Round 3 at the “hotel” site

This Morning I was in the field while the sun peeked over the horizon. I wanted to spend a couple more hours at my new site. The very first target I dug was an old horseshoe. I have been trying to date it which seems to be almost impossible. I then started digging clad and a few pieces of miscellaneous iron, brass, and lead. While hunting my mind kept trying to put together the pieces of where the hotel was, where people would congregate, and where I should be focusing my attention. At one point I got a very deep strong signal.. I had to see what it was. I quickly learned that the target was huge. I saw an ornate metal edge and thought to myself; Is this my fist cache? Did I just stumble upon a small trunk full of goodies? I finally got it out of the ground and learned that it was a huge what’s it. I also found a handle that I believe goes with it because it was right beside it. Any Ideas?

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After I got done hunting I went to the local library to see if I could drum up any further information about this site. I grabbed some local reference books and started looking up hotels. It seems that our great town did have a hotel for many years but not the same one I was looking for. I then started reading through the literature regarding the railroad coming through. Everyone has told me that this “hotel” was built specifically for the workers. One of the last pages of this book caught my attention. I saw a building that looked familiar. Standing beside it were two people and it was captioned that this home had been furnished for the section foreman.. I’m thinking that this building maybe the pump house that stand on the site. Is this the “hotel”? I won’t be certain until I go back and compare photo and real life. If this is the “hotel” I have avoided it on my trips. I’m excited to go back and see if this is in fact the right area. Stay Tuned for more posts about this site.

Is this the hotel?
Is this the hotel?

Happy Hunting and Thanks for reading! *\_ Steveouke

Meanwhile back at the old hotel

Tonight I got out for a couple hours at the old hotel. This is the kind of site that I wish I had an experienced treasure hunter with me. Someone who has a sense of where to look. The area is about 4 acres and there is an original barn and well house. I find my self bumbling around swinging not sure of where the nectar sector is. Yes I through the Diggers term out there. Whether you call it a honey hole, sweet spot, or nectar sector it means the same thing. We are all looking for that spot that produces the goods we want. The silver still eludes me but at least I know it’s there based on tonight’s hunt. I dug some cool old relics, a 1965 quarter, 65 dime, 70 memorial, 74 memorial, and then the coin that gives me hope showed up. One of the last targets I dug was a wheat cent. I assumed it was another 40’s or 50’s wheat cent. Until I got home and cleaned it up that is. It ended up being a 1911 without a mint mark. It seems like this site has had two lives. The first being 1880’s-early 1900’s and the second being in the 50’s and forward. What is somewhat unusual is everything dug to this point has been in the top 4″ of soil.. The silver will come sooner or later!

Happy Hunting and thanks for reading!

*\_ Steveouke2013-08-29 22.26.14

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Revamped style hunt #1

Tonight I want to let you know how my revamped hunting style is going so far. I took a couple of hours yesterday and scouted out some new sites. I was fortunate to get permission at a place that I have been trying for a long time. It is a hotel from the 1880’s. It was specifically built for railroad employees who were laying line in our area. I have researched this property quite a bit but it is still quite mysterious. It does not show up on any plat maps that I have access to. I think it was used between 1886 and 1907 as a hotel. Once the hotel couldn’t keep money coming in it was turned into a home. There are mixed memories of what happened to the hotel. Some say it caught on fire while others say it was torn down.



Drought in the middle of record rains

Well today I got out on two different sites. The first site has produced several old coins and many neat relics. Today the good side of my pouch was totally empty. The second site has produced wheats and silver. Again the good side of my pouch was empty… If you read my blog regularly you know that I am struggling this summer. I have found approximately 30% of the silver that I did last year. Is this a curse for challenging my buddy Miner? Is it due to me not upgrading machines? Is it a lack of good sites? Is it a lack of focus? Am I putting too much stress on it? Or not enough? These are a few of the questions bouncing like a red rubber ball through my head. I honestly think it is a combination of all except the curse thing.

– Upgrade my Machine: I struggle continuously with this one. I have confidence in my Ace but I also know I have to work harder than some of the higher end super machines. It don’t really matter because financially I can’t change anything.
– Lack of good sites: I recently lost one of my honey holes. My favorite spot to detect as a matter of fact. A certain portion of my drought could be the lack of new sites.
– Lack of focus: this could be it. Lately I have been using detecting as a wind down. Unfortunately by the time I get unwound the hunt ends and I don’t have time to re-focus.

In the end I think I am going to take a different approach. Instead of hunting to unwind I will focus on researching out new spots and getting permission to hunt them. Last year most of my good finds came out of private residences. I need to get back into these types of permissions. I am hoping to have a few new sites close to work as well as near home!

I am optimistic that between that and some farm fields getting turned over that I can finish the year strong!

Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

*\_ Steveouke

What is it that they are looking for?

This weekend I have been teaching an MSF class. Saturday evening I did manage to watch a couple episodes of Diggers. One of the episodes involved Bleeding Kansas. The crew was looking for a blacksmith shop before “the professionals” also known as archaeologists worked the site over. Now even though it was late and I was exhausted this show got my mind running rampid. Here are a few questions that streaked through my tired mind..

– What do local archaeologists look for?
– Is there anything that local MD’ers and I can help them with?
– Why are they considered professionals?
– Do local archaeologists think of us in a negative way?

I know of a couple of sites here locally that are in the oldest part of Wichita. Both sites are construction sites (one of which several MD’ers have hit). The other site has only been hunted by one person that I know of. He is a member of the Wheat State Treasure Hunters and he dug an 1872 shield nickel from the site. Around here that is about the oldest coin I have heard of. I’m sure someone has found some older coins but that is the oldest I’ve seen. This leads me to my big question for the day. Why haven’t archaeologists been working along side the construction companies or even in the area? What is it they are looking for? I find it interesting that in almost 35 years of living in this town I only remember one archaeology event. I have seriously contemplated going to one of the archaeology meetings at the local university. Maybe someone there could answer some of my questions.

I find it interesting that this afternoon that Mr. Dick Stout had made a new blog post. I am always quick to read it and todays post hit home with my thoughts. It is an excellent read.

At any rate if you are in the Wichita area and are in or know someone in the archaeology community I would love to talk.

Thanks for reading

Sultry Summer Remains Slumpy..

I have been out the last few days detecting as much as possible. The only problem is it is about 90 degrees with 90% humidity. These two things equal blood sucking mosquito’s hungry to get the average MD’er. I have been digging some miscellaneous relics and a few old wheat pennies but the silver still eludes me.. Hopefully this trend will change.


When the authorities get involved. Permission or not!

Tonight I want to discuss permissions and lack there of. Today the family picked up our exchange student for this year. I mentioned to him that I was going to go detecting and he asked if he could go as well. I am excited to show him the ropes of detecting. I never imagined the first time out would end the way it did. I was originally planning to detect a site but quickly realized it was too wet. I decided to detect another homesite that I have detected several times in the last 8 months. I originally got permission from a gentleman that lives in one of 4 homes that are in a row all owned by the same person. While hunting a few months ago I had an elderly gentleman tell me he owned it and that I could detect the property as long as I followed the ethics I informed him about. I had been detecting for 30 minutes or so when all H**L broke loose . A man and women pulled up and stopped their car on the road. The male passenger quickly jumped out off the car and walked towards me briskly. He then yelled angrily at me asking what the F— I was doing. I said metal detecting. He immediately yelled at me that he owned the place and that I was trespassing. I apologized and said that I would leave and that I was sorry… He just kept getting louder and more belligerent. He asked me my name and I gave him my first name and he quickly wanted my last name. My response only made things worse.. I replied “you don’t need to know”. This guy was so hot headed that he wouldn’t just drop it even though I had been nothing but respectful and conforming up until this point. He even started raising a fist as to want to swing. I moved to the property next door that is only owned by one person whom I have permission from. The loudmouth just kept running his mouth from his property. I chose to ignore him. The next thing I know a local police officer pulls in and I greet him the a good evening and explain to him what happened. He went back and talked to the “homeowner” and then came back. Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t get too excited about much and I am glad I didn’t fuel the loaded cannon that was yelling and cussing. In the end the police officer was very cordial and mentioned that I get permission to hunt in writing. I like this idea but I have to wonder if it will detour some from allowing me to detect. Do most people get written consent to hunt private property? I hadn’t given it much thought but since this isn’t the first time there has been a conflict over permission I am considering it. I have been through some odd situations concerning permissions. Renters giving permission, renters saying no after owner said yes, and husband saying no after wife says yes, and then this evenings deal I’m still not certain of…

Now I have read the trespassing laws in Kansas and I know legally I had done nothing wrong. However, I am sure this evenings events made our new exchange student uncomfortable and I know for a fact that I was embarrassed by them. Here is the Kansas trespassing law for those who are interested. You don’t need to read real close to see some big gray areas. The way I read it you are not committing a a crime if on unfenced, unmarked property until you are defiant in leaving after being asked to do so. I don’t encourage blurring the line intentionally because it doesn’t look good for our hobby! What are your thoughts?

Statute 21-3721: Criminal trespass. (a) Criminal trespass is:
(1) Entering or remaining upon or in any land, nonnavigable body of water, structure, vehicle, aircraft or watercraft, other than railroad property as defined in K.S.A. 21-3761, and amendments thereto, or nuclear generating facility as defined in K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 66-2302, and amendments thereto, by a person who knows such person is not authorized or privileged to do so, and:

(A) Such person enters or remains therein in defiance of an order not to enter or to leave such premises or property personally communicated to such person by the owner thereof or other authorized person; or

(B) such premises or property are posted in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, or are locked or fenced or otherwise enclosed, or shut or secured against passage or entry; or

(C) such person enters or remains therein in defiance of a restraining order issued pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1607, 60-3105, 60-3106, 60-3107, 60-31a05 or 60-31a06 or K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 38-2243, 38-2244 or 38-2255, and amendments thereto, and the restraining order has been personally served upon the person so restrained; or

(2) entering or remaining upon or in any public or private land or structure in a manner that interferes with access to or from any health care facility by a person who knows such person is not authorized or privileged to do so and such person enters or remains thereon or therein in defiance of an order not to enter or to leave such land or structure personally communicated to such person by the owner of the health care facility or other authorized person.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) “Health care facility” means any licensed medical care facility, certificated health maintenance organization, licensed mental health center, or mental health clinic, licensed psychiatric hospital or other facility or office where services of a health care provider are provided directly to patients.

(2) “Health care provider” means any person: (A) Licensed to practice a branch of the healing arts; (B) licensed to practice psychology; (C) licensed to practice professional or practical nursing; (D) licensed to practice dentistry; (E) licensed to practice optometry; (F) licensed to practice pharmacy; (G) registered to practice podiatry; (H) licensed as a social worker; or (I) registered to practice physical therapy.

(c) (1) Criminal trespass is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.

(2) Upon a conviction of a violation of subsection (a)(1)(C), a person shall be sentenced to not less than 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment which must be served either before or as a condition of any grant of probation or suspension, reduction of sentence or parole.

(d) This section shall not apply to a land surveyor, licensed pursuant to article 70 of chapter 74 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto, and such surveyor’s authorized agents and employees who enter upon lands, waters and other premises in the making of a survey.

Fresh beginnings, fun, fellowship, flooding, and fighting.

Well l want to start by saying that I haven’t been detecting much lately.. We have been getting rained on for much of the last week and I have been busy doing other things. Today I wanted to get out and detect but instead I had to mow the yard twice.. I hadn’t had the chance to mow it for a couple weeks due to a chaotic schedule and the rain. While the Ukena family was on our way home from dinner I received two phone calls about detecting within a few minutes. One of these calls I had to share with the family. I stopped to hunt briefly Wednesday evening in downtown Wichita and ran into a gentleman detecting. He had a great story about why he got into the hobby and I would like to share it with you. He had a problem with alcohol abuse and needed something to keep him occupied and away from alcohol. He was gifted a metal detector and now spends his free time detecting with his grand daughter. I was thrilled when he told me that he had been sober for five months and loved the hobby. The only reason he called me tonight was to confirm the time and location of the monthly Wheat State Treasure Hunters meeting tomorrow. Needless to say this made me thrilled that I went out of my way to introduce myself and I am certain he will have a good time meeting everyone in the group. Here’s to fresh beginnings!

I want to take a moment and discuss something that has been going on for awhile and I have mentioned in previous posts. Cook County IL, passed some regulations awhile back banning metal detecting on some of their land. This upset several people and the Task Force for Metal Detecting has stepped in and is fighting to get the laws changed. They reported that the politicians involved have agreed to discuss this issue further and I hope they see success. You can read the full story on the Task Forces website. I can’t help but wonder if more clubs around the nation reaching out to local governments in a proactive way would keep these kinds of reactive decisions to a minimum.. Maybe we are just lucky in Wichita to have an understanding government but given the way they appreciated our proactive approach I think it could work elsewhere.

I am really stoked for our club meeting today and look forward to seeing what those that brave the rain have been finding!

Happy Hunting and thanks for reading!
*\_ steveouke