Rookie VS Veteran

Taking a look through any of the metal detecting forums on the internet, and you will see multiple posts based on the same questions:

  • Which detector is best? (The most common question)
  • My budget is X – what should I buy?  (A decent question, but lacking details)
  • Do I need a waterproof detector?  (Only you can answer that)

It does not take long before the replies and answers start showing up from veterans, and even once-recent rookies.  Some of them helpful – others – not so much.

  • The best detector is the one you learn well and become familiar with. (A great answer)
  • You should just save up for the $1000 models – the rest are junk.  (An outright lie)
  • Do you plan on water hunting – or staying dry? (A honest reply)
  • I bought X detector – so YOU should too.  (Fairly illogical)

It can quickly become overwhelming, and even drive people to the point they never make a purchase at all.  They literally have 2-3 posts on the forums, never to be heard from again. A $1000 starter machine? I can’t afford this hobby – I’m out of here!

Let’s be clear, the questioners are part of the communication problem just as much as the repliers are.  Many rookies to the hobby do little to no research whatsoever. They merely ask the same rinse and repeat questions that somebody else posted a few hours ago – oftentimes on the same page!  It is easy to see why the veterans of the hobby get frustrated.

That being said, many veterans do not make the hobby seem like it is something worth sticking around for.  They start replies (or arguments) with intros such as:

  • I’ve been in this hobby for 20+ years – you better listen to me.
  • We don’t need NEW people in this hobby – they are just taking all the treasure.
  • Don’t listen to advice from people who have not been here 10-20 years.

All of that is blowhard nonsense, and I would be rich if I had a zinc penny for each time I’ve seen it posted.  First of all – I’ve seen some of the most well thought out and instructional replies made by people who have been in the hobby 2-3 years.  They have electronic or engineering backgrounds and they “get it” from day one. They just don’t need 20 years to “catch up” to some of the veterans who don’t know the hot end of a soldering iron.  

As far as new people taking all the treasure?   Do better! If somebody is so worried about the new breed taking the loot, they need to up their game or realize the game has passed them up.  Hard to do I suppose.  

When I first started metal detecting, I had many questions like the rest of the rookies out there.  However, I was wise (or reluctant) enough not to post them. I had already read forums and watched Youtube videos for weeks before ever making my first post.  When I felt ready to post, it was about a specific brand of detector I already knew was in my budget, and would be tailored to MY style of hunting. Not that guy’s budget – or that guy’s style.  Mine. 

My next course of action was to seek out mentors in the hobby.  I had never met them personally – but I knew they were kind from the posts they made in the forums.  Always helpful and honest – never snarky or frustrated. They answered my question via PM (private message) if I felt they were “too stupid” for the public to see, and they had patience and understanding of my “newb” position amongst the ranks.  Thank you Loco-Digger and Phantasman of TreasureNet, I could not have done it without you guys.  

I guess this blog is more of a plea to the rookies and veterans alike. 

To all you rookies – think before you post.  Take your time looking at the answers to the questions you are about to ask, since they most likely have been asked ad-nauseam.  Your question is probably not re-inventing the wheel, so search the forums and watch the videos to see if it has been covered. Also, BE READY.  You are absolutely going to get some responses that offend you or make you feel small and insignificant. Let it go and wait for the nice guys to answer.  Most people are very friendly in this hobby, and they definitely outnumber the rude ones who feel entitled because they have been doing it X amount of years.  

Also, NO you do not need to spend $1000 on your first detector.  There are many that are VERY capable and cost under $500.

To all you veteran elites –  take it easy. Do you remember when you were first starting out?  Would you want to be treated like that? Probably not. No place is ever hunted out, so stop worrying some new guy is going to clean house.  Have a little patience and be a master who helps the grasshopper. You will earn respect that way. Remember, nobody is entitled to respect, it is earned.   It is also very rewarding knowing you helped pass on knowledge to the next generation of metal detectorists that will be here – whether you like it or not.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog.  TheHunterGT signing off. I will see you – on the next blog!

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