A Third Excuse to Enjoy the Great Outdoors

In search of lost treasures or simple history, metal detecting fits hand-in-glove with other outdoor pursuits 

Chicago, IL (October 15, 2020) The traditional outdoor sports of fishing and hunting lure millions of Americans into the Great Outdoors each year. According to the Outdoor Foundation and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s 2019 Special Report on Fishing, last year saw recreational fishing’s highest participation rate since 2007. The report states that 50.1 million Americans went fishing in 2019, and preliminary reports for 2020 suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has created an additional 8-10 million brand new anglers so far this year. Similarly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that over 15 million hunting licenses were sold in 2019, and experts expect that number will also grow in 2020.

People are drawn to sportfishing and hunting for a variety of reasons, some of which include escape, engagement, challenge, relaxation and sustenance. The extraordinary circumstances of 2020 have created additional reasons; even more participants have flocked to recreational fishing and hunting because they can be done safely in accordance with social-distancing guidelines – something that cannot be said for many other favored recreational activities during the time of coronavirus – while also helping to put food on the table.

Metal detecting is another fun, popular and healthy outdoors activity that can be safely practiced with social distancing. And for many who already spend time outdoors hunting or fishing, the pastime is a natural fit with their lifestyle. Troy McCormick is one of those people.

Throughout his life, McCormick has been a naturalist, conservationist, hunter, angler, wilderness ranger, detectorist, and producer and host of outdoors TV programming. With that background and his years of experience, he’s a guy who knows a little bit about a lot of things… especially when it comes to the Great Outdoors.

A lifelong hunter and angler, McCormick bought his first metal detector at age 14. “I guess there’s a little pirate in all of us,” McCormick says of the allure of detecting. “I was already into fishing and hunting at that age, and detecting was simply the next outdoor adventure for me. I detected a lot throughout high school and college,” the southern Indiana resident says, “but after that, family and career put those particular pursuits on hold.”

After years raising a family while his antiquating metal detector rested in some forgotten and dusty corner, it was a hunting trip last year to Wyoming that sparked the rekindling of McCormick’s detecting flame.

“I was successful in harvesting a pronghorn antelope and we were processing the animal in the outfitter’s garage when I noticed a metal detector hanging on the wall,” the host and producer of Bootprints.TV recalls. “We started talking about how much fun detecting is and it made me realize how much I had missed the thrill of the chase. A couple weeks later my crew and I were in Texas hunting javelina it turned out that particular outfitter was a treasure hunter, too. Funny thing is, both my cameramen heard our conversation and the two of them were both passionate detectors as well! It really clicked with me at that point how many hunters and anglers – people who really don’t need any other excuse to get outdoors – are into detecting . It made me remember how much fun I’d had swinging a metal detector earlier in my life and question why I had given it up.”

After McCormick’s epiphany last year, he procured a couple of the best metal detectors he could find and began packing them along on all of his outdoor adventures. 

“When I go on a trip now, I load my cameras, firearms, gear and my detectors,” McCormick says. “On filming productions for Bootprints.TV, we typically hunt game in the mornings and evenings, and I often detect during the mid-day lull back at camp when everyone else is resting up.”

McCormick and Bootprints.TV have recently been to Florida, Montana, Arkansas, Kentucky and Indiana, and he’s made some fun and exciting finds, including a variety of gold jewelry, silver coins and other artifacts from the past such as a colonial-era pewter spoon. He typically hunts with his waterproof, all-terrain Minelab CTX 3030, which he and many other knowledgeable detectorists consider to be the ultimate high-performance treasure detector, but he also packs and uses a Minelab GPZ 7000 when specifically looking for gold. McCormick is currently planning a trip to a gold lease in Wyoming in the coming weeks, where he hopes to unearth some gold nuggets.

“My heart was rushing when I recently dug up a late 1800s pocket watch,” McCormick reports. “Then I found another watch in the same area and it was a Rolex… at least it appeared to be! After some research, it turned out not to be authentic, but it was still very unexpected and exciting.”

A legitimate history buff who also owns a museum and exhibit design company, McCormick often uses his detectors to seek historical information in addition to the artifacts themselves. “I was recently detecting an 1890s schoolhouse that had reportedly been moved by horses sometime in the past to its current location,” he says. “I found a variety of old nails and screws about 200 yards away, and some additional searching in the area revealed parts of a foundation that matched the footprint of the building, revealing the original and previously unrecorded location of the building.”

McCormick offers a piece of solid advice for anyone with an interest in getting started in detecting. “I suspect I’m like a lot of other serious hunters and anglers in that I prefer to have and use the best equipment available,” he relays. “It pays off! The better the tool the better the results, so I’d recommend not buying an entry-level metal detector that you’ll quickly grow out of. That starts with selecting a top brand like Minelab, which is the recognized world leader in metal-detecting technologies.

“I was surprised to learn that Minelab makes some very affordable metal detectors,” McCormick continues, “But I would never describe their less expensive models as ‘entry level’. What they really are is ‘next level’. The only things that are entry-level about them is their price and how easy they are to use and start having success with.”

McCormick drills deeper: “Their Vanquish and best-selling Equinox lines are both incredibly capable machines that come with multi-frequency capability. Minelab was the first company to offer this technology, which allows their detectors to search in multiple frequencies simultaneously. They call it Multi-IQ technology, and for the detectorist, it means they can count on their detector to search for and find any metal in any soils at any time. That’s a huge advantage, and one you won’t find in a lot of other detectors – even ones costing hundreds of dollars more. My advice to new or would-be detectorists is to choose a Minelab Vanquish or Equinox model, and you’ll enjoy the hobby a whole lot more.”




Hosted by Troy McCormick, Bootprints.TV is an Internet TV show featuring diverse adventures in the great outdoors. Bootprints.TV is available in 155+ million households each Friday evening at 7:00 pm EST (October through December) on Learn more at


Minelab is an Australian, multi-award-winning business that has successfully scaled world markets to command global leadership in its key areas of operation. Based in Mawson Lakes, South Australia, with regional offices in Cork, Ireland, Dubai, UAE, Chicago, U.S., and Itajai, Brazil the company specializes in advanced electronic technologies. Since its origins in 1985, Minelab has been the world leader in providing metal detecting technologies for gold prospecting, treasure hunting and landmine clearance. Through devotion to research and development and innovative design, Minelab is today the major world manufacturer of handheld metal detector products. Over the past 30 years, Minelab has introduced more innovative and practical technology than any of its competitors and has taken the metal detecting industry to new levels of excellence. Minelab is a Codan Limited company (ASX: “CDA”). To learn more about Minelab, visit


Josh Lantz

Traditions Media

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