Father-son duo Mike and Michael Davis share a hobby that leads them to items that were thought to be lost.
The amateur metal detector sleuths spend their weekends searching properties for buried artifacts. It’s been a family activity for many years. Mike’s stepfather introduced him to the metal detection hobby, and he passed it along to Michael.
“It’s a fun hobby that’s very inexpensive and allows you to get out and see different places and get some history behind them,” Michael Davis said. “For the most part, you don’t necessarily find big treasures and everything like you see on television. What we’re looking for is mostly coins, older artifacts and things such as that.”
Although Davis said that they do not often find a trove of valuable items — and come up empty-handed the majority of the time — he and his father have accumulated a few interesting pieces over the years.
And that suits the two men just fine. They are not looking to get rich off of their treasure hunts. It is simply something that they enjoy doing.
“The downside of metal detecting is that you find a lot of pop tabs and aluminum cans,” Davis said. “You find a lot of trash along with the things that you do find, so typically what we do is walk in with a trash bucket, and we put more in that than we do in our money pouch. But we have found some older coins from back in the late 1800s. I found a Texas chauffeur’s badge from 1935 one time. My dad found a Willie Nelson backstage pass from like 1982 that was made out of metal, so that was pretty neat.”
Davis said that it can take several hours just to do the initial scan of a property because of the sheer amount of trash buried underground.
“It’s a long process to remove enough trash that you can get down to the adventure, but we feel like we’re doing the service of removing trash from the location even if we don’t find anything of any value,” he said. “If we do find treasure, we keep it and do the research afterwards.”
Davis said that the biggest challenge that he and his father come across is finding property owners who will allow them to search desirable locations. So they travel quite a bit to find accessible locations. Davis said they prefer looking for old schools and parks, because they are more likely to find items of value in those locations due to the increased activity that the area had seen.
Their next search, however, will not be in that sort of area. They are scheduled to search the burned down homesite at Randal’s Corner on June 27 and are hoping to find something interesting.
“There was an old historical home out there that burned up in a fire, and the lot around it is what we’re looking to hopefully go out there and unearth some coins or even some family artifacts that we can pass back along to the family,” Davis said.