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A Quick Guide to Hunting Arrowheads

Arrowhead hunting, also known as artifact hunting, is an interesting and rewarding hobby that has gained popularity over the years. It involves searching for artifacts and other items of historical significance in fields, woods, and other outdoor areas. Arrowheads, stone tools, and other artifacts are found in these areas that can provide a glimpse into the past and provide a sense of connection to the historical events that may have taken place in the area.

For those who are new to arrowhead hunting, it is important to understand the rules of the activity to ensure that it is done right and that no rules are broken:

A Quick Guide to Arrowhead Hunting

Arrowhead hunting is a fun and satisfying activity for history buffs, beachcombers, and adventure seekers alike. It is an excellent way to get out in nature, explore historical sites and discover artifacts from the past. Plus, if you are lucky, you can find arrowheads that are beautiful as well as valuable. This guide will provide some basic tips and instructions to get you started in arrowhead hunting.

Understand the Rules

Before looking for artifacts, it is important to know the laws. When searching for artifacts on private land, the most important thing to be aware of is trespassing. It is essential to get the landowner’s permission before starting your search. If you find artifacts and take them home without the landowner’s consent, this is considered theft. When on someone else’s land, it is important to be respectful. Make sure to leave the area as you found it and pick up any litter you may come across.

Collecting artifacts on public lands, including state and national parks, is prohibited. Even land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and Corp of Engineers reservoirs cannot be arrowhead hunting. Some people might think it’s okay to do surface collecting on public lands, but it’s best to avoid it as it is against the law. Reading the Archaeological Resources and Protection Act of 1979 is the best way to ensure you are not breaking any laws.

What to Bring

Before you start out, it is important to make sure you have the right supplies and equipment. The most important items you need are a trowel, an awl, a field guide, a magnifying glass, and a bag to carry your arrowheads in. You may also want to bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and water, as well as comfortable walking shoes.

The Basics of Arrowhead Hunting

Once you have gathered the necessary supplies, it’s time to start searching. The most common places to start looking for arrowheads are fields, streams, lakes, riverside banks and creek beds. You can look for places where the soil has been disturbed by animals or the elements, or areas where artifacts or pottery have been uncovered. You can also look in areas where wildflowers, reeds or grasses have been uprooted.

Identifying Your Finds

Once you have found an area that looks promising, it’s time to search for actual arrowheads. Arrowheads can be identified by their shape and size. Most arrowheads are triangular with straight or slightly curved edges and can range in size from 1/2 inch to 6 inches. They may also have a concave base.

Cleaning Your Finds

Once you find an arrowhead, it’s important to clean it properly. First, use your awl to carefully brush away any debris on the arrowhead. Next, soak the arrowhead in a bucket of clean water. Then, gently scrub it with a small brush. Finally, pat the arrowhead dry with a soft cloth.

Storing Your Finds

If you want to display your arrowhead finds, you can use an attractive display case or shadowbox for a professional look. If you’re looking for a more economical option, you can use a plain cardboard box or a ziplock bag.


Arrowhead hunting is a great way to connect with your local history and the past. With a little patience and the right tools, you can have great success and find some fascinating Native American artifacts. This guide should provide a good starting point for your arrowhead hunting adventures.

Whether you plan to buy or sell arrowheads, Heartland Artifact Auctions, Inc. can help you! Find out more about our artifacts today!