Friday, November 07, 2014


     After a long summer, I had hoped October would be a good month for finding arrowheads. It wasn't. I got out there and looked but found very, very little. One weekend day I spent the entire afternoon scouring a very likely spot where I have had lots of luck- but not this time. I thought I might walk away with a handful of points but found just a few rather crude pieces, all quartz, all broken, hardly worth showing at all. Frustrating.
     Last weekend I didn't go out at all. I often say my hobby is about looking for arrowheads, not actually finding them. But coming up with nothing over and over gets old after a while. It's tough to stay motivated when hope of a find fades away. Finding arrowheads is extremely addictive but when you aren't finding them, it's a terrible hobby.
     On Wednesday November 5 I had an appointment early in the morning. On the way there, I drove past a place where I have looked for arrowheads before. My friend Dave had identified the place. I never found anything there, but Dave found a Neville point and a quartz scraper, in the spring. I clocked the mileage from the spot to where my appointment was. 1.1 miles. I had to sit and wait and I kept thinking about how much I would have rather been out there searching, it was such a nice day, nice weather, bright overcast- perfect lighting for looking for stuff. Finally, I got a short break. 30 minutes of free time. I ran the numbers in my mind. 5 minutes to walk to my car, a 5 minute drive, then a 3 minute walk to get to the place with arrowheads, then I had to do it all in reverse to get back at the end of the break. Leaving me exactly 4 minutes to look for arrowheads. Well, I had nothing else to do on my break, and at the very least, I could see if conditions there were good, I could come back on the weekend.
     I walked to the car, drove to a place where I could park, walked in. A large flat area near a river. Part of this area is just a little bit higher up than the rest. It's like a really low little ridge, very narrow, only a foot or two higher than the surrounding terrain. No wider than a car. Dave found arrowheads on the end of this ridge that is most distant from the river. To me, looking at the area, with only 4 minutes to look, I felt like the most likely-looking spot was the other end of that ridge, closer to the water. It's where I would put a tent, if I had to camp there today. I headed that way, looking at the ground. The exposure was patchy with very few rocks visible. Conditions were rather poor. After a couple of minutes I came to the spot I wanted to check, the little piece of high ground. In this place there were hoof prints from a deer. In one tiny spot the deer had turned the ground a little bit, with its hoof or maybe with an antler, rooting for food perhaps. There was a shallow little scrape about 1-2 inches deep and about 6-8 inches in diameter. In this little scrape there was a tiny glint of quartz, something barely exposed, hardly visible. I wondered if it might be a chip or flake, a clue that this was a good spot to look. It would make me happy to find a flake. I reached down and pulled the tiny stone from the earth.
     I almost passed out. It's really small but perfect. What the old-time collectors call a "bird point." I could not believe it. Only the edge of the base had been barely exposed. I put it in the pocket of my jeans and went back to the car. 2 minutes. I walked straight to it. Had that deer scratched the ground a few inches in either direction it would have remained buried.
     This is the first whole arrowhead I had found in more than 14 weeks. More than 3 months...
     I will be back at that place this weekend, for some hours. I won't be surprised if I don't find anything at all. Looking for arrowheads on the surface of the earth is a pastime that makes one a believer in luck.


Menotomy Maps said...

You had some help from that deer. No question.

pwax said...

Hunting for rock pile sites is addictive too.