Q&A with CT Todd


I’ve never met Todd Yerks, but have heard nothing but good things about him and I’ve been a fan of his website “Dig Colonial or Go Home”. He’s also featured in in many of Andy Sabisch’s books and a featured speaker at his boot camps. Thanks Todd for taking the time to share your story here….

The Q& A

Q. Todd, tell us a little about yourself, i.e., where you live, are you married, where do you keep your valuables etc..

A. I live in the NW corner of Connecticut, I am married with one non-detectorist adult daughter ( I did try to get her hooked ).

 

Q. Does anyone else in the family detect?

A. No, wife and daughter have zero interest except for stealing jewelry items from me.

 

Q. When exactly did you start detecting and what was it that got you interested?

A. I first became interested when we had a next door neighbor who was doing it, about 1997. I went with him a couple of times and watched. I might have even dug a few holes for him. My wife saw the interest I had and bought me my first detector for my ‘first’ Fathers Day as a gift. I was lucky Detector Pro was in the town I grew up in and I got set up for the first time by a world class detectorist, Gary Storm, who is still a friend.

 

Q. What was your first detector and what made you purchase that particular brand/model?

A. My first detector was a Minelab Sovereign. I got that machine because Gary said it was the right one for what I wanted to hunt. It was a great machine.

 

Q. In the beginning where did you concentrate your time? What sort of sites did you search?

A. I had no interest in anything that wasn’t old , really old. I went to old houses and searched their yards.

 

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

A. I remember very well it was a memorial penny in the parking lot of my first permission, but the story is what I found second. It was a 1774 Spanish 2 Reale. I didn’t even know what it was and thought for sure that I was rich. I only detected another few minutes and went home and showed my wife who was also convinced we were rich. Well a great find but alas, not rich, but hooked for life on detecting.

My 2 Reale

 

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

A. Well that has to be the 2 Reale. I did find several large cents and a Connecticut copper in the first week at the same house. I still hunt that lawn every year. I continue to find great things there. You really never do get it all.

 

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

A. I realize that my first day has ruined your question format but I probably went about a month before another nice silver and that was a seated dime.

 

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

A. I found a men’s class ring in about my second or third year in a lawn. It was my first gold.

 

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

A. When I got started my research was – “see an old house knock on the door”. I now spend much more time doing it. I have only hunted a beach for one day and I’ve never hunted a park. I basically have no interest in anything newer than 1899. To hunt what I like, you have to research all the time. I would much rather research for 4 hours than just hunt 4 hours at random places. 

 

Q. What would you consider to be your very best find after all this time, and if it’s hard to choose just one tell us about all of them.

A. I have been extremely lucky over the years mostly because I live in a busy colonial area but also because I work on it. I guess my find that excited me and others the most was just last year in a corn field near a cemetery. It was a gold ring. I have found many gold rings over the years but this one has the provenance to go with it. It has a clear makers mark and owners initials. From the makers mark we know that it was made in NYC between 1724 and 1741 when the silversmith retired. It is a Colonial Gold Claddagh Ring and we think we even know whose ring it was.

Colonial Gold Claddagh Ring

 

Another one of my favorite finds is a pre-1750 French “small sword” I found in a local hay field. The blade part had rotted away (the area was quite wet). I don’t know what they were up to in this field but I also found a Native American Kettle Point.

If intact this French sword would have only measured about 16-18 inches.

 

The last find of my favorites is my revolutionary war USA button.  I found it in what is now a farm field but was once the front yard of a colonial home. The soldier that lived there fought in the war, and we know who he was. He was a part of a small group that left our town and marched to Bunker Hill to meet the British.  Knowing who wore this button makes it even more special.

Revolutionary war USA button

 

Q. Okay what is your weirdest find to date? Everybody has at least one….

A. I guess that would be false teeth both singles and top set. Yuck!

 

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

A. I have been to England many times and have a lot of Roman coins dating to the first and second century A.D.. I absolutely love the UK and if you can pull it off GO. In the USA my oldest year is 1694, which I’ve found a couple of times.

A 2nd century silver Roman I found (184-210 AD)

 

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

A. I swing two units all the time and always carry both of them in the truck when I go – an XP Deus and a Minelab Equinox. The reason is pretty easy. These are both top machines and they both have fast recovery speed. If you’re going to hunt old sites with lots of iron you MUST HAVE the speed to pick through it. If you don’t you will have fewer keepers at the end of the day. Adjacent Targets are where it’s at and you need a fast processor. Swinging slow by itself will not get you past a square nail laying on a copper coin. You need the speed.

 

Q. Can you offer a few tips or settings/programs?

A. Paying attention to your machine is key. If you have a misbehaving machine because you have your sensitivity cranked up and you refuse to turn it down or some other problem. You need to get it stable or you will miss targets, plain and simple. I would much rather hunt my machine at 15 or 16 sensitivity and have it run smoother than try to bully my way through at some higher number. I will put more in my pouch at the low number. I have a website Dig Colonial or Go Home where I list my programs. I’m also glad to help, just send me an email. I’ll talk with you. Contact info is also listed on the site.

 

Q. When you do go detecting what “must have” accessories do you take along?

A. My shovel is a “Predator” and it’s the same one I’ve used for the past twenty years. I also take a pinpointer and gloves, oh and a hat lately to prevent bald spot sunburn. I also always hunt in a long sleeve tee shirt for added bug protection. I hate bugs. 

Been using the same “Predator” shovel for 20 years”

 

Q. Do you prefer hunting with others or are you a loner?

A. I now prefer to hunt with a like minded person or group. I spent the first ten years or so as a loner. Better to have friends. It also increases places to go. I don’t care for the grumpy, jealous guys out there that can’t feel good for other guys’ finds. Life is too short to spend with people who don’t get it.

Hunting with a group from the Nor’easters club.

I also suggest a person hunt with a hunting partner that they hunt with all the time.  It helps spread out the research work and also helps you get properties because you know people and they know people. It really helps to get you places to go. You may have something that you’re good at doing and they may have something that they’re good at doing and together you can get out more and find more.

 

Q. Todd everybody has a bucket list. Tell us about yours?

A. I have been detecting for 24 years now and everyone on line knows me and most know the answer to this question as they love to poke me about it. I want a Three Cent Silver most of all. I just have never put my coil over one. At least I hope I haven’t and missed it.

A few of the reales I’ve found

 

Q. Have you hunted overseas at all?

A. I have been to the UK many times and I run a Barn for the Colchester Group. I highly recommend hunting in the UK. Its awesome.

Another perk of hunting in the UK? The pub!

 

Q. Do you belong to a club?

A. I do belong to a couple of clubs, the Yankee Territory Coinshooters and the Nor’easters.  It’s an excellent way to meet others and the club events are great.

 

Q. Todd do you have any other hobbies or interests?

A. I 4 wheel and snowmobile in the off season. I can also be forced to fish now and then but mostly I’m a detectorist.

 

Q. What would your IDEAL detector look like?

A. It would be lightweight and it would have a color screen. It would also be perfectly silent unless something pre 1900 that I would like is under the coil.

 

Q. Finally Todd, if you could pass along one or two words of advice to beginning detectorists or for that matter any detectorist, what would they be?

A. Try to learn what your detector is telling you. The machine made a sound for a reason. There is no magic in the box. Try to take YouTube for what it is. It can be helpful to learn a setting, but you have to realize that the videos show you when the guy found something, not the days he got skunked. We all have days when you don’t find much. Don’t spend your time looking for the perfect “program” We all dig big iron and junk, it’s just part of the deal. When you learn a bit more you will dig less crap but still have to deal with it. If you can’t deal with it try golf, I hear it’s fun. Get out there!!

________________

Happy 80th John Winter!

*******

11 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

11 responses to “Q&A with CT Todd

  1. wintersen

    Thank you for your Birthday Wishes, Dick.
    I am honoured.,

  2. Good read Dick, Todd is an awesome detectorist. He’s also very helpful, so anyone who has questions shouldn’t be afraid to ask him.

  3. Tony

    Good to hear Todd’s story. He has plenty of cool finds. His Explorer program that I got from Andy Sabich’s book help me several years back. Thanks for those tips Todd. Have you used the CTX3030?

  4. John Taylor

    met Todd a few years back at B.O.N.E. George streeter’s treasure hunting show in keene,nh. he was involved in doing a seminar that year. guy’s a “bulldog” in that he’s extremely ”dedicated” in doing proper research, and the finds speak for themselves. room was “packed” and he offered some great advise. good show that year with many “sharp” informative seminars given.all of us in attendance were really appreciative of Todd taking the time to speak to everyone. hopefully I can take a run to keene, and take in the show again…I’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

  5. Hi Dick:
    Another great interview with a great Tekkie. Love that gold Carlos III 2 Reale. His answer to the final question is 24-carat common sense of the kind more people ought to take on board.

  6. John Taylor

    I concur John! it is indeed “part of the deal!” I would add always “believe” that the stuff “is there” and YOU are going to find your share! location, location, location, and ”dogged” persistence will get the “deed done!” I’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

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