Our first meeting of the year kicks off this Saturday. Bring your coffee or water or sodas and sit back after a small formal meeting and learn about how Metal detectors work with Tom Ashworth, who with many year’s experience, teaching us all how to use our metal detectors to their fullest and best potential. Bring your metal detectors to see what your detector can do and how to set them if you would like. Don’t forget if you have any items for the raffle to bring them. Look forward to seeing you and bring a friend. 

Meeting Raffle in 2024

If you where not able to make the December meeting it was decided to take all the tickets sold for our raffle through the year, whether a ticket was a winner or not at a meeting, and put the tickets sold in a special container for a grand prize drawing at the December 2024 meeting.  Be sure to sign your name and put your telephone number on all your tickets you put into the raffle tumbler at every meeting so if yours is drawn we know who's it is.

Also, if Santa was good to you this Christmas because you where good.  And you got some good presents of new detecting equipment, no matter what.  If you have any now don't need items you could donate to the club raffle we would appreciate it. Items don't even have to be metal detecting items.

Dues will be due for 2024 starting in December.  You can pay on line on our web site.  Dues starting in 2024 are $15.00.  $5.00 for State Organization dues (TAMDC) and $10.00 to our club.  Please invite a friend and or a metal detecting buddy.  Remember bring the kids to the meetings.

Once again wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


January Meeting

It has been a good year for the Highland Lakes Metal Detecting Club with new members and a lot of good finds being shared with our members at the monthly meetings and outings.  Thanks everyone for these.

Starting with the January meeting on the 6th at 10:00am in the main meeting room at the Kingsland library.  We have Tom Ashworth going over the BASICS of a modern metal detector.  Yes, that is right, basics.  I talked Tom into slowing down and help anyone starting out learn what every setting on their detector is and what function it does and how to set it up.  Tom has over 50 years of metal detecting and is very serious and knowledgeable about all aspects of the hobby and will really be great at helping all of us learn more.  Please bring your metal detector to the meeting and be able to do adjustments and learn more about your detector plus be able to ask any questions you might have.  Invite a friend also.

We will have more of these gaining a little more info as the year goes on.  This is what the group ask for in the December meeting and we are getting this information together along with more outings that persons can learn the same.

If you have any places we might have outings to please let one of the directors know so we can start setting the outing up.  If you need help in learning how to find places let us know.

My, Earl Theiss, email is if you need to contact me.  If you need equipment and supplies I also sell several lines of metal detectors and supplies along with prospecting and mining equipment.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  See you at the meeting.


December 2, 2023 Club Meeting Newsletter

December 2, 2023 Club Meeting Newsletter

Well everyone.  This is my last newsletter post.  We have a new leader.

We had a very good meeting.  There was 17 in attendance.  The members present elected Earl Theiss as President, Tom Ashworth as Vice President, Gary Goolsby as Treasurer, and Peggy Theiss as Secretary.  Once the elections were concluded I turned the meeting over to Earl.  Earl invited any and all comments regarding what we want to see regarding how the club is managed and how the meetings are managed.  There were several good thoughts mentioned by the members present and our new leaders will be mulling over these suggestions as well as any that are presented in the future.  By the way, those who will be serving in the Events Committee and in the Club Hunt Committee will be elected in the January meeting.

Earl pointed out that in order to get good speakers to come to our meetings we will have to either compensate them for their travel expenses and/or buy them lunch as a thank you gesture.  Other modest expenses may come up as the club goes forward with implementing the suggestions made by the membership.  With this in mind, the membership attending voted to increase the local club dues from $5 per year to $10 per year.  As we also pay $5 per year for membership in the Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs our new combined annual membership dues will be $15.00 for 2024 and future years.  The dues for 2024 are now due.  You can pay the dues to Gary Goolsby during the January meeting or you can pay using the button on this website.  Anyone wanting to pay by mail can send a check in the amount of $15.00 payable to the Highland Lakes Metal Detecting Club to Gary Goolsby, 833 Lookout Mountain Road, Kingsland, TX 78639.   Please note that if you want to receive a membership card you will need to be present at the meeting.

We had a great potluck lunch which was put together by the Events Committee with everyone attending bringing tasty food from chili to sandwiches, veggies, and desserts.

The meeting was ended with a very good raffle.  A lot of interesting prizes were given out to those with winning tickets but the grand prize of the metal detector package went to Gary Goolsby.  Congratulations, Gary.  By the way, starting with the January meeting, you will need to put your name and phone number on the back of all of the raffle tickets that you purchase.  All tickets that are not pulled from the barrel during that meeting will be saved.  The same will go for all raffles through November 2024.  Then, during the December raffle the tickets that have been saved throughout the year will be jumbled and will give everyone another chance to win a prize.   As we did this year, all proceeds from the ticket sales will be used to buy one or more very nice prizes for the December raffle.

There will be no club hunt this month due to holiday schedules but you can still get out and hunt on your own or pair up with a buddy.  If you want your finds posted on this website just send a photo of the finds and a brief description of your hunt to either Tom Ashworth or myself and we will post your hunt.

I want to thank everyone for allowing me the privilege of being the club president for the past few years.  I have enjoyed working with everyone in that capacity.  I know Earl will do a great job as president.  Unfortunately I have a scheduling conflict on the date of our January meeting so for the first time in several years I will miss a meeting.  Earl, I hope you can keep us apprised of how that meeting goes so that those of us who cannot attend will know about the January club hunt.

Well, that's all folks.  Have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Gary Bunyard

October Club Hunt Find

October Club Hunt Find


The lesson of the day is that you can not discount what you dig up.  In my case when we were at the ranch on the Llano river in October where the current owners are descendants of the owner from back in the early 1800s, I dug up what appeared to be an odd cap off of something.  It was plated and had the words Kellogg - Chicago USA and Pat'd Nov 26 1901.   I figured it was a part off of some farm or ranch equipment so I really did not look into it.  Debra Ashworth mentioned it at the November meeting but still I was not impressed......until now.   I pulled it out and did some research.  It is the back of the part that you speak into from a Kellogg Telephone Company hand crank telephone, the type where you hold the ear piece in one hand and the speaker is attached to the main part of the phone.  It is likely from either the candlestick model or the cathedral model.  I am attaching photos of these two models to show you how old this thing is.   I will bring it to the meeting for the Show and Tell table.

Gary Bunyard

December 2, 2023 Club Meeting Newsletter


Hello everyone....

I am sure you need no reminder that our December meeting is this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the Kingsland Library.   This is our potluck lunch meeting.   However, we are having a big raffle at the end of the meeting.  A really nice prize has been purchased from the funds raised in previous raffles.  Yet we still need donations to make the raffle so much better.  Got something you are not using anymore?  New or used, it does not matter.  It does not have to be metal detecting related.  But let's make this a grand ole event to end 2023.

See you then....

Gary Bunyard

December 2, 2023 Club Meeting Newsletter

11 25 2023 Newsletter

Hey all....

We had a good turnout for the club hunt this morning.  Besides our regulars, I was very glad to see Jesse Wimberly and Scott Hegel there.  Tom Ashworth and a couple of others found a few modern coins and Tom even found a costume ring.  Other than that, I believe the rest of us found a few artifacts and a lot of trash.

Remember, this coming Saturday, December 2, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at the Kingsland Library will be our December club meeting and potluck lunch.  I am attaching a copy of the meeting agenda to this newsletter.  The meeting will be short.  Beside the approval of last month's minutes and the Treasurer's Report, we will have election of officers for 2024.  As I mentioned earlier, I am stepping aside as president.  I have really enjoyed the privilege you afforded me these last years, but I am getting really involved as Secretary, Trapping, Staging, and Transporting for Hill Country Cats.  It has come to the point where I cannot devote the time to both offices and still do the job properly.  It is time that our club have some new blood and perhaps new direction.  As it stands the candidates who have offered to serve are Earl Theiss as President, Tom Ashworth as Vice-President, Gary Goolsby as Treasurer, and Peggy Theiss as Secretary.  If anyone else wants to be considered as a candidate for any of these offices, please send me an email at and I will announce your candidacy for the office you are seeking.   Please note that elections for the committee members of the Events Committee and the Club Hunt Committee will be held during the January 2024 meeting.

Remember that Gary Goolsby will have the club shirts that you ordered ready for pickup and payment.  If you did not order a shirt but you want one, we will have several extras available.  These shirts are being sold for what they cost the club to buy plus a few pennies to round the price up to an even number.  We encourage you to show your pride in our club, especially during the Treasure Show that is being held at the John L. Kuykendall Events Center in Llano in March 2024.  That will be 3 days of fun and entertainment and will include at least 1 seeded hunt for the metal detectorists.  I got a very good deal on my XP Deus II detector at the Treasure Show in Llano in 2022.  There will be more details to come.

If you are coming and you have not yet chosen a dish to bring to for the potluck lunch you can contact Betty Goolsby at 832-689-3340.

We are having a big raffle at the end of this meeting which will be the first raffle in which the top prize has been purchased with funds raised during the past raffles.  Of note is that a new Nokta Makro Simplex New Generation metal detector will be one of the prizes given in this raffle.  You do not need to be present to win in this raffle.  You can leave the meeting early or, if you cannot come to the meeting at all, you can contact Debra Ashworth at 208-830-7991 and she will arrange for you to buy tickets in advance of the meeting.  All tickets sold for this raffle will have the buyer's name and phone number printed on each ticket.  If you are not present, you will be notified by phone which prize you won and you can work out the details on when to pick up your prize.  Naturally, if you are present, you will receive your prize(s) during the raffle.  Please note:  a spinning raffle drum will be used for all tickets drawn during this raffle.   Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5.

Come One, Come All

Gary Bunyard, President (for now)

12 2023 agenda

Selecting a Metal Detector For Christmas

Selecting a Metal Detector For Christmas

I know several members that have asked my oppinion on getting a new metal detector, so in this video I share my opinion, but here is why.

Tom's 2023 Ranking

  1.  Nokta Legend -  The Nokta Legend is priced at $600 dollars and you get wireless headphones (and $499 without headphones), a flashlight, a clock on a detector that is similar in capabilities to the 800 (which costs $999). So far, the Legend has matched signals with the Equinox successfully on 69 of 70 holes in varied settings. Keep in mind that Nokta just came out with its first round of updates and the Equinox has had multiple versions already. The Equinox might be more capable than the Legend (that remains to be seen) but the value goes to the Legend. The Manticore and the Deus 2 are triple the price of the Legend.
  2. Minelab X-Terra Pro - For a Detector that is under $300, I rate this machine a 5 out of 5 but it does have a couple problems that I have noticed. The VDI is all over the place and not at all stable. BUT., With a little tinkering, I was able to make the machine quite stable. One thing for sure, this is a very sensitive machine. What I have discovered is to turn the sensitivity down, but not so far down that you are loosing deep targets. I find that in most cases I run mine at around 14 to 17. The second thing to do to get the VDI more stable is to Check and set the (AU) Freq now and then or anytime you make a change. Also, do a manual ground balance even with ground tracking now and then. If the VDI starts to jump around then experiment with these menu items. The other thing I do not like about the exterra pro is that there is little or no bottle cap rejection. This is where you really need to pay close attention to your tones.
  3. XP Deus 2 - I took points off for being so expensive, retails around $1500. I do believe that the Deus 2 is the most capable metal detector on the market as of November 2023. But how much more capable is it than the Legend which sells at 1000 dollars less? Again this is the top detector on the market right now.  It is totally wireles, waterproof to 66 feet, lightwieght and offers the best perfomance.
  4. Nokta Macro Simplex +  - This metal detector has the best relative value on the market. I can't believe how much value and simplicity you get for 250 dollars!
  5. Minelab 700 and 900 - The Equinox was the gold standard for the market in early 2022, so its price point can and will affect other detector's price points. The Nokta Legend is priced at $599 dollars and you get wireless headphones, a flashlight, a clock on a detector that is similar in capabilities to the 800 (which costs $899). The Legend has matched signals with the Equinox successfully on 99% of targets in varied settings.The Equinox might be more capable than the Legend (that remains to be seen) but the value goes to the Legend. A very difficult question for me to answer is do I prefer a Equinox 700 at $699 to a Legend at $599. I still would lean Legend for value purposes even though you get a slightly more capable detector with the Equinox 700.

Just a note on here is that hte Minelab Maticore is the top of the Minelab line, it has been a huge dissappointment for many.  Mostly due to the seperation of iron and 2D display.  The XP Deuse 2 is the best choice int e$1500 range.

Anyway please watch my video and like and subscribe to my channel for more detector news.