Maryland Free-State Treasure Club
Volume 5, Issue 9
September 2014

Baltimore County Permits Renewable by email * Rogue Detectorists  * XP Deus Raffle * Poisonous Snakes * Essex Day * More on Permits * Club Outings * Nail Aprons * Meet the Members * Garrett AT Pro Program * and Much More.

Maryland Free-State Treasure Club Meeting Minutes, September 25, 2014: The meeting was conducted at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Rd., Baltimore, MD 21220, 410-887-0258. Minutes were submitted by Dave Miller.

Call to Order: At 8:10 PM the meeting was called to order by the President, Mr. Gary Pennington. Gary introduced the club officers; Howard Shettle, vice president (who also oversees the display board); Steve Cunningham, treasurer; and Dave Miller, secretary.

Treasurers Report: Mr. Cunningham reported the M.F.S.T.C. has $4472.33 in the bank and $196.72 in petty cash in coins and bills. Gary Pennington reports the M.F.S.T.C. currently has an account balance of $185.00 in the Recreation and Parks account.

New Members: We welcome Ken Engelke, a detectorist with many years experience, and James "Rick" Pack, a previous member, as new members of our organization.

Attendance: Every attendee to our meetings gets a free raffle ticket for silver coins and other loot. Tickets are drawn at the end of the meeting. Attendees this meeting numbered 38 primary members, 3 family members, 2 new members and 5 guests for a total of 48. Ken Engelke and Tim Taylor won hats, Gina Stinemire, Nancy Jelich and Nick Franz won silver coins.

Refreshment Committee: Thank you Dan Beavers for providing plenty of pizza for the evening. The M.F.S.T.C. club provides sodas and sweets.

Raffles: Dan Beavers and Alvin "Bud" Lamb manned the silver round and 50-50 raffle tickets and kept track of the money with the dexterous help of Olivia Cornwell and Gina Stinemire. Dave Franz walked away with $59 for the 50-50 and Brad Johns won the silver round.

Merchandise: Gina Stinemire and Olivia Cornwell, our merchandise sales attendances, kept track of our t-shirts, club patches, bumper stickers, gloves and various donated items we offer in return for monetary donations to our club.

XP Deus Metal Detector (or $1000 cash) Raffle: Tickets are available at our meetings. Grab as many as you can afford to increase your chances of winning this terrific raffle or to sell to friends. A $2000 detector or $1000 is worth risking a few bucks. The winner will be drawn at our December 18 pot luck dinner.

County Permits Renewable by Email: Mike McCullough reports that Baltimore County Permits are renewable by email. See our website "Permits" link for more information.

Meet the Members: Bob Taylor was the focus of "Meet the Members" this month. Bob Joined the army at 18-years of age and for 20-years. In Vietnam he aided the U.S. Army by intercepting narcotics such as heroin before they got to the U.S. troops. He would set up a "buy" and then wait several days before sending in the police to bust local operations. He was aided by Lee, his wife now, and paid for her exodus to the U.S. to avoid the impending danger she faced. Lee is also a retired chef. After being a drug agent in Vietnam, Bob joined the Annapolis, MD, police and eventually joined the S.W.A.T. team.

Retiring to a more peaceful life, Bob took up tree and landscape maintenance, eventually becoming a court-appointed tree-expert witness for various court cases. He is now a dealer for almost all brands of metal detectors and accessories and maintains a well-equipped and tidy shop adjacent to his home.

Bob's outlet, Taylor Metal Detectors, is now a major local metal detector dealer. Bob attends our monthly meetings with many of his wares in spite of having to drive from Churchville, MD, to show members the latest detectors and accessories. Lee Taylor assists him. Bob has donated a metal detector and pinpointer to our October treasure hunt.

Poisonous Snakes: Ken Michael and his brother tried to kill two poisonous copperhead snakes at a local Baltimore City Park. Ken's brother cut out the fangs as they can be poisonous even when the animal is dead. One snake got away. Please use caution and vigilance if you are going to detect parks, especially near water sources. These snakes love to eat rats which are part of city parks where scraps of food, food containers and soda cans are strewn about.

September Program: George Venker gave an excellent talk and demonstration on the capabilities of the Garrett AT Pro metal detector. He demonstrated various stock and after-market coils and recommended the right coil for the right terrain. His favorite, the Nel 12x12 search coil, is useful for finding deep targets, but at times experiences discrimination problems in trashy areas due to the size of the coil. While using the large search coil, George recommends using no discrimination (accepting all metals including iron) and lowering the sensitivity a notch or two while searching for deep targets because the large coil will gain 2-inches depth over the stock coil. If a deep target is detected, he recommends sweeping the coil from different directions to listen for the tell-tail "squeak" of a good target near a trash target or a very small deep target. If a deep target "chirps" or "squeaks," dig it. He demonstrated this by using a silver coin glued next to a piece of iron on a paint stirring stick by passing it in front of the search coil from various angles. Only certain angles would pick up the silver. George also showed how he modified the headphones by using a long coiled wire to prevent tugging while digging.

Under Discussion:  The Victory Villa recreation and parks supervisor has offered the auditorium (where we currently meet) Friday evenings at any time we choose. We will take a member vote soon to determine the viability of changing our meeting day to Friday at an earlier time.

Essex Day: Essex Day, Sunday, September 21, was fun and successful. It was our first club expo with club information, finds on display, a canopy, tables, our large club banner and a silver dollar raffle. Leo Pollock and Bill Hill were the stars of the day with their tireless stamina at promoting the silver dollar raffle, explaining various finds on display and aspects of our club. They were supported by Kurt Franz, Kathy Pine, Bud Lamb, Gary Pennington and Steve Cunningham. Many laughs were had and several passersby seemed interested in the hobby and club. A man named Tom Denk won the silver round raffle. Photos are available on our website.

Permits, Permits, Permits: Gary Pennington has conveyed that Ronald S Rudisill, Baltimore City Park District Manager, vows to drive to every major city park daily to check for permits. This seems a bit much and difficult to believe, but getting a permit isn't a really big deal, either. Without it, you will be asked to stop detecting and obtain the permit if approached.

This all sounds like a new policy which is good for our club: it might discourage rogue detectorists who vandalize the parks with unrepaired holes and dug up trash.

The Rec and Parks building on East Street next to Druid Hill Park is closed Thursdays. The permit office opens around 9:30 AM on the other week days. It is highly recommended that you get your permit in person as snail mail could take up to three weeks.

Confusion concerning the older green permits without an expiration date:  There is no  "grandfather clause" that defers the need to renew a city metal detecting permit yearly. The rules have changed since they were good "forever." A receipt or proof of yearly renewal must be carried with the card. This confusion is related to a section of the rules that states, "PLEASE NOTE: Permit holders are only required to be certified once." This simply means that you don't have to tender an application with a club stamp every year. The rule goes on to state that permit holders are required to update the permit yearly. $25 made out to "Director of Finance," is all you need and carry the receipt with your permit card. The wording for the rule could be improved.

If you don't yet have a Baltimore City park metal detecting permit, download the application from our website, fill it out and bring it to the meeting to get a club stamp and signature.

Cromwell Valley Park: Metal detecting is not allowed in Cromwell Valley Park, Baltimore County, though it is suggested for its history, beautiful scenery and peaceful trails.

Open Treasure Hunt 2014: Sunday, October 12 at Sandy Point State Park. Registration is currently $100. Please visit our website for more information. Out-of-state registrations are coming in fast. At this writing we have 62 registrants and 4 children.

Club Outing: The club hunt at scheduled for September 20th was cancelled due to rogue detectorists who left sloppy hole repairs with dug up trash on the ground prior to our hunt. Whether this was random or someone got wind of our location and didn't bother following the rules of digging, we cannot risk being blamed for such actions.

Rogue Detectorists: Several of our members have found and repaired open holes dug by careless rogue detectorists in various parks. These vandals are creating a problem that could jeopardize our freedom to detect in parks.

At this meeting, the idea of calling 911 to report anyone caught doing this was promoted, but Ken Michael suggests NOT CALLING ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEM. He's right. In lieu of calling police to confront the perpetrators, it's best to repair the damage to protect our hobby and try to talk to the people who leave open holes about how it could shut down the parks for detecting. Some of these rogue detectorists might not even know about how important it is to protect the parks or the proper rules for metal detecting. LEAVE NO TRACE!

Sloppy Hole Repair: We request that all of our members use a cloth to prevent excavated soil from mingling with surrounding turf and to carry a nail apron or large pouch for dug up trash. When repairing a hole, pack down the soil before replacing the turf so it will be even with the surrounding grass.

Carrying Out Your Trash: Two-pouch nail aprons, or large pouches attached to a belt, will be required at all of our club hunts as a means of collecting unearthed trash targets for proper disposal. In the past, several of our members had no means of carrying trash other then their hands and pockets. Nail aprons with our club name will be available for free to our members thanks to Nancy Sommer, who will give us a good deal for them. We hope to have them at our October meeting. If you can't wait to get a free one, Home Depot sells nail aprons for 97-cents.

Next Club Outing: Will be announced via email. Currently the ground is too dry which will leave a yellow spot wherever you dig in grassy areas. The Maryland Free-State Treasure Club discourages digging in city park grassy areas during these dry conditions. After a date is set, the location will be revealed just days before the event. If you do not have email, you will have to call Steve Cunningham for details. See Steve at the next meeting for his phone number.

Trash Drive: We currently have 532-pounds of the retched stuff for P.R. purposes and recycling for cash which will be used for better prizes given to our members for our abundant raffles.

Display Board: Howard Shettle, our vice president, announced the winners of our September display board contest as follows: Kurt Franz won the coin contest followed by Andy Cooper and Leo Pollock respectively. Kurt Franz also took first in the relic contest followed by Dave Franz and Andy Cooper respectively. Bill Hill won the club favorite with a pocket watch he unearthed.

Adjournment: The September 25 Meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM when members helped stow the folding chairs and tables.

Next meeting: Our next meeting will be held Thursday, October 30 at 8:00 PM. Mini Hunts are cancelled until the spring when the Sun once again shines on the grass outside.

Holiday Dates: Our meeting dates will be November 20 and December 18. Please record this on your calendars.

Holiday Party: Our holiday party and pot luck dinner will be held December 18. We encourage all of our members bring some of their favorite cuisine to share.

October Program: To be announced.