Metal detecting for me has become more than a hobby, its almost a lifestyle. But the best part of being a detectorist is not always the finds from the ground……
On a Beautiful sunny Queensland Winter day I set off to an Old gold mining town about an hours drive from my house. I was going to a small meet up that had been organised by a small, but very passionate facebook group “Central Queensland Metal Detecting and History” Facebook Link HERE
As The group is quite small and very new, I was unsure if anyone would come, other than us die hards that are at it most weekends and through the week when the opportunity arises.
I arrived at the meeting point 30 minutes early, by some miracle I was actually organised for once and had a bit of a test swing to get an idea of what was in the ground. As it was a public area the usual suspects where there and being close to the water the odd fishing sinker was evident as well.
Mark, The organiser arrived 15 minutes after me and we had a yarn while we waited for the 9 am meet up time.
Now I won’t use all the names, partly because of memory issue and partly because of privacy, so I have assigned the people that where there a nickname of sorts. You’ll work it out.
First the 2 lads from Yeppoon showed up and as new detectorists were keen to hit the ground.
Next a couple came along and unveiled a sparkling new 705 and a good kit of tools, belt and pointer.
Dave and Kimmy showed Up and so did a group led by a young Fella again with a great looking 705.
Big D, as I will now call him, came along with his AT and brought the old man to dig the holes. Great thinking mate!
All up there was about 10-12 people and the level of excitement showing amongst the newer detectorists was almost measurable.
As usual we had a yarn about detecting and what gear everyone was using and Mark explained a little about the Day and then we got into it.
Now here comes the reason I love the Hobby of metal detecting.
The experienced guys went and got there gear ready and then lent it up against a tree and went around the group getting everyone sorted and their respective machines sorted out.
The people where as varied as the machines that where on display and it took myself more than a few minutes to re-acquaint myself with the 705 and how to make the changes. By the way guys I forgot to show you how to ground balance the 705, sorry it is a Deus thing and I normally set it about 5 minutes into the hunt on my machine. OOPS.
So after about 30 minutes I grabbed my Deus and hit the water line to see what I could find. A few sinkers, a small bell and a coupla bits of trash later I went back up to the meeting point and then the chatting began.
What always surprises me is when I go on these group digs I do more “Talka the crap” than actual detecting most of the time.
Discussing settings, planning new hunts, history analysis, permission getting strategy, checking old books and maps that people have brought along and of course swapping yarns about previous sessions and finds.
The best thing is that whenever I am with a larger group of Detectorists they cover so many different walks of life that it amazes me. The Hobby of metal detecting brings together people that would probably would never have met otherwise and gives them a common interest to discuss and socialise over.
Things like the massive general excitement when the young bloke got his first ever coin, a $2. The whole group was buzzing about the young bloke getting the coin and the hobby setting its hooks for yet another detecting addict.
He was supported by his siblings and Family members and it was just great to see them all gather around the hole to see what treasure awaits.
The main Hunt wound up about Lunch time and we all had a great time showing off what we had dug, not a lot of treasure found but the young blokes first coin and Kimmy’s first Florin where highlights. Yes it was 1947 LOL.
The Bulk of the group then headed over to a sports complex that has been in use for a long time.
At this location we uncovered quite a few coins and the pre-dec started to flow a little. The area was HIGH trash in some places and it was good to show the new people how to deal with trash and that you could still get good finds in amongst the ring pulls and bottle tops. (1896 Half penny)
The usual $2 coins showed up as well which was nice as I covered the price of a schooner pretty quickly. Love a schooner paid for with dirty money, it goes down awesome.
At the end of the day the hardcore group hit one last location and gained a new permission in a small area that should pay off after a more thorough search. We just carved through there as the day was ending and we had done a fair bit.
At the end of the day I had a few coins, some nice relics to take home and a schooner to drink on after i got there at the local. (See how detecting improves the local economy!) But more importantly I had some great memories and had met nearly a dozen new people. I had seen people find ordinary things that made their faces light up and I watched as more than one person went from interested to hooked on metal detecting.
It was agreed that this would not be the last group hunt and that very soon the central Queensland crew would meet up and raid yet another town of its hidden and mostly forgotten treasure.
So if your thinking about taking up the hobby or you have but want to get some tips and help then hook up with a local facebook group and go on a hunt with some of the members.
You never now who you’ll meet and if nothing else you’ll have a story about those weird hardcore metal detectorists that you met the other day.
Happy Hunting folks.