“Dig Wars” Reviews…How Picayune Can we Get?

Detectorists are alive and well on the forums, chiming in with their nitpicking, fault finding, green with envy, critiques of the new “Dig Wars” TV show.  Thought I would share a few. (unedited)….


“Yes just what I expected, bunch of bs. yet another bunch of sell outs just for a moment of fame. hope them guys are all proud of themselves for ruining  our hobby even more.”

“After watching the first five minutes I will probably sell all of my detector gear. There will be no places left to detect after shows like this get  more and more places off limits due to new people in the hobby thinking they will be rich. I’m done!”

“Continued embarrassment to the hobby and makes me ashamed to tell people it’s something I do because I don’t want to be someone who is thought of as acting  like a childish fool. To me these shows are to detecting what tv wrestling is to MMA. One is real in every sense and the other is pure garbage.  And it’s NOT a friendly prank if one “team” tosses pennies to *slow down* the other “team”! IT’S CHEATING!”

“If someone tried that on ME… he’d end up WEARING his own #$%!! detector wrapped around his SKULL!”

“Not impressed. Not good for your image Ron….”

“This show is a disgrace to our hobby.”

“They know what our hobby is up against and they sold us out for profit. What a shame.”

“This show is so retarded i think it will stop people from buying detectors”

“They’ll look like fools on tv for a paycheck and even join in the same type of activities that mock detecting from the idiots of society.  If I didn’t detect and seen that show I would think it was probably the dumbest hobby ever and done by a bunch of clowns who apparently never grew up.”

“I did not see it, but as soon as I heard about it, knew it would not be good for the hobby.”

“Bunch of a$$ hats!!”


Well, what do you think? Well stated, accurate assessments? Do you agree with them? Make you proud to be a treasure hunter? Personally, I think they do more damage to our pastime than any TV show, not to mention they’re all great talking points and ammunition for the archaeological community.

When I reviewed the first two episodes of Dig Wars I  just called it “okay”.  I think there’s a lot of room for improvement but I am willing to give it time and see if it happens. Do I think the producers read and care about our opinions? Yes I do, and I think the folks that are on the show will do what they can to  make better as time goes on. Right now it’s the first year, first set of shows and I doubt they had any input into the final product.

My questions is….why can’t we show our displeasure with something like “Dig Wars” without resorting to impugning the character of those in the cast.  Do they do it for money? Of course they do. Do they do it for the fun of it? Of course they do. Do they like the idea of being able to detect well known historical sites?  Of course they do. Would you like to trade places with them?  Of course you would!

When I read comments like those above, I shake my head. Apparently those who put them out there think they are the consummate detectorist/treasure hunter/TV pundit/reviewer, all wrapped up in one, and as such say whatever comes to mind, no matter the cause and effect…

Yes I know I will now be under the gun for posting this, but it’s okay. You see I have the right to voice my opinions too. To the cast of Dig Wars….don’t let the naysayers get  you down.

“There is never jealousy where there is not strong regard”….Washington Irving.




Hmmm….received this in the mail yesterday, and I have a feeling someone, perhaps someone in Florida, is responsible….


Lisa, not funny at all!



Received an email from Keith Wills, vice-president of the WWATS organization, and it read “Attached, is a letter from the San Antonio Club president….Please Read! The attachment is as follows….


June 24. 2013

Betty Bueche’, Director of Facilities and Parks
Bexar County Facilities and Parks Department
101 West Nueva, Suite 930
San Antonio, TX 78205

Dear Ms. Bueche’,

We wish to extend our sincere thanks for taking the time to meet with us today. The members of our Team, Tom & Peggy Rifleman, Don Bowker and Jocelyn Ronan,  who was unable to attend, as well as the Woolums appreciate the courtesy with which we were treated as representatives for the San Antonio Area Metal Detector Club. In our post meeting discussions we all agreed that you and Tim Nevil were engaged and receptive to our presentation of the many positive aspects of our “hobby”.

For our part, you gave us a much better understanding of the fine line you must walk in making your decision concerning the future of metal detecting in County Parks.  We understand with the discovery of prehistoric structures in Mission County Park you had to err on the side of caution and close all the parks at least for a time.  Since you explained that the County Parks were, for the most part, created prior to the 1969 Antiquities Code of Texas and therefore had no archeological surveys  performed your course of action is clearer to us. The surprising information was that it is the County’s position that metal detecting in County Parks was never  an allowed activity although not clearly prohibited on the website rules, addressed in anyway but positively by law enforcement encounters and has been openly a  Club activity for many years.

Moving forward from our meeting, we appreciate your willingness to develop a new policy allowing recreational metal detecting by permit in those County Parks  where historic preservation is not an issue and present it to the Commissioners Court. We also agree that part of the permit process should be proof of some form of  training and are willing to work with Bexar County to help facilitate this. We agree you will never stop all “rouge” hunting but working with a group that is trained   and maintains a Code of Ethics will help ensure those permitted will protect and preserve our County Park assets for future generations.

Again, we truly appreciate your time in meeting with us and your willingness to really listen to our presentation of the many positive aspects of our Club.  We look forward to hearing from yourself or Tim regarding the progress of your Policy development and ultimate presentation to Commissioners Court.  We would  like to be involved and help in any way we can to facilitate the process and appreciate you letting us know the date and time of the Commissioners Court Meeting.

Best Regards,
James F. Woolums, President
Linda M. Woolums, Secretary
San Antonio Area Metal Detectors Club

Cc: SAAMDC Officers and Action Committee


Here’s hoping the Task Force, FMDAC and WWATS can assist here….please check their websites for more information, and do not send off any letters or emails to  the Parks Department without their input.



Filed under Metal Detecting

29 responses to ““Dig Wars” Reviews…How Picayune Can we Get?

  1. bill from lachine

    I watched some clips of the upcoming shows courtesy of Chicago Ron’s links and it seemed like they were having fun and trying to make the shows entertaining.

    That said I do have mixed feelings that it might draw quite a few get rich quick types to the hobby who may or may not follow the proper ethics….that said when they find out the meager returns for the efforts put in…..doubtful they’ll stick with the hobby long term.

    Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

    Regards + HH


    • Hi Bill,

      Your 2 cents are always worth something here….

      I understand the concern. I have heard it every time a TV show about detecting comes on. Frankly I never thought there would be any period.

      It’s the tone of the naysayers that bothers me. The comments are not exactly becoming to our pastime. JMO.

      • bill from lachine

        Yeah there’s definitely a jealousy factor at play…..I’m constantly surprised at some of the posts by doubters on the forums commenting on some of the better finds made by members.

        I was fortunate to find 3 gold and 1 silver ring so far this year….bearing in mind I probably dug about a 1,000 mostly junk targets to get them….lol.

        Regards + HH


  2. Lisa

    Wait until you see your Christmas present!

  3. Hmmm…..not sure what to make of that comment. Just so you know I don’t really read too well. I do like to look at pictures though….so if you are stumped there’s always Playboy? Just a thought….

  4. Mike Smith

    People assume that they are getting paid for appearing in this show. From my experience (Mystery Hunters/ Discovery Channel, Lost Dutchman), they are not being paid but I may be wrong.

    I agree these shows are not good for our hobby. I was recently contacted by two different companies (one in CA and one from NY) about appearing on a similar type show and turned them down because I feel our hobby would be portrayed in a bad way and would add more fuel for the fire that will come from the archaeology community.

    The comments on the forums are coming from both ignorance of how these shows are produced and jealousy that they are not the ones appearing, in my opinion.

    As to the situation in San Antonio, if they put this “permit” system into place, and I am visiting for a few days, how am I to get this “form of training” or am I just out of luck in being able to detect? Or should I just take my vacation and money else where? Something for them to think about!

    As to Lisa sending you, what I assume to be an invite to a subscription to “Archaeology” magazine. Not a bad idea to keep abreast of what the “enemy ( 🙂 )” is doing. When living in AZ I kept up with what the Sierra Club and other environmental nut jobs were doing so our prospecting club would be informed.

    • Hi Mike, I am not sure these shows are as bad as what many claim. I understand they promote instant riches and are sometimes are “over the top” but I think that they are finding their way in many respects, and we need to be patient, always understanding that they must be geared toward the majority, not the minority.

      You brought up a good point about the San Antonio situation. Hadn’t thought of that truthfully. Let’s hope things work out in the Alamo city.

  5. Joe Smith

    The problem is that these shows are categorized as being reality TV, and people believe what’s on TV. The average detectorist knows that this isn’t their reality. Is it beefed up, edited, embellished and improbable? Sure it is, because fantasy sells. Record what the average detectorist does and you wind up with The Victory Garden or Sewing with Nancy. (Zzzzzzz)

    Reality TV is not always real. I know it, you know it. Get over it.

    P.S. I keep a pocketful of pennies in case a fellow detectorist doesn’t keep a respectful distance when I’m working.

    • Joe, as I said to Mike, I know these shows do not represent what it is we REALLY do, but I am hopeful that down the road they will improve to the point where we are pleased with them.

      In the meantime, bashing those that participate solves absolutely nothing…..JMO.

  6. Here’s the comment that will lose me the two or three friends I have left in this hobby.

    Number one: There is nothing dignified about an adult digging holes in the ground to find coins/relics/jewelry. If one thinks about it, it really is kind of silly. At the very heart of metal detecting, lies a 9 year old boy/girl who dreamt of treasure and now that the 9 year old has disposable income, he/she can look for that treasure. I know a lot of us like to think we are ‘saving history’ by digging objects from the ground but really, unless we are trained archaeologist/historians, we are adding very little to our collective knowledge. So there is really nothing to ruin here. And if we lose our metal detecting rights, it is more likely that it will happen because a concerned citizen didn’t like seeing a grown person, digging holes at the park with a shovel and not because Ron is making a t.v. show.
    Everyone should stop taking themselves so seriously.

    Number two: there will never be a tv show that will satisfy this community because EVERY one has a different idea as to what a detecting show should be like. I have the suspicion that very few of those ideas would be entertaining.

    We are all goofballs digging holes for our enjoyment and entertainment and not to save the world so let’s all just relax and come down from our high horses. If we don’t like Ron’s show, we can turn the channel or better yet, we can turn the t.v. off and go detecting.

    • Dave, love your reply….absolutely! We do indeed tend to make what we do “rocket science” when in reality we are digging sounds and crossing our fingers. I once made a comment to this effect and a few tekkies were ready to string me up. Apparently I was belittling their expertise, and in the process, crushing their ego.

      You last sentence accurately sums up my feelings about all this …..

    • technos

      “Number one: There is nothing dignified about an adult digging holes in the ground to find coins/relics/jewelry. If one thinks about it, it really is kind of silly.”

      I really identify with this remark, as we delve in this kind of sophistry. But there is more than one angle to it. I think that beach hunters are perceived differently by the public because they have become somewhat iconic with beaches, and perhaps even to be expected at this point along with the tide. The other is we could do better in the public relations department and view ourselves as “ambassadors” by being more willing to engage other people with what we are doing (like return rings and help people find keys for free). But when the day is done, it must be remembered detectorists for the most part are chasing pocket change, and rusty bits of flotsam, not really more. I think this becomes apparent if people watch more than one show, and in the end the truth will help. Besides that, it might be compared to batting a small white ball around with a stick!

  7. ‘Ere, Ricardo;
    …wos…picayune mean? How ‘picayune’ do you want us? Is it anything to do with reading Playboy? Jeez, I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous!

    Keep on truckin’

  8. Robbie

    I can’t really comment on these type shows as I only have watched a few “BOOM BABY!!” episodes and have seen videos on YouTube on the 2 characters who state overpriced values on their finds and who have special names for almost every item they dig. Until they make a real reality show about metal detecting with load of dug pulltabs, aluminum cans dug up, and other juank and clad coins found—- none of these will be REAL !!!

  9. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Tonight’s show was fun! I enjoyed watching it and wished it was longer.

    • I watched it too Tony, but not too sure whether it was any improvement over the previous episodes. The “choreography” was pretty bad.

      • Big Tony from Bayonne

        I am not sure I know what you mean on choreography? When I metal detect I walk – bend – dig and either smile or frown. I don’t dance around if I get an awesome target. What I have done is the form of the Toyota bounce! I just jump up in the air and maybe shout – yeah baby!

      • Yeah Baby is another show, and a really bad one at that.

      • Big Tony from Bayonne

        So now the dark side of Dick Stout comes out?

      • You have seen the show American Diggers haven’t you? Boom Baby?

  10. technos

    In a recent episode it showed them digging up civil war ordnance that was still live. My problem is that others will see this and think they can dig up any old bomb they stumble upon. And this could not be any further from the truth. Every year there are people that die from bombs they found. Last year a couple of people died in Europe when they found a live WW2 bomb.

    They need to set better examples, and be more careful as to how they are portrayed. I also saw recent episodes of “diggers” and while they (imho) portrayed metal detecting in a much more positive light, I found their kookiness somewhat off-putting.

  11. technos I agree, and I mentioned that in my critique of that first show. A few years ago I watched a group from the Déminage department diffuse a WWII bomb on a beach in France, and just this week thousands had to be evacuated in the city of Rennes when more WWII bombs were discovered. Nothing to fool around with.

    As for kookiness? Seems to e a prerequisite for being in these shows, and I suspect the producers think it makes them more interesting. Wrong!

  12. luckyg

    Too much acting foolish on all three shows,maybe dig fellas will show a little decorum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.