Mikey Edwards, a native of Astoria, Oregon, is an avid outdoorsman who loves life, his family, hunting, fishing, and “anything that can keep me outside,” he states.
A commercial fisherman for 13 years, Mikey loves to catch more than just fish. His passion is finding hidden treasure through the art of metal detecting.
Mikey’s love of metal detecting started in the late 1990’s when he was just a young boy. His Uncle Don Kelly, who had been metal detecting throughout the area for well over 40 years at the time, decided to show Mikey some of his metal detecting techniques.
“Uncle Don sold me my first metal detector and it has become quite the addiction,” Mikey states. “Any chance I get, I try to go out and swing my detector.”
Because of his uncle’s influence, Mikey started his own metal detecting hobby nearly four years ago. “It’s fun to study old maps and hike through the woods finding old homesteads and bottle dumps.”
Now Mikey owns three detectors, each one having its own special purpose. He uses them to prospect for gold, to go over yards and fields, and to comb the local area beaches, even though Mikey prefers not to hunt at the beach.
“Maybe if my family is having a bonfire or something, I may take a few swings but that’s it for beaches. I prefer to hunt public parks and in the woods.”
In addition to unearthing buried treasure, Mikey has been asked by local homeowners to look for property markers to determine where their actual property line is. Mikey has also recovered several lost wedding rings. He states it is a great exercise.
“The most valuable thing I have found probably would be one of my old silver coins,” Mikey says, “although I have found lots of gold and silver rings, as well.”
Mikey plans on passing down the coins he has collected to his children one day. They “will continue to gain worth throughout the years,” he states, “but in order to get the exact value of a coin, it needs to be graded by a professional coin grader.”
For those wanting to get into the hobby, it is always good to check the laws of your state, county, city or town, school districts, and local parks (to name a few) for rules and regulations regarding metal detecting. For example, it is illegal to use a metal detector in some state parks or protected areas in order to preserve its original architecture. You would also need to get permission from property owners to use a metal detector on their land.
“YouTube is full of useful tips for the beginner,” Mikey adds.
Since getting into metal detecting, Mikey has become quite enthralled with the local history of Clatsop County. “The addiction this hobby creates is really hard to explain. Doing the research on the unearthed items is half the fun!”
Mikey cannot emphasize how great a hobby this is. “It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s a great workout,” he states.
Headphones are also great to have as sometimes the background noise (cars, dogs, the ocean, wind etc.) is louder than the machine itself making it difficult to hear the beeping of the metal detector. “With headphones, you don’t have this problem. Plus they keep your ears warm, too,” Mikey says with a smile.
A nice handheld digger is handy and an important tool to take with you. “A large shovel is too much to pack and it looks bad for the hobby,” Mikey states. “People see big shovels and they think big holes. I keep an old toothbrush on hand to clean up any potential treasures in the field.”
In metal detecting, for nearly 200 pieces of trash you dig, you will find maybe one item worth keeping. An enormous amount of garbage gets cleaned up in the process.
“I like to think that for every 100 rusty nails I pick up and throw away, maybe I’m saving one kid out there from getting a tetanus shot or a trip to the emergency room,” Mikey says.
Mikey has managed to find some “pretty amazing things.” To see for yourself some of the pieces he has captured, simply follow him on his Instagram account, Migsdigs. “All my best finds get uploaded there,” Mikey says. Mikey also has a Facebook page, Oregon Metal Detecting, and a YouTube Channel, Migs Digs.