We have been gaining new members at almost every meeting, and that's great! The more people that we have in this great hobby means all the more strength we have to deal with the occasional darts which come our way! You know, those attacks from the greedy archeologist, the foolish extremist- environmentalist, some historians and of course the poor misguided D.N.R.!

         Sometime it's hard to tell, "Just who is our enemy?" Sadly, quite often the enemy is already in our camp! It is the duty of every treasure hunter to police him or herself, (as well as others) in-order for the sport to maintain a good public image. Every time I hear about a park being closed to metal detecting, I think, it must be that penny-pinching, foolish, mail-order buyer!  Of Course, he's uneducated, uninformed and out there ruining it for all of us! Sound a little harsh?  I think you would be surprised how often this is the case!

    Normally, if you give someone a detector and a digging trowel, then watch them go, you will find, at least for most people, it's almost natural for them to be neat and refill their holes. The problem is, nine out of ten people will do it wrong! Most feel it best to cut the ground "plugging" the way they would sample-plug a watermelon. First they cut a nice neat circle, then lift out the sod, then they dig their hole.

 But they would be wrong, wrong, wrong! Please stop this practice!!!!!

       1.  Never, ever! Separate the grass from itself! Instead, cut a "C" shaped flap then use the uncut part as a hinge. Make your "C" cut big enough so that the sod will be easy to move without having it breaking loose from the surrounding soil! This is very important!  This method may appear at first to be the start of some real damage, but it is the right way!

      2.   Next, if you have decided that the target is in the (sod) section, that you just hinged back, your next tool choice should be a probe. The electronic pin-point probes are great for this, but even a brass rod will do! With the mechanical rod type prober, just poke around in the rooted section till you hear and feel that metal to metal sound, then carefully extract the target.

      3.  Now, let us assume the target is deeper in the ground. Next you will need something (non-metallic) to put your dirt into. I like to use a little frisbee. Some treasure hunters use a small square of plastic or canvas. Personally, I like something ridged enough to lift and move if it is full. The main reason for this frisbee like container is to have a clean way to dump all the crumbs of dirt back into your hole when you are done--- very important!.

       4.  Sometimes I will have dug deep enough where I think that I should  have found my target, yet it's nowhere to be seen?  A quick check of the hole with my detector shows that something is still down there. Now here is another good time to put your probe rod to work. Chances are, you have a big target down even deeper! Remember, an axe-head at 15 inches will read like a quarter at 4 inches on a target I.D. detector!  Your probing the hole's bottom will confirm this, and also give you an idea how much further you have to dig.
Going on will mean a very deep hole! Now, you ask yourself, is it worth it?

       5. After the target is found, dump all the dirt back into the hole and hinge the sod back into place. Step down on the sod a few times to level it, also this pushes the roots back into the dirt forcing out the air which will dry-out and kill the root structure.

       6. Was it a piece of junk that you just dug? Don't rebury it! One of those mail-order clowns will dig it up again and this time the hole will be left wide open with the trash left right beside it! And did you see that guy watching you from across the street? The only person he remembers seeing detecting there was you! Duh! Take the trash with you!

       7. Now, as you walk away to continue with your detecting, stop, turn- around, and look back at the spot where you just dug. If you did things right, you shouldn't be able to find it! How'd you do? It matters!

     Treasure Hunting, as well as Collecting, are the oldest hobbies that I know of. The Bible, the oldest book in the world, records great quests for riches and incredible collections, perhaps as early as 2000 B.C. But it wasn't until 1997 A.D., almost four thousand years later, that we see our freedom to continue this great past time--- in serious danger!

         The greatest threat to our hobby is ignorance, not only on the part of those who fear us, like the archeologist, the environmentalist, the historians and the poor misguided D.N.R., but ignorance on the part of the treasure hunter himself.
        Are you a good ambassador for your hobby? That’s right! When you are out there hunting,  you are representing every single treasure hunter--- including me!
         If you are running around being a selfish pig--- then we are all selfish pigs!

         If you don’t care how bad your digging is--- then none of us care how
screwed up we leave things!

         If you are rude--- we are all rude. If you are dirty and filthy, have a foul mouth --- then we are all foul! People are watching you and based on your actions, we are all being judged!
        Every now and then I go outside my store’s entry door and clean up cigarette butts. Are they classified as litter? Or are these filthy things  considered 'one with nature?' Well, they make me sick! I have a tendency to think of all smokers as being sloppy pigs --- even though they are not.

        We need to project an image of clean-cut, well-mannered people:  people who know exactly what we are doing and care about the areas we are hunting---and how neat we leave these sites.

        If every one in this hobby including the metal detector manufacturers  would come to grips with this, I would never again have to worry about the mail order companies because metal detectors would no longer be sold that way!

        The mail order joints start out so many untrained people in the hobby, it’s no wonder some places are requiring a license to use a metal detector! Some
states now feel it’s just not worth the bother  to weed out the skilled hunter
from the slob, so detecting is just simply outlawed! The restrictions are getting worse and worse!

        Are we are going to do something about it?  We cannot stop the flood  of untrained hunters, but we can police ourselves! We can also start by supporting dealers who support this hobby with hands on training, club support, and who work on a national level to protect our freedom. Friends, the mail-order company has one concern, "Getting your money!"

        As the big companies like WHITES, FISHER & TESORO have said again and again nationally, "Support your local dealer!"

        They know what's at stake! And now so do you!