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Arrowhead Hunting


CHIEF

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I need to get into this.  I hunt on some property north of Fredericksburg and know they have to be around there.  I'd be more inclined to hunt harder for these than four legged critters these days.  Need to watch that video and look for some guides specific to the Edwards Plateau.  

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We had a lease West of New Braunfels where the Bracken Bat Cave is.  Cibolo creek runs through it and it had a large exposed vein of chert.

My day found dozens of them there including spear points, tomahawk blades, and scrapers.  They must have been the seconds that they did not like once they were made but they looked good.  We also found them around the bat cave and the creek.

If I can find the pictures I'll post them.  My brother in Virginia was supposed to split them up when my dad died.  At this point I think he's keeping them.

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15 minutes ago, markstanco said:

How do you actively hunt for them? Years and years of leaves and shifting from rains and droughts tell me they are mostly a few inches underground.

In creeks, near rivers, they will be only a few inches down. Most of the guys on Youtube are digging 3-5 feet down. But they are finding points that are 6000-9000 years old, which are apparently more abundant. I'm gonna make my "starter hole" with the stump puller on my skid steer, then excavate with rakes, shovels, and garden tools. They are archaic aged points. My uncle has found most of his from the "Woodlands" age (2.5 feet down), I would venture most of mine are Woodland aged (3500 BP to 1000 BP) with the exception being my two favorites, they were less than 2.5 feet. I have a 42" deep trench dug across the high ground of my property at the moment, it is 335' long, for an electrical line. I walked it today and didn't find any "worked" flint or chert, kind of discouraging, but I'm gonna dig another area and see if I have any luck.

CHIEF

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I see them in lots of collections or items that go to auction in Virginia and Maryland but never know what's the real and what's been made recently.  There's also Civil War, War of 1812 and American Revolution artifacts around here so I'd have no idea where to even look.  I always enjoyed seeing other collections in Texas when I was a kid.  Now I just collect fossilized sharks teeth for the fun of it.  But even in these places along the Potomac River, people seem to find arrowheads and Civil War artifacts.  But your collection is awesome.

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50 minutes ago, Mdhorn said:

I see them in lots of collections or items that go to auction in Virginia and Maryland but never know what's the real and what's been made recently.  There's also Civil War, War of 1812 and American Revolution artifacts around here so I'd have no idea where to even look.  I always enjoyed seeing other collections in Texas when I was a kid.  Now I just collect fossilized sharks teeth for the fun of it.  But even in these places along the Potomac River, people seem to find arrowheads and Civil War artifacts.  But your collection is awesome.

My uncle says that there are quite a few in TCU's collection that one of their anthropology professors made. He said he watched him make some, and you can't tell them from authentic ones.

CHIEF

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We have a family ranch in northern Jack county where my dad found a shitload as a kid. The fields on that land are all in valleys so were likely prime hunting spots. When my great grandpa would plow the fields, dad would go out and find em by the pocketfull. 

I've never found any out there but the only times I'm ever out there is when I'm fishing or shooting things. Theres a really cool spring on one end where my dad found some old wagon/1800s stuff so we're pretty sure it was used as a watering hole for the Butterfield Stage. I bet if I spent a day digging up some dirt around that spring I'd find something. When my son is old enough I might make a trip out of that. 

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7 minutes ago, NorthLoop said:

We have a family ranch in northern Jack county where my dad found a shitload as a kid. The fields on that land are all in valleys so were likely prime hunting spots. When my great grandpa would plow the fields, dad would go out and find em by the pocketfull. 

I've never found any out there but the only times I'm ever out there is when I'm fishing or shooting things. Theres a really cool spring on one end where my dad found some old wagon/1800s stuff so we're pretty sure it was used as a watering hole for the Butterfield Stage. I bet if I spent a day digging up some dirt around that spring I'd find something. When my son is old enough I might make a trip out of that. 

Around springs are prime areas. I hate to break them, but a chisel plow would probably leave them intact, if you have a tractor. You could hit a pretty big area and you would at least know they are there, and if it would be a good place to dig.

CHIEF

 

Edited by CHIEF
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Hav a collection put together over about 40 years. Nothing Amazing, but thru civil war relic hunting you have access to areas that put you in the right spots.

our first home was on 5 acres, and the local tribes made flints, and heads in an area on our property of a large rock outcropping .  Used to find lots of started heads that were broken.

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15 hours ago, markstanco said:

How do you actively hunt for them? Years and years of leaves and shifting from rains and droughts tell me they are mostly a few inches underground.

When I was a young man, the milo and corn crops were cultivated with small  row-crop tractors. We had a Farmall B that had the driver seat offset to the side. it was very easy to spot arrowheads and pottery shards as you cultivated from that perch. We would walk the rows following a rain before the plants grew too tall to see through. We had a burial site on a hill overlooking a creek that gave up a treasure trove when K-State excavated it in the late 60s. The site is still there and has lots of points scattered about but it does require some digging to find them now.

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@CHIEF, @Cajun On the off chance you should ever find yourself in the Flint Hills part of Kansas, be sure to stop in Cottonwood Falls and see the Roniger Museum. https://chasecountychamber.org/roniger-memorial-musuem/ . It's a small building but they have an outstanding collection of artifacts from the area. My wife's family has donated some of the flint points on display.

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1 hour ago, Shoxthemonkey said:

When I was a young man, the milo and corn crops were cultivated with small  row-crop tractors. We had a Farmall B that had the driver seat offset to the side. it was very easy to spot arrowheads and pottery shards as you cultivated from that perch. We would walk the rows following a rain before the plants grew too tall to see through. We had a burial site on a hill overlooking a creek that gave up a treasure trove when K-State excavated it in the late 60s. The site is still there and has lots of points scattered about but it does require some digging to find them now.

My Dad had dozer business when I was young, and our dozer operator spotted them that way. Probably the best I have ever seen at spotting an arrowhead or other artifact. He could spot them from 50-60 feet away, so he has a rather big collection. He was a trapper, so was always keenly observant. He would see a set of truck tracks in the dirt and could tell you exactly whose truck it was because he knew what tread pattern was on everybody's vehicle. 

A freshly plowed field next to a creek is definitely worth going and asking the property owner for permission to go look for artifacts. It's a fun way to get the family out of the house and out into nature. Usually, they are hooked after their first find.

TT, that is a helluva collection. That's the only other scraper, that is identical to mine, that I've seen.

CHIEF

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Cool topic, I have a bunch I’ve found on my place out west of Austin.   Mostly cutters and scrapers, but a couple of arrowheads, bird points and one giant spear point.   The coolest thing I found though, was after a hard rain/flood along the wet weather creek, I saw some flakings in one spot, scraped around a bit, and found a core sitting there with all the busted off pieces next to it, right where whoever was working it left it.  

Fyi off Hamilton Pool Road near Verde’s there are 2 hills called Flint Knob and Chalk Knob, where natives used to travel to to gather chert cores.

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A friend of mine here in Waco is retired and does this. I went out with him one day a couple of years ago and he shared some of his "secrets" with me.  South 3rd street just outside of Waco runs along the Brazos and is good old river bottom black dirt farmland. The actual river bottom is sand. He says that when the Indians would camp they would have the women folk haul sand up to the campsite to spread around because the black dirt was, well, either dusty or muddy. If you can find someone who flies or even ag office aerial photos of a particular field you can spot the light color of the sand that marks the old camp sites. He'll identify a field and then add it to his list of places to drive by. When he sees that one of these spots has been recently plowed he'll go walk the part of the field with the lighter colored soil. He does well with just this one method. He also does creek hunting but the plowed fields are the easiest way. 

Edited by El Diablo
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  • 1 month later...

We find flakes all the time around our camphouse at the deer lease whenever it rains.  It's on top of a hill right above a small creek, which my archeologist wife says is always the best place.  The coolest thing we found up there is a hematite axe head.  It's polished so smooth it looks like metal.  We didn't actually find it.  Previous hunters at our lease did and left it propped up against the base of a mesquite tree next to the camphouse.  My wife found an old fire hearth like 20 yards from my feeder the first time she went there with us.

Edited by kevwun
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  • 1 month later...
On 5/19/2021 at 3:00 PM, kevwun said:

We find flakes all the time around our camphouse at the deer lease whenever it rains.  It's on top of a hill right above a small creek, which my archeologist wife says is always the best place.  The coolest thing we found up there is a hematite axe head.  It's polished so smooth it looks like metal.  We didn't actually find it.  Previous hunters at our lease did and left it propped up against the base of a mesquite tree next to the camphouse.  My wife found an old fire hearth like 20 yards from my feeder the first time she went there with us.

Pretty fucking cool that the other guys left it for you. 

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  • 6 months later...

Any of y’all know the Turcottes from Sarita/Kingsville? Old family friends of ours. They had a fond from their place in Raymondville that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The found an old bison vertebrae with an arrowhead stuck in it. Wish I had a pic, but last time I was out there was 30+ years ago.

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That is one of the nicest bird points I've ever seen. I'm not sure if they were really used for hunting birds. When I was a kid there were some KSU grave diggers on my Uncles property and that is what they called the smaller points. In the 50s-60s they took a lot of liberties with antiquities and historical sites that don't fly now.

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I think it is a "Perdiz" but it was basically made out of a flake so its smaller and not as well formed as the typical point of that type. 

I am under the impression/belief that what a lot of people call "bird points" are actual arrowheads, as opposed to spear or dart points (atlatl) which most people call arrowheads. Bow and arrow technology showed up in TX less than 2,000 years ago and the points since then are noticeably smaller in general because most of them were on arrows instead of spears. I have found a couple of teeny tiny ones that may have been used to hunt birds, but my hunch is that they were really used by kids learning to shoot.

Here's a good website to type/date artifacts: https://www.projectilepoints.net/ 

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  • 1 month later...

Mr. Helton ran the hardware store in my hometown, and was a private pilot with his own plane.  After our infrequent heavy rains in the late fifties early sixties, he would head off on a bright sunny day and scour the dunes west of Morton, Texas.  You know, the greater Bledsoe-Notrees area.  My dad the geology professor went up with him several times.  He said they could see glints of light reflecting on the newly unearthed fragments.  Where the concentration was high, Mr. Helton would drop a bag of flour to mark the spot.  They went back later that afternoon in an old jeep and made a haul.  One whole wall of Helton's store was covered with framed arrowheads and artifacts. 

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I live very close to trails which are managed by Austin water so you really can't wander around but I am certain that area is full of artifacts.  Also not far from an abandoned stagecoach stop but its no private land.  You know that area is rich with good stuff.

Last year went to a ranch north of Mason where you can dig on their property for a fee... did it for a bit of time but the boys had zero patience so barely did any.  The ranch is apparently full of minerals and artifacts.

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not into artifcats but i went to a paid dig site in elgin this weekend for my buddy's 40th birthday. used a sifting table to sift through sand all day and didn't find shit. basically paid to get sandblasted and sunburned. place was a giant sand pit that had been excavated to hell...the property lines were about 8 feet lower than the surrounding neighbors. there were some sketchy meth head folks out there digging holes all day. this will not be my new hobby. 

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  • 1 month later...

 

Quote

the property lines were about 8 feet lower than the surrounding neighbors. there were some sketchy meth head folks out there digging holes all day. this will not be my new hobby. 

 

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

I’ll post some pics later  my grandad was an avid hunter and my grandmother used to tie them to a plush mat and frame them for us as kids. Finally got my two a couple years ago and need to hang them. Over the years a few fell off and got lost. 
 

is there a good resource to get a few that I need to replace to make the pieces whole again? I’m gonna start hunting for them but am looking for a quick fix. 
 

will definitely mark the ones that are new and not originals  

thanks 

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