Certainly, this was one of the largest group-hunts with the highest number of "first-ever" meteorite finds!
This should be kept in mind as I report here on a group-meteorite-hunt that I had the honor of taking part in, and which I feel will become known as a landmark meteorite-recovery effort.
Because reporting just the "numbers" doesn't get across the whole story.
But here are those numbers:
45 meteorite hunters found 93 meteorites (13 were first-ever finds)in a one-day period (July 16, 2001) totalling 440grams.
This was a very successful "group-meteorite-hunt.
But after these results were published, I heard the following question asked,
"I guess this means that the Holbrook Strewn-field has been completely cleaned of meteorites?"
My guess is, "No!"
The Holbrook Strewn-field has been steadily hunted for the past decade, years, months, and even weeks just before this 99th Anniversary Hunt. Yet, this strewn-field is still producing meteorite finds. This strewn-field is known (famously) for being a difficult hunt at certain times, and then (particularly after a major storm) being very generous with its numerous, small meteorites.
And some other "things to keep in mind" are:
that these numbers are a one-day total, and
that these hunters were searching in a limited portion of the "known" strewn-field.
The search area was sort-of limited by the train-tracks to the south and the private-property/residences to the north. But here is what actually appeared to be the limiting factor - the group was able to park their cars in the middle of the strewn-field, and finds were being made not far from the parked cars.
Another curious phenomenon was taking place to keep all of these hunters "bunched-up".
Because of the high percentage of beginner-hunters, many of them would bring the rocks they found over to Ruben Garcia and Jim Wooddell to get them identified. This would eventually result in Ruben and Jim being the foci of the search ellipse!
Of course, when a find was made, it had the tendency to draw nearby hunters to the finder (to examine the find). This dynamic persisted throughout this single day of meteorite-recovery.
In addition, hunters that hiked away from the group to the north and south of the train-tracks, never reported making any finds, which added to the group consensus (and was reinforced by comments by the local experts] that all of the recent finds were being made on the flat "playa" surface (which bordered the train-tracks to the north) and away from the distal margin of the alluvial fan.
Eventually the perception developed among the group that staying close and keeping parallel to the train-tracks would eventually produce results.
Although my only finds for the day were 11 of those mini-meteorites (0.95g) collected from the ant-hills (see below), it was a pleasure to share that great day with a great group of people.
Note: Most of my mini-meteorite finds were made away from where the group was making their finds. Most of them were made farther towards the east. The ant-hills are wide-spread, and so were my finds. It is my opinion that if a systematic search is made of the these ant-hills, it will open up new areas of the strewn-field to meteorite-recovery.
Of course, back in 1941 Frederick Leonard and Nininger said the same thing after their "group hunt" at Holbrook. They reported on the finding of sand-grained sized meteorites recovered from ant-hills in the Holbrook strewn-field, and felt that this would revolutionize strewn-field studies. Well, that prediction hasn't been realized, yet. But it may still become reality through the unfunded, volunteer efforts of present-day meteorite-hunters.