An Informal interview with Eleanor Hube

cape codI just returned from vacation in Cape Cod, MA. It was a great time, and the weather was perfect. I enjoyed the usual Cape scenery, seafood, family and beach time, but of course, there was metal detecting too–I couldn’t go to the Cape without my machine now, could I?

The detecting was successful in that we got three new family members swinging machines, and my wpid-Photo-20150719204122468.jpgfuture niece now has a new hobby.  The pickings were slim–we amassed the usual clad, fishing weights, hooks and miscellany.  I had high hopes my guy would find his first gold ring, but that didn’t happen.  However, he did find a really nice sterling and turquoise one.  Not bad.

The highlight of my vacation though, was popping in to J & E Metal Detectors in South Yarmouth and chatting with the owner, well known detectorist, Eleanor Hube, who, as a woman pioneer in this hobby has always been an inspiration to me.

Not only is Eleanor a seasoned detectorist, she is a lovely person, with a friendly personality, and has 43 years of stories about her detecting experiences. Listening to them, I was mesmerized, and would have loved to have heard every one of them.

Heath Kit

She said that her first detector was a “heath kit”? Well, this Generation X’er had never even heard of a heath kit, and was a bit perplexed until she explained it was a kit you bought to build your own metal detector. I thought “Oh, how neat”, but with my electronics challenged brain, was glad I didn’t have to build my own and could just buy one.

When I asked her what detector she uses now, her response was a fitting “Ask where I’m going, and I’ll tell you what machine I’ll use”.  That statement translated means; its not all about the brand or manufacturer, rather its more about experience, ground conditions, and knowing which machine to use where.

Eleanor has been all over the US & Europe detecting, even hunting in Russia, and said she was lucky to be one of the first women to water detect.  Judging from the displays of her finds, I’d say she was pretty darn successful at it too!

She related that years back, metal detecting competitions were segregated. They had the men’s competition, and the women’s competition–mostly because the men were stronger, and could dig the targets quicker.

Even though men do have the advantage digging targets, it was hard to imagine myself being part of a segregated competition. But I believe what women lack in arm strength they make up for with their intuition. That’s just my opinion, however, it was echoed by Eleanor’s statement that she has a “guardian angel that just tells her“, where to find her targets.

When she began entering metal detecting competitions, she came in 5th in her first competition, and soon she was coming in 1st at competitions. Then there was the hunt where everything was in one field (non-segregated), and she “beat out all the guys“. Of course, that was my favorite story of them all!

Eleanor also hails from the BP (before pinpointer) days. She showed me the probe she used to find her targets, explaining how she used it. The skill required to recover targets in that manner totally amazes me.  And yes, I totally expect Dick Stout to comment on that.

I also heard about the not so great experiences of getting bit by dogs (apparently Florida is the place to avoid if you don’t like getting bitten). Eleanor swears there was one woman who didn’t care for her detecting, and would let her doberman out on purpose to bother her–totally believable.  And then there was the guy who was watching her detect (on easement property), and just happened to turn on his sprinklers as she got near. Not very nice at all.

She also shared a great tip with me, for hunting parks or lawns. She said to carry thick, round toothpicks with you. After you recover your target, fill in the plug, and seal it with the toothpicks, sort of diagonally pushed around the plug. She went on to explain that while you may leave an area in great shape, the skunks will see those areas as easy pickings while searching for grubs, re-open those freshly covered holes, and leave a mess. I’ve experienced this phenomenon on my own property, and now it all makes sense.

Besides running her metal detector shop, Eleanor is known on Cape Cod as the “Finder of Lost Rings”. If you lose a ring, jewelry, or anything metal on the beach, you call Eleanor. She performs a valuable service, and her brochures and business cards can be found displayed at many establishments throughout the area. To her, “the best thing is returning lost rings”, and she has returned a lot of them!

After visiting with her, I received the following email from her:

“It was great to meet you and wish it was a day later as I got a call for a lost wedding band in Cotuit. I went the following night and my first hit was the lost wedding band. But the story about the lost ring is treasured as this was the third wedding band he had lost and not found. In fact, the wife had not even paid for it. The 3rd was a charm as it got it back. He put the ring in his shoe so he would not lose it while he exercised on the beach, but it still fell out of the shoe in the sand. I was delighted to find it and also find a private beach I did not know of. Great seeing you. Happy Hunting, Eleanor the finder of lost rings.”

Another good deed–Another ring found!

And one final but important note from Eleanor on the hobby:

“People’s negativity ruins it.”

She’s not talking about the non-detectorists negativity, she means us as representatives of the hobby. Presenting ourselves as friendly and non-confrontational, even when being confronted.

With all the recent discrimination towards our hobby, we should take her advice to heart, and always show metal detecting in a positive light.

It was a nice couple of hours, talking about what I love most with someone who is an inspiration to me, as well as other women in the hobby. Thank you Eleanor.

So, if your up on the Cape, or live near the Cape, stop by J & E Metal Detectors. Its a great place to shop for all your metal detecting supplies. You will get an honest opinion, and advice from someone who has years of experience in the field. Eleanor is very knowledgeable about the machines she sells, having used them all herself.

She also carries all the necessary digging tools, sand scoops and coil covers, as well as current metal detecting guides & magazines. And to those on vacation who just want to learn how to detect, she even does metal detector rentals.

You can find Eleanor and J & E Metal Detectors at:

54 Old Main Street
SouthYarmouth, MA 02664
Entrance is on 1 Forest Road
Phone: (508) 760-2100
Monday to Saturday 10am to 4:30pm
Sundays or Evenings
Please call first

Happy Hunting!


10 thoughts on “An Informal interview with Eleanor Hube

  1. What a nice story and what a great gal. Eleanor is the without a doubt a real pioneer of this pastime, She and her late husband Jack used to travel to all of the treasure hunting events, and besides putting everyone to shame with their detecting skills, they would always help those putting on the event by their donating time as well as prizes. Jack left us much too soon for sure…..

    Not sure how old Eleanor is, and I would never ask for fear she’d deck me one, but I have no doubt she could still outhunt all of us. Would love to see her again but I doubt I will make it up that way, at least not in the foreseeable future.

    Thanks for sharing this Diva….

    PS: Glad she demonstrated probing. It’s a lost art, and shouldn’t be.

    1. Thanks Dick-I think you’re the only other person I know who used one of those probes. I can’t imagine finding a target that way unless it was close to the surface..

  2. Hi Allyson:
    Spooky! I was out on hunting on my local beach recently and got into conversation with a couple of Americans walking the Jurassic Coast Path, during which they said I should try, if I ever got the chance, to hunt the beaches of where they lived,…..Cape Cod!!!!!
    John H

    1. Ha ha John, but I’m not too surprised as Cape Cod, or “The Cape” as we call it, is a popular vacation destination for New Englanders. The beaches go on forever, and the seafood ain’t bad either.

  3. Ah….seafood and treasure hunting! What’s better than a day on the sands followed by a Lobby Thermidor, a bottle of decent white plonk? Two bottles of decent white plonk.

    1. Too funny John!
      How about drinking before treasure hunting?
      My girlfriend and I had a few too many rum and cokes once, before heading to a site. We didn’t find much that day, but we sure laughed a lot.

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