One of my metal detecting buddies said I need to interview Detectorist and YouTuber R Dogg Treasure Hunter. Of course, I had to reach out with my British Columbia, Canadian roots, knowing R Dogg, and detecting a lot on the west coast of Canada. I definitely was delighted he responded and was open to being interviewed. But he gave me one stipulation; I can not post a photo of him. However, I do get to post photos of some of his cool finds. Also, he shared some metal detecting tips even intermediate and advanced detectorists would find informative in exchange for keeping his anonymity.
R Dogg Treasure Hunter enjoys metal detecting parks, curb strips, beaches, and abandoned tourist traps from old bus stations to ski resorts. He is basically up to metal detect almost anywhere and gives a real perspective of what you could find in the same types of locations. Those who I know enjoy following him because his videos are honest and real. You can tell he loves the hobby.
Below are my questions and R Dogg’s answers.
When did you start metal detecting, and what pulled you to the hobby?
I am going on four years of detecting. I started with magnet fishing, which quickly got me interested in detecting. I saw a few YouTube videos on detecting and was hooked before I even bought a machine.
What are some of the coolest places you have detected, and why?
I found a spot in our lake, where a paddle-wheeler ferry would dock, to carry people across, long before there was a bridge. The spot had never been detected before and was absolutely full of old coins, relics, and beautiful gold and silver jewelry. A detectorist is lucky to find a spot like that once in a lifetime.
Can you tell us about some of your more interesting finds?
My favorite find was a massive triple gold, men’s wedding ring, which was lost by a gentleman who had been married for 39 years. I got to return it to him and his wife just before their 40th anniversary. My favorite older find was a beautiful Mexican money clip, made of silver and beautifully decorated with Mayan carvings.
Are you more excited about finding gold rings, interesting coins, or old relics, and why?
I am blessed to live in one of the most beautiful, and most visited places in Canada. It is quite developed, so it is very good for more modern treasures. As much as I like to find relics, I am always very excited to find gold jewelry. Gold is such a challenge to find, as so many of the trash targets ring up like gold on a metal detector.
R Dogg’s Metal Detecting Tips
How do you do your search to find older or abandoned sites to metal detect? What tips can you give our readers to find such sites?
For historic sites, I often view old pictures from museums, as well as historic websites. I look for spots in pictures that may show ground that has not changed over the years. For modern treasure hunting, I spend a lot of time on Google maps looking for green spaces or shorelines that may be fun to hunt.
If your time is limited and you are metal detecting a new park, where do you like to concentrate your time to find rings or other fine jewelry?
With limited time, I would avoid picnic areas, as they tend to have a lot of trash targets, and I would focus on the edges of pathways, or I would grid an open area where people are more likely to play sports and games. I also always hunt the tot lots, as they are easy digging and quick to detect.
We have a lot of info on metal detecting the ocean on our site. But can you give us some tips on metal detecting freshwater lakes?
A metal detector does not really operate much differently in freshwater than it does on land. The challenge is that the ground is often rocky, weeded, or very hard. I use a reinforced rock scoop as well as a dive system to get to the treasure. The best thing about freshwater hunting is that the targets tend to stay closer to the surface, as there is not all that sand for them to sink into, and the treasures don’t deteriorate like they do in salt water.
Do you have any other metal detecting tips you would like to share with our readers?
The best advice I can offer would be how well you know your machine is more important than which machine you choose. Swing the coil slow, low, and wide, and gridding a smaller area is always better than wandering all over a large area.
I would like to thank R Dogg Treasure Hunter for his informative answers. See his metal detecting hunts by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.
Joanna Jana Laznicka, a Czech-Canadian residing in Southern California, is passionate about all things associated with metal detecting. She mainly detects on the West Coast, from Southern California to Northern British Columbia. As the founder of Focus Speed, her goal is to bring quality content to metal detectorists.