Site Selection and Researching

In this episode I look at a property that has caught my attention for several months. Using Google Earth and the resources I mentioned in my previous post I figured out the history of the property. I give just a few clues as to what originally caught my attention. Hope you find it useful and enjoyable.

Good things are happening

Good evening everyone, tonight I spent about 3 hours going through my blog and updating the look, links, and overall feel. This was a daunting task but I have really been thinking about putting more attention on metal detecting and I hope you folks are enjoying it. It has always amazed me at how many people read my blog posts even from years past. Looking at my stats is really what jump started my renewed spirit about the hobby and sharing my knowledge.  I have enjoyed vlogging and have a couple more ready to go and I’m just waiting for the time to be right. I also wanted to let everyone know that I have been in talks with a detector manufacturer to bring my readers/viewers an honest opinion on some of their existing equipment as well as field testing their new products. I am looking forward to the partnership and the thing I like most is that they are not requiring me to be exclusive to their brand. I don’t want to mention who it is just yet as they will be rolling out a bunch of new marketing materials next month. I should be getting one of their machines to try, hopefully I will get to put some hours in on it before everything launches. The coolest part about the partnership is that  I will be able to bring you guys some special discounts on their equipment by simply using a code that I will provide. Start saving all the coins you found in coin star machines over the winter for a new machine. All that being said, stay tuned as things are starting to head in the direction I had hoped for 2017.


Thanks for reading and happy detecting

Steveouke *\_

Sunday 02/19/17

In this vlog I discuss things I look for in public parks and a little bit about target masking and an upcoming Question and Answer session. Feel free to leave your comments here, email them to me, or comment using YouTube. Hope you enjoy it.

Kicking in-Vlog #1

I wanted to take a moment and let everyone know that I am going to integrate a Vlog into my Blog. I am going to take a different approach than most in regards to finds. I may show my finds every once in awhile but I want to focus more on the hobby as a whole. I have always been surprised about how many views my simple blog gets and I’m hoping that between reading and watching my site will be complete for anyone in or getting into the hobby. That being said I have launched the first Vlog entry and you can see it here. If you want to not miss a Vlog entry hit the subscribe button. I guess my end hope is that I can do some product reviews, news, and general information about the hobby.

Thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to where this is going.

Steve *\_

Finally getting settled in right before winter..

Well I have to apologize again for not posting much lately. Once we decided to move to Wisconsin it has been a whirlwind. Between physically moving, building fence, and just trying to get settled in metal detecting has taken a back seat. I can honestly say that I have maybe detected for 10 hours since moving up here. Now fortunately those 10 hours have been pretty productive and I haven’t even started doing intense research. I am hoping that over the winter I can do a lot of research and then be ready to roll in the spring. It has been a wet year up here and anytime I’ve gotten out it has been a muddy mess. Anyways I am thinking I may put together a very in depth look at doing research because honestly I feel like I am starting from scratch and hardly even know where I’m at let alone the good stuff. I hope to be back in full swing action by the spring. Possibly in a better way than ever before.


Thanks for reading



The Ukena Life of today.

Well, I haven’t been detecting much due to me working full time, growing a woodworking business, as well as maintaining my family life. The activities of recent have me even more busy. Our family is moving to Wisconsin and my wife and three sons are staying with friends there while I pack up the house and I will be heading up there in a few days. We moved into our house 2 years ago and I cannot believe how much we have accumulated in that short time. Anyways I am excited to get all of our stuff into our new home and start settling in. We have found a home in Wisconsin and have all the offers accepted and we are just getting closing details in place. I’m looking forward to swinging my detector up there because the town we found our home in was founded in 1841. That will be some of the oldest ground I have had the pleasure of detecting. Half cents, Large Cents, Seateds, oh my.. And that doesn’t even mention all the bicycling, fishing, and other outdoor activities that are so easily found in the area.

The sorrowing part of this post is that I am leaving behind a great group of guys at Wheat State Treasure Hunters. We have had a ton of fun, created memories, and done the hobby a service. I will check in with the club, try to gather up hunt buddies on my return trips, and definitely stay in touch via social media. I hope the best for the club and I will truly miss sharing our services with the detector manufacturers and showing them the good our club does.

Until we get unpacked and settled the finds will be dreams but once I get the coil to the soil I’m certain mother earth will give up some goodies.

Thanks for reading and I wish everyone the best!

*\_ Steveouke

In and out of a funk.

I felt inspired to write this morning because lately I’ve been in a funk about metal detecting. Exactly a month ago I managed to cut my thumb pretty good in the table saw. This little event kept me out of the field for 3 weeks or so. This past weekend the Wheat State Treasure Hunters held a class for the City of Wichita. It was our smallest class yet but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome. I find these classes to be quite rewarding. I have lost track of the number of classes we’ve done but I can tell you that I haven’t heard any negative response from anyone. I think people truly enjoy our class! Teaching class this weekend seems to have brought me out of the funk I had been in. I’m not sure why the funk started whether it was not being able to use my right thumb for anything, the less than desirable weather we have had, or just life being busy and occupying my mind elsewhere. Anyways I feel like getting out and doing some detecting. Hopefully the weather will stabilize and we will have some nice mornings for getting out and finding some cool stuff.

\_ Thanks for reading


A day in the dirt with the Archaeology group

Several months ago the Wheat State Treasure Hunters invited Dr. Bob Hoard to one of our meetings. We were intrigued about the differences between archaeologists and mder’s. There was a certain something that spawned from that meeting. Pulltab Miner and I thought that Dr. Hoard seemed pretty open minded. During his meeting he discussed using metal detectors as a tool. We suggested that maybe in the future we could work together on a project or two. Fast forward a few months and I received a Facebook message from the Dr. asking if I would like to help them on a dig at the beginning of May. I told him that I would be really interested in doing so. Pulltab Miner and I agreed to help them out on a exploratory investigation some 3 hours from home.

Saturday May 9th.

Pulltab Miner and I were told to be at the dig site at 9 in the morning. We left my house at a little before 6 and headed North. We skidded the Rav into the dig site with 5 minutes to spare. We were greeted by folks from the Kansas Historical Society, the Kansas Anthropology Association, a representative of the landowner,  and a few volunteers including two other metal detectors. The site is a very historical site that is part of the historic register. The land is owned by a non-profit organization that wants to create a more tourist like area. This includes parking lots and a natural amphitheatre type area. Our goal was to see what was lurking under the ground where the parking lots are planned.

After a short briefing and some introductions we move to the North end of the property where one of the parking lots will be. It started off kind of slow for me. Each person running a metal detector was accompanied by an excavator (don’t think backhoe here). The excavator was kind of like a recorder as well. Any artifact that they thought to be period would be logged via GPS, bagged, and later inspected by the Archaeology team. I was the chosen one to work directly with Dr. Hoard. I think he was losing faith in me because the first few signals I tried to retrieve were ghost signals. I started putting things together and realized that on each attempt there was a sizeable rock below. He was intrigued and I showed him that sometimes a signal is there but once you move soil, rocks, and generally disturb the area it could disappear. We worked the field back and forth several times. On one of my last passes I managed to find what I believe was the first dated artifact of the day. It was a shield nickel that was lurking just under the surface. It has rays on it which means it was either an 1866 or 1867. I couldn’t get a date off of it. We all celebrated and the nickel like every other artifact got logged by GPS, bagged, and given an artifact number. One of the volunteers made a joke about me not doing a back flip. So I jokingly did a pseudo roll down the hill. It was a fun moment and we proceeded on. Given that we had covered the area quite well we were nearing the end of this particular site. I took the opportunity to open some discussion about finding artifacts and retaining them. Dr. Hoard and I spoke for only a few moments about the system Europe has for collecting data about finds. After our discussion I don’t think it would take much to implement such a system here in the states. He reiterated the fact that they truly just want to know information. They don’t want our finds that we find on our own. They would just like to have a record of it. Now I know that there are some MDer’s out there that keep pretty meticulous records about finds. I will also be the first to admit that my blog is the only real record I keep of my finds. After spending a day with these guys I can understand why they would like the information. Would it take more of my precious time to keep a log of finds and GPS coordinates? Yes. Would I enjoy keeping a log of all my finds? Probably not. However I can also see the benefit of having that information whether it is for me or for the archaeologists to review. In my mind we are all trying to figure out history and grab a little piece of it. Personally I have turned one of my sites into the KSHS for documentation. I haven’t seen a dig team on that site and I doubt they will ever do anything with it. It’s not a highly historic site but in case they ever decide to build a Taj Mahal on it they will know what has been recovered there thus far. I have to ask the question though. How many metal detecting hobbyists would take the time to log all the information from their sites? Now I know there are folks out there saying that as soon as I let them know what I’ve found they will be all over it. Dr. Hoard said somethings that made me think quite the opposite. They have used peoples personal collections as a tool to learn more about a site. They don’t take the collection and never look back. My thinking is this. If you find a good site detect it to your hearts desire, make a detailed record of it and collect things in a responsible way, once you are done with the site go ahead and give the archaeology department the information you have. They won’t steal what you’ve collected and they won’t hassle you about it. They may be impressed and ask to borrow your collection for display and investigation but they still have to have funding, time, and permission to turn it into an archaeologists full dig site.

Anyways I digressed from this trip. We finished up at that particular site and moved further down the trail. In this particular section I found what seemed like a period correct bullet that had hit something and sheered into two pieces. We proceeded to joke and have fun. Miner had shared with me that the fine lady helping him had made a comment about once you find a nickel you can then sluff off and stand around and talk. This among with finding a rusty modern wingnut led to several jokes and laughs between the group. It was fun and I think we all learned something. Dr. Hoard as well as other volunteers were intrigued by how much we could tell by using the metal detectors. I was impressed with how knowledgeable they were regarding artifacts and sub surface items in general.

As the afternoon moved on we did as well. We went to the “homestead” area that was as far as I could tell some kind of dugout or log home that was quite small. Our detectors immediately went nuts with all the iron in the ground. I managed to dig several pieces of an old stove top, the back half of an axe head, and a harmonica reed. Miner shined in this spot and found a couple of buttons and an old serving fork. We eventually moved to a different part of the area that was heavily used and still had wagon swells from the numerous wagons that passed over the ground headed west. The bad news was the fact that a quarry had operated on this particular piece of land for many years in the 20’s and 30’s. I didn’t find much but we finished the day out here as thunder and lightning bared down on us.

In closing I want to say it was a great time and very eye opening for me. I’m not saying that us detectorists or detectoristas are looting and causing bad, however I wonder if we should be more diligent in what we do? As we were winding down Dr. Hoard asked if we would be interested in bringing the club to the site for a full day of detecting and recording. I think most the people in our group would be willing to do it considering the site is full of history from the time before we even became a state.

On the ride home Miner and I had a couple conversations and one thing he said struck me. As there is a new wave of people joining both forces will we work more closely together in the future? I think it is a possibility. One of our club members sent me a link to a group in New Mexico I believe that held an event that would give archaeologists a more thorough understanding of metal detectors, how they are used, and what you can do with them. I see this as inspiring however I couldn’t find anything that stated how many archaeologists attended the event.

We shall see what the future holds!

I personally want to say thank you to everyone that helped out on Saturday and I hope that we can do this more often.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your comments below.

*\_ Steveouke

All photos below are courtesy of Tom Parker. Thanks for the great pictures Tom! You can see more of Tom’s work by visiting his site

The group unloading and getting ready
The group unloading and getting ready
Working away under a cloudy sky.
Working away under a cloudy sky.
Working our way across the hilltop.
Working our way across the hilltop.

Dr. Hoard and I

We were checking out something and making sure nothing else lurked below.
We were checking out something and making sure nothing else lurked below.
I believe this is when I found the coin!
I believe this is when I found the coin!