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:usaflag:The evolution of a metal detectorist ......part 1
Posted by: Dan-MO
Date: November 30, 2008 02:33PM
Many years ago I picked up a copy of Western and Eastern treasure at the grocery store while my wife was shopping. As I thumbed through the magazine I was amazed to see all the silver and gold that had been dug from the ground. I began reading everything I could find about detecting and knew I had to have one of those magical machines. Problem was, there wasn't a abundance of available money in our household at the time......so I continued reading and dreaming of the day I would be digging all that treasure from the earth. One month I saw a add from a detector dealer in W&E (which I had subscribed to and read from cover to cover every month) the dealer was not far from where I lived and the next Saturday I went to see him.

When I entered his shop I was amazed to see all the displays of recovered treasure he had on display....Civil war relics, gold jewelery, and heaps and heaps of old silver coins.....all found with the magic little machines......I had to have one!

As he demonstrated each machine in my price range,,,,,,, which was really low at the time......I finally settled on a Bounty Hunter that was priced at about $100.00. I gave him $25.00 down to put it in lay-a-way with the understanding that I would pay at least $10.00 per week on it until it was paid off. I made the payments each week and it was a exciting day when I paid it off and my mind was filled with images off all the silver and gold I KNEW I was going to find as I put it together and read the instruction manual

I cranked the discrimination up to the max before confidently heading out to my own front yard for the maiden voyage with my young son right behind me. Almost immediately I hit a good signal which when I tryed to dig came across my first problem........the ground was frozen as hard as a rock! Not a problem.....I retrieved a shop hammer,chisel and 5 gallon bucket and began chiseling chunks of frozen earth from the ground with the "treasure" still encased in the frozen dirt ....dropping each chunk into the bucket till I had it full....I then carried the bucket into the house to let the "treasure " thaw while I continued chiseling out the dozens of good hits I had made and filling another bucket.......by the time I had filled the second bucket....the first had started to thaw and the whole family gathered round the kitchen table to see what treasures lay in the frozen earth.

.I felt like a kid at Christmas as I held the first piece of thawing dirt in my hands and when a coin fell out as I began to crumble it up....I quickly snatched it up to see what it was.....I was thrilled to see a 1970 something memorial cent my first dug coin! This scene repeated itself dozens of times over the next couple of hours....and when the last bucket was emptied I had dug a couple of dozen all modern coins....mostly cents with a couple of dimes....I was thrilled if you can imagine that! (Much more to come if anyone is int rested....gotta go for now have company)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 06:05PM by Wayne in BC.

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Was still Treasure wasn't it! :D Looking forward for pt.2 Dan!N/T
Posted by: Ron J
Date: November 30, 2008 03:15PM

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Of course I am interested... Very much looking forward to the remaining parts Dan..N/T
Posted by: Mikie
Date: November 30, 2008 03:59PM

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Good way to start Dan.
Posted by: George-CT
Date: November 30, 2008 05:31PM
You found coins and found away around the frozen ground problem. I remember getting another machine around Christmas or just after and wanted to use. Place was frozen solid. After much though of how to get around it, I decided to see if the neighbors in the villages here would let me detect there dirt floored basements. Then I moved on to the barns and indoor riding rings. In a lot of the older homes here, 1800's I was doing very well on large pennys. I made up a little card and would hand it out to them or their friends. I had called myself the Penny Hunter. It seemed to put them at rest that I was not getting rich, and didn't. If I had any of them in my collection I just gave them to the home owner. Lot of Indian head pennys also. Try as I might, I've done a lot of old root cellars and usually come up empty handed.

Keep the story coming, it brings back some nice memories I had long ago pushed aside.

George-CT

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This should be interesting! Will wait Dan:biggrin:N/T
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: November 30, 2008 07:03PM

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A liar will assume you are lying

:usaflag:The evolution of a metal detectorist.......part 2
Posted by: Dan-MO
Date: November 30, 2008 08:44PM
The ground normally doesn't stay frozen for long periods of time here in Southern Mo. and in a couple of days it had mostly thawed. It would be after dark when I got in from work so I taped a flashlight on the shaft of the detector and hunted that yard every night! For hours! I found a hand full of modern coins nearly every night....along with hot wheel cars, cheap kids jewelery and lots of trash. No silver or gold but I was having a ball. Meanwhile I was making plans for the weekend.....I had a couple places in mind where I just knew I would find piles of silver coins........boy was I in for a lesson!

At this time I knew no one else who owned a metal detector. I didn't own a computer or even know how to turn one on.Everything I would need to learn I would learn from trial and error or from the tidbits of info I could get from books and magazines. Most of my friends thought I was nuts but EVERYONE knew where gold coins and long buried treasure was located.....(I never could understand why they didn't go recover it!)

The weekend came and I hunted some "can't miss" spots from daylight till dark......with nothing to show for my efforts but a tired back and a few grungy modern coins. I was beginning to realize that finding those piles of silver was gonna be harder than I thought. Another week passed with me hunting in my yard nearly every night and the next weekend found me again hunting a old cattle auction sight that had closed in the 1960s after being open since the 1940s. The large area was thickly grown up with weeds but I spend the whole day fighting my way through them........and found 2 wheat cents! My first non modern coins and boy was I thrilled!.......but still no silver.

I spent the next several weekends hunting different promising areas.....with no results other than a few modern coins and a very few more Wheaties.....I was beginning to get discouraged and wondered if there was something wrong with my detector or if any silver coins were ever lost in my area.

The next weekend I only had a couple hours to hunt....and thought I would just mess around my dad and mothers house where I was raised and they still lived. I was in the gravel driveway/parking area scratching out modern grungy cents one after another when suddenly a glint of silver appeared in the bottom of a hole! With shaking hands I picked it up.......A beat up 1963 Rosy dime! My first silver coin! What a thrill! After admiring it for a while I checked the hole again.......and got another strong signal! Scraping it out some more revealed another 2 Rosys! Again from the early 60s! My first silver finds came with 3 in the same hole....and the funny part was I may have been the one who lost them there when I was a kid! I had been getting discouraged but now I was fired up once again!

By the next weekend we had 6 inches of snow on the ground fierce winds and a temp of about 5 degrees.Wanting to go badly but knowing it would be impossible.........or would it? I remembered the old cattle auction sight and the large auction barn that was still standing there. 30 minutes later I was in the barn with detector in hand.There was a auction pit in the center of the large barn surrounded by wooden bleachers where the buyers sat.Looking under them I could see several 1950s era broken soda bottles.....the kind I used to cash in for 2 cents each.....a light bulb lit up in my head! There HAD to be some old coins in the dust under those bleachers ....but they would be hard to get to because they were built so low to the ground.

A few minutes later with my coveralls shed and the detectors shaft adjusted as low as it would go.....I squirmed under those bleachers on my belly as the wind rattled the loose tin on the roof of that old building.The ground under those bleachers had not felt the rain for 60 years or so.....it was packed hard as concrete with about 6 inches of fine powdery dust on top of it. After I squirmed under them about 8 feet or so I finally found a spot where I could at least get up on my hands and knees and swing the detector a little........THERE WERE SIGNALS EVERYWHERE! Brushing back the dust with my hand on the first.....there lay a Mercury dime as bright and shiny as if it had been minted yesterday.....right beside it lay another.....than a silver Rosy and a couple of wheaties.......and a silver Washington quarter!

After I cleaned up that area I squirmed to another......with the same results! Every place I could find with enough room to swing the detector was FULL of old coins! It was hard work and I was soon drenched in sweat and bleeding from the broken glass with cuts on my hands and knees....but I didn't care! I spent the rest of the day crawling around under those bleachers and found the most silver I have ever found to this day......when I got home that night -tired, filthy, and bleeding -I was in hog heaven! I had 46 silver coins -44 dimes and 2 quarters ranging in dates from the 1940s to the early 60s as well as 75 wheat pennys! By far the best day for silver I have ever had......and there was to be several more trips made under those bleachers before I was done........will continue



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 06:04PM by Wayne in BC.

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Son ufa gun! Dan i wish i had thought of............
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: November 30, 2008 10:53PM
the old auction barn years back, it is gone now! :cry:
I learned on my own too, read a few books but mostly just Charlie Garretts handbook to start.
Tell us more, i never had a day with that much silver :thumbup:



A liar will assume you are lying

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Your on a Roll!! :DN/T
Posted by: Ron J
Date: December 01, 2008 04:58AM

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Never thought of the auction either Dan..
Posted by: Mikie
Date: December 01, 2008 08:58AM
We had one in my home town and now that you have reminded me, I should have thought of it.

I have had some good days too..... but nothing like you have described.

Really looking forward to the next part.

Fair winds

Mikie



"There's no present like the time"

"A dog is better than me, for she has love and does not judge"

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most; That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in"


They truely are a magic machine aren't they?
Posted by: Royal
Date: December 01, 2008 03:43PM
Man your yard must have been full of the stuff and full of holes come spring :D I took a new detector out in the frozen yard once and got a good signal but it was spring before I dug that clad quarter. It is a wonderful hobby. I wish I had enough hours in the day to do all that interests me



http://royalottmar.blogspot.com/

INCREDIMAIL TECH SUPPORT SUCKS. IT IS TERRIBLE AND DO NOT SIGN UP FOR INCREDIMAIL!!

That's what keeps me going,,great stories of treasure beneath our feet :)N/T
Posted by: ojm bc
Date: December 01, 2008 09:00PM

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Man I have had days like that but
Posted by: Royal
Date: December 02, 2008 06:41PM
it was early in my detecting days and I thought everyone found them like that. As you all know, I did 99% of my detecting in the water with scuba gear and there was stuff all over the place. I remember two times I had 11 ring dives. I thought little of it as they didn't fit me and a silver dime didn't thrill me as I thought everyone found them. Boy did I learn.

I told a guy at work about my finds the day before and he asked me to bring them in. He had detected since the early years. I brought a baggie in with 50 or 60 old coins, almost all silver that I had found the day before and he just stared at them and then me. He looked at his buddy and said, "He has no idea what he has found" there were rings in there too.

I never had a day like that, even close, on land. That had to be a thrill for sure. I love the detecting story's!!



http://royalottmar.blogspot.com/

INCREDIMAIL TECH SUPPORT SUCKS. IT IS TERRIBLE AND DO NOT SIGN UP FOR INCREDIMAIL!!

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Great adventure there Dan.
Posted by: George-CT
Date: December 02, 2008 08:47PM
Spots like that are fantastic when you find them. Over the years I've found a few and I still go back from time to time. Even though there is not much left to find, just being there and remembering still brings a smile to my face. Most of those I found like that I saved in peanut butter jars and just wrote on the top or inside where, when and why. It still is a thrill to find a spot no one has hit. Fact its a thrill to go where its been hammered and find a nice coin or ring. One of the better hobbies that caught my interest and I've sure gotten a lot of job from it. Your story set me on alert to and old cattle action barn with much the same set up for bleaches. I've got to check with the owner and see if I can hunt that little area. Might be decent. Real nice hunt to read about. Good post.

George-CT

:usaflag:The evolution of a detectorist......last part
Posted by: Dan-MO
Date: December 02, 2008 09:04PM
I hit that old sale barn every chance I got for weeks! I spent many hours crawling around under those old bleachers finding at least a couple of silver coins nearly every time. There finally came a time when they stopped showing up and I moved on to other spots without much luck. One night as I was looking through my finds I realized I had never found a nickel....or a ring of any value. I threw a nickel out on the ground as well as my old high school gold ring. Passing the detector over them I was surprised to see it wouldn't pick them up. I turned the discriminator down several notches and it picked them up nicely.....back to the bleachers!

My first trip back and the nickels started showing up.....not as many as the silver coins but several. Several Buffalo's,silver war nickels, and to my surprise....several more silver dimes that I had missed before (most found near nickels or trash and probably masked by the high discrimination I had used before) One day I hit a signal under those bleachers and as I brushed the dust back expecting a nickel and hoping it would be a Buffalo........I was AMAZED to be staring at a lady's gold ring! Turned out to be 18k with a small diamond that my wife wears to this day!

That old barn became my school and I learned more about detecting from the many hours spent crawling around under those bleachers than I could have learned from any book......and those friends who laughed at me at first.....most now owned detectors and begged to come with me! A few were looking to get rich quick....and didn't stay with it long. Others still detect to this day.

I became obsessed with metal detecting. When I wasn't detecting I was thinking of places to detect.Every old house I would see I would size up for detecting potential. I would mow the grass and do all my weekend chores at night after work....so my weekends would be free for detecting.My wife would go with me sometimes and was a good sport about me being away most weekend daylight hours......(Maybe the Gold ring and the hopes of more had something to do with it also! LOL!)

I began to get serious about research....I questioned every older person I knew about where they went to school,swam, played ball, went to church,bought there moonshine etc. etc. etc......I found more than one prime spot this way. I also hit the local library....our little town has had a local newspaper in production every year since 1840....and the library has every issue on microfilm.I spent many many hours reading of church picnics and carnivals and horse race tracks and baseball fields of days gone by.....and found many of them! I read a tidbit once of more than 1000 people attending a "Flag Day" picnic at a local church and cemetary in 1900......I knew where the cemetary was....but had no idea there was ever a church there......A knock on a door with a few polite words and question from a farmer got me permission to detect and the exact spot the church had stood intill it burned down in the 1920s.........It had stood across the road from the cemetary in what is now a cow pasture and it netted me several Barber dimes and Indian Heads.

Sometimes I would get so involved reading the old papers that I forgot what I was looking for. My area saw lots of action during the Civil War and control of the town changed hands several times between the Rebs and Yanks. I read where a Company of Yanks rode through main street and nearly everyone in town ran for there lives........except one old 90 year old man who had fought in the Revolutionary war. He stood on his porch and killed the first Yankee that appeared before he was shot to pieces....he was buried as a hero and I can show you his grave today. This got me interested in finding Civil War artifacts and I began seeking out skirimish and camp sites based on clues I got from the old newspaper.....found a few too along with the artifacts including 2 cannon balls several 3 ringers and other artifacts.

By this time I owned a top of the line Whites Spectrum XLT detector.....Thanks to a very surprising Christmas present from my wife.....I guess she saw me drooling over it each month when it was advertised in W&E treasure magazine. It is 10 years old now and has the scars of being drug thru a thousand briar patches......It has more miles on it than General Rays El Camino....but still works great and I am as comfortable with it as I am with a old friend.

My detecting was slowed some a couple of years ago due to some health problems and other prioritys. There was a time when I would have been disappointed to come home from a hunt without a couple of old coins in my pocket.....not so much these days. I get as much pleasure out of the hunt as I do the finding. I have introduced several friends to the hobby and seldom hunt alone these days. I get as much - or more- pleasure seeing the excitement of a friend digging his first Indian Cent or old silver coin as I would digging it myself.

About 5 or 6 years ago I finaliy got a computer and sort of learned how to use it. Of course one of the first things I did was to start looking for treasure storys and metal detecting web sites. After visiting several I was looking through some archives at another site when I ran across some storys written by a guy named Royal about Canadian fishing trips. I didn't like the web site so much.........to many rude people........but I was rolling in the floor reading Royals storys!

A few days later I stumbled onto this site. It was going very well then with several storys being posted nearly every day. I lurked around for weeks without posting -just reading the wonderful storys -when I got the nerve to post a story of my own and introduce myself -Royal quickly welcomed me followed by Fred and Arkie John and a few others who's names I can't recall. That might have been a mistake for Royal cause I haven't shut up for long since then! I have made many dear friends on this forum since then.....Friends from coast to coast and Canada. Friends I feel like I know who I would gladly welcome into my home. Friends who have supported me, laughed with me, and sometimes cried with me. Looking back, these friends who I have met on line and in the field are by far the greatest treasures I have ever found and I wouldn't trade them for all the things combined I have ever dug from the earth. I truly value and appreciate you all. Thanks for taking the time to read -



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 06:03PM by Wayne in BC.

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Never enjoyed a story more Dan! .........................
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: December 02, 2008 10:47PM
your progression in metal detecting paralleled my own so closely that it is eerie! Right down to the ring bribe for the wife :biggrin: I remember well when both you and i were new here to the forum and as you said we all made such good friends here that we treasure still.
Well said my friend and thank you:thumbup::thumbup:



A liar will assume you are lying

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Stories by Dan-MO .........
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: February 20, 2009 04:20PM
Thank you Dan!:smile:



A liar will assume you are lying



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 10:12PM by Wayne in BC.

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