Where to metal detect?
Search out those areas known to produce gold nuggets. Many recreational prospecting and metal detecting clubs have claims that members can work. There are also areas open to the public that can be worked. If your after coins, you need to search areas that have been frequented by lots of people. Parks, ball fields, church yards, fairgrounds, beaches, school yards, Old battlefields, bivouac sites, march routes, wagon trails, old homesteads, ghost towns. We have several metal detecting clubs you can join located in Wisconsin.
Keep your eyes open for road construction. A hundred years ago these roads were just dirt and well used and. Also look for sidewalks that are being pulled up in the same area, if there are old businesses there the sidewalks in front were most likely boardwalks and plenty of coins fell through the cracks...
I always keep a small notebook and a pen handy when I'm driving around town, especially a town I have never been to. This way you can write down an address of a potential site, directions to an out of the way area, and locations of landmarks.
If you know of some elderly persons in your area ask them if they can tell you where the old vacant lots and playgrounds were located when they were kids.
Check your local library for books about ghost town in your area. Ghost towns used open wells for most of their drinking water and sometimes townsfolk would throw things in the well to hide them from the local sheriff. One must use extreme caution when exploring Wells, Most of then can be death traps..
The next time you are driving in the country after the crops have been harvested, look the fields for any form of depression. If you can see one, chances are good that there was a home there at one time and the fill that was put in the cellar hole to fill it has settled into that depression. These depressions are much more noticeable after a heavy rain or if snow had been blowing around and filled it in. Also search for old fence posts or tree stumps in the area because some farmers who didn't believe in modern banking would hide cashes of loot near landmarks on their own land. And don't forget about the outhouse.
The number one key to success is location. This is the factor that dictates your time in the field. If you spend at least 50% of your time researching a spot to hunt (that others have not pounded), your quality and quantity of finds will double. It's those out of the way sites that you can find by simply asking an old-timer from the area, or using maps, that will lead you to an UN-hunted site to search..
°Never Trespass - Respect Property and Always Get Permission.
°Dig Properly - Fill All Holes. Leave the Area Cleaner and Better Than When You Arrived.
°If you discover any item of significant historical interest, notify the local historian or museum.
°If you discover any lethal object, do not touch, notify the police.
°Dispose of litter or trash in proper containers.
°Obey all laws and ordinances that may pertain to a site.
°Protect our heritage of natural resources, wildlife, and private property.
°Be courteous to all, you are a representative of our hobby/sport.