Who Are the Best Hunters and Why?

Okay, so who are the Indiana Joneses in our pastime?  Who are the experts…the best of the best? The successful tekkies who always seem to bring home the bacon?  Do you know any?  If so what sets them apart from the rest of us?  What do they know that we don’t?  What’s their secret?

Well first maybe it’s a mistake to even throw such a label or designation out there?  I mean how do we define success within the pastime?  Just what sort of criteria would we use to determine that?  I know in my case success is just being able to swing a coil and find a coin or two, especially the older I get.  How about you?  What is your definition of success?  What keeps you going?  My guess is most of us are weekend warriors, just looking forward to spending some time in the field, looking for that one neat find that will make our day or better yet, put us on easy street.

I think it’s important too that we always remember that what we do is a hobby.  Some people love to fish, play golf, tennis or in the case of Paul Barford, piss and moan and play victim.  We tekkies just happen to like finding treasures, big and small, and we all know the Mel Fishers within our ranks are nil and none.  It’s a fun pastime that offers outdoor exercise, a little mystery and a lot of excitement.  A manufacturer pretty much summed it up when he said….”we sell dreams”!

Chicago Ron

Chicago Ron

Now having said that, there are detectorists out there who are very successful in finding the better treasures and on a regular basis. They are few and far between but they exist. They exist because they have patience, perseverance and the time to pursue their dreams.  They’ve been there and done that a lot more than you and I. Chicago Ron is a good example.  He has pounded the beaches near his home day in and day out, and he knows when to hunt, where to hunt and how to maximize his time.  He is also fortunate enough to be able to spend a few weeks hunting Roman, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon treasures in the UK.  No question Ron lives and eats treasure hunting.

Ron is not the only successful detectorist out there.  There are a few others I can think of, but I won’t throw names out there lest I leave someone out.  I use Ron because he is probably the most recognized name in the pastime.  There are others who are also well-known for mastering the sand & surf, and some who do themselves justice hunting old homes, cellar holes and Civil War sites . Their secret?  In my mind it’s their durability, their perseverance, and their ability to keep at it day after day after day, no matter the obstacles or setbacks. They also know how to research,  how to ask the right questions and how to follow-up after the fact.

Terry Herbert

Terry Herbert

Now before some of you start getting discouraged, remember that Terry Herbert, the finder of the Staffordshire Hoard, was unemployed at the time of his discovery, and while he had been detecting for almost 18 years, he was hardly an Indiana Jones kind of guy.  He merely happened to be in the right spot at the right time, and as a result discovered what is considered to be the largest Anglo-Saxon  treasure found to date (He no longer needs to think about working). I also doubt that Mr. Herbert was consumed with having the latest coil for his 14-year-old White’s Spectrum or a camera to stick on his head.  I suspect he, just like you and I, enjoyed the thrill of the search and nothing more.  So keep on keeping on….you never know what tomorrow might bring or what that next beep might be…

Charlie Parker, one of the greatest jazz saxophonists ever, used to say….“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice.  And then, when you finally get up  there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail….”



…there would be days like yesterday. Headed out with the MXT Pro and came home later with a whopping 41 cents….all clad!  Guess I should have known better given the three Merc outing last week. Oh well, I can take it and buy a uh, er, um…. well, something dammit!



Let me remind you again about this challenge.  Your club could win a Coinmaster detector, compliments of White’s Electronics.    All you have to do is help out your local community, clean up the environment and promote your club in the process. How? Simply by adopting a park or a stretch of highway and/or shoreline to   clean up on a regular basis.

White's Coinmaster

White’s Coinmaster

The guidelines….Send a newspaper clipping or email a link to a television blurb about your club’s “Step Up and Clean Up” program. It must tell about or show your club actually at work,   cleaning up your adopted area, and it must be dated after January 1, 2014. Send it to….

“Step Up and Clean Up”, White’s Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road,   Sweet Home, Oregon 97386.





Filed under Metal Detecting

18 responses to “Who Are the Best Hunters and Why?

  1. danhughes1

    Dick, I suspect that the most successful treasure hunters are totally unknown to us. On purpose. This is one hobby where secrecy is never a bad idea. Big talkers are usually full of hot air. The smart guys finding the major caches keep it to themselves.

  2. ( Hesitantly, yet compelled to, almost, but stop short. ) Dick coming from my end of the world, I would like to believe that it is those that go beyond and surpass the others. It is not about the hoards of valuables, as this part is most times kept a secret.( But unlocking everything needed to succeed. ) As for experts? It depends on the area involved. But then it must always be a continous learning experience as well. There are T.Hunters whom are light years ahead of the others and doing it old school as well.

    • Bart, I agree and please understand that my post was not meant to be definitive or to slight anyone. Simply an observation and maybe not even a good one at that…

  3. Arthur-Canada

    The best treasures I have ever found is the look on the face of my buddies when they find something really cool or I find something really cool. It’s not much of a hobby to me if you have to sneak around in secrecy because you want to be the one to find everything for yourself. Just my opinion.

    • Arthur I am not sure anyone mentioned “sneaking around”…. My post was to simply offer an opinion on why some detetorists do better than others.

      • Arthur-Canada

        I wasn’t referring to what you said but what “danhughes1” said…and I know he wasn’t talking about himself either.

  4. lenny1863

    Hello Mr.S.

    I am Agree 100% with Dan And Cowboy.

    TV shows And look how good I am or jumping like a##s, idiots in front of a camera (experts, best Hunters)? Not in my Book. I guess in the time I have in this hobby it is only a hand full that I can consider EXPERTS or EXPERT. They know their equipment, they know how, where and when, and it’s not on TV or YouTube video.

  5. Thanks Dick, for including me in your example of accomplished hunters. I am flattered. You are right, to me it is all about the passion for history, and finding the unknown, thrill of the hunt. Whether an item is worth 10 cents or 10,000.00 it is about the story not the value. I never sell finds!

    I have been hunting for 30+ years and have on quite a few occasions been in the right place at the right time, but I also made the decision to take those opportunities. I have not always received positive feedback on my endeavors, but I always approach them with conviction and try to represent the hobby for what it is! A fun and exciting way to learn about and touch history.
    Not everyone sees bringing detecting into the main stream as a good thing. I for one think it is inevitable and will be needed if we are to continue the fight to keep our hobby alive!
    No I don’t film the ordinary and junk finds. Who wants to see me dig pull tabs, bottle caps and pennies on the beach? No one!

    I do share my good finds and will continue to do so, though not popular with some there are those that enjoy my exploits, and I enjoy sharing them.

    Happy Hunting
    Hope another 3 merc day is in your near future!

  6. bill from lachine


    I guess I’ve been fortunate through the years to get to know mostly through the internet some of the top notch detectorists out there.

    One of the best beach hunters in my books is my buddy Hamid who’s based in Morocco…..he’s got his own youtube channel and makes it look like child’s play……one common characteristic I’ve found among the elite crowd is most of them are pretty humble about their abilities even though they are for the most part much more successful than most.

    Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

    Regards + HH


  7. Another thought Bill…how would your friend in Morocco (or for that matter Chicago Ron), fare hunting a topless beach in the South of France? Having experienced that I can tell you it’s hard to concentrate….

  8. bill from lachine


    Here’s a year end video from 2012 of Hamid’s gold and silver beach finds…..read the opening comments to get an idea of his level of determination.

    He’s one of the best because he refuses to quit.

    Regards + HH


  9. heavymetalnut

    Hamid is a great guy and finds so much gold

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