Tips on Finding Flint Indian Arrowheads

Flint arrowheads remain along with other stone artifacts as proof of cultures that lived in certain areas long before we did. Made in different sizes by both ancient cultures and more historically recent American Indian tribes, flint arrowheads were popular tools used mainly for hunting. Arrowhead and artifact hunters around the country prize them. By using a few tips on finding flint arrowheads, searchers increase their chances of a successful arrowhead hunt.

  1. Legal Aspects

    • Areas where flint arrowheads turn up often are private property. National and state laws may vary on who retains ownership of any found artifacts, including those made of flint. There was a time when artifacts lying on top of the ground found while surface hunting were fair game and free to take. Now, however, there exist different "treasure trove" laws pertaining to whom any flint arrowheads you find belong to. A treasure trove law governs aspects of metal detecting for coins and such, and in some cases aspects of stone artifacts as well. Always get the landowner's written permission before hunting for flint arrowheads on his property. If you are searching creek beds, get the written permission of each adjoining landowner.


    • Quad maps increase your chances of a successful hunt. A quad map is a topographic map. This means they provide details about the area you want to search. They show every detail of the land including creeks, hills and even areas of irregular land. Use the maps to plan your hunt, for example, on parcels of land you want to concentrate on. In addition you can use online resources such as Google Earth to look as close as possible at the land before you actually get there. This saves wasted time of walking around looking for a good area. You will know what area you want and be able to go right to it upon arriving at the hunting destination.

    Go Slowly

    • Take your time when searching for flint artifacts. Most are small, and many remain partially buried in the soil. Going slowly also allows you to see flint chips, an indication that bigger arrowheads may be nearby. Move in a repetitive sweeping motion, from one spot to another when searching. If you see something that looks promising, mark the spot so that later it does not seem like just another patch of dirt. Use something colorful like a handkerchief or a small flag stuck in the ground. Avoid anything heavy as this could accidentally crush the arrowhead. Some flint arrowheads are fragile, being small to begin with and then buried for possibly hundreds if not thousands of years.


    • Morning is the best time to hunt for the flint arrowheads. The sun's light at this time of the day provides better light on the ground to see the flint. In addition the air will be cooler and more pleasant as far as comfort for the hunter. Noon and afternoon sun is hotter. At best you become very uncomfortable, and at worst you risk a sunstroke or heat exhaustion.

    Things to Bring

    • Be sure to bring plenty of water. Even morning sun dehydrates a person if in it long enough. Bring a protein bar or something similar for a snack. While not an absolute necessity, it gives an energy boost when needed.

      A sharp stick to prod and flip the soil is very helpful. Some flint hunters eventually find a favorite that they take on every excursion. Using a stick saves extra strain on the legs and back from bending over for examination of every stone or chip found.
      Bring an extra pair of shoes, or at the least have a sturdy comfortable pair because of all the walking on uneven ground surfaces involved. The second pair is handy when walking creek beds if the first pair gets too wet.

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  • Photo Credit indian arrowhead image by Jim Mills from

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