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Arrowhead Hunting Tips
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Arrowhead Hunting Tips

Current evidence suggests that around 12,000ish years ago, humans crossed the Beringia land bridge linking North America and Russia. They had to utilize the resources around to survive in a very dangerous environment. One of the most iconic images and symbols of Native American culture and history is the arrowhead. Life 12,000 years ago was a very dangerous one. In an age where ten ton mammoths and saber tooth cats with canines approaching seven inches in length roamed the continent freely, the natural predation and danger humans faced was always present. They didn't have any fences or palisades to prevent these animals from entering their communities. Humans were simply living on their land. However, they were able to create an abundance of lithic tools designed for a multitude of uses including self-defense and hunting. Finding an arrowhead is a look into their lives. Just think, what was this arrowhead used for? Could it have shot a deer to feed a family? Was it used in a fight between tribes? Was it a young child's first attempt at flint knapping? The imagination runs wild just thinking about it.

12,000 years is a very long time. That's 12,000 years of Native Americans creating, using, and losing arrowheads all over North America. Most people don't really understand just how many are around them every day. All that finding them requires is a little patience, a trained eye, and an idea of what to look for. There are numerous tips for finding arrowheads that will help reduce blindly looking with no real idea of what to look for. Here are a few:

Look for a camp site. A huge majority of arrowheads, spear points, drills, and other artifacts will be found at Native American camp sites where the communities would stay and live for a period of time. To find a camp site, it is almost required to find an established water source (creek, river, stream, spring). These provided food and clean water for the families.

Look for flakes. The process of flint knapping is basically the reduction of a rock through hard strikes. During this process, lots of debris is produced from the actual knapping. Most camp sites will have a huge number of flakes all over the ground. This is the best, most dependable thing to look for when arrowhead hunting. Flakes are generally made of either flint in the Central and South, Obsidian in the Northwest, and even petrified wood in the Southeast. They come in a large array of sizes, but are almost always completely smooth and unworked on one side. Arrowheads, however, have flakes taken out of them. The more you see the two, the easier distinguishing between arrowheads and flakes will be.

Look after a hard rain. Even if you have checked a site or run off (where rain water flows downhill eroding the ground), always go back and look after a hard rain. The hard rain and eroding landscape can potentially uncover points or move them to a more visible area. A nice thing about points is that they are generally very light and can easily be moved by running water. (Bad in the sense that they can potentially be damaged in the process).

Arrowhead hunting is a family friendly and fun activity. Knowing what to look for is essential in the search! Good luck and happy hunting!


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