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There is no functionality which prohibits a geocacher from logging a find dated prior to a cache's publication date.  For example, a cache could have been listed previously on a different listing service or as a private cache or offered to a friend for "beta testing."  (Not that any of those things occurred here.)

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Definitely not a bug!

I often hide a cache, leave it for a week, and ask a geocaching friend to check it for me. If all is working properly and it hasn't been muggled, I'll write up a cache page for submission. However, my geocaching friend will log it on the date he signed the log - which is going to be before the cache was published. Of course, no one claims FTF under these circumstances, but there is nothing stopping a pre-publication log.

In this case, just a new cacher getting confused :) s/he will find their feet soon enough.

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I have a geocaching friend who would sometimes archive a cache and hide another in the same spot.  One time he archived a cache and a couple days later I visited the spot and there was a new cache!  So I signed and dated the log, took a photo, and when the cache was published six days later, I logged the cache on the date I found it. FTF!  That was fun!


Edit to clarify: I didn't have any inside info that the cache would be there, I noticed a pattern of archive / publish in the same spot.  So when I got an archive notice I joking thought that there would be another cache there soon.  And lo and behold there was!

Edited by GeoElmo6000
Added clarification note
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