Dave Wise…

Received a lot of good feedback regarding the interview with Dominique and decided to give it another go…..this time it’s Dave Wise, another member of the White’s Test Team.

Dave Wise, the cellar guy…

Dave’s finds (as well as his partner Todd’s) continually knock me out.  I hunted quite a few colonial homesites back in the 70’s and 80’s and never came away with anything close to what he has found.

I usually refer to Dave as “Beanie” but will refrain from doing that here since he was nice enough to answer my questions.

And so you know…

…while I love to bust Dave’s chops I have the utmost respect for him, not only as a detectorist, but as a very kind and caring individual.  Only hours after Fay and I lost our home to a tornado (December 2015) Dave set up a Go Fund Me account that aided us greatly at a very, very difficult time. We can never thank him enough. 

The Interview

Q. Dave, I know you live on the East coast but where in particular?

A. I live in Connecticut.

Q. Is it true that you wear your hat backwards because you don’t want to be a redneck?

A. I got your redneck right here Baldy!

DS: Well then I think White’s should come out with a “Dave Wise Beanie” because you sure abuse the baseball cap.

Q. What was it that got you interested in metal detecting?

A. When I was younger my dad would take me bottle digging and I really loved that. Then one day my Dad came home with a metal detector for me.

Q. When did you start and what was your very first metal detector?

A. In 1982.  I was 17 and it was a White’s Coinmaster 4000-D metal detector.  I’m glad too because I have been a White’s user ever since.

A few of Dave’s early finds….


Q. What was your very first signal/find?

A. God I’m having a CRS moment. I think it was a memorial penny in my yard.

Q. What was your very first good or decent find?

A. My 1st Indian head penny with my White’s Silver Eagle.

Q. In the beginning did you concentrate on one particular treasure? i.e., did you hunt for coins, relics, jewelry….

A. I knocked on doors of older homes. I liked old coins as I was a coin collector at the time.

 DS: Jeezus,  hope you were better looking back then because I sure as hell wouldn’t open the door for you today…

Q. How long did it take you to find your first silver coin and do you remember what it was?

A. I think my 1st silver was a mercury dime with my Silver Eagle back in the early 90’s.

Q. How long did it take you to find your first ring and what kind of ring was it?

A. My 1st ring was a small 18KT gold band in shallow water at a beach.

Q. Did you spend a lot of time researching in the beginning and if so how did you go about it?

A. No, I didn’t in the beginning. I just knocked on doors if it looked like an older home and I also asked pastors and priests of older churches.

Q. You and Todd Hiltz are obviously close detecting partners. How did you two meet?

A. We met on American Detector Forum and decided to go on a hunt together. The rest is history. We are a good team as we both love the same era of coins and relics…. that being the colonial period.

Todd Hiltz and Dave Wise


Q. Are you going to pop the question soon?

A. No but I plan on popping you in the mouth when I see you….

DS: Okay, okay, just kidding….Beanie!

Q. As a team, who decides on where to detect?

A. It ‘s a joint effort when we research. We go over with each other sites we each find, then come up with a plan of attack. It’s never one sided.

Q. Curious….do you two ever argue about anything detecting related?

A. I can’t ever think of a time we argued. We get along great I think.

Q. Do you and Todd compete or have any running contests?

A. It’s always friendly competition in our own minds I think.  If he finds a Large cent or colonial relic, it drives me to concentrate harder at the site so I can find something too. I think the same applies to him if I find something cool. Funny thing is many times our hunts end in ‘find for find’ totals.

One hunt I clearly remember….he found a GW button and I remember praying God I wish I could find one so I don’t have to hear about it on the ride home, lol.  Then just before we were ready to call it a day I found one! Funny how this happens to us more times than I can say.

Q. What would you consider to be your best find so far?

A. It’s a very tough question to pick just one. If I may let me offer a few… My George Washington buttons from 1789. All 12 were so much fun to dig and one of my most cherished finds.


Dave’s George Washington button display…


2nd would have to be my 1793 chain cent with abbreviated reverse AMERI.

1793 Chain Cent


……and 3rd would be the WWII sterling silver bombers ID bracelet I dug in a drained swimming area.

I was able to return it to the son in California.  It was very rewarding to hear his voice on phone and then seeing how much he appreciated having it to put with his dads pics and flight logs book from WWII.


The bomber ID bracelet and original owner and the grateful son on the right….


Q. Okay what is your weirdest find to date (other than Todd)?

A. lol! that would have to be my denture spill of 4 plates at an old cellar hole site

Hope these didn’t give off a “chattering” response….

Q. What is your “oldest” find to date?

A. My oldest would be a few stone arrowheads that popped out while digging a target. The oldest metal finds would probably be my 1600’s native American brass kettle points.

Q. How did you and Todd become part of the White’s Field Test team?

A. We were asked if we’d like to be on the White’s Focus Team and of course we were in shock and jumped at the opportunity.

Q. Tell me about your first trip to the factory in Sweet Home…was it the first time you observed the manufacturing process?

A. It was a trip I will never forget. To see everything and how it is made is incredible. The staff and employees made us feel like we had known them for years. I had an amazing time and love everyone at White’s!

Q. Curious too how you put up with the old guy, what’s his name…*Buttafuso?

A. Ya just ignore him it’s easy. Nah, Bob is an awesome guy and so glad that I can call him a friend. He would give the shirt off his back if ya needed it!

 DS: Come on man that picture is making me sick….

Q. You obviously use White’s detectors but what model are you currently using and why?

A. I currently use the MXT All-Pro. I love its versatility and durability in the conditions we hunt. It’s simple to operate and it treats me well.

Q. Care to share any settings or setups?

A. Sure….All metal/relic mode, zero disc and 2 tone ID.

Q. I know this is a dumb question but what accessories do you use?

A. It is a dumb question but I just consider the source.  I use White’s pro star headphones and the White’s TRX pin pointer.

Q. How often do you get out detecting today?

A. Every weekend we are out.

Q. Where do you concentrate your time….parks, rural areas, homesites, etc..?

A. Old colonial stone foundations or what we call cellar holes. Love that era of our history and that’s what I love to save.

Just one of many cellar holes Dave has searched…

Q. You surely have a bucket list. Care to share it?

A. Any early American Draped Bust silver coin and a Massachusetts pine tree or oak tree coin.

Q. Have you detected overseas at all?

A. No, but that is my only dream, to hunt a field in England

Q. What would your ideal detector look like?

A. The one I swing every weekend..the MXT Pro

Q. If you could pass along one or two words of advice to other detectorists, what would they be?

A.  Be patient, persistent and you will have success!

Thanks Dave for taking the time to do this and for putting up with my busting your chops…appreciate it!

*Bob Buttafuso is going to be a Q&A participant in the near future and it’s not going to be pretty…



Filed under Interviews, Metal Detecting

16 responses to “Dave Wise…

  1. heavymetalnut

    Thanks for the interview! I am truly honored. Great job!

  2. Frank Blazi Sr

    Proud and lucky to be Dave’s friend and to have witnessed the recovery of his prized chain cent. One of many coins that came from that site.

  3. fastfrank

    A day I will never forget!!

  4. Boxerbrock

    Great interview. I laughed out loud a couple of times. ” I’m going to pop you in the mouth”, God that was funny. White’s is awesome. Keep it up!

    • Thanks Boxer. Dave’s a funny guy even if he doesn’t know it.

      Have a feeling the Buttafuso Q&A is going to be even funnier. Have you ever seen the guy? He’s one over-the-hill, decrepit old tekkie who holds his own when it comes to lifting the glass.

  5. Todd

    I learned quite a bit from Dave when we first started hunting together. Couldn’t ask for a better hunting partner. I think the only thing we ever argue about is identification of relics when we are initially pulling them out of the ground

  6. del

    I enjoyed the friendly banter you Dave always share Mr. Stout . LOL Mr. Wise represents some of the best in our hobby and I am proud to call him friend .

  7. Ann

    lmao @ Dave. Homophobic much?

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