Native american artifact hunting

Native american artifact hunting DEFAULT

Artifact Hunting: Hunting for Arrowheads and More

An outdoor pastime you can do just about anywhere in America is artifact hunting. Nomadic tribes of Native Americans left behind artifacts like arrowheads as they hunted across the land, which today are rich pieces of the continent’s history.

Artifact hunting is an excellent activity for a family or can be done solo when you are hiking by yourself. Arrowheads are the most common find, and some could be pretty valuable. However, most artifact hunters search for these pieces as a fun pastime rather than a way to get rich. 

If artifact hunting appeals to you, you might find these helpful tips increase your chances of success. 

arrowhead size comparison

Know the Rules

Before you hunt for artifacts, you must understand the laws. The only law you need to be concerned with when hunting on private lands is trespassing. Before heading out to hunt, get the landowner’s permission. Failure to do so is trespassing and theft if you find any arrowheads and take them home. When artifact hunting on someone else’s land, be considerate. Always leave gates as you found them and pick up any trash you come across. 

In general, collecting artifacts is illegal on public lands. This means all state and national parks are off-limits to arrowhead hunting. The limitation also extends to land held under the Bureau of Land Management and Corp of Engineers reservoirs. Some people suggest surface collecting on public lands may be acceptable. However, unless you plan on reading the Archaeological Resources and Protection Act of , it’s best to steer clear of any publicly owned property. 

Where to Find Artifacts

You need more than luck when hunting for arrowheads. Historical artifacts aren’t hidden everywhere. When finding places to hunt for artifacts, consider the three things all civilizations need: water, food and shelter. 

Since most Native American shelters have been lost to time, you should focus your efforts on seeking out historical sources of food and water. Rivers and lakes offered a critical resource for all early Americans. 

Local water sources offer a decent chance a Native American tribe set up camp long ago. This is especially true if the water is near some form of shelter, like a bluff, that would offer the camp additional protection. 

The type of ground cover will affect your ability to spot artifacts and arrowheads with ease. Minimal cover, sand and desert areas will be the easiest to spot any surface arrowheads. Recently plowed land offers artifact hunters an opportunity to find objects hidden just beneath the surface. 

Forested areas or fields with lush ground cover will make spotting artifacts quite tricky. In these areas, begin your hunt by searching dried-up creeks and river beds. 

The remoteness of the area is another factor to consider when looking for artifact hunting grounds. Lands recently used may have already given up the majority of their hidden artifacts. Backcountry camping locations on privately held land can offer better hunting opportunities. 

arrowhead in dirt

When to Hunt

It may surprise you, but certain seasons offer a better chance of success for artifact hunters. Winter is an unsuitable time for most artifact hunting. The ground is hard, maybe even frozen, and could be covered with snow. 

Summer is a similarly challenging season to artifact hunt. The hot sun dries and hardens the ground. Plants and trees are growing, covering the ground with foliage and shadows that block your sight.

Spring is the prime season for artifact hunting. The ground has softened from the winter freeze. Rain brings the opportunity to wash away topsoil and expose previously hidden items. It’s also the beginning of a new agricultural season, offering freshly tilled soils for an eager artifact hunter to inspect. 

Fall may offer additional hunting opportunities. Falling leaves and shortening days reduce access to some of your hunting grounds. However, recently harvested lands and freshly tilled earth can potentially expose new finds. 

Train Your Eyes

Finding your first arrowhead is difficult. Your eyes must scan every inch of the ground, looking for a sign. Without experience, it’s easy for an untrained eye to simply pass over an obscured artifact. 

When surveying the ground, scrutinize every inch. It can help to use a systematic sweeping motion of your eyes to make sure you don’t miss a spot. Stay alert for anything that looks like a sharp edge or a flaked surface.

It’s helpful to learn the common materials used for making arrowheads in your area. Chert, obsidian and flint are all common arrowhead materials. Keep your eye out for the particular color of stone used by Native Americans in your region. 

Other artifacts may be easier to spot. Earrings and other jewelry pieces might have colored stones that help them stand out from the soil. Pottery might feature painted designs that catch your eye. 

However, don’t get discouraged if you don’t find anything on your first few hunts. It takes time to develop your skills. Your first find will be a combination of hard work and luck. 

Native American pottery shard

Show Respect When Collecting

Most arrowhead collectors find their artifacts on the surface of the ground. Usually, only one arrowhead is found at a time. However, if you’re fortunate, you might find two or more. At this point, you might be tempted in your excitement to dig to see what else you can find. Proceed with caution.

An extensive collection of arrowheads might indicate you are in a sacred place and, if that’s the case, you should refrain from digging without further research. You don’t want to start digging up a Native American burial ground. It’s a good idea to consult with local resources to help report a potential historical find before unearthing more yourself.

You should also consider keeping a record of your finds. Note where and when you uncovered a particular artifact. Once you are back home, you can identify your arrowhead using the Official Overstreet Indian Arrowhead Online Database. This helps preserve the history of your discovery for future generations to enjoy.  

Happy Hunting

Ancient artifact hunting is an excellent pastime. You get to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. Whenever you find something, you are connecting with a little piece of history. Each arrowhead collected is a tool a hunter used years ago. It’s a small piece that connects you to the history of hunting.

ultimate guide to native american indian arrowheads

Ultimate Guide To Native American Indian Arrowheads

If you’ve ever knelt down to pick up a Native American Indian arrowhead or other Native American artifact from out of the dirt in a field or from out of a creek, then you already know that feeling.  You’re one of the lucky ones that has experienced the rush you get when you find that perfect intact Indian arrowhead.

Just knowing that what you’re holding in your hand was made by another person hundreds, maybe even thousands of years ago.  And to think that the last person to hold that same arrowhead was the person that carefully made it and depended on it.

Who was this person?  Where did they live?  How did they lose it?  Were they hunting? Was it lost in battle?  The questions are as endless as stories that hide within that one arrowhead

Arrowheads and hunting arrowheads

If you’ve ever thought about hunting for Native American Indian arrowheads, stop thinking and get out there!  Arrowhead hunting is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature, all while connecting with the rich history of where you’re standing.

I hope you find this ultimate guide to hunting Native American Indian arrowheads helpful in your artifact hunting endeavors.  If you’re a rockhound like me, I hope this helps you expand your ever growing collection as well as expands your interests!

3 Pcs Assort Agate Stone Spearhead Arrowhead Point 4 1/2" - 5"

Recommended Arrowhead Hunting Book

But first, if you&#;re serious about learning about how to really hunt for arrowheads, whether in a creek or in the woods, you must take a look at this book. It&#;s written by the expert artifact hunter, William Bauer. 

Inside his book, he takes you into much more detail and teaches you everything you need to know to find arrowheads, even on your first time out!  

He takes his years of expertise and practice and shares all his knowledge with his readers. Don&#;t miss out on this incredible resource! It is without a doubt the best arrowhead hunting book available!

How I Got Hooked Hunting Arrowheads

I found my first indian arrowhead when I was It was a small, black and intact side notched point made out of obsidian. I found that first arrowhead in the high desert of Eastern Oregon as I was simply walking through the sagebrush hunting rabbits.  I stopped briefly stopped to take a look at my surroundings.  While doing so, I looked down and lying on the surface between my  two feet was a perfect, beautiful black obsidian arrowhead.

I couldn’t stop wondering how long had that arrowhead been lying there? Who made it? I’ve been infatuated with Native American Indian arrowheads ever since.

indian arrowhead in field

What Are Native American Indian Arrowheads

The arrowhead is simply the sharp tip end of the arrow.  This sharp stone tip was used to pierce the flesh of the animal being hunted, either killing or maiming it.

How Arrowheads Were Attached To Arrows

Arrowheads were fashioned out of multiple types of stone that would have been readily available to the Native American people.  Arrowheads are most often times triangular or pointed oval in shape and frequently notched. These stone arrowheads were attached to the shaft of the arrow by being set into a slot in the end of the shaft. The arrowheads were tied to the arrow shaft with sinew, rawhide or cord which passed through the notches.

Those that were not notched were affixed to the arrow by passing the cord over and under the angle at the base, in a figure eight like pattern.  Sometimes glue, gum and cement were also used to make the fastening even more secure.

types of arrowheads

How Were Arrowheads Used

Arrowheads were a very important tool and weapon to Native American people.  They were used to hunt, fish and fight battles. Arrowheads were vital to nearly every Native American tribe regardless what part of the country they were from. The art of making these vitally important tools were taught to Indian boys even as children.

Stone arrowheads were used on spears as well as arrows. Typically, the only difference between these two types of arrowheads were size.  Larger arrowheads were attached to spears, which could be thrown great distances and with great accuracy to hunt animals as well as to spear fish. Smaller sized stone arrowheads were attached to arrows and shot with a stringed bow.

How Were Indian Arrowheads Made?

how indian stone arrowheads were made

Native American Indian arrowheads were made from flint, or hard stones that could flake easily.  These hard stones were sharpened into projectile points by a process known as flintknapping. To make useful projectile points like arrowheads or spear tips, the piece of flint was struck with a hammerstone to remove large sharp flakes of flint.  These large sharp flakes were then broken down into smaller usable, thinner pieces of stone.

obsidian arrowhead made by ancient native american indians

The next step in making stone arrowheads was called pressure flaking. During the pressure flaking process, the Native Americans would place a pointed tool, such as an antler horn,  on the edge of the stone and apply an inward pressure to the horn to remove small, thin flakes from the stone. The purpose of pressure flaking was to shape and refine the projectile point into a more usable piece.

arrowheads and how they were made
arrowheads made from flint knapping

The final step in the arrowhead making process was called notching. Notches in the arrowhead were made by using a combination of pressure flaking and abrading, or grinding. By doing this, they would carve out the gaps, or notches, that the Native Americans would use to attach the arrowhead to the shaft of the arrow.

What Are Arrowheads Made Of?

American Indians were known for using the best material available for making tools like arrowheads and spear tips. At times, the best material they had available to make these tools were not only stones, but bone and antler as well.

Stone Arrowheads

However, when we talk about arrow heads today, we generally only refer to those arrowheads that were made out of stone. Stone lasts forever and does not decay like bone and antler.  It’s these stone arrowheads and other old Indian rock tools and artifacts that have survived and which we’re able to find hundreds and even thousands of years later.

As mentioned earlier, many different types of stones were used to make arrowheads. But it’s difficult to say which type of rock was most common.  The largest factor in determining what kind of rock was most common is knowing what part of the country you’re hunting arrowheads in.

Obsidian Arrowheads

Paialco Natural Obsidian Gemstone Dragonglass Arrowhead Shape

For example, in the Northwest and other areas of the West coast, it’s very common to find obsidian arrowheads.  Obsidian is a volcanic glass that is formed as magma cools under very specific conditions, which is why it&#;s only found in certain areas of the world.

Here in Oregon, where I live, there is a place called Glass Butte, which is a massive deposit of obsidian. This obsidian deposit was extremely important, not only to the Native Americans  in the area, but to ancient peoples all around the United States. 

Indian artifacts made out of obsidian from the Glass Buttes deposit have been found  all over the Pacific Northwest and as far east as Ohio!

This is because not only was the obsidian easy to access, but it is the absolute perfect material for making razor sharp spear heads and arrow heads.  And as such, the ancient peoples would use the obsidian for trade.  And the people who traded would carry Glass Butte obsidian with them as they traveled.

Arrowheads made out of obsidian

Felsite and Rhyolite Arrowheads

On the East coast, it’s common to see arrowheads made out of felsite and rhyolite, because this type of stone is in abundance in that region of the country.

Felsite was a common stone used to make indian arrowheads

In the Southwest and surrounding areas, materials like petrified wood and quartzite tend to be fairly common arrowhead material.

quartzite was used to make native american indian arrowheads

As you can see,  it really depends a lot on what part of the country the Native Indians lived in, or traded in, that determines what kind of stone the arrowheads were made out of.

So, what are arrowheads made of? Below is a list of the most common types of stone used to make arrowheads here in the United States by Native American Indians.

Most Common Stones Used To Make Indian Arrowheads

  • Quartzite
  • Jasper
  • Quartz
  • Chaldecony
  • Agate
  • Obsidian
  • Chert
  • Petrified wood
  • Basalt

The Different Types Of Arrowheads

different types of indian arrowheads

Below is a chart with the name and a brief description of the more popular types of arrowheads that have been found.  Some of these will be on the below picture as well, while others will not. Please note, there are many other types of arrowheads that aren&#;t listed here.

For a complete and in depth look at the many different types of arrowheads, checkout Overstreet.  Here you can find a searchable database of all the different types of arrowheads.

hunting arrowheads in creeks

Chart Of 13 Different Types Of Arrowheads

types of indian arrowheads

How Many Arrowheads Are Still Out There?

There is no way to know exactly how many arrowheads are still out there waiting to be found.  But consider this; recent scientific evidence has shown that humans inhabited North America as far back as , years ago.  Now, if the average life expectancy of prehistoric Native Americans was, for example years, just think about how many arrowheads and spear tips that one person would have made in his lifetime.  Especially knowing that they began making projectile points as young children.

how many arrowheads are out there probably millions this is one cache of arrowheads

In addition, remember that every day existence relied heavily on these stone tools.  In combination with gathering various grown foods, animals were also hunted for consumption, which would have required a very large number of arrowheads. If they didn’t hunt and gather, they didn’t eat.

Now take that one person, and the number of arrowheads he would have made and used during his lifetime, and multiply that by the millions of people that inhabited the continent at that time.  Then multiply that by the numerous generations that lived in and migrated to North America during those , years.  The number of arrowheads lying in the ground at this moment must be in the millions.

What Are The Best Places To Look For Indian Arrow Heads

where to find indian arrowheads

Most people interested in looking for Native American Indian arrowheads want to know where the best places to look for them are.  Here’s a brief summary of what I’ve found to be some of the best places to look for American Indian arrowheads.  Most experienced Indian artifact hunters agree that If you take the time to identify and hunt these areas, you significantly increase your chances of locating a lost arrowhead or other Native American Indian artifact.

Indian Campsites

If you can identify where an old Native American Indian camp is located, you are most definitely be in the right area to find arrowheads and other artifacts.  Some Indian campsites were used continuously for hundreds of years, while others might have only been used briefly. Imagine how many artifacts would have been left behind if one campsite was used for multiple generations.

american indian campsite

To find a campsite, you want to first look for a source of water.  It might be a creek, a river or a spring.  Take caution with lakes and ponds though, as they can lead you in the wrong direction. Many lakes and ponds are man made and are not much older than 50 to years.  Make sure the creek or other water source predates European settlers.

where to look for arrowheads look near old indian camps

Once a good water source is located, think about what other factors might have been advantageous to the people living there. Perhaps an area that is elevated and out of the flood plain, like on a nearby knoll would be a place to consider. Is there an area that would provide natural shelter from the weather, like an overhang or something similar. They would probably want to have their camp near a trail or walkway.  Many roads today follow old Native American trails.  Don’t disregard a possible spot to hunt just because it’s near a road!

Dirt Roads and Roadside Ditches

I know of many arrowhead hunters, myself included, that like to walk along dirt roads and look in the ditches for artifacts.  As mentioned earlier, modern roads often times follow the trails that Native Americans originally created.  Pay special attention to the areas that have recently been scraped or leveled.  Once that debris is pushed off to the side of the road, many times it will resurface previously buried arrowheads.  It’s especially helpful to go out right after it rains. The rain will wash off any little amount of dirt that may be covering the projectile, making it much easier to see.


Creeks and Rivers

Taking time to hunt for arrowheads along creeks and rivers can prove to be very productive. Ancient Native Americans used creeks and rivers as hunting grounds for deer, elk and other animals. Some native tribes also used projectile points to spear fish and eels.  No doubt it’s for these reasons that there are so many arrowheads located in creeks and riverbeds.

native american using a spear arrowhead to spear fish look for arrowheads in creeks and rivers where to look for arrowheads

When hunting for arrowheads in creeks and rivers, wait until the time of year when the water level has gone down enough to expose at least some of the gravel bed.  Some creeks dry up completely, which makes for an even greater location for you to look for arrowheads.

where to look for indian arrowheads look near gravel bars.

Pay close attention to the gravel beds and areas of erosion.  If the gravel is covered with silt, or there is a lot of leaves and other material in the water, don’t even bother.  Arrowheads will be much too difficult to see if covered with debris.  Look for areas with moving water that will carry the debris away.  Look past the waterline as well as up onto the shore a few feet.

For more information and tips about hunting arrowheads in creeks and rivers, read my article, How To Find Arrowheads In the Woods: What You Need To Know.


Fields are another great place to hunt for arrowheads. Even though a field might seem like an unlikely place for arrowheads to be, remember that hundreds of years ago, the landscape was significantly different than it is now. What is a field now very likely could have been a lightly wooded meadow, making it an excellent hunting area for the people that lived there. Many generations may have hunted that same meadow, firing many arrows into the brush, never to be seen again.

arrowhead found in Oregon field

When hunting for arrowheads in a field, first and foremost, make certain that you have permission to be on the property.  Also make certain that you have permission to take whatever artifacts you plan on taking with you.

Many arrowhead hunters will only walk a field after it has either been plowed or the dirt turned up in some way. They’ll then wait until after a good hard rain has fallen.  They do this because the arrowheads will be much easier to see once the rain washes the dirt off the stone. Sometimes the rain will wash away just enough loose dirt that a small portion of the arrowhead will become exposed.

If there is a source of water near the field, try to walk that area first. A source of water could mean Indian camps or a prime hunting area.  Both of these possibilities can produce a significant amount of artifacts.

top places to look and hunt for arrowheads

To summarize the best places to look for Indian arrowheads:

  1. Look for Indian camps. Best place to find artifacts is to look where they lived.
  2. Look in roadside ditches. Modern machinery will push arrowheads into the ditches.
  3. Explore Creeks and Rivers.  Where there was water, there were inhabitants.
  4. Walk a Farmers Field. Fields weren’t always fields. They used to be prime hunting areas.  
  5. Always get landowner&#;s permission and become knowledgeable of local laws


If you&#;ve taken the information in this post and are still unable to find the elusive arrowhead. I&#;ve located a few places online that sell authentic Indian arrowheads as well as excellent looking replica arrowheads.  You can find these items on my post, Where To Find Indian Arrowheads For Sale.  However, the best thing you can do is continue to educate yourself on arrowhead hunting.

native american indian arrowhead artifacts
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6 Places to Find Native American Arrowheads

The last human to touch this before us was planning to cook dinner over an open fire using a critter killed with this, I told my kids.

With eyes aglow, they fondled the stone point like it was pure gold. We&#x;d just found evidence of ancient hunters in our front yard, but there was a time when finding an arrowhead was a matter of sheer luck for me. Every couple of years a random gaze toward the dirt would produce a point. But now I have a strategy when afield.

Here are six places where you can find ancient tools. But before you start looking for projectile points, it&#x;s important to understand legalities. Most public lands don&#x;t allow the removal of artifacts, so brush up on federal and state regulations before starting your search.

Prominent Creeks
The first humans arrived in North America at least 15, years ago and dispersed across the continent. Without methods to store and transport water, they needed daily access to fresh water. So, they camped, traveled, and hunted near water systems. In these drainages they also made, left, lost, and broke stone tools. These points washed into creeks or rivers and become part of their gravel system over the centuries.

Walk creeks and look for unnatural colored rocks and shapes. In some cases, natives used non-local stone like obsidian, which makes the points stand out. Flowing water sifts gravel into different sizes along gravel bars. Look for points in gravel bars where rocks are similar in size to the points you&#x;re hoping to find. Keep your eye on the outside bend (or cut bank side) of the creek where erosion exposes bare dirt.

High Spots Near Water
In my front yard there is a small rise, probably not more than 18 inches higher than the surrounding ground. On two sides of the rise are small creeks. I&#x;ve found more stone points and flint flakes there than any other place on my property. It&#x;s likely this was a historical campsite.

I&#x;ve heard it said, good land now was good land then. When traveling water systems, look for high points that would have given campers good visibility, a flat surface, and protection from high water. If you&#x;d like to camp there, then our ancestors probably did, too. These high spots could be large or small, but the principles are the same.

Fresh drinking water located away from larger water systems also makes for quality camping. These early peoples tent-camped or slept under the stars days a year and understood the advantages that made life easier. Here&#x;s a tip: If you find flint flakes (chips) in an area, stone points are close. These hunters were constantly knapping out stone points or sharpening the ones they already had.

Percussion knapping leaves a lot of chips. Where you find them, you&#x;re bound to find full points. Ask yourself this: where would make for quality camping and living near springs. Your gut might be right&#x;look there.

where to find native american arrowhead

Exposed Dirt
More points have probably been in found in plowed fields than any other place. Modern agriculture is often located in ideal locations for ancient camping and hunting. Exposed dirt is key to finding points, and a fresh rain can make points easy to spot.

Often they&#x;re perched above the surface of the ground on a soil platform and appear to almost glow. It&#x;s an incredible sight! Any place with exposed, bare dirt has a possibility of revealing points. I started finding heads on my land when our mules made trails and dirt wallows. Look in cattle trails, places where machinery has skinned the ground, dirt roads, eroded bluffs and banks, and even buck scrapes.

Rock Overhangs
Natives were smart campers and took advantage of terrain features for shelter, including rock ledges and caves. These places hold stone points. If a couple of people could huddle underneath it to stay dry, they likely did, and they probably left something there.

Many serious artifact hunters dig out rock overhangs (on private land, where legal) and even run the dirt through a screen. Organic matter builds up over centuries under these features and points can be many feet below the surface. Look for ledges that have flint flakes nearby or smoke-stained ceilings.

Flea Markets
Ancient tools made by prehistoric hunters are cool no matter how you come across them. Keep your eyes peeled for stone points at flea markets, garage sales, or from individuals who may not value them. I never thought I would enjoy owning a purchased point, but I&#x;m beginning to rethink that position.

Much of the value of my personal collection is attributed to the fact that I found them. However, when you recognize the art and skill of these ancient flint knappers, you can still appreciate a point that someone else found.

But, hopefully the first five spots produce so you don&#x;t need to rely on second-hand arrowheads. Keep your eyes on the ground when afield and you just might find something incredible.


How to Hunt for Arrowheads

Every deer season I key in on a mature buck and don’t do much else until I kill it. I also spend plenty of time chasing ducks, geese, and turkeys. And while I love the challenge of hunting each of these different wild game species, it is hunting arrowheads—small stones made and used by Native Americans as tools and weapons—that is my most treasured pursuit.

How do you find arrowheads? It’s different everywhere, but one of the smartest ways to get started is researching the historic ranges of the Native American tribes that once inhabited the region you live in. Keep your ears open for local legends as well. Small town bars and diners are good places to overhear lies, but you also might pick up a gem or two that could lead to a bounty of arrowheads.

But there are some arrowhead laws to know before you start hunting for them. It’s perfectly legal to hunt for arrowheads on private land with one caveat: You can’t dig up arrowheads if they are on a Native American burial site—even if it’s on your own private property. If you don’t know that the land you are on is an ancient burial ground, it is still illegal and a reason you should not turn your back 40 into an excavation site for arrowheads. Also, you can’t remove (or even pick up) arrowheads on public land. That includes U.S. Army Corps of Engineer reservoirs and BLM lands. Some states do allow you to take arrowheads from public waterways, but others do not, so check regulations beforehand. Once you know the regs in your area, then you&#;re safe to get started. Here are the best ways to find arrowheads.

Find Arrowheads in Creek Bottoms

Waterways can turn up arrowheads year after year.

Creeks are a great place to search for arrowheads. Lots of folks can get access to ditches on properties in their area, and you can have luck on a navigable waterway to a drainage in a cattle pasture. I have my best luck in rock-bottom creeks in hilly country. Arrowheads wash off the ridges and out of the soils where they’ve been buried for potentially thousands of years. Soil disturbances, precipitation, and freeze/thaw cycles can work rocks out into the waterways where they can be seen by creek walkers. In my experience, small creeks and ditches are great places to find full, remarkable pieces that haven’t been broken and chipped by plows or field cultivators as is common in agricultural areas.

This method is probably my favorite way to hunt, as it’s how my dad got me started looking. We didn’t have a ton of properties to hunt, but we would stop during spring turkey hunts to examine rock bars. Some of my best finds have come from these bars in creeks throughout the Midwest. I wish there were an exact science to it, because I’d have a bunch more stockpiled, but that probably wouldn’t make it as exciting when I do find one.

Keep an eye out for arrowheads in shallow creek bottoms and cutaways in the bends of the waterway. But also pay close attention to the dirt banks on each side. I have found arrowheads sticking right out of them.

Read Next:Hunting a Grizzly with a Stone-Point Arrowhead

Tilled Fields Will Turn Up Native Artifacts

 Another common place to find arrowheads are worked agriculture fields. Native American camps often were positioned on rises along rivers and high ridges overlooking natural flood plains. Tillage can expose plenty of artifacts buried beneath the surface, and serious rock hunters key in on turned dirt. Finding a spot with flint chips (percussion flakes) means there were once native inhabitants nearby, and searching these areas after field work or a good rain can turn up arrowheads.

The same tools that make the rocks visible can also do some damage, though. Disks and cultivation tools have busted some incredible artifacts, but without them, many of these pieces would stay hidden forever. Fields are great because it allows hunters to cover a ton of ground quickly, which can be tough in winding ditches and streams.

In my experience, there’s typically a much larger quantity of pieces and chips to be found in farmed fields, but you may have to flip over dozens of broken arrowheads to find a specimen worthy of your collection. Rises in fields or high points along old floodplains are often hotspots for high volumes of arrowheads due to their past uses as community sites and work locations.

There’s also a chance you may find other Native American artifacts as you continue your search over the years. Just about every farmer in the Midwest I know has a story about finding pieces from the vantage point of their tractor cab. And several locals here have some incredible tomahawks and axe heads in their farm shops. I always feel like there’s an opportunity to find something truly unique every time I step into a farmer’s field.


American artifact hunting native

Find a 12,Year-Old Arrowhead With These 10 Tips

arrowheads in the mud

At some point on virtually every spring turkey hunt, I&#;ll find myself walking through a freshly plowed field. Inevitably, I&#;ll spend as much time peering downward as I do listening skyward. I can&#;t help myself. I might be hunting gobblers, but I&#;m almost constantly hunting stone arrowheads. Magically, I&#;ve found a number of them over the years, and when I do, it&#;s cause for celebration. Arrowheads connect me with hunters from the past, and the artifacts are a reminder of how different our methods and equipment are today.

A lot of hunters might know Missouri’s Brad Harris from his career at Lohman Game Calls. These days he converts large-scale tracts of land for hunting and agricultural purposes. Harris has cleared land in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri—states that had large Indian tribes. As a result, it’s common for him to find artifacts when he turns over soil, and even more common when that plowed earth is hit with a good rain.

&#;I began my hunting life with a recurve bow, and that kind of connects me to arrowheads,&#; Harris says. &#;Over the years, I&#;ve found several hundred pieces, especially a lot that are partially finished. The hunters must have quit working if the stone was chipping or if the weight was wrong, which meant it wouldn&#;t fly right. They&#;d toss it aside and start over. Kills were important for their survival, and finished points were always of good quality. It&#;s amazing that people live in those same areas today.&#;

turkey tracks and arrowheads in the mud

“Moon and Irene Mullins from North Carolina began arrowhead hunting in the s when the small relics were still scattered across the American landscape,” says their friend Wayne Underwood. “Just about any place you go, Native Americans have been there, and you could usually find something if you were patient and hunted for it. The couple would hunt all day long. They just loved life, and they loved spending it together.”

Most of their finds were on farms, and over the decades of hunting arrowheads, they amassed a collection of nearly ,, some of which were 12, years old. Historian Joe Candillo says the collection is worth more than $1 million.

“As you go back in time, an arrowhead becomes more valuable,” says Candillo. “Some of the oldest points, my goodness, I have seen these go anywhere from $ to a couple thousand dollars.” On the low end, arrowheads sell for between $5 and $15 a piece. Financial gain, however, is inconsequential for most.

My approach bears no resemblance to either Harris&#; or the Mullins&#;. For me, discovering an arrowhead is like finding a golden needle in a haystack. But read Arrowheads & Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Surface Collector and Amateur Archaeologist by C. G. Yeager, and you&#;ll see that searching for arrowheads is a lot like foraging. If you add some thought to the process, you&#;ll find points and other artifacts consistently instead of by accident. Here are 10 ways to get started.

1. Do Your Homework

More than Native American tribes are recognized in the United States, and they’ve been around for a very long time. In fact, the Sandias of New Mexico date back to 15, BC. That’s a lot of tribes across a lot of years. To narrow your search for stone arrowheads, start by learning about the tribes that inhabited the area that you’re prospecting.

a collectioon of arrowheads and tools

Some tribes primarily were peaceful farmers that tilled the land while others wove nets to catch fish. They all trapped and hunted for game, and that is their important common bond. Study the patterns and behaviors of the tribes in your local area through historical research found in books or online. Try to gain a thorough understanding of their lives, priorities, movements, and historical events that may have forced them to move.

Once you have a handle on where they lived, you’ll need to know what the area looked like when they lived there. The Shawmut Indians used to live in the area outside of Boston that is now Logan Airport, and that’s all runways and lights. Rural streams and seeps dry up over time just as fields get overgrown. Walking out to look at the terrain won’t give you what you need, so look to historical records for the clues.

2. Do Your Research

In the world of arrowhead foraging, consistency comes from research, and research is about drilling down into tribe habits. Native Americans were seasonally nomadic, with some moving greater distances than others. Long-term camps were set up during two distinct time frames: summer and winter. Summer camps were in areas that provided a good place for planting crops and hunting game while winter camps were established in areas that offered the most protection from the elements. Short-term camps were used seasonally for sustenance.

preserved arrowheads

Native Americans set up spike camps during prime fishing and hunting seasons. They’d move to saltwater estuaries with freshwater origins when Atlantic salmon moved into the tributaries to spawn just as they migrated to hardwood stands near fields when wild turkey moved into fields to breed. The elk migration prompted Native Americans to move into the high elevations in the summer and drop down to lower altitudes in the winter. Finding these seasonal hunting and fishing grounds is a great way to find arrowheads.

Some short-term camps were established for festivals and tribal meetings; others served as trade sites where were neighboring Native American tribes would barter goods. While concentrating your research on long-term camps dramatically increases the odds of finding arrowheads, the seasonal, short-term camps yield tips, too. Google might provide some information on Native American camps and habits, and historically documented books are an invaluable resource as well.

3. Listen to Oral Tradition

I have one grouse cover I call Fish Trap. I found it while asking permission to hunt a farmer’s property. The conversation went like this:

“Wondering if I can hunt your property?” I asked.

“What are you hunting?” he asked.

“Birds—grouse and woodcock. Looks like there might be some woodcock in the edge near the river at the east end of your field.”

“There are,” he said, “but there are some grouse on the west side near the creek. I hear them drumming in the spring and in the fall.”

“Where about?”

“The river branches off into a shallow,&#; he said. “The Indians used to drive schools of spawning fish into the shallows and trap them in nets.”

By Indians, he meant the Pemigewasset tribe who were hunters, fishermen, farmers, and trappers. They were driven out of the area by soldiers in I found grouse where he mentioned, but while running the dogs on spring woodcock, I found something else: a spear and an axe head. When it comes to finding arrowheads, oral tradition is frequently more reliable than the Internet.

4. Find The Water Source

Water was an integral part of every Native American camp. Lakes, ponds, shallow creeks, and rivers that offered clean, pure water are a great place to find arrowheads. Spring-fed lakes, ponds, and rivers had a consistent flow and never stagnated. Seeps and small creeks are OK, but because they suffered from big flows during the spring runoff or dried up in the summer, they might be a waste of time.

brad harris holding stone tools

5. Time Your Search

Seasonality plays an important roll in consistently finding arrowheads. Spring is the best time of year because the ground is soft and the topsoil is often washed away during runoff. If your hunting ground is being used agriculturally, the soil might be turned over by a discer. Exposure to the soil below is key, for it makes the arrowheads easier to find. The ground is usually hard ground during the summer and covered with snow in the winter, so those times of year make finding arrowheads difficult. Next to spring, a post-harvest fall field that is tilled and planted with winter rye can be good, too.

6. Know Your Stone

Differentiating between broken rocks and arrowheads is relatively easy. Arrowheads have a point, an edge, and a base. They needed to be made from strong stone that could be sharpened and light enough to fly true. Quartz, limestone, and marble all had their uses, but arrowheads were mostly made from chert, obsidian, and flint. Regionality plays an important part in the stone used for arrowheads. Chert, for instance, was commonly used by Native Americans in Missouri and Illinois. When you find an arrowhead, cross-reference the material to see if it was something locally available.

a collection of arrowheads

Not all points were made with stone, though. In coastal areas, arrowheads may have been made from a variety of other materials like clam and oyster shells. The properties of hard-shell clams make them easy to chip into a point and sharpen on the edge. Those same properties are found in another commonly found material: animal bones. Of course, to carve a tip out of bone, you first need to harvest an animal. Still, bone arrowheads are relatively common.

7. Identify Your Arrowhead

Identifying your find can be difficult, but an excellent resource is The Official Overstreet Indian Arrowhead Online Database.

Native American arrowhead fragments

Here you’ll find over 60, images that have been archived over many years by serious collectors. These pictures are worth a thousand words, so check it out and compare what you’ve got.

8. Expand Your Horizons

Finding arrowheads is cool, but look for other artifacts, too.

“I’ll find bottles, cans, firearms, horse collars, and tools—all lost by a homesteader 75 or a hundred years ago,” Harris says. “Then a bit deeper, I’ll find arrowheads and spearheads from an Indian camp that was there a thousand years earlier. Settling at elevations above rivers kept people safe from floods. They’d also have fields nearby for planting and woods for hunting.&#;

Spearheads, axe heads, and paint pots (which were used to hold different colors of facial paint for ceremonial use) are equally interesting. Primitive toys like stone marbles are sometimes found in areas where there were long-term encampments. Anything that looks different from a rock might be a unique find.

9. Show Respect

Most arrowheads are found on the surface of the ground, but if you find a few in close proximity to each other, many arrowhead hunters will start digging. You might find more, but here’s where it gets tricky: You might be in a sacred place like an Indian burial ground. Leave that area for the pros to check out. Consult the local resources to report such a historical find; they’re what some archeologists search for their entire lives.

They Still Work

a white rock arrowhead

If you need to know how stone points compare to steel broadheads, just ask primitive archer Billy Berger. He tested both by shooting them into a freshly-killed deer carcass. Berger’s stone points were fashioned from Texas flint and fastened to arrow shafts with pine sap glue and sinew. The penetration was similar, and the flint arrowhead remained intact.

Maybe the ancient arrowheads that you&#;ll find on the ground are still sharp enough to take down a deer. Regardless, whether you&#;re hunting for them or hunting with them, stone arrowheads are a living history that connects us to the hunters of the past.

Indian Artifacts - Arrowheads - Spear Points - Weird Walk In Woods

The Arrowhead Whisperer: Stunning Indian Artifact Collection Found on Farmland

Hidden for thousands of years beneath farmland, arrowheads wait patiently for the eyes—and hands—of Johnny Dickerson. Blue jean pockets empty after an hour spent tracking dirt rows beneath an unusually brutal spring sun, Dickerson methodically scans the ground for a hint of flint, and even the tiniest speck or flake drives him to keep the faith and continue searching. As fatigue begins to creep onto his shoulders after five miles of walking, Dickerson’s mouth suddenly goes dry and his stomach tightens—he can feel an arrowhead in close proximity, sight unseen.

Minutes later, sparked by an unmistakable sensation in his core, Dickerson’s gaze drops to an outrageous flint point, rain-washed with ears, tip and base in pristine condition, as if the worked rock was gently dropped yesterday. He puts a knee in the soft, sandy soil, reverently picks up the arrowhead, and feels his adrenaline surge as he tucks it into a denim pocket. Three more hours of hunting? Four more hours? Not a problem.

The flint artifact and a dozen more points subsequently found on the same hunt are destined for Dickerson’s phenomenal collection of Native American stone tools, including 4,plus showpiece points. Dickerson, an arrowhead hunting warhorse with a bootstrap tale and little regard for conformity, is a classic American individualist. There are many arrowhead hunters—but there is only one Johnny Dickerson.

Cochise and Cash

On a May afternoon on the outskirts of Moultrie, miles below Atlanta in southwest Georgia, Dickerson, 71, is returning home from another successful hunt at one of his countless arrowhead sweet holes, and barreling down blacktop in a white, single-cab F propelled by an abnormally loud motor, with the bare bones bass-baritone of Johnny Cash blaring through the cab. Leaning back from the wheel, Dickerson’s black hair and dark features are prominent, testimony to the Native American blood in his veins—he is a quarter Creek and looks the part.

Dickerson typically hunts solo, but on this drive back to Moultrie, he is not alone: Silver-haired Cochise is riding shotgun. Lips pursed and jaw square, wearing dark sunglasses, an orange, long-sleeved collared shirt with accompanying bolo tie, turquoise belt buckle, denim vest, faded jeans, leather work boots, two front hair braids, and a headband flanked by a lone, upright turkey feather, Cochise stares sternly ahead as a succession of cotton and peanut fields blend in the rearview mirror. A frequent passenger in Dickerson’s F, Cochise is half mannequin and half cigar store Indian, with wooden arms and legs, a stuffed torso, and a life-like, plaster head topped with light gray horsehair.

At a four-way stop outside Moultrie, Dickerson, 71, slows to a halt as Cochise catches the eye of several bewildered pedestrians in the lot of an adjacent convenience store. For a few seconds the vehicle pauses, followed by the spin of tires and the squeal of rubber on asphalt, as the truck hot rods out of the intersection and lurches down the Colquitt County road carrying a most motley trio: Cash, Cochise and Dickerson.

X Marks the Spot

Every morning, rain or shine, Dickerson’s feet hit the floor at a.m. Retired after running the show at Spence Field (a former air base and current industrial park) for 22 years, and now filling hours as a part-timer, he works from 7 a.m. to noon, four days a week. Work is piggybacked by an afternoon constitutional, a 1-hour and minute nap commencing at 1 p.m., on the nose. Bedtime follows at p.m., end of story. The regimen, despite its unorthodoxy, suits Dickerson to a T: “I still work and I still get my sleep, no alarm clocks required. Yeah, I’m a little different, but nobody can hunt arrowheads seven days a week, all day. Not even me.”


How to explain the motivations of a true maverick and the origins of a massive Native American artifact collection? Boy to man, it’s best to go back to the beginning.

Dickerson was born on the bottom of the social ladder in , and grew up in sharecropping poverty on a five-acre plot outside the tiny town of Funston in Colquitt County. Even into the late s, Dickerson worked on occasion with mule teams, among the last echoes of livestock-drawn agriculture in the U.S. His father ruled the household with an iron hand, and kept hogs for a nearby farmer, and the tiny Dickerson and his brothers were charged with the constant care of head—an incessant cycle of mixing potash lye, water and corn to ensure soft grain for the pigs. “As a little boy, it wasn’t easy to live in that house, and I had to work my tail off to survive; that was life,” recalls Dickerson, in an easy south Georgia drawl. “I still remember that every time a hog was born, we’d get needle-nose pliers and break off the sharp teeth to make sure they wouldn’t tear off the momma’s teats. Those memories are clear as can be.”


Trips to the service station were often hog-related. “I’d go collect burnt motor oil and take it home for the hogs. As soon as we castrated the males, I’d sop the burnt oil on the spot and they’d be fine.”

Dickerson was also responsible for another hog-tending job, a perplexing X-marks-the-spot task he never fully understood in the moment. Wielding a cigar-sized grease pencil, Dickerson would enter a pen of 50 sows and conduct a bit of breeding science. “I had to walk up behind and grab the sows at the top of the butt. If they stood there and didn’t move, you drew a big X on their back. If they ran, you left them alone. That was standing heat, a test to see who was ready. Then we’d cut the herd and go to the woods and get the boar, and they’d all get to breeding.”

One Little Rock

Beyond the hogs, and depending on the month, life was a chain of stacking hay bales, cropping tobacco, chopping weeds—and picking cotton, the gateway to an obsession with Native American artifacts. Even by , only 60% of cotton was mechanically harvested, and cotton states were still serviced by an army of human pickers. In addition, although large-scale chemical defoliation to remove foliage prior to harvest began in Stoneville, Miss., in , the defoliation practice wasn’t common in Colquitt County during Dickerson’s youth. Translation: When Dickerson dragged a 76”-long canvas sack through the fields and picked cotton as a child, the dirt rows weren’t obscured by dessicated plant matter.

On a late-August afternoon under a blinding sun in , barefoot in a cotton field, and reaching to pluck white fiber from a boll, nine-year-old Dickerson spotted a triangular stone under a thin layer of light-brown dust—an arrowhead. “I picked it up and turned it over and over in my hand, amazed by what I’d found. Even as a little kid, I knew that nobody had touched it for thousands of years. It had no money value and nobody in the whole world cared about it, but I dropped it in my pocket; it was mine. In a time of slim pickings, it was something to call my own.”


Later that evening, Dickerson pulled the magical point from his pocket and gave it an honored spot in the security of a bedroom drawer, alongside a broken pocketknife and a handful of marbles. “That’s how it all began,” he remembers. “Hard to believe, that one little rock grew into more arrowheads than I could truly ever count.”

Standing atop the Acropolis

As Dickerson’s drawer filled with arrowheads, he seized on every month of crop season to help his mother scratch enough coin for school clothes and basic staples. “At grammar school, I knew I wasn’t dressed decent like the other kids, and it bothered me bad. Especially in summer, I’d hit every farmer that would have me and work tobacco, hay or cotton, saving every cent. Then before the school year started, I’d take my money to J.C. Penney and buy shirts, jeans and a pair of combat boots. That was my get-up and I was so proud to help my momma.”


However, Dickerson’s hardscrabble childhood turned to genuine turmoil in his teens, and his life took a Dickensian twist in roughly , when his domineering father turned him out of the house and onto the street. As a ninth-grader, Dickerson lived in a room above the Moultrie YMCA, working after school for his board, keeping an eye on a means to make himself. When he finally walked the graduation line, Dickerson knew the Vietnam War was about to come calling, and he beat the draft board to the punch, literally flipping a coin to choose a branch of service.

“It was heads to join the toughest boys in the world and the Marines, or tails to see the world with the Navy. Tails won.”

After boot camp in Orlando, Dickerson returned to Moultrie for a brief visit, and received his marching orders stationing him in Charleston, S.C., along with instructions to fly out of Atlanta on Dec. 23, “I was grateful to be stationed so close to home, and I jumped on a commercial Delta flight and flew on a plane for the first time in my life.”

Three hours into his inaugural flight out of Atlanta, Dickerson signaled to a stewardess. “I said, ‘Ma’am, I’ve never flown, but I didn’t have no idea Charleston was so far.’ She answered back, ‘Charleston? We’re going to Athens.”

And much to Dickerson’s surprise, the stewardess didn’t mean Athens, Ga. “I don’t even know how many hours later it was, but we finally landed in the country of Greece, and I was sorta in shock.”


The country boy who cut hogs, picked cotton and cropped tobacco, spent Christmas Eve in Athens, standing atop the Acropolis, 5, miles from Moultrie. Four years later, and his military service complete, he returned home to a job with Cloudburst Irrigation, and his arrowhead passion, forged during childhood, exploded.

Leaving Time Behind

Roughly 50 years later, with a wealth of geological and historical knowledge to back his passion, Dickerson has amassed a stunning collection of Native American stone tools: thousands of points, blades, celts, boatstones, hammer stones, drills, hoes, bone implements, banner stones, gorgets, blades, chunky stones, and innumerable broken points and percussion flakes. “It’s not about counting them, because others guys have even more. It’s not about how much they’re worth, because I don’t care and I’m never selling. It’s not about finding them, because I truly take joy in the whole process of looking. I can’t even put words to how much I love it.”


“There’s times when I’m alone in a field and I’ll get an extra-sensory feeling when I know I’m getting close to an arrowhead, and it is very real,” he continues. “I can’t back it up with science, but this is a real feeling. Sure, some people just think my mind is getting head of my eye, but some guys out there know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s like a magnet begins pulling you toward an arrowhead location, and within a few minutes, sure enough, it’ll be right there in the dirt. You can’t pay money to match that feeling.”

Dickerson usually hunts alone, and the solitude is sometimes overpowering, he contends: “You can get lost in the middle of a field even though you know your exact location, because you leave time behind. There’s echoes from the past in those fields, and you hear them if you listen close. I mean sometimes you can stand in a spot and feel the stories. I think it all boils down to the essentials during a hunt: It’s just you, God, and the arrowheads.”

Pretend Indians

Typically, Native American sites are found near water sources, but deciphering the combined effects of farming, land forming, movement of water channels, clear-cutting and natural erosion is far from an exact science. “It’s a lot more than knowing where the water is—it’s knowing where the water was,” Dickerson explains. “Most of the time creeks, natural sinks, and bottoms all have arrowheads close, and you have to go look on the high side. My prime time is spring, after tillage, and after heavy rains.”


“If we get a hard rain, maybe a couple of inches, my stomach tightens up and I get excited, because I know at the right hunting spot the arrowheads will be sitting up like golf tees. And you never know what else you’ll stumble across. I found a broken pottery piece where a squaw was making something out of mud and left four finger impressions where she squeezed. It’s those small, unexpected details that make things amazing and come to life.”

Dickerson’s technique is methodically simple: He carries a picker-upper and stays in a single row, casting his eyes out no further than ’. A clearly spotted arrowhead results in a hand extraction, but everything else is examined with the rubber ends of the picker-upper.

Occasionally on hunts, Dickerson draws a blank, but his keen eye typically locates multiple points. A decade back, he found 17 museum-quality specimens in a single day, and several years ago, had an even more bountiful hunt around a natural sink between two plowed fields, following a 4”-rain. “There was an acre pond in the middle with a natural spring and creek down below—a double water source for Indians. I found 40 arrowheads, tomahawk heads, nutting stones, mortars and so much else. One of the most glorious hunts I’ve ever had.”

Whether he finds a little or a lot, his thoughts are always consistent: “I’m kneeling in the dirt holding a rock that’s been hidden for thousands of years, and it’s truly a magical, special feeling. Whether it’s a 5,year-old adena, or a 10,year-old paleo, I start asking the same questions. Who made this? Who was he? Was he a leader or just a guy trying to survive?”

What role does a Native American background play in Dickerson’s love of arrowheads? Not much, he insists. “I do it because I love it and it doesn’t relate to me being a quarter Creek. Hell, everybody wants to be a Cherokee, anyhow. There are a lot of pretend Indians out there, and I’m not like that. I’ve got a turquoise ring and I love Indian culture, but I’m just who I am.”

Fakes and Thieves

The majority of Dickerson’s finds receive a permanent spot in an unlikely storage building on the back of his property. Step through the door of the metal structure and enter a 15’x25’ room lined floor, ceiling and walls, with unfinished #2 tongue-and-groove knotted pine. The museum is jam-packed with 50 years of finds and Native American-themed paraphernalia. Stone tools by the thousands rest on tables or wall boxes, along with pictures and photos, ceramics, lamps, rugs, jewelry, figurines, as well as several 4’-6’ life-sized Indians made from mahogany. On the far side of the room, seated in a white wicker chair, is the unflappable Cochise, silently watching over it all.


“I guess I’ve found about 4, really nice arrowheads in my life, and those are just the really good ones. It might be more, but I’m not about to count them for an exact number. It’s never been about having the most arrowheads. I know people with collections twice as big and bigger. Anytime you think you’re the man with a big collection, go to an Indian artifact show and you’ll say, ‘Dang, I’ve got nothing.’”

“I usually dump all the tater-chip sized flakes from my hunts outside the museum, and I may find enough to fill up half a gallon drum after five or six hunts. One time, I dumped about broken arrowheads outside, and my friends starting picking them up and taking them. No, no,” he laughs. “I value those too, but they were just there for kind of decoration.”

His fascination with ancient stone tools has given Dickerson a keen awareness of the dark side of the hobby—reproductions and theft. “There are guys out there who make and sell fakes, and there are also some flat-out thieves.”


In the summer of , Dickerson’s phone rang with a call from Roy Godley, a Moultrie resident with a noted arrowhead collection. Godley’s house had been burglarized and the thief had taken his arrowheads, valued at over $10, “Roy called and asked if I’d bought any arrowheads or knew of any for sale. Roy is a good fella and I felt awful for him, and told him I’d dang sure call if anything crossed my path.”

Months later, in October, Dickerson got another phone call, this time from an individual with arrowheads for sale, purportedly all finds within 20 miles of Moultrie. “This guy was a criminal, or con-man, or whatever you want to call him, but he was friendly and smooth and looked kind of outdoorsy. He showed up the next day at my house with a sack full of really nice arrowheads, all bouncing around off each other in the bag. That should have been my first alarm that something wasn’t right.”

“My second alarm was that some of the points weren’t from around this area. I know what I’m talking about on the flint and these were not all native points.”


Dickerson handed the man $, with promise of an additional $ The following day, Dickerson delivered the final $ at a service station link-up. With the deal completed, Dickerson dialed Godley, drove home, and spread the points on a table. “Roy walked in, saw the arrowheads almost from the doorway, and hollered, ‘Those are my damn arrowheads. You gotta be s******* me.’”

“Roy had pictures on his phone to back up what he said, and we called the law and the guy did jail time, and Roy was fortunate—really fortunate—to get his collection back. Most of the time, the stories don’t end like that.”


As Dickerson enters the final quarter of his life, what will happen to the stone tools he’s accumulated? The entire collection will eventually pass to his wife, Joyce, daughter, Jenna Alderman, and son, Asa.

Parts director at Lasseter Tractor, Asa lives alongside the Ochlockonee River. In , directly behind his home, Asa bought 35 acres that rubbed against the Ochlockonee, and while clear-cutting the pines, found a heavy scattering of flint chips. He replanted the ground in pines, but a year later, at Dickerson’s urging, Asa removed the trees from five acres of sandy ridges that bumped the water, opening a door on prime arrowhead territory. Periodically, Asa harrows with a E John Deere tractor, exposing stone tools hidden for centuries—and sometimes millennia.


Asa’s ground has given up several hundred arrowheads, with the elder Dickerson finding the vast majority. However, Asa recalls a day when the script was flipped at another location, and an 8-year-old boy found his first point. “My daddy can find them like nobody else, but I’ll never forget my very first find, back when I was 8. We were in a field, and I was about 6’ behind and 6’ to his left. I wasn’t even hunting hard and I saw him walk right past one—a really good one that was the same color as the red clay dirt. I haven’t brought it up in a whole lot of years,” Asa laughs. “He might not remember it, but then again, I don’t even know if my daddy will admit to it.”

Dickerson’s daughter, Jenna Alderman, and her husband, Benji, own Sundown Farms Plantation—a picturesque quail hunting, wedding, and corporate event site, roughly a mile from Dickerson’s house. “It’s ironic because when I was a kid, we never hunted wildlife—we hunted arrowheads,” she recalls. “So many Saturdays, we’d stop at a gas station on the way to hunt, stock up on candy and drinks, and then spend all day in the arrowhead fields, maybe playing in a creek while daddy hunted. They were wonderful, fun times.”


Why does Alderman believe arrowheads have such a hold on her father? “He grew up so poor and rough, and it’s possible his past made him view them as precious and something to call his own. He came from nothing, worked so hard, and I wouldn’t trade him for nothing, and I find myself turning into him.”

“He’s truly one-of-a-kind. Sometimes my friends will text me and say they just passed my daddy and Cochise driving down the road. I mean, there is honestly nobody like him.”

To the Last Arrowhead

Despite a lifetime of hunting, and a deep attachment to Native American lore, arrowheads don’t rank No. 1 in Dickerson’s life, or come close, he explains. “My family, and not arrowheads, drives me. I do love arrowheads deeply, but nothing compared to my wife, kids and grandkids. I’m a man that’s a little crazy, with a little bit of a crazy past, but if I died today, what a wonderful life it’s been in this great country. I just look at the opportunity my family has and how well they’re doing today, and I realize my grandkids will never have to save money in the summer just to buy school clothes. That’s a tiny part of how grateful I am.”

“I have my family around me and I’m free to hunt arrowheads. What else could I ask for? As long as the Lord keeps me able on this Earth, I’ll be hunting arrowheads. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll never find my last one.”

For more, see:

Fleecing the Farm: How a Fake Crop Fueled a Bizarre $25 Million Ag Scam

US Farming Loses the King of Combines

Ghost in the House: A Forgotten American Farming Tragedy

Rat Hunting with the Dogs of War, Farming's Greatest Show on Legs

Misfit Tractors a Money Saver for Arkansas Farmer

Predator Tractor Unleashed on Farmland by Ag's True Maverick

Government Cameras Hidden on Private Property? Welcome to Open Fields

Farmland Detective Finds Youngest Civil War Soldier’s Grave?

Descent Into Hell: Farmer Escapes Corn Tomb Death

Evil Grain: The Wild Tale of History’s Biggest Crop Insurance Scam

Grizzly Hell: USDA Worker Survives Epic Bear Attack

A Skeptical Farmer's Monster Message on Profitability

Farmer Refuses to Roll, Rips Lid Off IRS Behavior

Killing Hogzilla: Hunting a Monster Wild Pig

Shattered Taboo: Death of a Farm and Resurrection of a Farmer

Frozen Dinosaur: Farmer Finds Huge Alligator Snapping Turtle Under Ice

Breaking Bad: Chasing the Wildest Con Artist in Farming History

In the Blood: Hunting Deer Antlers with a Legendary Shed Whisperer

Corn Maverick: Cracking the Mystery of Inch Rows

Against All Odds: Farmer Survives Epic Ordeal

Agriculture's Darkest Fraud Hidden Under Dirt and Lies


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