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.
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday I went out with the two oldest boys scouting properties. There are several properties that I had seen on previous trips that screamed old coins, ask permission. The first couple Istriked out on with locked gates, absent homeowners, etc. Queen Ukena had told us what time to be home for dinner. We’ve been married for 14 years now and I have learned that you don’t want to show up late or miss dinner. Anyways it was about 6:15 and dinner was at 7. I quickly noticed a property that I have been wanting to detect had a car in the drive. We were greeted by a nice young lady who granted permission. It’s an old house on a hill that was very well kept. There were two kids, a yellow lab, and plenty of room to roam. This particular home sits 125 yards or so off the road. The yard is full of old, big, hardwoods. Walnuts and acorns were everywhere. After conversing with the owner I got to swinging and the yard was quite clean. I only had 30 minutes or so and I dug some old copper and brass whatsits. I made plans to make a return trip and I am looking forward to it!
So I haven’t been posting lately regarding metal detecting. As I posted previously I am trying to get dovetailsanddadoes.com launched and stocked with neat stuff. I also wanted to let everyone know that as of last week I am not a ridercoach for the MSF. I decided that I didn’t want to be a partial ridercoach. If I can’t devote the time to it that I believe it deserve then what’s the point. I imagine that one of these years I will pick up the coaching again. It is a truly rewarding experience and I have to thank Motorcycle Training Specialists for doing what they do. As far as metal detecting goes, I have a plan. A buddy and I have a plan to hit some of the oldest properties in our township as well as neighboring townships. That means we have to figure out ownership, seek permission, and wait for the time to be right. I am excited about a couple of opportunities we already have lined up. I am hoping that somewhere in this mess I may be able to get permission for a pretty cool group hunt location where the Wheat State Treasure Hunters can have a family get together and hunt. The weather is right for hunting finally and I’m hoping that we can pull some very nice coins and relics out of the ground soon. I think we are starting our big adventure tomorrow so stay tuned. Most importantly. Get outdoors and enjoy this beautiful Kansas weather as long as it lasts.
the weather has been horribly cold so this is what I have been up to. Check it out and I promise to get back to metal detecting soon. We are supposed to teach a detecting class on Saturday with highs in the upper 20’s.. Shouldn’t spring be here soon?
Well, Saturday was the first day in quite some time that I got to devote to metal detecting. One of our club members invited us to one of his sites in SW Kansas. I can tell you it is in the special part of the state that Kansas doesn’t look like Kansas I’m familiar with. We were hunting on private land in open range country. There were cows everywhere roaming free. I almost expected to see Bison coming over the hillside. At any rate the site we settled into is part of an old military trail. Time frame was 1870-1890’s. We were standing there looking at this massive field that seemed to have no end and figure out how to tackle it methodically. We discussed where the water was, where the animals would be, where the outpost was, and trying to rewrite history. With our mouths watering we were anxious to fire up our detectors and get to work. I decided to head to the big low lying field while the other guys focused on the creekside.
I kept swinging my gizmo through the taller grass and I ended up digging some interesting ammunition. The best find I had in the low lands was what I believe a civil war era 2 ringer.
After a short while I hear someone yell in excitement. I look over to see everyone headed to one of the hunters hunched over his hole. They quickly start showing excitement. I decide to meander over that way and once I heard what they were whooping about I could understand. He had found a Silver half dollar. After a short investigation we concluded that it was a 1911 Barber half. What a coin find!
A short bit later the same hunter found a pocket spill. His hole consisted of an early wheat, a buffalo, and then out of the hole came a beautiful coin that has been on my bucket list for quite some time. An awesome 1892 Morgan Dollar.
The day was not lost for me though. Even though my coin wasn’t the biggest or shiniest it was the oldest. I found an 1864 Indian Cent. This is my oldest coin to date. I can’t help but think of the time this coin was lost. It was a vital time in American History. It was during the time Indians were getting pushed out of their land and our country was divided because of slavery and states rights.
This next find really makes me wander how it ended up at this site. It’s cool but not very photogenic. It is a token from the Colorado Springs bus company. It seems as though this token circulated in 1932. Odd but cool and fun to find.
All in all it was an amazing day in an amazing place with great folks. Here are a few pics of other finds and from the day in general. Enjoy
Well tonight I have come to realize something. I have been totally slacking when it comes to metal detecting. A fellow MD’er emailed me the other day saying that we needed to get on some older land. I agreed! This lead to me mentioning to him that he needed to create some cards for when the time comes to get permission places. He kind of ho-hummed it and said he wasn’t comfortable asking folks for permission. Inside my mind I’m thinking “neither am I, Have you read my blog posts about permissions given and taken”? Anyways I saw this as an opportunity to help him break out of his cocoon and become a social butterfly. I created a card that has both of our names on it and depicts the type of grounds we want to detect. We are on our way.
Needless to say while doing some research of places tonight I started thinking about finds, places, people I have had the pleasure of spending time in the hobby with. I started going back through my blog and reading old posts. During this exercise I realized I have had a ton of fun in cool places, with extraordinary people. It has made me miss getting out on a nice spring and summers evening asking permission, talking to homeowners about their property, and most of all not having any clue what will come out of the ground next.
Maybe this is exactly what I needed to Revive my 6th sense swinging my machine.
Well as 2014 comes to an end I find myself asking this question a lot. As my readers know I have been busy since moving finishing up the basement. That project went over budget and is now 98% done. I am thankful that we are nearing the end but being over budget has required the need for funds meaning that I am working a pseudo part time job that takes up a fair amount of time. Sometimes while at my “other” job I ask is this the new normal? Ever since the Queen and I found out we were expecting our first child I’ve had some kind of side income. I can honestly say it seems normal. I hope it’s short lived, however the Queen says that 6 months to a year should get us close to being where we need to be financially. Inevitably in life there is someone or something wanting more money out of you it seems. As a family we had a great Christmas and we made the choice to fulfill our Eldest sons wishes to have a bow for Christmas. Now here is a little back story. I have wanted to shoot archery for many years but anytime I thought about jumping into the hobby I saw all the things “needed” and talked myself out of it. We ended up spending $100 for everything our eldest needs to fling arrows at a target and the smile on his face makes it worth it. The other day as he was shooting he mentioned that Dad should get a bow. I was reluctant to say anything because I have secretly been not letting him know that I have looked at bows seriously several times. In the end it seems like metal detecting in the fact that you can jump in for a little money or you can go overboard with a detector that costs thousands, has GPS, and a go pro to go along with it. Now don’t get me wrong I have had dreams of taking a deer or turkey with a bow but when it gets right down to it I’m not sure I have the time or funds to support those dreams. As far as detecting goes, I’m content. I would like a machine that is slightly more technical but if it doesn’t happen oh well. Me and my little Ace get along well. Saturday or Sunday I had the opportunity to get out detecting for a little while and I have to tell you that it wouldn’t have mattered what kind of machine I had. I was outside looking for treasure with a guy that I enjoy spending time with. Did I have some top secret location? Not really. Did I have a fancy machine? No.. That’s not what it was about though. It was about me not having to worry about framing, flooring, drywall, paint, or trim work in the basement. I can honestly say that the basement project has consumed me for the last 6 months and it feels good that the reigns the project held are starting to release a little pressure on my mind and soul.
I am looking forward to 2015. In my mind it has to be better than what I’ve been dealing with the last 6-8 months. But we all know that life has a way of interfering with our hobbies… And that my friends is normal!
Anyways I have to go learn how to put new veins on arrows that seemed to disappear while being shot through Koltons bow a few times.
Happy Hunting and Thanks for reading *\_ or *K->—/