This last weekend we held our final class for the year. I haven’t kept a tally but it seems as though we taught 7 or 8 classes throughout the last 12 months. All in all it has been a great deal. Every class we teach brings something to the table. It seems like people from all walks of life enjoy the idea of getting into the hobby. We have had classes with kids, women, and grown men. Our most recent class was a small class of 4. It was nice because we had 4 club members present which gave us a 1:1 ratio when we went outside for the hands on training. What really surprised me is the fact that 3/4 of the class were ladies. It was kind of cool to see them interested in the hobby. I’m not certain what these classes mean long term, but I’m certain that it means there is interest in the hobby and interest in learning how to do it.
The City of Wichita has asked us to do a couple of classes next year and I’m certain that other cities will come forward to hold classes. Until then we have a few meetings to tackle without having to worry about classes. We have a couple of good places to detect that are not public parks and hopefully we can find some goodies in the ground.
Til next time,
Good Luck and Happy Hunting *\_
Yesterday we held our first class in Andover, KS. We started at 9:00 and we had 9 people in attendance. The surprising thing about this class was that we had 3 elementary aged young ladies in attendance. I think that is great. It’s always fun to see younger kids getting involved.
The classroom portion of the class went as normal and I have to say that even I enjoy listening to our members talk about detecting. When you have experienced md’ers who open up and start talking about their stories, research, and how to hunt it’s fun.
Earlier in the week I had decided to make the outside portion of the class a little different. Since the site of the class was newer and I knew there wouldn’t be much for our students to find I had some fun. I planted about 40 coins that were a mix of clad, wheats, and a 41 liberty head dime. The idea was whoever found the soft silver beauty would get a copy of Mr. Stouts book.
We finished up indoors and I was amazed when we went outside. I saw one gentleman swinging a Whites DFX, a couple swinging some older analog machines, and a young girl with what I believe was a Bounty Hunter Jr. It was very nice to spend an hour with these folks and answer their questions about their machines. They started plucking coins and trash out of the ground and for awhile I saw genuine excitement. This was proven when a young lady about 5 1/2 years old came running across the field telling everyone that she had found a penny! Good times…
Awhile later another young lady and her dad found the lovely lady merc!
All in all it was a great time and I want to say Thanks to the City of Andover, James Townley, and Vince Shire for making this happen.
The Wheat State Treasure Hunters club delivered yet another great class at Valley Center.
First and foremost, a BIG thank you to Vince and James who again, gave out great information in an entertaining and spellbinding way. And, even though he couldn’t be there, a big thanks to Steve who neatly organized all the handouts and materials so all we had to do was spread it all on a table.
We met at the Valley Center public library. I highly recommend you all visit this library. It’s a great place to do some research for our beloved hobby. The attendants at the library were excellent hosts and they made it very easy for us to do the class.
If you are part of this club and you haven’t attended a class, I say you are missing on some great stuff. I say it every class and I’ll repeat it here; James and Vince have a TON of experience and it is worth your time to listen to what they have to say.
After the indoor part of the presentation, James, Vince and I took the 10 attendees outside for some hands on experience. It was a tad bit hot but we gave it our all anyway. We met some great people and hopefully laid the foundation for lasting friendships.
Our next class is in Andover sometime in September. I hope to see you all there!
I first want to say Thank you to everyone that showed up at our August Meeting yesterday. We had a turn out of 17 people in attendance. I would also like to give out a HUGE THANK YOU to Dr. Hoard for making the trek from Topeka to Wichita just to talk to us “hunters”. Now we all know that there has been friction between the Archaeology community and not only metal detectorists but collectors of all types in the past. I have to applaud Dr. Hoard for his open mindedness to us MDers. I think Pulltab and I were both a little taken back on how much our States archaeology department already works with metal detectorists. Dr. Hoard had several examples of dig sites that included the use of our equipment. He mentioned several times that he sees our tools as a useful extension of their equipment. They use several types of ground penetrating radars and other very high tech equipment but he definitely acknowledged that sometimes our equipment is exactly what they need to help them piece together the puzzles of history.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how this meeting would go but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I learned several things (some good, some bad) about what they would like from us. Let’s start with the good stuff we discussed.
Sites- Dr. Hoard informed us that any citizen can create, document, and file a site through his department. He acknowledged the fact that they will never have the time, money, and other resources to do a full dig on every site. He encouraged us to create sites based on our finds. For example if we dig period artifacts from a church that we have researched and prove that there was in fact a church there. This seems totally feasible to me. He made it very clear that they can NOT just pick out a publicly filed site and turn it into a full field site. They have to go through the same steps that we do. They have to get permission from the landowner if held privately. They also want a reason for researching the site. It sounds like they do a fair amount of work with the DOT and if a planned highway is going through a site they seek permission to research it before the site is changed and possibly ruined.
Artifacts- Plain and simply put their department is not interested in every artifact we find. However, they would like to be informed about them on the field site registry. This gives them information. He mentioned that many private collectors let them photograph and document their artifacts. The artifacts are then sent back to the private collector unless they have permission to keep the artifact. He also mentioned that many private collectors will turn over their artifacts and they are placed in a local library or museum. This allows the general public to see local artifacts.
Recognition- In our club I had heard this mentioned a few times and someone brought up the fact that we as MD’ers haven’t historically gotten recognition for the work we have done with the archaeology community. Dr. Hoard agreed that most humans like recognition for the work they have done. He also said that there are times when these details fall through the cracks. I have to be honest I can understand this. If a group of 5-15 detectorists show up to help with a full on field school or field site and there are 100 volunteers there it would be tough to make sure everyone got a piece of the recognition. I think this is a small detail that could easily be worked through.
The only bad news (if we can call it that) that came out of the meeting was the following. Our state has an Artifacts Act that was passed in I believe in 1967. This act prohibits the removal of artifacts from public lands whether they be State, City, Township, or County. As soon as he informed us of this the room got kind of quiet and we all paused to contemplate what these words meant. Does this mean we can’t metal detect in local parks? No it doesn’t mean that. It does mean however that under current law we would have to get a permit to collect artifacts out of public land. Well a permit wouldn’t be a big deal right? I had to ask the question. How would we go about getting a permit? The short answer was that you have to have a masters degree and apply through their department.. Ok so I don’t have a masters degree which means I can’t get a permit. Now I’m thinking this kind of sucks.. But then the discussion became quite interesting. Dr. Hoard encouraged us to come up with some new wording and revisions that could be made to this law to keep everyone happy. He had a pretty good analogy that kind of put things into perspective. If a state, city, or county park has a huge Limestone deposit or a gold vein under the surface and people came in with backhoes and excavators to remove these natural resources it would do major damage to the public property and damage their resources. This is how they protect their land from a far out there scenario like that. My take on this discussion was this. He would like to hear from us what kind of verbiage we would like to see changed in the Artifacts act. Maybe it has to do with the tools used to recover artifacts? Maybe it has to do with how deep you can remove an artifact? Maybe it means that if you are recovering artifacts that both parties would find interesting you report it to them? I’m not sure how this law could be changed but I’m hopeful that there is common ground to be found.
In the end we all decided to keep in touch with each other and work together on finding some common ground. As Dr. Hoard mentioned we have similar interests but we have different ways of achieving that goal. We all agreed that open mindedness is crucial on both sides for everyone to get along happily.
Hello everyone, I wanted to take a moment and let everyone know what has been happening in our club.
I am talking to Robert Hoard (State Archaeologist) about speaking at our August meeting. I believe this will be a great time to share, discuss, and get questions answered.
At our last meeting we discussed several things and we have decided to reduce the number of classes we do for the City of Wichita. Instead of 4-5 a year we will do 2 a year in the future. Our last class got cancelled and we are hoping that having fewer classes will keep the attendance up in classes. I can tell you that we are still working closely with the city and everything is fine.
During our last meeting we also discussed a change in format for our meetings which I think everyone will enjoy. We are planning on having a rotating schedule of meeting one month and then having a detecting party the next month. In August we will have a meeting and September will be a hunt. We feel this will bring a little more mix into things. We also discussed having our meetings/hunts in surrounding cities. If you have suggestions about where we could meet please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing I hope everyone is having a great summer and getting quite a bit of detecting in. I haven’t been out hardly at all but as they say “this to will pass”.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see everyone in August at our meeting.
Hello all, tonight I want to discuss something that is not pleasant but please read forth. I was talking to Miner yesterday and he shared something with me that was a blessing and concern. On Friday we were supposed to meet with the City of Wichita to discuss our upcoming second year of our partnership. I was unable to attend but Miner represented us and it sounds like he did a fine job. Anyways during the meeting one of the city representatives brought up the following scenario. Miner please edit this if I missed a detail…
A parks and rec employee had shared concerns about MDers leaving holes in the park. The employee suggested a permit to detect to help cover the costs of fixing it. Now this is a huge concern… What is the blessing?? The upper level city reps told the employee about our club and the action steps we are taking to prevent this issue. That satisfies me because they know we are working hard to educate others in the hobby. Personally I am stoked about this. I also received an email from a local mder that shared a similar story that when he showed up to his favorite park that someone had obliterated the park with holes that were not nice.. Sad to say he spent two hours repairing instead of detecting. That shouldn’t happen. Now I saw a similar situation in a neighboring city and I caught a guy with a big shovel in an area it shouldn’t have been. I had some words with him about how our club is fighting for our rights and that cities don’t care for us being on sports fields. That being said I don’t know whether he took the hint or not. I hope so!! I challenge you to speak up if you see someone acting out of line. We as a club have been working hard to stay on the positive side in the public eye. I think it is our duty to try and correct negative actions.
Sorry to bring such a serious post to the table but I think we need to publicize it. Maybe someone will feel guilt, maybe this will be a reminder to the more responsible crowd who get lazy, maybe this will encourage people to take action when they see poor behavior.
If I see it I think the first question I will ask is if they would like to pay an annual fee for their hobby?? Thats a sure lead in to the real topic!