By Rich Creason | For The Times-Post
I bought my first metal detector from a dealer on the corner of State Road 67 and Huntsville Road many years ago, back in 1974.
I would drive by this shop every day on the way to work and see the signs out front.
One day, I decided to stop in and see what was going on inside. I went in and saw a variety of detectors and cases full of assorted coins, Civil War relics, and other artifacts which had been found by the owner.
I talked to him a while and left the building with a new White’s metal detector.
Over the next four years, I used this magic machine to find many coins, (new then, but they are old now), plus numerous pull tabs, bottle caps, and other metal objects. Susie was not the least bit interested in digging junk out of the ground, and we also had a very young daughter back then to take care of.
In 1978, I was reading one of my Western & Eastern Treasures magazines and saw an item in the Calendar of Events. It said there would be a seeded hunt at a campground in nearby Chesterfield.
I had never been to one of these events, but it sounded neat. Each person paid an entry fee and the hunt organizers buried old coins and metal targets with numbers that corresponded to larger prizes on the registration table. It cost $10 for a two-day event. I went.
I found some old silver dimes, buffalo nickels, wheat and Indian head pennies and a few of the prize tokens. Total value probably around $100.
I came back the second day and Susie and our daughter, Angi, came with me to watch.
I liked it so much, I signed up for another hunt the following weekend at a place near Seymour, Indiana.
I bought a tent, sleeping bags and assorted camping essentials for all of us. We were going to go on our first camping trip! Great fun for a 4-year-old girl.
Her mom wasn’t thrilled.
My first of three hunts that day was a partner’s hunt. One person had to be a registered hunter, while the other had to be unregistered. One would find the target with the detector and the partner would dig it up.
After 30 minutes, the targets were counted and the winners decided.
Susie and I ended up in second place. I think we both won a silver dollar. Silver was worth a lot less back then.
Susie enjoyed this so much, she told me to buy her a detector and we continued metal detecting for another 40 years.
We kept enjoying this hobby and attended these type events over much of the country.
Angi got her first machine when she was 4 and is still detecting whenever possible. (Her son Benjamin got his first detector when he was 5 and is still hunting with us at age 17.)
We detected from Montana to the east coast of Virginia, and from southern Florida to northern Ontario.
Which brings me to KaDoHa. This is an American Indian village near Murfreesboro, Arkansas. We have attended KaDoHa Treasure Fest No. 3 and No. 4 last October and this past March. KaDoHa No. 5 will take placee in mid-October this year.
We are planning on going if ongoing therapy for my back problems allows.
The entry fee for these seeded hunts has gone up considerably over the past four decades. This one costs $300 per person for a two day event.
But a silver dime back in the 70s was valued at 13 cents. Now it is more than $2 each.
One common silver dollar can fetch about $25.
While most seeded events bury a lot of silver dimes, I prefer those that offer prize tokens. Some of these prizes can be brand new metal detectors and other valuable items.
As I get older, I would rather bend over and dig one prize token instead of ten dimes.
KaDoHa No. 5 is offering more than 4,000 tokens for a wide variety of valuable goodies. Many metal detectors, Civil War relics, American Indian artifacts, silver dollars, ancient Roman coins and hundreds of other prizes will be offered. Twenty tokens will be buried good for $100 in cash each. Ten tokens will be redeemed for $1,000 in cash, and $5,000 worth of early 1900s gold coins will be on the prize table for those entrants lucky enough to find the right token in the ground.
The hunt will be limited to 300 participants, and that limit is nearly filled at this writing.
Information on this hunt and KaDoHa Treasure Fest #6 coming next year can be found on Facebook at Arkansas History Unearthed or call 870-285-3736.
Last March, Susie, Benjamin, and I found a total of 69 prize tokens on the first day of the KaDoHa hunt. Hopefully, many more will find their way into my coin pouch at hunt No. 5 this fall.
Rich Creason is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer whose work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications for 40 years. Born in Anderson, he is a graduate of Markleville High School. He lives in South Madison County with his wife, Susie. He may be contacted at [email protected]