One of the stars of the A&E show “Duck Dynasty” is filming a new show about the hidden gems of metal detecting.
Jase Robertson was recently in Vicksburg, Mississippi, looking for Civil War artifacts, the Vicksburg Post reported. Robertson’s metal detecting will be featured in an upcoming History Channel series, local landowner Rob Long said.
Long and a friend had been metal detecting at Grant’s Canal, on property that had been owned by Long’s family before it was turned over to the National Park Service. Long said that before his metal detecting, he researched the construction of the Grant Canal during the Civil War and discovered that a significant amount of munitions had been fired into the area, which is part of Louisiana. across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg.
“We know that many, many, many cannonballs were fired into Grant’s Canal during its construction by the Confederate Army. The river was considerably closer there at that time, because that was before the river changed course in 1876,” Long said, adding that if that was how far it is today , the likelihood of the cannonballs hitting their targets would have been slim.
Grant’s Canal was an unsuccessful effort led by Union forces, and eventually General Ulysses S. Grant, to cut a sharp bend in the Mississippi River. The effort was to redirect the river away from Confederate guns on the Vicksburg bluffs that threatened boat traffic. The canal failed, but the river crossed the same point in 1876, changing course.
Based on his research, Long said he hoped to locate some of the mortar shells with a metal detector.
Long said he enlisted the help of veteran metal detectorist Bob Sullivan from Texas. Sullivan and members of his metal detecting club brought sonar equipment, which is used to detect metals at greater depths.
“They came and found a big shrapnel fragment and they found a bunch of old coins and miniature bullets,” Long said, referring to bullets widely used in the Civil War.
The History channel hopes to do a series on metal detecting and possible finds, Long said. Scenes filmed at the Mississippi site covered what the group was looking for, how the members went about their search, how they identified certain objects and how their equipment worked.
Long said he was surprised by the popularity of metal detecting. Some people he knows, including Robertson, are avid hobbyists and take metal detecting seriously.
“I didn’t know it was that big. There’s a lot of metal detecting people, and it’s worse than deer hunters,” Long said. “They’re really sneaky. tell anyone where they were and won’t tell anyone what they found.