, Muskogee, OK

February 21, 2014

COLUMN: Hunting of a different kind

By John Kilgore
Phoenix Outdoors Columnist

— As I’ve relayed in the past, enjoying the outdoors isn’t all about hunting and fishing. it’s about getting away from the house, enjoying nature, and absorbing what the good Lord has given us.

It’s also about enjoying it with friends or family.

The third annual “Treasure Hunters Day” will be held from 10:30 a.m. through 3  p.m. Saturday at Three Rivers Museum, 220 Elgin. Admission to the workshop is free. There is a small fee for museum tours.

 During the show, there will be an equipment dealer available to show you the variety of treasure hunting equipment. A demonstration of how to use a metal detector will be given at 11 a.m. There will be an outdoor kid’s treasure hunt for ages 4-12 behind the museum at 1 p.m.

 The event is being sponsored  by two organizations: The Three Forks Treasure Hunters Club, a non-profit organization started in 1983 and the Indian Territory Treasure Hunters Club, founded in 1969. Both promote metal detecting as a hobby     according to club spokesman Gary Young of Muskogee.

“I’ve owned a metal detector since 1996 and now own five,” said Young, who has been an active member in the clubs for the past 15 years. “I don’t get out very often, but I enjoy the times that I do.

“What I enjoy most about metal detecting is the history behind the items I find, more than the value. Every time I find something old, I wonder who the last person was that touched it.”

“Metal detecting is a great and rewarding hobby,” said Young. “It is one of the few hobbies that pays you back. You get to spend time outdoors, get lots of exercise, meet some great people, and you get to find and touch history.”

 The oldest coin Young has found is an 1835 Capped Bust dime.

Young says one of the neatest things about detecting is the feeling a person gets when they receive a good signal on the detector and a person’s imagination goes wild wondering what they have just found.

 Metal detecting has proven to be a great family hobby and it’s also very educational for both kids and adults.

“It’s a real neat feeling when you go into a museum and you see similar historical items that you yourself have found,” said Young.

Young has found that many folks who use metal detectors have things in common, such as an interest in history and a desire to preserve it. Most also have interests in the traditional outdoors activities like hunting and fishing.

Most treasure hunters are mindful of  local laws, the practice of refilling holes they have dug and leaving the area cleaner than it was before.

Several members from both clubs are bringing displays of local treasure they have found.

If you have ever wanted to treasure hunt or ask questions about metal detecting, this is your chance. Find out what you have been missing.

John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at