National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

Meet the Diggers

Get to Know KG and Ringy

George Wyant pretending to punch Tim Saylor  at the Big Hole location.

George Wyant pretending to punch Tim Saylor at the Big Hole location. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channel

Published

Metal-detecting buffs Tim “Ringy” Saylor and “King” George Wyant are homespun historians who are fascinated with ferreting out interesting fragments of the past—and who like to have a little fun in the process.

As a profile in the Cedar Rapids Gazette once noted, Saylor “is not above licking a clump of dirt if he loses a bet over finding a silver dollar, but he prefers when his buddy loses and has to wear a prom dress while riding his bike off the dock into the icy Montana waters.”

“We have always had the mindset that the appreciation of history and a sense of humor are not mutually exclusive,” Saylor explains.

Saylor, a native of Iowa who earns a living writing software for insurance companies, says that even as a child he was intrigued with old coins and other remnants of days gone by. He bought his first metal detector back in the 1980s, but didn’t use it much until he moved to Montana a decade ago. “I found my old detector during the move, and decided to try it on my new backyard,” he recalls. “I found three silver coins, and I was hooked.”

Around that time, Saylor met Wyant, a copper miner who also sells seamless rain gutters on the side. “George found out that I had the detector, and because he always wanted one, called me to talk about it,” Saylor recalls. “He did that, even though we had only met a few times and really wanted nothing to do with each other.”

He’s kidding, of course. Saylor and Wyant soon began going out on metal-detecting searches together. “I first got excited when I saw that we actually could find coins—a lot of them,” Wyant recalls. One of his first finds was a 1909 Barber dime. “I was hooked for good,” Wyant recalls. Saylor similarly got the fever when they were exploring an old church and he found a silver Franklin half dollar, a silver quarter, and a 1933 World’s Fair token. Since then, they’ve found everything from buffalo nickels to 19th Century saloon tokens.

The pair eventually formed their own company, Anaconda Treasure, and launched a website that markets books on treasure hunting, “Team ATC” hats, clothing and gear, and the Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, which captures the pair’s adventures. “We were watching DVDs that we bought on eBay, and they seemed incredibly boring and staged,” Saylor explains. “We began carrying cameras with us on all our hunts, and filmed all the greatest finds, showing our real reactions. We mixed in some ridiculous stunts as well.”

While the pair call themselves treasure hunters, it’s in a tongue-in-cheek way, since most of the bits of the past they’ve found—old coins, guns, rings, jewelry and tools—turn out to have relatively little monetary value. “It’s the thrill of the hunt,” Saylor cheerfully admits. “We don't make money detecting, but rather lose it. By the time you pay for gas, food, batteries, and gear for the hunt, you almost always lose money that day.  If you are in it for the cash, then you should find another hobby or else you are bound to be disappointed. The old silver coins we find are usually worth only $5 or $10 each, so if it were about investing and money, we would be much better off going to the coin store and just buying the coins.”

Nevertheless, they are relentless searchers, spending long days in the field and digging countless holes to find a few humble treasures, while dreaming of the rare gold coins they someday hope to stumble upon. “KG and I are like the honey badgers of metal detecting,” Saylor says. “We have never met anyone who can keep up. It’s always great when you find something valuable or interesting, but we always have fun wherever we go. Like the cliché, it’s not the destination, but the journey. Or however that goes.”

George Wyant aka "KG"

George is a graduate of Anaconda high school. He thought about going to college but figured that a hammer and a shovel fit better in his hand than a pencil. After digging ditches for four months for a local plumber, he thought maybe it was time to try college. Knowing that would entail the reading of many books, he instead went to work at a foundry and ran electric furnaces. After seven years of that, he thought about college once again. Remembering that college would require him to think really hard, he opted to work at a copper mine in Butte Montana where he remains employed today. George is an expert fisherman and hunter. In 2005, he was photographed fly fishing and published in Travel Montana magazine. In 2009, he was featured in the Anaconda Leader newspaper after being attacked by a large black bear 5 miles deep in the forest while bow hunting. (He lived.) An accomplished treasure hunter, George has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, co-produced and co-starred in Anaconda Treasure's Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, and is currently working with a world renowned television production company on a show for a major cable network. George and his wife Lori live in Anaconda, Montana, and are the proud parents of two girls, Emily, 14, and Morgan, 11.



Tim Saylor aka “Ringy”

Tim Saylor is a two-time graduate of the University of Iowa, holding degrees from that institution in both German and Psychology, has completed studies abroad at the University of Vienna, and is a certified computer programmer and web designer. The Iowa Writers Workshop is world renowned, and, as an undergraduate, Tim wrote and studied fiction at the university under Bob Shacochis (Easy in the Islands) and David Morrell (First Blood, Rambo). Tim received the German Book Prize from the University of Iowa's German Department in 1995 and the Class Third Prize for the Wiener Internationale Hochschulkurse at the University of Vienna in 1994, and he was inducted into the University of Iowa's Psi-Chi Honor Society. In 1990, Tim recorded tracks on the not-so-critically acclaimed rock band No Spokes' debut album Way Big. An accomplished treasure hunter, Tim has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, co-produced and co-starred in Anaconda Treasure's Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, wrote the book Treasure Hunting with Team ATC, and is currently working with a world-renowned television production company on a show for a major cable network. In spite of these achievements, he remains poor and unsuccessful, living isolated in a miner's shack in the mountains of Montana with his son Ian and his Boston terrier "Brick", where they spend their days avoiding bear attacks and searching for that elusive jar of gold and silver coins.



310 comments
Jacob Groshek
Jacob Groshek

Hi Guys,  My son loves your show and he made this video to try and convince you to come to our house and look for "nectar".  Have a look....its actually a pretty reasonable idea because we live in Chelsea, MA (est. 1624) near the old Naval War Hospital where some notables stayed (JFK, for example).  Have a look, hope to hear back!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4oGZxJCQbY&feature=youtu.be

Cheers from FINN

Richard Darby Jr
Richard Darby Jr

You guys are a gas!  Besides all the great history, and I love anything with history connected to it, it's fun watching you guys have a blast with your "friendly competitions".  Keep up the good work.  I particularly enjoyed the Deadwood, Tombstone, and Oregon trail episodes, but learned quite a bit in many of your east coast colonial digs.  The Civil War shows of great interest as well.


Maybe you have thought of this, but as a follow-up to the Tombstone episode, maybe try and determine the mystery of which spring in the Whetstone mountains of Arizona Wyatt Earp had his legendary double-barrel shotgun duel with Curly Bill Brocious.  People have been arguing about it for going on 140 years now.  Just type "where did earp kill curly bill" into your search engine and you'll see what I mean.  There was quite a gun battle there, so there's gotta be some spent lead.  Johnny Barnes received his fatal wound there as well, and someone else was hit, so, there may be a few guns...who knows?


Man, wish I was in the health necessary to take up you guys passion.  Looks like alot of fun, whether you find anything or not.

Jacob Groshek
Jacob Groshek

So I been  watching your show a lot and I would like to see if you could come to our house in Chelsea, Massachusetts (founded in 1624).  We live very near to the Mystic River just north of Boston, and we recently had our house renovated and are findings all kinds of stuff in the yard.  finngroshek@gmail.com  Thanks!  

Jim McLaughlin
Jim McLaughlin

When are you going to solve one of the GREAT AMERICAN HISTORICAL mysteries?

You need to come to Lexington, MA and FIND THE BULLET FROM THE LEXTINGTON MINUTEMEN - instead of that stupid poem about concord "firing the shot heard round the world"


Douglas Oyler
Douglas Oyler

Love the show and all the acrobatics, would be great to get a few equipment reviews, I see you use the Garrett pointer a lot what other gear do you favor? It would be awesome to see how you set up your machines for the different adventures.  Also a "guest digger" would be an awesome idea. If you need any volunteers :).

Martin Rietdijk
Martin Rietdijk

See the show here in the Netherlands.

Pff little over reacting comments from the diggers.

Over here you find realy old items like coins from 100 BC till now.

Oldest coin i have found is from 1637 4cm 3mm thick pure silver (called 28 stuiverstuk)

Also WW2 finds like a spoon from the Luftwaffe Germans 1939


Guys try the Xp deus you find even coins near a iron axe 

Garrett is nice but real slow compare to the Deus.

Deus is wireless and realy fast

Gareth Weaver
Gareth Weaver

oh yeah,   you can buy the same headphones that Garrett sell with the AT and Gold thru Alia Express for a whopping $3.79 with free shipping,, but a 3.5mm plug on the end.. This are not great headphones.. Also Garrett will NOT sell you the plug,,, only the whole headphone assembly.. change the plug on the unit to a 3.5mm and then buy some good headphones and you will REALLY see what you have been missing in the ground..

Gareth Weaver
Gareth Weaver

Heather is right,, you should have a "guest" digger on the show every once in a while,, also a little more about the equipment and the readings you get when you find something.. a little more in depth !!

Heather Black
Heather Black

What is WRONG with all of you people going on about how you don't like the 'antics' (how old are you people?), and how annoying you find them? If you don't like it, don't watch it. Mind-numbingly easy to do, just don't turn on the show. I LOVE this show because they are so silly and funny. It's entertaining whereas any other stuffy show about metal detecting would be boring, and I personally wouldn't watch it. There are plenty of those types of videos on youtube. KG and Ringy, keep it up! You guys are awesome! I would LOVE to go detecting with you!

Gareth Weaver
Gareth Weaver

Hi Guys,,

I just want to give you this upgrade to you metal detectors,, I have the same one but a ATPro.  This is a link to the Utube on how to do it,,, greatest upgrade you will ever do,, BUT if you us thme underwater, do NOT do..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5XqLEGKnk


this headphone upgrade will make things work much better.. (except use a 90 degree male plug for headphones,, it won't be as apt to break off...

I also have an up grade of my own.... after you do the one above,, I have added a "wireless fm transmitter to the end of mine, and wireless FM headphones,,, so no more headphone cord,, what a relief.  Frequency response is even better 20hz to 20,000hz, so you won't miss a thing..  and

NO MORE CORD !!

Let me know how this works out for you,, and I can send you rest on FM transmitter,

AA0OI  extra class Ham radio op, and metal detector-ist.

PS. I'm from SW Colorado, and was a backpacker for 20 years,, I know of several mining towns (now ghost towns) that are so far removed,, god doesn't even know they are there,, I have done them a little and have been very productive.. I would share them with you..


Mike Cope
Mike Cope

For those that are annoyed with their antics I suggest you find another show to watch.   I find what they do entertaining and brings levity to metal detecting.   I think they are great at what they do!

Bill Kirchenbauer
Bill Kirchenbauer

These guys are soooooooo annoying with their constant use of the word "Awesome" every 30 seconds. FIND ANOTHER ADJECTIVE, geessh you sound like a couple of stupid adolescences. Don't they have a director to tell them this kind of things...

Bill Kirchenbauer
Bill Kirchenbauer

These guys are soooooooo annoying with their use of the word "Awesome" every 30 seconds. FIND ANOTHER ADJECTIVE, geessh you sound like a couple of adolescences.

John Rozsa
John Rozsa

These guys are acting like idiots. The subject matter is fun however I do not like turning the TV on to watch 2 grown men act like 5 year olds.

Troy LaFountaine
Troy LaFountaine

I absolutely love your show. I myself love medal detecting as well and love unearthing history. I too get excited when I find something cool. I may not scream and role around in poison ivy or anything but who cares. We all ceiebrate in our own ways and shame on anyone who would judge you for how you do it. If they don't like it they don't have to watch. I say it is better to be yourself and be happy then to be someone else so other people will like you. Do not change a thing and I will always watch...

Angie Davis
Angie Davis

Lumpy Corn Beast!  Hahaha!  We love the way you guys talk.  Great show!  Don't change a thing.


Denise Gulotta
Denise Gulotta

Awesome show. don't change a thing. you get excited finding History( AS U SHOULD) people writing mean things only wish they loved their Jobs as much as you both do. I love Gettysburg, old cemeteries and History. I have learned so much watching diggers, and loved watching every minute of it. u keep yelling  and rolling around. i would do the same if i found what you both have found

Donald Janzen
Donald Janzen

I enjoy watching the guys unearth new things but can't stand all the yelling and rolling around and just acting ignorant. I am like some other of your watchers where I turn the sound down or entirely off. KG! KG! KG! DO YOU HEAR ME!! GUESS WHAT KG? I AM A IDIOT KG!!  SO NOW I AM GOING TO ROLL AROUND AND ACT LIKE A MORON!! Why all the yelling and acting like idiots National Geographic? Think I may just take this show off the DVR recording list.  NG I hope your listening!! 

Shadow DFX
Shadow DFX

Show is fun and interesting just stop acting like goofballs cause you found something. The only show I watch on mute.

Robert Story
Robert Story

I like the idea of "diggers" and occasionally watch, but I get very tired of the adolescent bravado and hoo-haw those two go through.  Mostly. I watch with the audio turned off.

John Hurley
John Hurley

I absolutely love metal detecting and love watching it on tv.  I live finding new ways of finding treasures myself.  But hontestly, and Im not just knocking these guys, honestly why do they have to act like mental migets.  I mean every time they dig up something, they leave it in the hole and scream out, run across the field tumbling and turning cart wheels.  WHY???  I don't tune in to watch all the dumb antics they do.  A simple, WOW, come look what I just found,,,,,,would suffice and make it much more interesting to watch.  The way they act, makes us adults feel as though we should not be watching it untless we are kids.  Comon sponcers, just have them to tone down the gosh aweful, stupid antics and act like adults injoying a recreation that many of us enjoy.  I stopped watching the last treasure hunting bunch because the main dude, then wrestler, would always yell, "BOOM BABYYYYY"  EACH  time he found something.  I kmow they enjoy what they do, but they spend more time acting stupid than they do digging.  It makes me feel stupid to watch it.  I found a civil war brass buckle that has CS on it, and it was exciting, but not to that point.

E M
E M

Love, love, love this show! Not sure what the deal is with all of the negative comments but I really enjoy it. It's like another American Pickers. I like the hosts-- I read their bios and they're just livin' the dream.

If you keep digging, I'll keep watching.

Lynn Smith
Lynn Smith

I find it really sad that people are so negative about seeing people so happy and excited doing what they enjoy. They are finding history and memories that most people wouldn't bother taking the time to do. If we all just sat around and not worried about it, things would be lost forever. They are passionate and full of energy. The way I see it if they just said "Oh, just another bullet or coin" no one would watch. As far as I know people are not being forced to watch, they can easily change the channel. I think what they are doing is a wonderful thing and people need to stop being so mean.

joyce bemis
joyce bemis

Great show, but you really need to get better people to host the show. The ones you have are total idiots!!!!!

Tom Davis
Tom Davis

You guys would get more watchers if you'd tone down the fake enthusiasm.  Please, adults are watching, not 12-year-olds. 

Steve Travis
Steve Travis

Would be a great show to watch, if the "Guys" didn't act like 9 year old giggling school girls! For that reason I do not watch! Tone down, way down, the excitement and I will watch. I'm sure they are great guys, but as I said..........

Nathanael Brissette
Nathanael Brissette

          Hey diggers! Have you ever dug at a place called Fort McHenry? If not, it is a fort from the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key made our Star Spangled Banner in which we still say today. The fort experienced battle when the British tried to invade Baltimore and destroy our nations capital. It is an intresting place to see but i would like to see what it looks like underground! If you ever have the time to read this please contact me as soon as you can and if you are ever in need for a new episode for a TV show, this would make a great hit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, A fan

wendy brown
wendy brown

ok diggers. I have a challenge for you. Was digging in my pond to plant some flowers and dug up a 10lb metal circle. thought it was a steering wheel at first but its to heavy. Kept digging and found lots of small metal to which I have no clue as to what they are. I live about 100 yards off of the railroad tracks. lots of history here in Bonneau sc. my uncle actually owns the old house that sits right on the tracks. found a build date on it 1835. was told that a dr. used to own the house. they actually stored dead bodies under the house in a cement hole. kept them on dry ice until the train was ready to pull out. please contact me if you read this. would like to find out just what is on my property.

                                                             thanks

                                                                          wendy  

H. S
H. S

PLEASE STOP SENDING THIS RETARDED SHOW!!! I WILL PUNCTURE MY EAR IF KG SAYS COOOIN AGAIN!!

sandy Powell
sandy Powell

Please please stop using the word NECTAR it is annoying. And try to be a little bit more professional when you find something. Stop acting a fool like when you holler and scream out. It would probably make me want to watch your show more.   NECTAR NECTAR NECTAR  That sounds so corny. try to use other forms of communication. Thanks for your time.

Kenny Musick
Kenny Musick

What type of detectors do you use on the show to find sweet nectar? A web search says Whites but show looks like Garrett Gold

Kenny Musick
Kenny Musick

What type of detectors do you use to find sweet nectar? The Web says Whites but pictures look like Garrett Gold

Dennis Gage
Dennis Gage

KG and Ringy. Two fun loving history freaks!

Dennis Gage
Dennis Gage

KG and Ringy are living the life! So jealous!

A. Markham
A. Markham

I can't tell you how many People are closet "diggers" watchers. We are so excited on where  they get to go and the History is so interested. The show Is SO addicting... 

Rod Keiser
Rod Keiser

Hey guys, great show particularly  fro those of us who enjoy digging ourselves.


My question is, are the audible sounds that we hear with each "hit" of the show actually the sound of the hit you are on? I'm still working on relating sounds to hits and since I use the same detector as yours, this is REALLY important to me and probably to other amateurs as well?


Keep up the exciting shows. I'm jealous of the locations you get to hunt!


Thanks,


Rod

Corina Blaisdell
Corina Blaisdell

Hello,

First let me tell you my grandsons love your show.  They want a diggers birthday party this year so i was wondering if there is any ideas you might be able to give me to help decorate for this? So far i'm going to make them side sacs and add extra slots for more gear and my daughter is going to make fake medal detectors for them and bury some treasures. But what else do you think we could do Cameron is going to be 6 and Brayden is going to be 4 they just received the photo you sent them with gold coins they take them every where to show people they love you guys thank you for taking the time to share with them it is awesome.  Thank You Corina Blaisdell

Robert Alan Richards
Robert Alan Richards

They were in Chicago to find something on Al Capone, then they should also have gone up to Northern Wisconsin to Courderay, where Al Capone had his hideout and there had been a shoot out of some sort there one time, but it turned out the Al Capone was not there (?) at the time.  This is a place they should check out too.

Mike Gallivan
Mike Gallivan

Come to Lewiston, NY, just north of Buffalo, NY, to Old Fort Niagara. Its a hot spot from the War of 1812. There has to be a lot buried just waiting to be discovered.

Jon Krider
Jon Krider

I enjoy metal detecting so much that I created my own iPad and iPhone app to track and log my treasure hunts. I recently posted it on Apple's App Store. There really was nothing out there that I could use to record my hunts, so I said heck with it, and built my own. I posted it to share it with my fellow treasure hunters. Look for the Brat's Treasure Hunting Log for iPad. You can search for "treasure log", and it will take you right to it.  Well back to reading my Lost Treasure magazine.  Happy Hunting Everyone, and I LOVE THIS SHOW!!

Stephen Davidson
Stephen Davidson

I have a site to be explored too, it was an old Spanish Fort during the time Spain was in control of West Florida or modern day Louisiana.  The Florida Parish Revolt in 1810 came against the Spanish in Baton Rouge, and also the fort 30 miles to the east in Springfield Louisiana.  Southeastern Louisiana University has attempted to locate it in the past but failed.  I think this would make for a great story line as Springfield is the third oldest town here in Louisiana. 

Christine Pickett
Christine Pickett

How do we get in touch if we know of a site? I know of a Civil War site where the Union blew up a train and tore up railroad tracks. I have come across it and have pictures of the train wheels I found. I would love for someone with more knowledge and equipment to come dig the history out!

Heather Black
Heather Black

@Bill Kirchenbauer

I love these guys, they crack me up and make metal detecting fun. If you don't like them, don't watch them. You kind of sound like a jealous kid.


Heather Black
Heather Black

@Donald Janzen 

I love it, they crack me up. I wouldn't watch it if it wasn't so funny; how boring would it be with two guys who only spouted facts and dug holes? I'll keep watching, and keep telling my friends how AWESOME it is.

E M
E M

@H. S Watch your mouth! The "R" word is repugnant.

Dave Jones
Dave Jones

@H. S  Maybe you should try it before you knock HS get out and get some fresh air  and exercise I am 78 and I walk miles with my garret Pro-350 I would love to know what settings you use guys can you post your most popular setting so us amateurs can work the fields Thanks for a great show NEVER grow up and be GRUMPY !!!  I laugh each day keeps me young DJ

Mike Gallivan
Mike Gallivan

Plus its near Niagara Falls. That's gotta entice you guys!