OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — He likes the old city parks and green spaces.
“We’re looking for that Oklahoma treasure,” says hunter Don Stotts.
He prefers closed dumps and piles of dirt freshly turned by construction crews.
“Where you find trash, you find goodies,” he continues.”Especially with all the construction going on all around downtown right now, all around the city basically.”
These are fertile grounds for a treasure hunter like him, eager for the ping of a fresh strike, a lost item found.
Donald imitates the squeak he hears in his head phones. “It’s really loud,” he says.
“Does it still do something to your heart rate if you get that nice tone,” asks a first time hunter?
Stotts glances up and smiles. “Excitement,” he responds.
Recent rains make his work a little easier.
This pile of soil contains lots of old bottles, and old can of Musterole ointment.
Many of the hits from his metal detector bring up the scourge of treasure hunters, pull tabs and bottle caps.
“You don’t know what that target is going to be until you actually see it,” he says.
But every once in a while, just often enough to keep he and other hunters like him going, a hit on his detector will reveal something of value.
These finds represent hundreds of small digs, a treasure chest full, all picked up one at a time.
Over the past few years his after hours forays into construction zones and dirt piles reveal tokens like this one from the old Southwest Federal Reserve Bank in Oklahoma City, and from the city’s old trolley system.
He has hundreds of wheat and Indian head pennies, silver dimes, and the holy grail for treasure hunters, an old silver dollar from the 1800’s he found in the Heritage Hills neighborhood.
“This is from 1898,” he says holding the coin up to the light.
Another recent downtown find we found especially interesting, this token from WKY-TV and the Foreman Scotty show.
One side reads, “The gold mine of good viewing, WKY-TV.”
Don calls it the only hobby that pays.
His treasures add up to a pretty nice haul.
But what keeps his going is the excitement of another ping, seeing the lost found again.
Stott’s treasure hunting handle is ‘DirtDiga’.
He is a member of the Oklahoma Metal Detecting Club.