Steve Moore – Q&A

I’d heard a lot about Steve Moore and finally got to meet him last year at the Garrett factory. Since joining the Garrett team in 2006 he has done a ton of traveling promoting the brand, the pastime and piling up impressive finds along the way. Many thanks Steve for taking the time to share the following….


Q. Steve, if you don’t mind tell us a little about yourself, i.e., where you live, are you married, where you keep your valuables, etc….

A. I live in Lantana, Texas, just north of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. I’m married with three kids: a son Jacob who enters high school this fall, and two daughters who are finishing up college now.


Q. Does anyone else in the family detect?

A. My kids have all detected at times, but my son is the only one who still has time to go out with me. The girls are wrapped up in college life and working now. Jacob is into social media, particularly YouTube, so he pushed me to start a channel for the two of us (Moore Adventures). From time to time, we post videos of detecting or outdoor stuff we enjoy, and he always asks me to shoot something when I travel for Garrett. I don’t have a lot of spare time to make videos, but I try to once in awhile since Jacob enjoys it.


Q. How long have you worked for Garrett and what is your title?

A. I started to work for Garrett in 2006. My title is Marketing Director.


Q. Steve I know too that you are a very accomplished author. When did you start writing and what are some the titles of your books…

A. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and did some articles for my college newspaper, in addition to being an advertising salesperson. My first non-fiction book was published in 1996, and I’ve had another 18 published since then. Two more World War II titles are in the works, but my source material (the veterans) are going fast. One artillery veteran I interviewed last week is 100 years old (and he still drives!). As far as the titles, my book website is for more info.

Steve and WWII vet


Q. Curious, did you detect before you joined Garrett or was it the result of working there?

A. The first time I tried metal detectors was one a cousin had in the 1980s (ironically it was a Garrett, a Coin Hunter ADS). But I did not seriously get into metal detecting until I started working for Garrett. My first real “treasure hunting” was in 1984 with my dad in Mexico, but there were no metal detectors involved. Our group was shallow diving an old shipwreck on the coastline, using our hands to fan the sand underwater to find buckles, trade beads, and the occasional Spanish religious crosses. Wish I had a detector back then!

Once I started work here, Charles Garrett and his son Vaughan encouraged me to learn as much as I could about the company’s products by getting out and using them. Mr. Garrett told me I should travel to different places, talk to people, hunt with them, and learn everything I can while in the field. I’ve tried to do that ever since, and I’m still learning!

The first detector I really started with was the ACE 250. It’s still a very popular detector because of its low price and simplicity. The modes and discrimination were simple to figure out, and finding coins and relics was very easy. As a marketing guy for Garrett, I made a point to hunt with all of the detectors we had in the line to learn them (GTI 1500, Master Hunter, Infinium, etc.).

Early on with the Garrett Ace


Q. In the beginning where did you concentrate your time? What areas did you search?

A. One of the first trips Mr. Garrett sent me on with our photographer, Brian McKenzie, was to Idaho. We did a lot of photo shoots for our catalogs and print ads, but also spent time gold panning and detecting some old miner’s cabins and other cool places. All of my early excursions with Garrett helped me learn how to become a better hunter, whether it was a city lot or an old farm.

Move over 49’ers (Yukon territory)


Q. What was your very first signal/find? Do you remember?

A. That’s a tough one. Probably a clad coin or a piece of foil, but I honestly don’t recall what my first target was. It would have been while I was learning the ACE 250. My kids tell me I’m getting old . . . what was the question again?


Q. And what was your first good or decent find, as in keeper.

A. My one of the first relics I found that I thought was really cool was a Native American “tinkler” – a piece of copper rolled up to make a pendant. In the 1700 and 1800s, Native Americans used copper pieces to make ornamental “janglers” or “tinklers” that hung from their clothes or from their neck, producing sounds as the person moved and the copper pendants clinked together. I was using an Infinium LS at the time.


Q. Another brain test…. how long did it take you to find your first silver coin and what was it?

A. That is a tough one. I was originally a lot more into relic hunting historic sites, where silver coins didn’t pop up as often. Probably would have been a Rosie dime, but I just don’t recall. My first European silver coin that I can recall was a small Dutch coin from the early 1900s.


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

A. It was probably an old brass ring found on a relic site in the 2006 to 2007 period, but I don’t have any specific dates. I was not very diligent in dating finds in my early years. I’m still guilty of having little boxes and bags of stuff from the past two or three years I keep intending to file away properly! Just can’t seem to find the time to put everything nice and neat into Riker boxes.


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

A. I’ve spent time researching old Texas sites that date back to the Indian Wars and Texas Revolution era. Having written a lot of books on the Texan wars of the 1830s, I’m pretty tapped into the sources. It just became a matter of matching up old maps to modern ones, and then getting permission to go dig on certain farms. In my book Last Stand of the Texas Cherokees, I write about how we used detectors to search out and find the battleground where the Cherokees made their last battle against Texas soldiers in 1839.

Presenting artifacts to Texas Rangers officers for their Waco museum. We recovered these from the Neches River battlefield of 1839 where Rangers fought Chief Bowles.

Relics from an 1870s buffalo hunters camp where they clashed with Indians


Q. What would you consider to be your very best find after all this time, and yes I know it’s hard to choose just one?

A. Tough one to pick. Guess I’d have to go with my gold coin from a few years ago, because it’s still the one and only gold coin I’ve dug. It was an 1851 U.S. $1 coin, found on a Virginia plantation.

1851 one dollar gold coin


Q. Okay what is your weirdest find to date?

A. I tend to find weird things in my dig pouch or daypack at the end of the day when I’m digging with KG and Ringy: doll heads, porcelain figurines, rocks, weird toys. Not sure how they manage to sneak them in there, but they do it.

Anything can happen with KG & Ringy


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

A. Oldest find would have to be Roman coins that predate Christ.

Old as in extremely old – UK


Q. What detector are you using at the moment and why?

A. I’ve been using the AT Max almost all the time this past year. I like the extra sensitivity (some people call it chattery, if they’re used to a quiet AT Pro, but the performance speaks for itself). The backlight is something I love when I’m hunting beaches at night or pre-dawn. And, of course, the wireless ability is key for me.

Love my AT Max


Q. Can you offer a few tips or settings?

A. I try to keep my discrim down low, 15 or 20. When you hit an area with some good finds, slow down and really work it. You will pick up more targets with a slower swing, especially in an iron-infested area. With the AT Max, I prefer Zero Mode for most areas, but I switch to All Metal if I want to pick up extra depth in the fields. I like that in mineralized ground, I can spread the Ground Balance Window to smooth out the performance. If the ground is shifting in mineralization levels, I ground balance by swinging the coil side to side a half inch off the ground (while holding down the GB button) to force the GB Window broader.

With Beau (Aquachigger) Ouimette , Jocelyn Elizabeth and Michael Bennett (Nugget Noggin)


Q. When you do go detecting what accessories do you use?

A. Well, I always have a Pro-Pointer with me. Unless I’m just steps away from the car hunting a house site, then I carry a daypack with me. I keep it loaded with essentials: spare batteries; water; a pocket knife; finds box for the “Keepers” I score; toilet paper; sunscreen; etc. I select my shovel based on where I’m hunting (larger relic shovel for farmland; smaller shovel that fits in my suitcase when traveling). In the forest, I’ll use an Edge digger to help get in between and under big trees roots where some of the goodies hide. When the weather gets warmer, I switch from regular headphones to earbuds, so I’ll carry those and a Z-Lynk RX box in my daypack.


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

A. Locally, a Republic of Texas button (1836 to 1845 period) will always be on my list until I find one. My great-great-great grandfather was a Texas Ranger captain, militia captain, and Texas Army captain during this period, so I’ve always had a big interest in any cool Texas-themed relics. Would kill to find a Civil War buckle with the Texas star.

As far as U.S. coins, a three-cent silver coin (“trime”) is on the bucket list. Also, any 1790s U.S. minted silver coins. I have Spanish and British coins from the late 1700s, but not any United States coins from the 1790s. Overseas, I’d love to see a Roman or Celtic gold coin one day. I did mark one off the old bucket list last month: a Seated Liberty dime from 1842.

The Liberty Seated dime is now off my bucket list


Q. I know you’ve detected overseas quite a bit….what countries and do you have a favorite?

A. Let’s see. My countries hunted so far include Mexico, Canada, England, France, Spain, Italy and Sicily, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Australia. Hope to add one or two more countries to my list this year. It’s really hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to lean one way . . . I’d have to say England. The laws are really set up well, allowing both the finder and the landowner to benefit where significant recoveries are made. The UK rallies are always a blast, and you meet hundreds of people who share your same interest in digging old history.

Hammered silver – UK

In the Netherlands. — George Wyant, Tim Saylor, Steve Moore, Dawn Chipchase and Jocelyn Elizabeth.


Q. Probably shouldn’t ask this question but I will. What would your IDEAL detector look like?

A. Light, powerful, portable, wireless . . . something easy to travel with that is versatile for the different terrains I end up hunting in.


Q. Are you able to share a little about what might be coming down the pike at Garrett? As in NEW products?

A. Yes, new products are always exciting, and I like to be involved in the planning of them. But at the moment, I can’t comment on timing or details. Sorry!


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

A. Keep it fun. Don’t lose faith, because you never know when the next swing of the coil is going to sound off over something terrific!




Filed under Metal Detecting

6 responses to “Steve Moore – Q&A

  1. butch H

    Steve has been one on the best things to happen to Garrett, and the hobby, in a long time.

  2. Oh, yes indeed! He’s the Thinking Man’s detectorist. Intellectually way above the Warsaw sewer rat.

  3. Bob Sickler

    Steve… Very enjoyable and interesting read! Charles Garrett offered me the same position back in the 80’s and I hated turning him down. So every time I read about or view your adventures, I get to live vicariously through what I missed.

    “Chattery”? That is a good thing! I was called on this morning to help a friend find an electrical service line buried at possibly 1.5 to 2 feet deep in 1937 on his property. I told him frankly I didn’t think the AT-Max would detect two-phase wire at that depth using the stock 8.5 x 11″ 2D coil, but I would give it a try. When I first turned on the Max, I switched from my custom mode to Zero mode given we knew approximately where the pole origin to the house line might be. The Max being extremely sensitive in that mode, it started reacting to the 60 Hz cycle interference of the AC. As I moved the coil towards the expected line location, the chatter got more intense and nearly squealed in the speaker as I passed directly over top and dissipated as I continued past. My friend followed behind me dropping lengths of wood trim in line with the climaxing interference response… In essence we successfully made a dotted line indication of the underground service line location so he could trench a safe parallel distance away to install a new telephone line.

    The AT-Max continues to impress me with its usefulness, sensitivity and field performance. Would you believe a plow horse shoe at arm’s length? I wouldn’t have believed it had I not heard and dug it myself. My shoulder was literally at ground level when my fingers touched the shoe. When your detector signals and your pinpointer indicates nothing along the way, you have to keep on digging friends!

  4. wendell

    I’ve read several of his books and they helped me in my metal detecting research.

  5. Joe Patrick

    Great interview! I’ve had the opportunity to “meet”, talk with and correspond with Steve through some e-mails during several field tests that I conducted on Garrett products for Lost Treasure magazine. I can tell you that Steve is first-class all the way and a big asset for Garrett. I am certain that I can safely say that we detectorist truly appreciate all that Steve is doing in support of Garrett and the hobby.

  6. Tony

    Dick, thanks for that interview, Steve is a person I would love to meet and detect with some time soon. I love his outlook, “Keep it Fun, Don’t lose faith”, that says plenty for this hobby and life’s!

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