ring owner think hard about their situation, and important to me that I don’t waste a trip:
- Did you feel the ring come off?
… success goes way up.
- How big of an area was it lost in?
… too much area, it’s often a lost cause.
- How long ago was it lost? When did you notice it missing?
… this gets them talking about the event / loss.
- Is it in water?
… lakes, ponds, rivers are off limits for me.
- What material is the ring? How thick is it?
… gold can be a lot easier to find (low tones)
- Are there chain link fences nearby?
… these affect the metal detector.
- Is there an invisible dog fence nearby (within 3 houses?) Can you get it shut off?
… a nightmare – detectors go nuts nearby, so find out who owns it so you can ask them to shut it off.
- How old is the property upon which it was lost?
… how much other junk in the ground?
- How close to the road is it? Is it a picnic area?
… junk, junk, junk! traffic, traffic, traffic!
- Was it lost near livestock? What kind?
… livestock eats rings and stomp them into the ground.
- What have you done thus far in searching?
… get a sense for what they’ve done and how motivated they are. I do not want to be taken advantage of.
- Were you wearing gloves when you lost the ring?
… gloves can fling rings 30′ … and the ring can be in the glove still.
- Were you doing vigorous activity?
… how far from their hand the ring may have flown
- Is the grass its in about to be mowed?
… allows you to tell them to try to stop it. Mowing throws rings.
- Is there anything metal covering the ground?
… I once got called to a place that had 1/2″ mesh buried 2-3″ in the ground to keep the dog from digging. No kidding.
- Has anyone else used a detector to look for it?
… Unscrupulous detectorists may have come, found the ring and taken off.. sorry to say.
- Is there anything dangerous about the location?
… Include anything dangerous in the situation, dogs, including poison ivy, razor wire, alligators, etc.
- Is there dog shit on the ground where it was lost?
… Until it’s cleaned up, I’m not coming over. I hate dog shit on my gear and my feet.