Arrowhead digging is popular in Texas, with special interest groups and pay-to-dig sites sprinkled throughout the Lone Star State. While private sites where you pay to dig are legal, do not dig in public places. Please note that digging for arrowheads is disrespectful to American Indians, and others might consider it a type of looting that robs archaeologists of the origin of the artifacts.
Chrisners Ranch in Moody is about 40 miles north of Austin. Rates for half days, whole days and two-day excursions are available, as well as special prices for children. Rio Bravo Hunting in Springs is also a viable choice in central Texas, with two flat fees, one each for sifter digs and hand digs. At this site, trenches are dug out and piles of loose dirt are set up in mounds for diggers to paw through. Lodging and food are also available for those who want to extend their stay. Randy's Pay Dig near Kerville in the Guadalupe River Valley also boasts American Indian artifacts, although the company notes that finding arrowheads isn't a guarantee at every dig.
Camp Live Oak in Leakley offers large mound and day digs on its private property. There are eight furnished cabins available for those who stay the night. The site boasts nearly one mile of riverfront and is kid-friendly. In addition to its dig site, the scenic Hill Country grounds offer bird watching, scenic views for photography, walks and hikes, and proximity to the majestic Lost Maples State Park. Palmers Dig in Pipe Creek offers a flat fee for an eight-hour dig and warns customers to bring their own shade. The site is only available on weekends. Freshly plowed land after a good rain is considered a safe bet throughout the Texas Hill Country when it comes to looking for arrowheads.
Nacho's on the Nueces River, four miles north of Camp Wood in Barksdale, is a relatively new dig site and offers an eight-hour dig, complete with skid loaders and sifting screens. Nueces River Adventures boasts an untouched camp of Indian artifacts with varying prices for digs in three- or four-hour shifts. The site is open seven days a week and also offers camping. TJ Jenning's Pay Dig offers a variety of choices in Bandara County, including hand digs, screen digs and a special screen dig on Shoepeg Ranch. This site allows only wiggle picks, shovels and small scraping hand tools. D2 ranch in Palo Pinto County offers moderately priced digs, while Arrowhead Guest House in Camp Wood offers cabins, water and arrowheads.
Sarah Snyder is a San Antonio-based freelancer with more than 10 years of journalism experience. Her work has appeared in Bloomberg, the "San Antonio Express-News" and the "Daily Texan." She received a Bachelor of Arts in news and public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.