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Hi all,

Thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Tom from Central Texas, but I spent the first

40 odd years of my life in Southern New Mexico. I'm an amateur astronomer off &

on for 20+ years, and now I'm interested in space things I can actually touch.

I'm also a ham radio operator and a general electronics geek.

I'm pretty familiar with the basics of meteorites and am studying the stuff I'm

not familiar with, like metal detector technology.

I do have a couple of basic questions...particularly for those of you familar

with meteorite hunting in New Mexico.

No...I don't want directions to Glorietta...LOL.

Regarding metal detectors...I'm looking at detectors in the $500-$800 range,

like the Whites GMT, Fisher Gold Bug II...and similar. Do you have any guidence

for models that can handle the various mineralized soils common in the desert of

New Mexico?

My second question regards legalities of meteorite hunting in New Mexico.

Through family and accquaintences, I have access to a fair amount of private

property, and with permission, I assume, hunting and digging for meteorites is

no problem. I'm wondering about any legal issues with hunting and possibly

digging on BLM or National Forest land. Are any permits or special requirements

in place for meteorite hunting on these public lands? Particularly if I need to

dig? I know hunting and digging antiquities is highly restricted...I just can't

find much that mentions meteorite hunting.

Thanks for your patience. Looking forward to learning more about this hobby.

Later...

--

Tom

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Tom,

Hello and welcome!

No directions to Glorieta! That's a first! Just kidding.

I own a White's GMT and have found all my meteorites with it. Once you learn the ins and outs of it and learn how to balance it properly to the area you are hunting, you will love it. I have used the stock coil 90% of the time and it remains my favorite. I have also used a White's Sierra Gold Max coil. The Max for me is very sensitive to mineralized ground and about drove me nuts. I have found several iron meteorites with it. Hopefully Ben will chime in along with many others on the forum for better technical advice. I also own a Minelab Sd2200V2. It is a sweet machine!! I have yet to find a meteorite with it. I just favor my GMT. Ruben Garcia from the forum recommended the GMT when I was first looking at the many detectors on the market. Thanks Ruben for the good advice.

When I first started out I received very good advice from many of the respected members on this forum. I have also hunted with and still receive information from a few on the list who hardly post. Thanks T-Rex and all the members here for answering all my questions! Good guys here on this forum. You will learn all you need to know about meteorites here.

I was at the Albuquerque BLM office on Friday getting permits for moss rock and I inquired about metal detecting on BLM land. The woman working the desk had no clue about any of my questions. The info I looked up that night says you can not metal detect. Other information said with written permission it is OK. I think it just depends on the area you are interested in hunting. Check with your local office for permission.

Private land hunting is a good thing. You can keep what the land owner gives you permission to.

You mentioned the antiquities act, look at this:

The Antiquities Law remember is not a metal detecting law, but reads as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States, without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of the Government having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

National Forest land depends on which one you are interested in hunting. Take the Lincoln National forest for example: Metal Detecting, Treasure Hunting & Geocaching is allowed, without permits, unless they are a commercial (business) venture. Commercial Activities require a permit, as does any excavating or removal of a treasure.

Under all of these activities, it is the responsibility of the user to avoid disturbing, altering or removing archaeological, paleontological or historical objects from the Lincoln National Forest. Archaeological/historical sites are defined as “any remnants of mans activities or behavior that is 50 years old, or older.”

So Tom, check with the forest service or BLM office for the area you want to hunt before hunting.

Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!

Dean

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Hi Tom and welcome to the forum.... :icon_mrgreen:

While your at the BLM office you can obtain a yearly permit to be on BLM land. If your 100% disabled you can get a lifetime permit for free. :coffeetime:

Best wishes and happy hunting,

jim "bones" :outtahere:

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Hi Tom and welcome to the forum.... :icon_mrgreen:

While your at the BLM office you can obtain a yearly permit to be on BLM land. If your 100% disabled you can get a lifetime permit for free. :coffeetime:

Best wishes and happy hunting,

jim "bones" :outtahere:

What's the Permit Permit you to do?

You don't need any permit to be on the land.

Metal Detecting

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metal detecting is a recreational activity that people do to find coins, jewelry, and precious metals. Metal detecting is allowed on BLM lands as long as no artifacts are removed. Artifacts should be left alone and reported to the appropriate Field Office. Avoid all cultural and archeological sites. The Metal Detecting enthusiast may remove some rocks (handful) from areas such as picnic areas, campground areas, and recreational sites. The enthusiasts may remove some rocks as long as there not being removed from another mining claim. Mining claims can be researched on the LR2000 (http://www.blm.gov/lr2000). Enthusiasts are only allowed to make minimal surface disturbance (i.e. removing a couple of stones for memories).

If you have any questions regarding your activities, then please contact the appropriate Field Office for authorization.

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Thanks for all the responses guys!

I anticipated there would be uncertainty regarding meteorite hunting on BLM land. It's been about 10 years since I've done much "boondocking" in NM...but back in the day...we didn't need any special permits to access BLM land for basic recreational use like camping or hunting. I was very active in the caving community (when my knees were younger) and we just needed permits to enter the caves. I just wanted to make a quick check here. I used to have several BLM contacts down in the Carlsbad office. I'll have to check and see if they're still there. I'm also on a small deer lease in Central Texas. I'll have to check with the land owner and see if he minds if I run a detector on his place.

Most of my initial hunting will probably be down in the Carlsbad area. That's where most of my family is, and I manage to visit there pretty regularly. My Sister lives on a 4,000 acre ranch there, so that will probably be my "training" ground. I doubt it will be very productive, but I have free access and I'll probably turn up lots of old ranch trash.

I'll have to look into the Lincoln National Forest. I'm pretty familiar with the area in the Guadalupe mountains. I did LOTS of caving and deer hunting there and I know over the years I've kicked a bunch of "strange looking" rocks, that in hind sight, probably deserved further examination.

So for now, I'll continue my studying and start to collect some tools of the trade. I'm going to check the thrift stores this weekend and look for something suitable to fabricate a magnet stick with some magnets I have. I'm thinking of buying some inexpensive meteorite samples to use as throwdowns and trainig aids. I'm a little unsure of what kind to get. Do you think some of the cheap NWA Chondrites would be OK to start out with?

At least this should be an interesting passtime and get me some much needed exercise... :innocent0009:

Later...

Tom

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Aloha caver,

If you have a GMT then you are on the right path to finding meteorites. As far as throwdowns are concerned, my advice is to get a specimen for the particular area you intend to hunt. You dont need anything over a 10 gram piece. I pefer using a smaller piece myself just so I can keep my ears "tuned" to that specific sound I need to hear. Did I mention you need to "PRACTICE A LOT".

Good luck with the GMT and if you need help with some setting just holler and a lot of us GMT user will usually step up to the plate to help another GMT user.

Good luck and be safe out there.

Stan aka Kaimi

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Guest bedrock bob

Hey Tom!

The area around Carlsbad is excellent for meteorites. A little research should give you several options. There are numerous finds and several papers written about the very old surface geology there. If you want a challenge take a crack at the El Paso meteorite. Everyone in a hundred mile radius saw (and heard)that darn thing fall and no one has found a speck to my knowledge. It is just around the corner in the Hueco Tanks area.

I spent a lot of time there in my youth too and had a ball in the Guadalupes. Sitting Bull Falls and Clear Creek was a favorite haunt of mine.

Have you ever been to Coffee Cave in the Black Range? Robberson's Cave?

Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

Oh, I almost forgot...

Glorieta is about 25 miles past Santa Fe on I-25. Just take the "Glorieta/Pecos" exit. Lots of nice folks, good food, and a big Baptist convention center and school. Lots of great folks but no meteorites. You will find that meteorites are not nessesarilly named for towns, and that there are mountains, creeks, canyons, and people all named "Glorieta". Then there are those fellows who find meteorites and say they got them one place, but really found them miles away.

That should clear things up a lot!

Good luck Tom! It sounds like you are a very interesting and adventuresome fellow! I am planing a few trips down south to do some hunting very soon. Keep in touch, we may just cross paths out there somewhere!

Bob

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Well...Thanks for all the words of encouragement.

First off...I don't have a GMT yet...but it's certainly one of the units at the top of my research list at the moment. I probably won't be purchasing till later in the Fall or maybe even the Christmas sales.

Yeah Bob...the southern part of New Mexico is my old stomping grounds. I was born and raised in Carlsbad and spent most of my college and post college life in Las Cruces. I moved to Austin Texas back in 96, chasing a better job market. Yes...I've been to the Black Range and have been in Coffee and Robberson's caves. I also did a lot of caving around Carlsbad. Endless & Mckittrick caves and a bunch up in the Guads. Lost...Black...Cottonwood...3 Fingers...and I don't know how many weekends just camping hiking and deer hunting. I don't know if you're familiar with the little monument with the airplane propeller up at Queen in the guads. That monument is to my Uncle...the "flying paperboy of the Guadalupes". His plane crashed near Queen back in the 60's and they put up that monument. He used to fly over the deer camps during deer season and drop the Carlsbad newspaper for the hunters.

It's encouraging to hear that the Carlsbad area is good for meteorites. My research so far has turned up an observed fall near Malaga back in the 30's...a Chondrite find at Lakewood, which now looks like it may be part of the Brantley lake recreation area north of Carlsbad and a few more finds back up towards the Cloudcroft/Mayhill area.

As I said above...my Sister has a ranch southwest of Carlsbad. LOTS of barren desert foothills I can get free access to. Between her...her kids and my other sisters kids that still live there, I can probably get permission for other ranches and maybe some leads. I'm going to have them ask around about "strange rocks" their rancher friends may have found. I'm hoping they know some ranchers over in the Portales and Clovis strewn fields. That would be a cool place to wander around.

Now I just have to convince them I'm not some crazy Texan that's going to want to bring in a backhoe and dig holes like those meteorite guys on TV... :innocent0009:

I'm just an old fart with bad knees who will be happy to find a few marble size pieces once in a while!

Later...

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Just a note on the metal-detecting on federal lands. Even though it is allowed, be careful of the Federal definition of "artifact". For the feds, anything fifty years old or older, is an artifact of historical impotance. This is ANY COIN dated 1959 or earlier and even includes an eighty-year-old, squasherd-flat, rusted-through tin can that was the trash of some miner or cow puncher. I personally, have never removed anything from the ground older than 49 years unless it was on private property and with the owner's permission, and to my knowlege, neither has any forum member. I KNOW you'll be responsible about these things now that you know.

Welcome to the forum, Ben

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Hi Tom,

Just a note on the metal-detecting on federal lands. Even though it is allowed, be careful of the Federal definition of "artifact". For the feds, anything fifty years old or older, is an artifact of historical impotance. This is ANY COIN dated 1959 or earlier and even includes an eighty-year-old, squasherd-flat, rusted-through tin can that was the trash of some miner or cow puncher. I personally, have never removed anything from the ground older than 49 years unless it was on private property and with the owner's permission, and to my knowlege, neither has any forum member. I KNOW you'll be responsible about these things now that you know.

Welcome to the forum, Ben

Oh yes...

I'm VERY aware of how human artifacts and antiquities are regarded. I'm only interested in meteorites & maybe minerals. Any potsherds, arrowheads or even horseshoes & tin cans will stay in situ on any public lands I hunt...and probably private as well, depending on the land owners instructions. I know in the case of my sister, she has a good relationship with the area archaeologists and such. There are some very old pictographs on a cliff face on her ranch...so my whole family is aware of and very into this kind of stuff. I'll probably just take a picture and record the GPS coordinates for the proper authorities.

Tom

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Guest bedrock bob
Well...Thanks for all the words of encouragement.

First off...I don't have a GMT yet...but it's certainly one of the units at the top of my research list at the moment. I probably won't be purchasing till later in the Fall or maybe even the Christmas sales.

Yeah Bob...the southern part of New Mexico is my old stomping grounds. I was born and raised in Carlsbad and spent most of my college and post college life in Las Cruces. I moved to Austin Texas back in 96, chasing a better job market. Yes...I've been to the Black Range and have been in Coffee and Robberson's caves. I also did a lot of caving around Carlsbad. Endless & Mckittrick caves and a bunch up in the Guads. Lost...Black...Cottonwood...3 Fingers...and I don't know how many weekends just camping hiking and deer hunting. I don't know if you're familiar with the little monument with the airplane propeller up at Queen in the guads. That monument is to my Uncle...the "flying paperboy of the Guadalupes". His plane crashed near Queen back in the 60's and they put up that monument. He used to fly over the deer camps during deer season and drop the Carlsbad newspaper for the hunters.

It's encouraging to hear that the Carlsbad area is good for meteorites. My research so far has turned up an observed fall near Malaga back in the 30's...a Chondrite find at Lakewood, which now looks like it may be part of the Brantley lake recreation area north of Carlsbad and a few more finds back up towards the Cloudcroft/Mayhill area.

As I said above...my Sister has a ranch southwest of Carlsbad. LOTS of barren desert foothills I can get free access to. Between her...her kids and my other sisters kids that still live there, I can probably get permission for other ranches and maybe some leads. I'm going to have them ask around about "strange rocks" their rancher friends may have found. I'm hoping they know some ranchers over in the Portales and Clovis strewn fields. That would be a cool place to wander around.

Now I just have to convince them I'm not some crazy Texan that's going to want to bring in a backhoe and dig holes like those meteorite guys on TV... :innocent0009:

I'm just an old fart with bad knees who will be happy to find a few marble size pieces once in a while!

Later...

Tom

I will bet that we know each other Tom. Las Cruces is my home and I too left to work in Austin about the same time. Worked in the oil patch in the early 80s around Carlsgood, Hobbs, and Artesia.

I am headed down that way in a few days and I wil PM you...maybe we can get together and swap some war stories. I have a lead on a couple of spots not too far east of Carlsbad that have produced a few stonies. Maybe we can develop an area together...

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Yeah Bob...It's possible we've crossed paths.

In the early 80's I was in C-Bad. I did stints as a radio news reporter, a telephone man and worked at the local TV station. When the TV station closed I moved to Las Cruces and worked in Electronic manufacturing. Been doing that ever since.

Yeah...give me a pm if you're going to be in the area and if schedules permit, maybe we can swap stories over some Mexican food. I know a couple of places in Austin that know the difference between Jalapenos and Green Chile... :innocent0009:

I wouldn't mind some pointers for all this. Cold hunting my sister's place is probably the hardest way to start!

--

Tom

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Yeah Bob...It's possible we've crossed paths.

In the early 80's I was in C-Bad. I did stints as a radio news reporter, a telephone man and worked at the local TV station. When the TV station closed I moved to Las Cruces and worked in Electronic manufacturing. Been doing that ever since.

Yeah...give me a pm if you're going to be in the area and if schedules permit, maybe we can swap stories over some Mexican food. I know a couple of places in Austin that know the difference between Jalapenos and Green Chile... :innocent0009:

I wouldn't mind some pointers for all this. Cold hunting my sister's place is probably the hardest way to start!

--

Tom

Dang! you sound like my path.

I jumped out of the USAF, Got tangled with a Micro wave out fit that Tangled with a Fiber Optic out fit that was caught cheating on the books that got closed down. World Com.... Don't Put yer money on Level 3!!!! There next! Every since then I've be doing Mondane jobs and what ever it took.

I'm not moving any more.

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Hey, Tom, Dean, & Homefire, Glad I caught your thread. Iv been hunting meteorites since '99 and was lucky enough to be in Gold Basin before it got pounded. Helped widen the bounderies of the strewn field. :icon_mrgreen: I had a lot of help, went to a couple of university meteorite departments and studied the ol Rocks from Space book. I'm sure not an expert but feel fairly confident in ID ing a meteorite. So here is the point, We moved back to Alamogordo in feb and I am looking forward to hunting areas between here and El Paso and any other interesting places and dont like to hunt alone. I would like to get together with any of you for a hunt. Im another ol fart with a neck surgery last year but still enjoy the desert, when its not so hot. Tom, Ill send you a meteorite, no charge, for testing if you want me to. Just let me know. Happy hunting! Randall

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Boy...

I'm really plesently surprised at the warm welcome I've gotten here. Thanks guys.

Growing up in New Mexico spoiled me! Sometimes I feel so isolated here in Texas. Everything is private land. To do anything outdoors, you have to "know someone"...be a member...pay some kind of fee...camp in the same place as everyone else and put up with crying kids and boomboxes. YUCK! :angry-smiley-010:

I miss the days of deciding to go boondocking at the last minute. All you needed was supplies, ammo and gas. Drive out into the desert or up to the mountains, set up camp and do your thing. The only other noise was the Coyotes off in the distance!

Ya just can't do that in very many places in Texas...but...this is where jobs in my field are, so I'll have to deal with it for a few more years.

In the meantime, I've been talking with a few friends at work who are into "treasure hunting" and rockhounding. I have a couple of them interested in meteorites and we may have some leads through "friends of friends" to some possible strewn fields a little closer to me than New Mexico. I still plan to do some hunting in NM on my visits to family & friends, but I'd like more than 1 or 2 hunting opportunities in a year! Places like Gold Basin or Franconia are a MAJOR trip from Austin and basically out of the question for me right now!

Thanks for the offer of a sample Randall. I may take you up on that...but I do have a few cheap unclassified NWA's on the way to me I plan to use as practice rocks for the time being. I figure they'll be close enough to get me started.

Oh yeah...and I just this evening, placed an order for a White's GMT...so next week I'll be prospecting my back yard! :icon_mrgreen:

What the heck...it's only money... :innocent0009:

Later...

Tom

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