Just Being Cantankerous…

Someone recently called me a cantankerous senior citizen so I thought I would live up to my reputation and have a little fun ….


  • There were fewer people detecting…. today there are fewer places to detect.
  • There were 25 metal detector companies. Today there are approximately 10.
  • All you needed was a detector, screwdriver and a carpenter’s apron. Today it’s a detector, digging tool, shovel, pinpointer, pouch, headphones, Go Pro camera, knee pads, backpack and camouflage clothing.
  • You learned about metal detecting from magazines and books – today it’s social media & YouTube.


  • The idols were Charles Garrett, Karl von Mueller and Jimmy Sierra – today you are only as famous as your last video on Facebook..
  • You could hunt almost anywhere. Today you are lucky you can hunt your backyard.
  • Detectorists spent hours researching at the library. Today they sit on their ass in front of the computer.
  • Detectorists spent a lot of time talking to old timers. Today the old timers are not nearly as old.
  • Club hunts were a lot of fun and inexpensive. Today you have to take out a second mortgage.
  • You could learn your new detector in fifteen minutes. Today it’s fifteen days (if you are lucky).


  • You didn’t think about what you would wear when you went detecting.  Today you’re not cool unless you are part of the militia.
  • No one took much notice of what I was doing. Today the guy detecting in the park is wearing camo, has a camera on his head and is carrying a shovel. WTF?
  • Old silver coins were plentiful. Today tekkies consider it a good day when they find just one.
When old silver coins were plentiful...

When old silver coins were plentiful…

  • Metal detectorists cared about promoting, protecting and preserving the pastime. Today they care about making videos and promoting themselves.
  • Running into another detectorist was rare….today you run the other way when you see one.
  • You drove around and took photos of places to detect. Today you take photos of your detector leaning on a shovel.
Ribbet collage shovel

Do you have one of these too…..be honest now.

  • Clubs worked at putting together a search team to help local law enforcement. Today I am aware of only one.
  • Clubs would devote a day a month to clean up local parks. Today it’s apparently not that important.
  • You worked hard to find cool things. Today you work hard to get a TV series.


  • You never talked about your finds. Today you paste them all over social media.
  • You could pay for your detector pretty quickly. Today it will take you five years to pay for your detector, pinpointer, shovel and camera.
  • Tekkies were interested  in coming together under one roof (national organization).  Today it’ every man for himself.
FMDAC, mid 80's.....one organization and we were kicking ass!

Mid 80’s -a monthly meeting of FMDAC delegates, many of whom traveled more than 100 miles each way. They truly cared about the pastime and as a result we accomplished great things.

  • Archaeologists hated us. Today? They still hate us.
  • The wannabe archaeologist in Warsaw was an obnoxious individual. Today he’s a full-fledged asshole.
  • The TH’ing magazines were bigger and had more articles.
The covers were more interesting too.

And the covers were better too….

  • I cared about  what people thought of me, and as a result I kept things to myself.  Now as my days are getting fewer I feel the need to speak my mind, and if it makes me a cantankerous curmudgeon, so be it.

Happy hunting and stay the hell off my lawn….



Received an email from Janice in Punta Gorda, Florida asking if I knew of a club in that area.  After enquiring around it appears there aren’t any…..  If you know of one please let me know and I will pass along the information.  Many thanks…..






Filed under Metal Detecting

11 responses to “Just Being Cantankerous…

  1. I thought you were not going to mention His Eminence, PB? This will only unnecessarily upset John Titchmarsh.

  2. Very well said Dick. Some of the things you mentioned is why I started the Three Seasons Treasure Hunters Club LLC in Wisconsin.

    We have a yearly open hunt which is coming up Aug. 27th, 2016 in Cadott, WI. We have a yearly “Adopt A Highway” program. In the summer time we do different public relations programs for the community, for instance we do a day long demonstration for the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire on the 4th of July.

    We have a booth at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair which started today. I am proud of how our club has grown since I took it upon myself to start it in March of 2008. We as a club save all of our trash for the year and make a yearly picture to show our Dept of Natural Resources in WI that we as a club care about our environment.

    They still have all state parks, lands, and waterways closed to metal detecting, but we were able to work with our local parks and fair grounds to keep detecting open for years to come because we as a club, we police these areas and keep a watch for people doing damage. Yes we still lose places to hunt because we are sometimes are our own worst enemy thanks to the damage done by just a few. I commend you for everything you have done for this hobby. The knowledge (books you wrote & by detecting all your life) THANK YOU.

    Kenny Briggs
    Founding President Three Seasons Treasure Hunters Club LLC
    Owner of Glround View Metal Detector Sales & Rental

  3. wintersen

    Loved your post!

  4. Randy Dee

    Oh how true, very well said Dick.
    From another old codger.

  5. Del Critoph

    Just brilliant 😄

  6. Always wondered where the girls kept the finds 🙂

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