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

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

What I need a title? I can’t think of one so the answer is no…

I haven’t been out hunting much but I have been keeping plenty busy. Last week I detected for a little while and found a token from somewhere between 1905-1920. It is from a store called Harris-Goar. It is an interesting token and an interesting story about the way they did business. I have to give credit to Pulltab Miner for helping me research this find and I am now familiar with google books. You can check it out by clicking on this link.

Backside of Harris-Goar token
Backside of Harris-Goar token

The "face(s)"
The “face(s)”

I joined up mid week with an area Treasure Hunter that shares his finds with me regularly and he seems to be a natural at sniffing out silver. He and his Dad are members of the Wheat State Treasure Hunters and he is working on a merit badge in communications for Boy Scouts. Please check out his blog here. I am confident that with a little encouragement he will continue his blog and it will become a favorite of yours. His blog is

This morning I got out detecting with the two youngest boys and we decided to go to silver city. Silver city has produced many old coins and has a huge playground, soccer fields, and basketball courts which keep the boys occupied. I chose to hunt with the Ace 250 with the 5 x 8 coil on it. I have to tell you this is one of those sites that I thought was drying up but with that little coil the ground seemed to be more alive. I started out finding mostly clad but then I got a deeper coin signal. Sure enough it was a wheat penny. I then managed a deep nickel that ended up being a dateless Buffalo. In the end I didn’t find silver but I did end up with two wheats and the buffalo. The weather is warming and today was nice except for the massive amounts of wind that we experienced.

Happy Hunting and thanks for reading

*\_ 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

Cabin Fever… No but we should get creative!

It’s that time of year when people start talking about the cold weather, holidays, and cabin fever. Not me my friends I am ready!

This Saturday I am hunting one of the more promising sites of the year. I’m hoping that the tiny old school yard will produce some of my best keepers of the year. They are calling for temperatures in the teens and possibly freezing rain and snow on Friday. I have hunted in weather like this and as long as you go prepared it’s not bad. We have poured over the maps/aerials and we have a pretty good idea of where the school set but we should probably get creative and think about action around the school as well. What were peoples actions like around a school in the late 1800’s? I’ve heard they were used for religion, civic groups, and other activities.. We shall see!

While on the topic of creativity. I listened to the American Digger Relic Roundup the other night that discussed the FMDAC summit conference. I personally think we (as a hobby) need to get creative. There is a whole digital world out there that is a great asset to people trying to get together. I know that certain groups have made steps in the right direction but let’s get creative on how to reign people in our hobby in. If you get all the manufacturers of detectors, accessories, and clubs on board it could be a pretty big force. I have to think the efforts of that one group would be very strong. I have recently heard from many folks that our club (The Wheat State Treasure Hunters) is opening doors never opened. I think that treasure hunters in general tend to enjoy solitude and alone time. I myself enjoy the alone time and solitude. However, I don’t think we should let that get in the way of promoting the hobby and protecting our rights. Everyone should speak up and get a friend to speak up as well.

Anyways just a small rant about people deciding to hang in the shadows and not step out into the open..

*\_ Steveouke


Class is almost in session

ImageFor the last couple of months I have been talking to all the major manufacturers about supplies for our upcoming metal detecting class. My family has been a little taken back by random boxes showing up on the front porch. Tonight I decided it was time to get busy and we built twelve metal detectors. I want to personally say thank you to the following companies for supporting our cause. Our students will be using equipment that is on loan or donated from these companies.

Whites, Garrett, Bounty Hunter, Fisher, Minelab, and Tesoro have all pitched in to make sure our participants will have equipment to use during the hunt portion of our class. I am getting very excited for our class this Saturday and I’m certain it will be a success. We will be presenting our participants with literature from all manufacturers and one lucky person will own a new White’s metal detector.

Now for writing my presentations for the class…

Just a few random thoughts.

I haven’t had much time to get out and detect lately but mentally I have been running some things through my head.

Practice- If you are one of those people that only pull your detector out once a month or less I have to think you aren’t getting the practice needed to be proficient with your machine. This isn’t just true in metal detecting either. I play pool quite a bit and recently I have started playing snooker. I typically play 8 ball and 9 ball. The game of snooker is much more challenging than pool on the typically pool table. The tables are much bigger, and the pockets are much smaller. This makes pocketing balls much more difficult than the typical pool game. Now I will be the first to admit that I suck at the game of snooker. The biggest thing I have noticed is that playing snooker has caused me to focus more on all aspects of my game. I wish I would have started out playing snooker because it makes the rest of the pool games easier. What does this have to do with metal detecting. You have to know the small things that your machine is telling you. You have to focus, listen, and learn. I think this is applicable to most hobbies. I know I have been fishing all my life and the same holds true for it. I bowled for many, many years and guess what? It took many hours of practice and focus until I was satisfied with the results.
Today I got out detecting with another member of the Wheat State Treasure Hunters. We were hunting a spot that has produced old coins in the past. The site dates back to the turn of the century and it took me awhile to get into the groove. I ended the 2 hour hunt with some old clad but nothing exciting. This site is extremely trashy and I was forced to work slow and listen to all the little sounds of my machine. I did manage to find several deep old nickels. The sound they made was less than sweet but they sounded just good enough to dig. It was really nice to get out and hunt for a couple hours. I hope I can get back to swinging more because the weather and soil are perfect right now!

Thanks for reading!

*\_ Steveouke

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