I get it.
You don’t want to be sold on the latest and greatest metal detector. And save my breath with all the “join my mailing list for upcoming deals” talk.
You just want to find your damn arrows!
Ask, and you shall receive.
The best metal detector for archers and their lost arrows is the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV.
Best Metal Detector for Finding Arrows
You may have been suggested to look into other well-known brands or models. Or perhaps this isn’t the first time someone pointed you toward the TK4.
Well, there’s a good reason for that.
Besides the fact that the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is a popular and widely reliable device, it’s also the kind of metal detector every archer needs.
The best metal detector for finding arrows for a non-metal detectorist is cheap, easy to use, and does the job it’s supposed to do.
You don’t have to worry about all the extra bells and whistles.
Just turn it on and go. Your lost arrows should be easy to find.
The Tracker IV has many excellent features. Some may come in handy, and others I wouldn’t mess around with if I were you.
For instance, you have a discrimination mode to limit the targets you’re searching for.
It’s an essential addition for any hobbyist. But for your purposes, I’d suggest keeping it simple and using the all-metal mode.
If you’re in the right area, the Tracker IV will make quick work of finding your target.
If not, keep moving, swinging the coil until you find your arrows.
The Bounty Hunter also has a waterproof search coil for those unlucky arrows that ricochet into any nearby creeks.
Finally, if you’re worried about lugging this equipment around, don’t be.
The TK4 has an adjustable shaft and is comfortable as hell, thanks to the extra padding and arm support.
Are there better options?
Sure there are!
But if getting into the digger lifestyle isn’t in the cards, save your money.
Can You Find a Lost Arrow With a Metal Detector?
I think you already know the answer to this, but let’s get specific.
You can find a lost arrow with a metal detector if the arrow has electrical conductive metals in any of its parts.
To keep it simple, a standard metal detector emits a magnetic field from the circular coil at the end of the shaft.
A detectorist swings the coil back and forth over the ground while in motion.
When a metal with conductive properties enters the range of the coil, it responds with its own magnetic pulse that’s ultimately detected by the metal detector.
Now, we know arrows are made up of four basic parts; the nock, shaft, fletching, and arrowhead.
Forget about the fletching, as metal isn’t used in this part of your arrow.
Sometimes a nock will be made out of metal, but most of the time, it’ll be plastic. And plastic won’t set off a metal detector.
So your best bet at finding a lost arrow with a metal detector will be to search for an arrow with metal in the shaft or arrowhead.
But not every metal is created equal. Some metals have greater conductivity than others.
Meaning they are easier to find with a metal detector.
How easy will it be to find your lost arrows?
What Metal Are Arrowheads Made of? Or Shafts?
I’ve found my fair share of arrows on my adventures.
Materials like wood, fiberglass, and plastic are standard. But a metal detector won’t help you there.
When it comes to metal in modern-day arrowheads, stainless steel, aluminum, or some form of carbon steel is typically used. But don’t discount alternative metals like titanium or tungsten.
If you’re looking for antique arrowheads with a metal detector, you may even detect metal arrows made of copper, brass, or iron.
Once North American Indians switched from making arrowheads with stone, antler, and bone to metal, they used any scrap materials they could get their hands on.
As for the metal used to make arrow shafts, aluminum, carbon fiber, or a similar alloy are the top material candidates.
Although carbon is a nonconductive metal and won’t be picked up by a metal detector, carbon fiber is easily detected because of its mixture of other metals.
Even if your arrow is made of pure carbon, many manufacturers will utilize an aluminum cover to add a lightweight protector that won’t interfere with your accuracy.
Whatever the metal in your lost arrows, the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV can detect them without any advanced calibration from you.
Like I said, just turn it on and go.
When your metal detector is swinging over the metal of a lost arrow, you’ll hear the welcome beep of detection.
And if you’re interested in learning a little more about how a metal detector works and operates, check out my beginner-friendly guide before your recovery expedition.
How to Find Arrows in the Grass
Before you head out, take a moment to read over this next section.
Even if you have no deep interest in learning the ins and outs of metal detection, there are some general principles you should know about.
Most importantly, the environment around you can hinder your search or mislead you altogether.
This is especially true when beginners search for lost items in the grass.
You see, there are two potential hazards to metal detecting in the grass.
- If the grass is wet, the coil becomes increasingly sensitive. It can lead to false signals or over-amplify buried metals you’re not interested in.
- Whether wet or dry, tall grass can pose a problem by interfering with your swing and causing debris or moisture to damage the internal search coil of your metal detector.
So how do you combat this and effectively find arrows in the grass?
When it comes to wet grass, your best approach is to adjust the sensitivity control of your Bounty Hunter metal detector.
By lowering the sensitivity, you can balance out the impact of the magnified conductance.
It’s as easy as turning a knob on your control box. You can’t miss it.
It’s to the left, labeled “SENSITIVITY.”
For grass problem number two, finding arrows in tall grass, you have to get creative. Or just put in a little extra work.
The three methods of finding arrows in tall grass most often used are the bull, safe, and smart methods.
Finding Arrows in the Tall Grass Using the Bull Method
Have you ever heard the phrase, like a bull in a china shop?
This heavy-handed approach may seem like the intelligent path, but it can do more harm than good for the target you’re after.
Many experienced Diggers recommend using a weed whacker or mowing the area you’re searching in.
Cutting down the tall grass would expose any hidden gems, like your arrows.
Sure, that could work.
But you could also snap your arrow in two.
I’m not saying it’s not worth considering but stick to a weed whacker if you decide to take this approach. There’s less of a chance you completely ruin any lost arrows.
Finding Arrows in the Tall Grass Using the Safe Method
The safe method to finding arrows in the grass overdue for a trim is to keep your coil above the grass and increase your detector sensitivity.
By increasing the sensitivity of your metal detector, you increase the depth of detection. This allows you to raise your coil above the two or three inches from the ground typically used.
While this method improves your range, there are two common drawbacks.
First, it can get uncomfortable holding your metal detector at this angle.
You can’t simply adjust the angle. The coil must remain level with the ground.
So for this to work, you’d have to raise your entire arm up to the shoulder.
The second issue with this method is that the increased sensitivity will also have you inspect more areas than you’d like.
You’ll detect tons of tiny metals in the soil that you wouldn’t have before.
And with the grass so high, you’ll have to continuously brush aside the grass to check for your arrow.
Finding Arrows in the Tall Grass Using the Smart Method
The smart method is safe, fast, and highly effective.
Have you ever seen those documentaries on crop circles?
Regardless of your belief in E.T., many UFO enthusiasts recreate crop circles using a board made of wood or plastic to stamp flat the crops in their path.
Finding arrows this way is the best technique I’ve heard of.
You don’t have to exert all your energy into flattening the grass. You just need the weight to get your coil closer to the soil without interacting with the grass.
The frequency of your metal detector will easily penetrate the material of your board to detect what’s underneath.
As long as it’s not made of metal!
And make sure you tie off a rope on both ends of your board so you can easily pick up and move as needed.
Otherwise, constantly bending over will make this smart method painful.
Finally, it should go without saying, but I’ll say it.
Don’t use a rope with metal tethers, as this will play tricks on your metal detector.
What Are You Waiting for?
Finding lost arrows can be done with any metal detector on the market.
But why spend so much on a model when finding lost arrows doesn’t require the more expensive gadgetry?
The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is more than capable of getting the job done.
But if you like options, check out my review of the best metal detectors for under $100.
Either one of these metal detectors will help you find your lost arrows.
With enough practice, no matter the device, you’ll never lose another arrow again.