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Billings prospecting club hosts free metal detecting class at Hawthorne Park

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 17, 2023

BILLINGS — Treasure hunters had the chance to learn how to use a metal detector at Hawthorne Park on Saturday. Hosted by the Beartooth Treasure Hunters and Prospectors club, the clinic welcomed participants of all ages and was free.

Brett Hoyt is the activities director of the club.


“We meet once a month and provide training, whether it’s training on prospecting topics or metal detecting, treasure hunting topics,” said Hoyt on Saturday at Hawthorne Park.

Hoyt taught a group of about ten people the basics of metal detecting, from pinpointing different types of targets to learning how to properly dig a hole that leaves no trace.

It was an experience for all. Seven-year-old Liam Nelson fell in love with metal detecting after trying it out at Dig It Days at the Montana Fair.


“It’s really cool to watch him be independent and figure out his own. I have kind of step back and not be like, oh let me help you. But he does it so well. He learns how to do it himself and he’ll use the pinpointer to find things exactly,” said Liam’s mom, Shannon Nelson.

Some participants, like Tana Lee, decided to pick up a new hobby.

“I was really excited to just hear that there are others in town doing this hobby. It’s way better to talk to people face to face and learn versus watching YouTube videos which is what I was doing,” Lee said.

Classes like this give prospectors the ammunition to attend other club events, like their upcoming metal detector hunt at the Huntley Project Museum.

“We’re going to have a silver coin hunt where we’re going to bury pre-1964 and before coins that are 90% sliver. And you get to keep all the money you find,” said Hoyt.


There will also be a 50/50 hunt as well as a Roman-English coin and nickel hunt, giving 15-year-old Treyton Brown another chance to find some treasure.

“It gives me a chance to take what I’ve learned from here and apply it elsewhere,” said Brown.