What keeps people coming back for more.

Today, I want to talk about what keeps people coming back to our hobby and the products we use.

Hobby-
I have met many folks who go out and buy a decent metal detector but quickly get discouraged and decide to upgrade. Nothing wrong with upgrading but what happens after their upgrade is what blows my mind. They get discouraged and still are not finding the coil stuff. I have met people who thought they would enjoy the hobby but quickly learned that they didn’t have the patience and persistence needed to succeed in the hobby. Don’t get discouraged, Now what keeps me coming back. I enjoy finding silver coins and old relics but that isn’t what keeps me coming back. My drive comes from “post hole” banks. I hunt old homesteads for this reason. We have all heard the tales of a family member burying their money in the yard. Old homesteads are hit and miss as far as coins go. Sometimes you find a few coins and then other homesteads don’t produce any coins but instead give up some relics. The cache of coins has eluded me but I am confident that with time and patience it will come…

Products-
Being a salesperson in my daily job I have learned that what brings customers back time and time again is customer service. I have dealt with companies in the past that have lost my business due to poor customer service. On the flip side of the coin there are companies that provide stellar customer service. This kind of service is what I have experienced with 90% of the companies I have dealt with in the metal detecting community. Shortly after I got my Garrett Ace 250 I broke my arm cuff. A quick call to headquarters and they sent me a new one. A couple weeks ago I was detecting over the lunch break and my beloved Sampson T-Handle broke.

A quick call to the CEO at W.W. Manufacturing and she requested that I send it in and it would get replaced. As promised I received a brand new Sampson in a few days. These are the kinds of products and customer service that keeps me coming back. If you are in the market for quality products and a dealership that has great service I would start your search here.

Anyways on this icy, cold, day I thought I would let you know my aspirations and a couple of companies I like to deal with that provide customer service that is top notch.

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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

Possibly the most fun part of metal detecting

Tonight I want to write about what may be the most fun part of metal detecting. A couple weeks ago I stopped by a very well maintained farm home that appeared to be from the turn of the century. I made my way to the front door. I knocked a couple of times but nobody answered. As I turned to leave I noticed that there was a herding dog that had snuck up behind me. I have had several herding dogs and they come with one personality trait that everyone should know about. They rarely attack from the front. They will wait until you turn your back to them and then immediately try to get on your heels. Knowing this I lowered down to the dogs level and showed it that I wasn’t scared and that I wasn’t there to hurt anything. The dog didn’t want to be warm and friendly but the growling did cease. I progressed to the truck without incident. Once I got home I started doing some research on the homestead and the home was built in 1908. Tonight while driving by I noticed a car in the drive and a couple of lights on. I had to stop and see about detecting around the property. I had a very pleasent conversation with the lady that lives in the home and two young kiddos. Come to find out the home has been in the family since it was built. We discussed the possibilities of a shadow box showing the relics I find. I think this is such a cool aspect of detecting around old farmsteads. In the end she needed to discuss it with her father-in-law about having me metal detecting the property. I hope that the opportunity comes to fruition because these are my favorite types of places to hunt. It is always fun to see the smile on the face of someone who hasn’t seen a forgotten relic that was lost years before. I also like the way the finds from these places take us back to the simpler life of years ago.

Hope to be happy hunting soon!

Reading and Researching

Yesterday I spent the day at home with two sick kiddos. This gave me plenty of time to do some research. I listened to a few Relic Roundups and found a new map source.

I listened to one Relic Roundup that really caught my attention. This broadcast they were talking about which machine a person should purchase. They had several guest callers that are well known around the metal detecting hobby. They all kind of agreed that knowing your machine was a huge part of it. I have thought this for awhile. The more I use my Ace 250 the more I learn it. I have known people who upgrade machines after just a couple of months. Do they ever learn their machine? I don’t think so because even after 2-4 upgrades they are not getting the results they want. I would highly encourage you to listen to the program here.

The second portion of my post is about maps. Up until now I have looked at plat maps from the 1880’s and early 1900’s. Yesterday I found a site that can extend my map research back to the 1860’s and 1870’s. The website is www.davidrumsey.com and they have a massive collection of digitized maps. I was kind of taken back when I looked at a map that didn’t show Wichita but had some surrounding cities on it. Some of the oldest parts of Kansas I didn’t think were that old. I am excited to add these to my toolbox of research.

All in all I think that research plays a massive part of treasure hunting. You could almost look at research as the 5 W’s of picking a hunting spot. Who, What, Where, When, and Why. If you find a church on a plat map from 1890 You can answer all 5 W’s which should equate to a good hunt.

Just get… Outside

Well today was a great day to be outside. The morning started with a trip to a location that has been nicknamed “Silver City”. This site has been producing silvers fairly consistently. The hunt didn’t let me down today. I dug a 1936 wheat and a 1946 Roosevelt dime.
Today’s Coins

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I also found a lipstick case that I believe dates back to the 1940’s. Color included!

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Upon arriving back home Queen Ukena was a little upset that the “short hunt” had taken four hours. A conversation took place about the amount of time i have been spending detecting. This got me thinking. I started reflecting on my finds over the last year. For those that have followed my blog over the last year, you know that my good finds didn’t start until about 4 months into detecting. And the last 3-4 months I have been more consistent than all previous months. I think this is due to the quality of sites I have been hunting. I did some rough figures of how much time I have hunted over the last year. I would venture to say I have detected 350-400 hours over the year. That would be about 7 hours a week. I think what this means is that I will have to find and hunt only the most prime sites. I am certain that my little Ace and I can make our goal for the year even if we reduce hours spent and increase the quality of our sites.

Later in the day the two oldest Ukena boys and I went into Derby and played disc golf. This is another activity that we enjoy a couple times a year. We then went looking for Geocache called Arbor Lands geocode GCQARB. This was a fun hunt. We had to cross a mostly dry creek and then try to find the cache. We spent about 40 minutes searching for it but came up
empty handed.

All in all it was a great day to be outside! Now the challenge is to get Queen Ukena outdoors with us!

Thanks for reading and happy hunting!

Steveouke *\_

Please be seated.. Class is now in session

Well this morning three of us headed out in the cold to the field that produced my 1883 Indian Head in Brutality of Butler County. Today the only thing brutal was the weather. It was 9 degrees when we hit the ground swinging. This site was a church from the late 1880’s until 1923. We had probably been swinging for an hour and had only found trash. All of a sudden I hear the rookie of the bunch hollar at me that he had something and gave me a thumbs up. Once I got closer he said it was an old coin but he wasn’t sure what it was. I looked at it and could tell it was an indian head. I couldn’t see the date but it ended up being a beautiful 1888.

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After awhile we were all three kind of spread out over a 10 acre section. The rookie again hollered that he had something good. PullTab Miner and I hustled over and I saw the silver reeded edge in a frozen clod. I think we were almost as excited as he was to get a good look at the coin. All morning we were hoping for a seated. The backside of the coin showed a wreath and I was certain it was a seated because the wreath looked different to me than a Barber. After some investigation we realized it was a Barber. It was definitely unlike the Barbers I have found though, it was near perfect. This is the nicest Barber I have ever seen come out of the ground. “The Rookie” has only been swinging his ATPro for a week! Welcome to the Garrett Family.. He took us to school today and I couldn’t be happier for him. Later in the day I received a message that he had found yet another silver and a possible gold ring from another location. I will definitely be out tomorrow at a site that dates back to the 1870’s in hopes of finding a couple more silvers before years end!

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Happy Hunting and thanks for reading!
Steveouke *\_

Brutality of Butler County

Well the last two days have been brutal on me. I have metal detected for a total of 6 hours and my body is feeling it. Saturday morning we started our hunt at a home from the 40’s that is next to a farm field that is where the land was originally homesteaded in 1860. We had 4 guys and 2 kids hunting. One of the hunters was swinging his brand new ATPro and came up with a couple of tootsie toys. We also had a few other interesting digs including a few wheats and miscellaneous building parts from the field.

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Our next stop was a farm field that was a church somewhere between 1885 and 1915. The field was about 25 or 30 acres and we had to narrow down where the church was. For those readers that do research via old maps you know how tricky it can be to pinpoint an area. The old maps are marked by a dot or a simple line drawing of what was there. We had 4 detectorists who spread out and were reporting finds to each other. I am still a little amazed at what my first find was. I got a good signal out of the Ace that pinpointed at 4″ deep. I dug my plug and was blessed by a bent up and trashed Indian Head penny. This ended up being my only good find of the day. After the hunt had ended and we were talking about the days events I cleaned it up enough to determine the year. 1883 which is my oldest coin to date!

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There are two things I learned during this hunt. Farm field hunting is tough. It isn’t easy to swing your detector. There is also the fact that for the last 70+ years machinery has dragged the residual church everywhere in the field.

Sunday afternoon I met up with a couple of guys to detect an 1870’s farmstead that is still standing and in use. The setting quickly took me back in time with a limestone home, barn, and stone walls. It was 27 degrees and breezy. On paper this looked like it would produce all kinds of coins. But, it didn’t. As a matter of fact 3 of us swung for about 2 1/2 hors and found 2 pennies. All 3 of us were getting mentally exhausted and slightly frustrated. One of the group members spotted an abandoned farm home across the street and we decided to hunt it. Things improved slightly with 2 wheat pennies, some costume jewelry, and a tootsie toy. Once the sun started sinking we closed up shop and headed home. All in all the last two days have been cold, mentally brutal, and fairly un productive. Over the next two days the focus shifts to the important things in life, family and friends.

Merry Christmas!