Q1: Tell me a bit about yourself. I am 53 years old, married with four children, ages 28, 24, 10 & 7. Also, two stepsons ages 18 and 17. I am the Chief of Police for my city, located in southern Ohio and have been an officer since 1985. I spent 9 years in the United States Air Force as a Law Enforcement Specialist and that took me to some great places to detect all over the world.
Q2: Why metal detecting? I’ve always loved history and metal detecting is the closest thing to having a time machine you can find. There is nothing like being the first person to hold an object in 100, 200 or more years!
Q3: How did you get into it? Back in 1971 an Uncle of mine had an early toy metal detector. You were lucky to find a buried ’57 Chevy with that thing! I was hooked!
Q4: What was your first detector? My first two detectors were no-name “toy” BFO detectors. My first capable detector was a Compass Judge 2. I found my first truly old coins with that machine. What are you using now? At last count I have ten detectors but I primarily use my Minelab Etrac, Tesoro Tejon and my Nautilus II-B. My other machines include: Tesoro Cibola (great machine!), Tesoro Compadre (my boys love this one), Garrett GTI 2500, Garrett GTA 1000 (used this one exclusively for many years), and some other older machines.
Q5: What has been your best find? Monetarily I’ve found several great ancient and Medieval coins and artifacts that are fairly valuable. When I first came back to America from the military it was very difficult digging Mercury dimes after having dug coins and artifacts that were over 2,000 years old! My favorite finds tend to be those that have a personal connection to someone who once lived and breathed. Last year I found the carriage of a toy canon from the Civil War. The child had hand painted the name Lincoln on one side and Hamlin (Lincoln’s first Vice President) on the other. The cool thing is I can, with nearly 100% accuracy, say who this belonged to. The family who owned the house would have had only one child of the correct age during the Civil War to have played with this toy.
Q6: What motivates you to keep going? The thrill of the hunt and wondering what might be in that next hole!
Q7: What other hobbies have you been ignoring? Photography, running, weightlifting, flea marketing, etc…
Q8: What advice to you have for newbies? Take your time and learn your machine. Sure some machines are more capable than others, but a seasoned detectorist can find great stuff with an inferior machine. Do your research! Be persistent and don’t loose your patience. It can be very frustrating when you first begin this hobby. I didn’t find an Indian cent for several years when I first started detecting!
Q9. What most contributes to your success? Patience, persistence and my love for this amazing hobby!
Q10: What do you love most about detecting? Finding those things that stop you in your tracks and makes you reflect on people and places from another time.
Q11: What do you hate the most about detecting? Not having enough time to do more of it!
Q12: If you could go back and start the hobby over, what would you do differently? Had I been able to afford it back then (in 1971 I was only 9!), I would have started with a better machine.
Q13: What do you predict for the future of metal detecting? I see the technology improving. Better unmasking technology would be great. Increase in depth is something we all want, but that won’t happen without the iron unmasking and better separation of targets. My future in detecting will rely on how long my old knees will hold out! My two youngest sons have shown interest in the hobby, especially my ten year old. The other day he found 16 coins and a button, There were all relatively new, but it didn’t matter to him. That is the future of our hobby.