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2018 Charles Garrett Memorial Metal Detecting Hunt
The second annual Charles Garrett Memorial Hunt hosted by Garrett Metal Detectors in Jefferson, Texas wrapped up recently. The hunting site once had historical military battles and was also a major bustling town in the mid 1800s. Now the area is considered a ghost town and a historical treasure trove for metal detectorists. Kellyco sent one of the managers to the hunt (Mark) and this is what he had to say about his experience..
Mark, what did you do while in Texas?
First off, after landing in Dallas Airport I went straight to Garrett’s headquarters in Garland, Texas. Maureen, who works in the sport side of Garrett customer service, gave me a full tour of the factory and museum. It was amazing to see how Garrett operates behind the scenes to deliver the exceptional product that we sell everyday. Here is a great video on YouTube that highlights much of what I witnessed.The museum was full of interesting finds from customers and Garrett. Maureen pointed out a 1715 Treasure Fleet Galleon replica that Kellyco’s former owner Stuart Auerbach donated a number of years back.
From there I drove to Jefferson, TX to get ready for the hunt. My good friend from Garrett “Miguel” lended me a Garrett ACE 400 W/ Z-Lynk, a Garrett Digger with pouch, and the new Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk. It’s still the Garrett Carrot that everyone knows and loves but with Z-Lynk Wireless technology built inside. The Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk made finding targets faster and easier. The biggest thing I appreciated was hearing the clarity of the pinpointer instantly in my headset and without having to remove my headphones at all. The first day of the hunt was fortunately overcast so it wasn’t too hot and made for a great day of detecting.
Who did you get to meet?
From the Garrett side, I had the pleasure to catch back up with James Hurst, Adam Lewis, Steve Moore, Rusty Curry, Miguel, Brian and Maureen who all helped to put on the hunt. Setting up a hunt of this size is no easy task, Garrett did a great job running things, my hat’s off to them. Garrett had an amazing turn out of volunteers from local clubs and other members. I also had the opportunity to meet for the first time Vaughan Garrett, Charles’ son, and Eleanor, Charles’ wife. They are both extremely down to earth people who love the sport of metal detecting, it’s followers and truly made you feel at home.
Garrett also invited their top YouTube influencers who were very interactive with the fans. I introduced myself to Aquachigger, Relic Recoverist, and the Diggers TV Stars “KG and Ringy”. Nugget Noggin was so busy that I didn’t have a chance to catch up - I met him when he came to Kellyco.
How many people were there?
Hundreds.. I heard someone mention at least 400 in one day alone. There were some who came out to hunt for just one day while others attended for the whole weekend. Most of the attendees who stayed for the weekend camped out in tents, RVs, or even slept in their cars!
It was especially amazing to see the comradery among the detectorists. Detectorists from all ages sat together and shared stories of their best finds as the sounds of machines buzzed about. Metal detecting is great for that.. Even though everyone is technically competing they are still chatting, joking about and just having fun together.
What were your favorite experiences?
Finding relics that are historically significant and tell a story. As you know Florida doesn’t have many Civil War battle sites other than up by the Georgia border.
On the first day, I decided to follow some old railroad tracks for about two miles or so. It ended up a wash but the next day more than made up for it. I found bullets (planted by Garrett) and part of a Civil War era Scabbard. It was really exciting to get a good signal, dig my plug, then have a bullet pop out! That same day, while I was walking with a group of fellow hunters, we had a massive pine tree crash right in front of us and quite a few people came to make sure no one was hurt. That was pretty wild to witness.
What item was the winner of the Best Finds Hunt?
There were different categories. Each of the YouTube influencers (from earlier) got to pick their favorite find. One lucky detectorist found an old oil can that was probably used for greasing the wheels on a train, completely intact. The only part of the oil can that was sticking out of the ground was the very tip where the oil comes out. It was a 2-2.5 ft can that was completely buried. The guy said he started digging out the can, but there was just more to it - which surprised everyone around him. There was also a Civil War Button, an art deco art piece, and two tables of other really cool finds that were not planted by Garrett. That was how you won, by going above and beyond with finds from the grounds.
Did you get to see the kids hunt?
I did, actually! That was pretty awesome. The influencers, Garrett and parents were out helping them find various targets and treasure in a large field. The youngest was probably about 4. There was even a girl celebrating her 10th birthday and won something! That had the whole room cheering for her as she walked up to get her prize. The kids were all really into it and it was great to see the new generation of metal detectorists.
What was the lights out hunt like?
I didn’t get to stay for that one but from what I understand it is one of the favorite events of the weekend. Participants couldn’t have any lights -flashlights or phones. I’m pretty sure that even the backlight on detector screens were prohibited since those are usually selectable. It had to be pretty hard since the sky was overcast so the moonlight would have been minimal.. Probably pretty fun to watch (if you could see anything).
Mark was very enthusiastic and said that it seems to be something fans really enjoy. The whole team at Garrett, including their volunteers, did an amazing job. They haven’t announced the dates for next year yet but you can bet they will on social media as soon as things are finalized. Be sure to follow Garrett and Kellyco on Facebook for details as soon as they are announced.
To learn more about Garrett Metal Detectors great product selection visit our website.