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

Is this normal??

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->—/

Snowy, silverless Sunday!

Well yesterday I managed to get all the base shoe down in the basement. Today saw the installation of the toilet by yours truly. After a short relax period the Queen decided to take all 3 Ukena boys to a movie. I decided to go detecting in the 25 degree, snowy, no wind afternoon. I stayed out for about an hour and found $.13. Some people would say I’m crazy but it was quiet, relaxing, and bug free! All in all I’m thinking I will be able to get out more often now that the basement is winding down. Just in time for winter!

The nice thing about detecting in snow is that it is easy to see where you are going and how hard it is to walk a straight line!

Happy Hunting and thanks for reading!

Steveouke *\_

Ohhh me oh my oh..

Well, I wish I was writing to say that I have had fabulous hunts finding caches of gold and silver… Sorry to break the bad news to you but I haven’t. I haven’t been hunting much but the home improvement projects seem to be slowing a bit. I’m in the process of building a rustic oak vanity for the bathroom in the basement. I don’t want to say I love building things but it definitely isn’t a nightmare. The time has been spent explaining dadoes, rabbet joints, and half lap joints to my 12 year old. He gets bored learning but he has enjoyed seeing the project come together. I did manage to find some time to hunt at the Wheat State Treasure Hunters November hunt. It was nice. The only work I really had to do was send out a group email with a map and time. We showed up and started hunting. There were 12-15 people there and it was nice looking around seeing people finding coins. We had people from all different levels of knowledge working a site of 8 empty lots. I dug a couple of wheat cents and an interesting coin from 1944 British ruled India. There were guys finding silver rosies, silver Washingtons, and older wheats. I wasn’t worried though. It was just nice to see everyone out enjoying themselves. Anyways I’m proud of where the club has come from and what it has turned into. At any rate, Good times were had and I look forward to doing it again.

Happy Hunting and watch out for the table saw blade. It can bite and it will hurt.

Steveouke *\_

Taking care of business

Well I haven’t been detecting much because I have a ton of stuff going on right now. That doesn’t keep me from doing late night research and thinking about new sites. As I mentioned in previous posts our family is moving in mid May and we have been busy getting things together to make that happen. The other night the boys wanted to go to the library while the Queen was having a estrogen filled party at the house. I obliged and while they were looking at all the books they would like to have I hit the small corner room that held the local history. This all took place in the city we are moving into. I was kind of disappointed in what I found but I am certain if I dig deeper I will find more details.

Saturday I attended a Wheat State Treasure Hunters class along with three other club members and we had a great class. There is something very rewarding about doing these classes but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it the fact that they hear our words and say “I’ve never thought of that”, is it the fact that we get people of all ages interested in the hobby, or is it simply the fact that I enjoy seeing people enjoy the hobby. I don’t know but I do know it is enjoyable. When I’m teaching an Motorcycle Safety Foundation class it is rewarding and I know exactly why. We have new riders that have never been on a bike getting around pretty well on them. Couple that with people who have been riding for awhile but never understood why things happen the way they happen and it makes you smile and realize you are teaching them something. In both cases I have very satisfied feelings towards how people respond. Whether we are teaching detecting or motorcycling we always hear great feedback. Maybe that is why I enjoy both so much.

Now for the bad part of the the post. I don’t see a ton of detecting in my future because the house we purchased has an unfinished basement and it needs to be finished to meet our families needs. It will take some time out of my “play time” but I know it is temporary and while the work is going on it will probably be the hottest part of the season and I’ll be done just in time for the cooler fall hunting which I enjoy more anyway!

Anyways thanks for reading and I promise I will get out detecting a little this upcoming week and have some goodies to share!

Steveouke *\_

Spring has sprung and that means… I’m a Busy Bee

The weather has been awesome, we got moisture in the form of rain a couple nights in the last week. This is a MDer’s dream.. Unless that MDer is in the middle of a house transition, Teaches MSF classes, and tries to maintain a sane home. Now I am not complaining because I love the fact that I’m busy. I don’t like sitting and waiting. Yesterday I participated in a class for the Wheat State Treasure Hunters and we had a blast. One thing I have learned through teaching MSF classes is that I really enjoy teaching adults. I also think that public speaking changes how people interact with each other.

As it sits now we will be moving somewhere around mid May. We are only moving to a neighboring city but for some reason I have a huge desire to move across the big pond and find some old treasure. Our family has had an exchange student for the last 5 years and that has created this desire to travel abroad. I would love to swing my machine over ground that holds treasure that is thousands of years old opposed to the 100 year old treasure that I currently search for. Anyways, I hope you get out and find some cool stuff in my absence.

Happy Hunting and Thanks for reading
*\_ Steveouke

You know what they say about the size of a man’s coil?

Tonight I want to write about the last 2-3 days worth of metal detecting.

I spent the biggest part of Saturday at Lego Robotics trial day with two Ukena boys and our exchange student from a couple of years back. It was fun to see the kids building, failing, rebuilding, and making progress on their robots. After we all got home I decided to go detecting at the bankers house I wrote about in Monday Eve Mojo. I was getting ready to head out the door when Miner texted me to see if I had gotten out yet. I told him no and we decided to hunt the bankers house together. He previously found an Indian and a Buffalo at the site. We got to the site and noticed that the landowner had cleared a few trees that really opened up some new detecting areas. I was super excited to try this site with the little 5 x 8 coil that is on loan from one of our club members. We dug a few relics and many, many square nails but neither one of us were able to get our coil over a coin. Well, I have to retract that statement. I am certain we got our coil over coins but they were cleverly disguised as square nails. This site is possibly the most iron infested I’ve seen. I think by the time we were finished I had dug 20-30 square nails of all sizes. I could definitely tell that the little coil helped with target separation and didn’t lose much depth in comparison to the 8×11 coil I typically have on the Ace. 

Sunday I found myself at the circus with the family for a few hours. After the sensory overload that comes with the circus I was ready to go detecting. I invited Paula to go with me and she decided to give it a shot. We detected a home site which held a home a couple of years ago but was recently torn down. The home was from the mid 40’s I believe. I was hoping to find some AG but instead I finished the hunt with a couple of pennies and a full pouch of miscellaneous bullet casings and home parts. This was definitely not a clean demolition job but we had fun none the less!


Paula, swinging the Garrett Ace 250 with the cute little coil! If I ever make it to Munich to visit her I will definitely have a detector in hand!


On Monday I had the choice of going to the pool hall and playing snooker or getting out in nature on a beautiful day and detecting. I went detecting. I chose a site that I hunted quite a bit last year and that yielded three silvers for me and a few wheat pennies. I was detecting along not finding much with the little coil when I remembered a little detail. There was a sidewalk that didn’t have rebar in it that had been filled over. I quickly started working the little coil along the edges of the buried walk and coins started showing up. I dug a few Lincolns from the 70’s and a clad dime from one side of the walk. Once I turned and headed up the other side of the walk I was blessed with my first silver of the year in the form of a 1951 Roosevelt dime. I was very pleased to see this because I feel like I was getting off to a rough start in regards to the silver. The hunt continued and I quickly found a 1940 Jefferson Nickel. It was deeper than the dime so I was hoping for a buffalo but this one was just a few years too young. 




So back to the question I posed in the title of this post… I say it doesn’t matter how big it is if it get’s the job done! 

Happy Hunting and Thanks for reading!

*\_ Steveouke


Ready, steady, melt and dig!

Well since we have been snow covered for the last week I haven’t been out detecting. However that is about to change.. If you believe the meteorologists. They are calling for 2-3 days of 40’s and 50’s this week and temps up to 60 this weekend. I am ready to get back in the field! I know it will be a wet, soppy, mess but I’m perfectly ok with that. I know there has been quite a bit of controversy regarding halo’s around targets and how moisture affects our hobby. I have never really shared my opinions but here it goes. 

1. Halo effect- I think the halo effect does happen. You may be asking yourself what the halo effect is. To simply put it this is where minerals from miscellaneous metal leach out into the ground around the object. I have noticed this especially with iron targets that are deteriorating quickly. I don’t think it has the same affect on silver due to it’s non-ferrous characteristics. 

2- How does moisture affect our machines- I seem to find more good targets when there is moisture in the ground. I believe this is because of two things. I think that transmitted signal of our machines travels farther in moisture. This seems quite common sense to me. Everyone knows that radio waves travel better under water and that is exactly what we are transmitting.. Radio Waves. My other thought is that if you get enough moisture in the ground it breaks up the halo effect mentioned above. I believe that this allows my machine that isn’t super fast to see targets more individually and clearer. 

After boiling all this down these are just my opinions and I haven’t done any scientific research other than hunting spots that I have previously only hunted in dry conditions. I have one local spot that I have referred to on the blog as the bankers house. I am hoping that the moisture and borrowing one of our club members 5 x 8 DD coils will help me find some goodies at the bankers house this weekend. On that note during the Wheat State Treasure Hunters class we had a couple of people from my hometown attend and I am planning on inviting them along on my hunt. We have pulled a few good coins out of the place and I am certain there are more coins hiding under all the square nails that are there. I have dug more square nails at this site than any other site I have ever hunted. My closest guess is 150.. I keep plucking away at them though. Maybe this weekends hunt will be when all of my fruitless hunts there will pay off.

I would love to hear what other MDer’s think about moisture and the halo effect. Bring on the opinions!

Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

*\_ Steveouke

Not the warmest welcome!

Well, Yesterday I got out detecting in the afternoon. With the temperatures hovering just above freezing I knew the weather would be OK. When I finished my hunt snow was flying and the temp had dropped about 10 degrees. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go detecting so I did some “freestyling” as I call it. I decided to drive South a few miles and then East a few miles. I knew from looking at maps previously that there were some really old homesteads scattered around the area. The first one I spotted was where I ended up spending two hours. It was an old property that looked very promising.



Little did I know that this place was littered with all kinds of foreign metal objects.. I detected for two hours and dug all kinds of signals. I ended up with one clad dime, about 15 pulltabs, a few square nails, and many many pieces of small brass and copper objects. I was kind of disappointed but I have learned that when hunting rural properties there are no guarantees. I remember when I first started detecting I had made a post on the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum about gaining permission at an old farmstead. A man commented on my post saying sorry to bust your bubble but they usually don’t produce that well. In my mind I was wondering who the pessimistic man was. After a little research I learned that it was Dan Hughes. After listening to a few of his podcasts I understood where he was coming from. Sometimes you luck into coins on these sites and other times you bust. Finds aside though I love detecting these kinds of places because you just never know what you will find. I plan on going through the trash side of my nail apron to see if there is anything of interest in it. I know I dug a couple pieces of Iron that had some lettering on them. I will let you know if there is anything super cool in them. Anyways there you have it my first hunt of 2014. It wasn’t what I had hoped for but it still solidified that regardless of the treasure you find the hobby is fun. 


Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

*\_ Steveouke

Welcome 2014.. Hope you are as good if not better than the last…

Well it seems as though 2013 is out and 2014 is in.. Or at least it will be shortly! I have to be honest when I say that I am stoked for next year. I have been in the crazy metal detecting hobby for a couple of years now and I still have a passion for it. 2013 has brought me to many new things I enjoy and has solidified my passion for metal detecting. If you have read my blog consistently you will remember that I set out a goal of 100 silver coins for the year. You can tell by my totals page that I missed the mark greatly. I believe with every fiber in my body that I jinxed myself by harassing Pulltab Miner when I had an early lead.. Looking back it makes perfect sense. He had just gotten his beloved Maurice and hadn’t learned all of her intricacies. Overall I’m perfectly OK with the lack of silver. There have been many things that have happened over the last year that makes up for it. Miner and I had this crazy idea of starting a metal detecting club and it has gone very well. We started Wheat State Treasure Hunters back in April of this year and I am quite proud of the things we have accomplished. I do believe that 2014 will be a great year for our club and Wichita folks who enjoy the metal detecting hobby in our area. On that note, I would encourage everyone to get involved in the political side of our hobby. We all know that a group of people can make their voice heard and that is exactly what our hobby needs. I personally have enjoyed all the detecting activity on Facebook, 1000mikes, and reading through several blogs on a regular basis that have to do with detecting. It seems that there are many, many, great people in the hobby that are wanting the same thing. I am confident that with all of the social media outlets a pretty powerful group will come out of it. Hopefully it happens sooner than later!

When it gets down to it I feel like I have matured as a detectorist but my finds haven’t really shown it. I have been doing more research, getting permissions on better properties, and making new friends who enjoy the same nutty hobby I do. This is why I am totally stoked for next year.

I must throw out a HUGE THANK YOU to my family for supporting my crazy hobby! Without them I would have nothing in life and I am blessed that they understand (Kind of)… My Queen will probably never understand why I’m so obsessed with this hobby but she understands that I enjoy it and she allows me to do it. Thanks Babe!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great 2014!

*\_ Steveouke