Gary Storm, founder of DetectorPro, has been an active treasure hunter for more than 25 years. Over time, he has learned what works and what doesnt hunting sites all around the world--both above and below the surface. In addition to using treasure hunting equipment, Gary has been a dealer and distributor for most major manufacturers and was instrumental in the design and development of the Minelab Excalibur--one of the most popular and effective waterproof detectors ever produced. In 1997, Gary decided to start his own company in order to be able to implement his own designs and DetectorPro was born. His detectors, headphones and probes have proven themselves under a wide range of conditions and after hearing from users that a land detector would a welcome addition to his lineup, Gary developed and introduced the Headhunter LandPro for that market.
Features At first glance, the Headhunter LandPro looks like the other three models in the DetectorPro line other than the color which is an olive green. When Gary Storm initially designed the Headhunter Diver underwater detector several years ago, he took a radical departure from conventional detector design and used the headphones as the case for the circuitry, control knobs and batteries. What in hindsight looks to be a simple and elegant solution to concerns over weight, balance and building a durable housing that would remain waterproof under the rigors of treasure hunting, DetectorPro found an immediate following of satisfied and successful users that has grown steadily over the years. Dispelling the line of thinking accepted by many manufacturers and users of increased performance requires increased complexity, DetectorPro opted to utilize the keep it simple principle by offering a detector with high performance requiring minimal adjustments. Recognizing that a large segment of the hobby never ventured in or near water, Gary worked on a land-based detector that would allow him to incorporate an in-line probe to help users pinpoint targets theyd detected. The Headhunter LandPro is controlled through three knobs and a single toggle switch located on one earpiece of the headphones. The knobs are labeled VOL(ume), SENS(itivity) and DISC(riminate) and are identical to those found on the Headhunter Diver and Wader models. The volume and sensitivity controls change smoothly from minimum to maximum; however, the discrimination control clicks at each position which, after a little practice, allows the operator to quickly determine the setting and adjust as needed to accept, reject or identify targets. The toggle switch allows users to switch between the conventional search coil (either an 8 or 10 concentric) or the in-line probe. Both the coil and probe are connected to the headphones with screw-on fittings which allow either (or both) to be removed as desired. The coil can be exchanged for a larger or smaller one (depending on which one was purchased originally) and if not desired, the probe can be easily removed further reducing the weight of the detector. While there are after-market probes for a number of detectors, the LandPros in-line probe is unique in terms of a manufacturer providing one for their detectors and is just another example of DetectorPros listening to customers and building what avid users know will work! The sensitivity of the probe is quite good and is capable of detecting a quarter-sized target at two inches. The LandPro operates on two 9-volt batteries which are contained in the earpiece opposite the one with the knobs on it. Any type of 9V battery can be used with longer life provided by alkaline--up to 50 hours of continuous use according to DetectorPro. With battery life what it is, spending the money to buy a set of rechargeable ones is hardly warranted. Field Test The unit I received for testing was outfitted with the 8 coil and in-line probe. As with any detector I test, the first thing I did with the LandPro was conduct a bench test with a wide range of items to see what type of response they gave, if certain types of targets were more easily detectable and where various metals dropped out as the discrimination control was increased from 0 to 10. Making a table listing the drop-out points for various targets, I found that I could use the DISC control to identify targets quite accurately after a little practice by counting the clicks from the 0 position. The easiest site to start testing the LandPro out at was a local park with numerous pine bark play areas as well as several sand areas containing slides, swings and the like. Setting the sensitivity at 7 and the discrimination at 5 to eliminate any iron or foil, I started out near the parking area. The first few signals turned out to be screw caps so I increased the discrimination to 7 and started recovering clad coins at a good, steady clip. Despite the lack of a non-motion pinpoint mode, I found that by wiggling the coil side-to-side an inch or less, I was able to zero-in on most targets almost as well as if it had had a pinpoint mode. For loud signals, I tried switching over to the pinpoint probe and in short order, was able to locate and recover the recently-lost targets laying an inch or two under the surface. With a little time under my belt, I headed off to a pair of old foundations a short distance from the house to see how deep the LandPro could detect targets in fairly challenging soil. These sites had produced some interesting items in the past; however, they were littered with small pieces of iron such as nails, wire and bits of the old roof on a shed. In addition, the ground consisted of dense clay that adversely affected many detectors Id used here previously. I started with the discrimination at 4 and sensitivity at 9 hoping for maximum detection depth; however, after a few sweeps, it was obvious that this was too high for the conditions present. Dropping it down to 7, the LandPro quieted down and I focused on finding a few keepers. The smaller pieces of iron were rejected completely and larger pieces produced broken or scratchy signals easily discernible from non-ferrous targets. Near the back of one of the foundations, I received a solid signal that turned out to be a large flat button from the early 1800s. Due to the age of the targets in this area, I opted to use the pinpoint probe on most signals to avoid inadvertently damaging them and I found that switching from the coil to the probe and back again was extremely simple and worked very well in precisely locating the target once the hole had been opened. A few hours searching among the foundations showed me that the LandPro was just as suited for relic hunting in a wooded site as it is looking for coins in the corner park. Two buttons, a nice shoe buckle, a few lead musket balls and some unidentified keepers made for a most satisfying hunt. Even though the name denotes its primary use is for land hunting, I could not pass up the opportunity to hunt a freshwater beach on a small lake near Columbia, South Carolina that had been lowered for dam maintenance. I knew others had hunted it, but as the saying goes, they dont get it all and since I was passing nearby on my way to Atlanta for business, I opted to spend a few hours seeing what might turn up. I was able to hunt with the sensitivity at 10 most of the time with only an occasional chirp and left the discriminate control set at 3 to avoid missing any good targets. Signals were few and far between as expected but they were there. I used the trick of changing the discrimination control to identify louder targets and even with the somewhat limited experience I had using the LandPro, I was able to obtain better than 90% accuracy in determining what a target was before I recovered it. Any weaker signal was recovered on the hope that it might be a small piece of jewelry or something deep previous hunters had missed. Several clad coins near the surface turned up in short order. Near a now-beached float, I received a weaker signal that continued to ring in even as the discriminate control was increased past 8. Scraping away the sand, I hit a layer of dark mud, clay and sand. Checking the area, the target was still deeper. Removing a little more dirt, I switched over to the probe and swept the inside of the hole. A faint signal pinpointed where it was --almost 9 inches deep--and a quick twist of my knife revealed a black coin which I immediately knew was silver. Picking it up I could see the walking figure of lady liberty on the front and with a smile, I put the 1945 Walking Liberty half dollar in my pouch--my first for 2006! Walking out past the float, I recovered a few more coins before wading into the shallow water. Knowing that the possibility of finding some jewelry was quite good, I opted to leave the discrimination control set at 3 and dig anything that produced a signal. A solid but faint signal caused me some trouble in finding it but the beep received when I swept a handful of mud across the coil let me know I had the target in my fist. Slowly sifting through it, I saw the unmistakable glint of gold and picked out a small 14K gold cross. I spent the better part of three hours at the beach covering a good portion of it--both the exposed area as well as the water knee-deep sections (I had left my long-handled scoop at home!). When I got back to the rental car and emptied out my pouch I was a bit surprised to see both the quantity and quality of my finds. In addition to the a pile of clad coins, keys, two Matchbox cars and the half, I had 11 wheat cents, 4 silver dimes, 1 Buffalo nickel, a silver quarter, three silver rings and the gold cross. Unfortunately I had to be in Atlanta or I would definitely have opted to stay a bit longer at this site. Summary The entire DetectorPro line is unique by design and the LandPro follows in the footsteps of the other models marketed by Gary Storms company. With weight and balance being the primary complaint of many detectorists, the LandPro completely eliminates that issue by moving all the weight of the electronics and batteries from the shaft into the headphones. With three knobs controlling its operation, one can spend more time hunting and less time adjusting--another plus when comparing the LandPro to other detectors out there. The integrated yet removable pinpoint probe is a useful addition, especially when hunting sites where a lack of an all-metal non-motion pinpoint mode might otherwise result in larger holes or possibly damaging the target. The clickable settings on the discriminate control can be used quite effectively in identifying targets much the way users of target ID detectors are capable of. All-in-all, I found the LandPro to be more-than-capable when it comes to searching for and finding a wide range of targets. The Headhunter LandPro lists for $650 with the 8 inch coil and $699 with the 10-inch coil. The integrated pinpoint probe adds $50 to the price of either which considering what other stand-alone or inline probes sell for, is a real bargain! As with all DetectorPro detectors, the LandPro comes with a 2-year parts-&-labor warranty. For more information on the LandPro or any of their other models, contact the factory at (800) 367-1995 or visit their web site at www.DetectorPro.com and mention that you read about the new LandPro in Lost Treasure Magazine.