Why’d you wrap your new metal detector around the tree?

I’m a  fan of the of hunt videos that you’ll find on youtube.  It’s enough to make the average Joe run out and get a new detector!

And yesterday I learned that there will be a National Geographic TV show called “Diggers” about metal detecting that will air in a few weeks.   I then saw the news on Stout’s Standards.  Having watched the videos by the same group on-line we’re going to see find after find of shimmering gold and silver, with cliffhangers to keep you watching through the ads.

The problem here is that they are only showing a small percentage of the actual effort that goes into detecting.  For every video that makes it to YouTube or NatGeo, there are 25+ more  which are deleted.  This is the part of the hobby that nobody sees.  And for me, you don’t see the documentation / GPS readings / notes and other information I gather about the provenance of items.  It’s not that different from Archaeology projects where the take aways seem simple and “obvious” until you look into the huge amount of work that was required to get to those answers.

For the beginning detectorist who hits the headwinds of piles of modern litter, this is quite discouraging.  “Why am I not finding artifacts like DaddyDigger Treasurefiend, Lookn4Seated and AmericanCoinShooter?”  The new detectorist probably doesn’t take the time to think about the endless hours of nothing, junk or clad that led up to getting out the camera for that short clip of gleaming coins in the dirt.   Not to mention the research it takes to find virgin sites out there.

Now, with our hobby bound to national TV, the same thing is going to happen (I predict.)  This Fall, I expect the used metal detector market to be flooded with $400-500 machines (at least the ones that weren’t wrapped around trees) after people hit their personal limit of pulltabs and memorial pennies.   The word “skunked” will soon be in their vocabulary.

All I can personally hope for is that these people don’t do much damage along the way.

So keep expectations in check, capture provenance and take the time to do the hobby right.