By Karen M. Chubb
It was $25,000 in cash and prizes given to the hunter who could bring forth the most treasure out of a 68 acre wheat field. This was the scene and the incentive to all in attendance at the Main Event Hunt sponsored by Electroscopes® by Thomas, held in Oregon Hill, Pennsylvania. Since this was the first time that a Competition Treasure Hunt has ever been held for cache hunters, using the Electroscope® by Thomas and their conventional metal detectors, no-one knew what to expect. The hunt, scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., was moved back due to severe weather conditions - torrential downpours. When all the hunters agreed that the hunt must go on despite the rain, at 12:00 Noon we were on our way.
Each contestant drew a sealed envelope to determine what their starting position would be, there were no advantages with the luck of the draw determining which field the hunters would start in . There were a total of 39 fruit jars, each containing 2 silver, one ounce rounds, and these targets were within a 50 foot circle from the various starting positions in each field. In addition to the fruit jars, there were 18 larger caches containing 7 ounces of silver in each one, scattered throughout the fields at distances of 50 to 200 yards, and the treasure hunter had to venture deep into the center of the course to challenge the field of competitors, as the hunter with the most silver at the end of the three hours would walk away with all the prizes and the title of the first ever World Champion in the sport of treasure hunting.
The course was cut of a wheat field with at least two miles of trails that wound into the 3 foot high wheat. A conventional metal detector was of no real use in these conditions. Not only the height of the wheat, but the dampness sure took its toll on the conventional detectors with as many as one dozen out of the 25 total conventional detectors shorting out within the first hour of the hunt.
Early in the hunt, gentleman Jeff Anderson from Oklahoma, using a Model 20 Electroscope® and Kenny Logan from Waycross, Georgia, using a Model 301 Electroscope® with a Phaser, were running neck in neck, each in turn calling to tag yet another recovery from their respective fields. Al Amory, our Canadian entry, and George Acord, from West Virginia were close behind. At this point, for some unknown, mysterious reason, gentleman Jeff decided to call it a day, and left the field of competition, with a total of 20 ounces of silver (and the lead well in hand). At this point, Kenny soon tied Amory, and 14 for Acord - we all began holding our breath as the time was quickly running out - would we have a tie for our first competition? With only minutes remaining, Kenny pulled out his last cache of the day, putting Anderson and the rest of the field well out of his reach.
So impressive was Logan and Anderson, that just 15 minutes into the hunt, with their conventional detectors malfunctioning, they relied only upon their scopes to point out the hidden treasures. One onlooker was heard later to say "…Kenny was like a young Clint Eastwood, the grit and determination on his face in his pursuit of treasure was awesome." Why did Logan win this contest? Not only did Kenny know his equipment, and by taking the time to learn and practice with his Scope, but he is not an arm chair treasure hunter, he is a go getter, hunting for the big one. In the mean time, Kenny has made a lot of smaller finds, nice ones, and his field list of finds is impressive to say the least, using both an Electroscope® for the long range, and conventional detector to help pinpoint his targets. On the other hand, gentleman Jeff, although excellent with his Electroscope®, his field experience hasn't reached its peak yet, and therefore, he has the capabilities to become a better treasure hunter, and could easily come back to win next years competition.
The difference was, Logan, being a professional would have stayed out in the rain and wind for eight hours, and in this contest, perseverance paid off. This is a lesson in treasure hunting that all of us should learn from - perseverance does pay off - just ask Kenny!
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