Redux 2016…

Used to be old silver coins were plentiful

It’s a holiday, it’s hot as hell (°104) and I’m brain-dead. Here’s a repeat from 2016….


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… 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' 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….





Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “Redux 2016…

  1. Ed B.

    Being an older “tekkie” I can identify with all of your “used to be’s”. It’s really a shame how things have changed and mostly for the worst. To comment on one in particular, I remember when finding silver coins wasn’t all that difficult but nowadays finding ONE is an event. But GEE…..on the forums many guys are only 6 months into the year and they’re already on their 180th silver coin. Besides not using the “NOX” where am I going wrong?

    • Ed, I wonder too. Perhaps they’re digging in larger city parks, like NYC, Philly, etc., not sure. Then too you can be as successful as you want to be in cyberspace?

  2. Well, as you know, Dick, I am an irritating old man myself, metal detecting since 1965, and my thoughts on today’s “Hobby” and the people in it make my blood boil. What irks me most is the “vacuum cleaner” approach by today’s detector operators. Not long ago, I saw three detector operators walking a patch of beach, three abreast and digging a swath and leaving holes everywhere for several days in a row, even passing between people on blankets in the dry sand.

    At one time we were called (and you remember this) THer’s…treasure hunters, not a “detectorist” any more than you were a “shovel-est” or a “Coin-Probe-est” but the continued social-media testimonials on how everyone is “hooked” or “addicted” to the hobby seems a bit disingenuous at best. I walked the beach one day (without my detector, as I’d just stopped to take a look) and counted almost 20 people in the first quarter-mile with metal detectors, with more “We’re just getting into the hobby and want to know where to detect!” comments showing up on social-media daily. The beaches are almost sterile in many areas without even junk (which is now a prized find by the way) sounding off. We have had people come to us a few days or a week after losing a ring on a popular beach, knowing it has already been found and liquidated by someone already with a metal detector. I’d give the hobby up as a bad deal myself, if I hadn’t bought all the gear; metal detectors, pin-pointers, Go Pro Camera, cammo outfit, a new car to put them in 🙂

  3. Bob K

    Well you didn’t keep all the heat in Texas, some went North to Ks. With the heat i’m very cantankerous can’t wait for rains or Fall. I haven’t seen Silver in so long wouldn’t know one. By the way our club has a search team for police departments and lost items. Club is Mid West Artifacts society ( MWAS )

    • Familiar with the MWAS Bob, great group of people. Wasn’t aware you had a search team, though. Sorry about that.

      Say hi to everyone in the club please….

  4. Tony

    Dick, you didn’t mention “Camo”!
    I went hunting last weekend with some folks. One guy who is a very good detectorist was wearing camo clothing. When we asked each other where he was in the area of woods we were detecting – low and behold we had to call his cell because we couldn’t see him in the trees and brush. Now if something had happened to him, it would have made it real difficult to locate him, just a crazy insight.

    Love those mag covers but you know in this crazy hobby, they never needed a pretty face to sell anything. Even that crazy skydiver didn’t help sales. Too funny in my opinion.

    • Well I sort of mentioned camo when I used the word “militia”… You right about being too invisible also. Problems can occur for sure. Better to stand out than have people searching for you. Kinda like detecting during hunting season.

      Those gals on the covers weren’t there to sell detectors, they were there to sell magazines. Happy 4th Tony, pour one for me.

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