I am delighted to introduce you to the newest member of the Tesoro family of metal detectors—the Tejón. This is a different breed of metal detector for Tesoro, so much so, that everything about it was approached differently: from its conception, to its testing, right on down to its color scheme.
Tejón (pronounced Tay-hawn) is the Spanish word for “badger,” which seems a fitting name for a metal detector designed specifically for the relic hunter. The engineers at Tesoro have pushed the limits of their technology to the edge, giving the Tejón added power, sensitivity, and greater depth, while maintaining the classic Tesoro iron masking circuitry, silent search, and ease of use that we have all come to expect from their machines.
Tesoro emphasizes the uniqueness of this new machine by breaking from tradition in several ways. Gone are the classic brown and beige colors; instead the Tejón wears the colors of blue, gray, and black with orange and white accents. Additionally, two field testers were utilized from different parts of the country: one from Texas (Larry Cissna) and one from Wisconsin (myself, Gene Scullion). Tesoro felt that this would allow better reporting on how the machine handled different soil conditions, and it proved to be a very valuable experience for Tesoro as well as the testers. The soil conditions in Texas are virtually ideal with little to no ground mineralization, whereas in Wisconsin, the soil conditions are quite heavily mineralized. At the end of this report, you can read the individualized accounts of each field report and both of our conclusions.
Larry and I were lucky to be involved with the development of this new machine right from the beginning, and we were both amazed at the vastness of the task. The experience left us with a great deal of respect for the process and time involved in creating a metal detector from the ground up. I must admit it was a long and ever-changing road, sometimes bumpy, sometimes leading to dead ends, but the end result was well worth the wait, and we can now offer you this report.
The totally new color scheme is a pleasant surprise. I had been told what the colors would be beforehand but had no idea of how they would end up on the final product. I must say I like its appearance; it sets it apart from all other Tesoro machines.
The next striking feature is the under-the-pole trigger mode switch—a feature I knew I would like a great deal. The placement allows the user to quickly and easily switch modes, and there is no longer the possibility of bumping other knob settings in the process. Panel mounted toggles can make it easy to accidentally bump another control while maneuvering for the switch, especially if you have gloves on or large fingers; this trigger is a very welcome and practical feature.
The battery compartment/arm cuff assembly is similar to those used on two other Tesoro machines, but Tesoro has improved upon the design by extending the arm cuff bands higher. With this improvement, the cuff will better “grip” your arm and minimize potential slippage when detecting. To improve upon that even more, Tesoro includes an optional arm cuff strap that can be attached to the cuff assembly (using Velcro). This will provide the user with a full “loop” with which to firmly hold the detector to the arm.
Lastly, the battery door locking mechanism seems to be improved, as it took a good deal of force to pop open the doors. And I must admit I like the black Tesoro logo that is strategically placed on each battery door. There are two battery compartments: one on each side of the arm cuff assembly. Each one holds four AA batteries in a pop-out holder, making changing batteries a snap.
The Tejón “brain box,” or control housing, is the same size that’s used on the Tesoro Cortés and the DeLeón machines, which is just a bit larger than the classic µMAX line of detectors. This machine also uses the same standard three-piece pole assembly found on all current model machines, with the full lower rod portion being made of fiber. The three-piece pole assembly is a great feature, allowing easy breakdown of the detector for travel or storage. Not only that, but it allows you to quickly interchange coils by simply removing the entire lower stem assembly (complete with coil attached) from one machine and attaching it to another. Additionally, the coil hardware (wing nut and screw) is also made of a fiber composition called Isoplast, so there is virtually no metal hardware near the coil.
The Tejón comes equipped with a new 9 by 8 “monolithic” coil (carbon fiber impregnated plastic housing) that is black in color. It differs from other 9 by 8 coils in the Tesoro lineup because of the shielding, and the black color was selected for identification purposes. I should point out that the Tejón is designed to utilize the same coils that are currently sold for use with the Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ metal detector. The Tejón coil also comes with a gray scuff plate.
The Tejón has a MODE switch located on the pole below the housing. The front panel contains 6 adjustment knobs. On the left are the GROUND ADJUST knob (lower) and the THRESHOLD knob (upper). In the center is the TONE knob. In the lower right is the DISC LEVEL, which is also called the Primary or Main Disc. The two other knobs on the right are SENSITIVITY (center) and ALT DISC LEVEL (upper).
The trigger-style toggle MODE switch is a three-position switch that returns to the center. In the center position, the unit is in the mode set by the DISC LEVEL knob. Pushing the trigger forward puts the unit into the ALT DISC Mode as set by the ALT DISC LEVEL knob. Pulling the trigger back puts the unit into a fast-retune ALL METAL Mode. You can also “detune” a target when pinpointing by double-clicking the pinpoint trigger while stationary over the target (pull it towards you and click it twice). This retunes the machine in a way that minimizes surrounding trash items. It makes pinpointing a bit easier in heavy trash areas.
The THRESHOLD knob is a one-turn adjustment used to adjust the audio to a very slight “hum” when ground balancing your machine. It is used in conjunction with the GROUND ADJUST knob, which is a 3¾-turn potentiometer with a “-” (negative) and “+” (plus) mark indicating the negative (counterclockwise) and positive (clockwise) adjustment directions. These two controls are used to balance your machine to your ground conditions when you first turn the machine on. Not only should you perform this operation at each site you hunt, but it’s also a good habit to periodically check it while you hunt. If the GROUND ADJUST knob gets bumped or moved while you’re hunting, it can have a significant effect on the machine’s ability. The Tejón has a manually adjustable ground balance that works for the All Metal and both Discriminate Modes.
The next three knobs are dual-purpose knobs. When they are turned counterclockwise to the end, they will “click down” into a different mode or setting.
The SENSITIVITY knob “clicks down” as the OFF switch and “clicks up” as the ON switch and for the sensitivity adjustment. At power-on, the machine will give an audio indication of the battery strength by sounding a number of rapid beeps. Batteries at full power produce 7 or 8 beeps and that number will decrease as the battery power drops. You should probably change your batteries when you only hear 2-3 beeps. The dial for the sensitivity adjustments is calibrated from 1 to 10, with the sensitivity increasing as the numbers climb. At the top end of the scale past 10, there is a “max boost” zone, indicated by an orange band. You should run the sensitivity as high as you can until you hear it begin to “chirp.” Then back it down slowly, just a pinch, until it is quiet and stable. You can hunt with the sensitivity up into the orange zone area, and the machine will function properly, but you may hear a lot of “chirps” and “pops” depending on your ground conditions. We also found that on very faint, weak signals, it pays to crank the sensitivity all the way up just to double-check those targets. If it’s a junk target, it will still sound “iffy” or broken, but if it’s a good target it will come in a bit louder and smoother. When operating the Tejón in the “max boost” area, the machine can be a bit noisy when you set it down to dig a target. From our observations, the noisiness occurs when the coil is not actually sitting flat on the ground such as when you set the machine down (with the coil tilted off the ground), or when you are carrying it at your side. I am sure it has to do with the ground matrix stabilizing the operation of the coil, and the only harm it causes is the irritation of the chatter. This only occurs when you are operating at the very high end of the sensitivity control.
The DISC LEVEL knob “clicks down” into a true threshold-based, slow-retune All Metal Mode. Turning the knob up puts the machine in a silent search Discriminate Mode and sets the level of discrimination. With this knob, you set the level of discrimination you wish to achieve. Turning the knob to the right (clockwise) increases the amount of target types that will be discriminated out. Labels around the outside face of this knob mark the general areas where the following targets will be knocked out: IRON, FOIL, 5¢, TAB, and SCAP (screw cap).
The TONE knob “clicks down” into the VCO Mode. In this position, the All Metal Mode will be in the VCO Mode and the Discriminate Mode will use the factory preset tone. Turning the knob up selects the tone for both All Metal and Discriminate Modes. You may select either VCO audio or standard audio. The Tejón audio frequency (not the actual machine frequency) is user adjustable to any frequency in the approximate range of 215 to 830 Hertz.
The final knob is not dual-purpose. The ALT DISC LEVEL knob sets the discrimination level like the DISC LEVEL but without the true All Metal Mode. To switch to the ALT DISC Mode, you simply push the trigger toggle forward, momentarily switching you into the ALT DISC Mode. When you release the trigger, it will return to the center default position, which is the main DISC Mode.
For this part of the report, I will break from tradition and fast-forward a bit. I will assume that the reader has a basic understanding of how to use metal detectors, and to minimize repetition, I will refrain from re-explaining the basic operations that are already detailed in the Tejón manual, such as how to ground balance the detector and how to set discrimination levels to achieve specific results.
Both Larry and I had a good deal of time to test the Tejón, which gave us great opportunities to try the machine at many different sites and under various conditions. As you well know, it takes months before a person really knows a new machine, its idiosyncrasies, and subtle audio characteristics, and the Tejón is certainly no exception. Because this machine is so unique, we feel we still have a lot to learn, but we also feel we can give you a fairly good start by sharing what we have already learned.
It is very critical that you ground balance the machine properly, and then periodically check it (because the GROUND ADJUST control knob can get easily bumped or moved). This machine is very sensitive, and if you are not properly ground balanced, you will lose a lot of depth. It also has a silent search Discriminate Mode (both DISC & ALT DISC), so you only hear a threshold when in the All Metal Mode.
You will notice that loud sounding targets are not necessarily shallow targets. The Tejón has surprising loudness on targets far beyond the normal 3-4” range. I have gotten loud sounding targets at depths near 6-7” in some cases.
One of the things we discovered while trying different audio frequency settings was that some frequencies afford better audio distinction on iron targets. In other words, it was easier to tell some iron targets just by a distinctive “crackle” in the audio tone, but at lower frequencies, it seemed more difficult to pick up that subtle characteristic. The position we found that seemed optimum was to set the TONE knob pointer at the 3 o’clock position. By all means you should experiment, but we recommend you start there (it will help). The frequency you set in the standard mode also carries across from Discriminate to the All Metal Mode. You cannot “lock” the frequency in position so once you find your “sweet spot,” you may just want to make a tiny hash-mark on the front panel to assist you in finding that spot again should the control get bumped or moved.
For the most part, Larry and I ran our machines with nearly identical settings. (See Larry’s suggested setup in his field report beginning on page 28). For me, I set the DISC LEVEL just at or slightly above the FOIL mark and the ALT DISC LEVEL set just a hair above the TAB mark. This allowed me to use ALT DISC as a “coin-check.” After getting a signal in Discriminate, pushing the trigger forward momentarily switches the unit into ALT DISC, and if I still get a good signal, then the target is probably a coin. Quite often I made the decision to dig a target even before switching to ALT DISC, and in some cases I never even bothered to check targets in ALT DISC (just because they sounded so good). The beauty is that you can set either of the two settings wherever you want. It is important to note here that the alpha character labels associated with the two Discriminate knobs make it a bit difficult to know exactly where to set the knob pointer. For example, if you set your DISC LEVEL control on FOIL, do you put the pointer on the “L” in FOIL, or the “F”, or somewhere in between? The only way to know for sure is to test it by waving a foil target across your coil while adjusting the DISC LEVEL control. When you hit the point where foil is knocked out, make a mental note of exactly where the pointer is. I hate to keep saying it but because this machine is so sensitive, you will have to test specific targets to see exactly where they get knocked out and set your controls accordingly. If you are off by a hair (on the high side), you may be knocking out desired targets. This machine is tight so you will have to learn the various settings for your style of hunting and types of targets you desire.
Here is one example of how you can use the dual Discriminate controls. I was searching for a new site (Stage stop), and I knew the exact field it was in but not where the actual building had stood. Sites of this nature usually have a large concentration of iron and nails in the immediate area, so I wanted to know when I started picking up concentrations of iron targets. However, I did not want to have to dig them all. That would be an indication that I was on or near the building site. On the other hand, I didn’t want to accidentally pass over a good target in the process so here’s what I did. I set the DISC LEVEL knob way down on IRON, which would knock out only the tiny pieces but still allow me to hear nearly every good-sized nail. I tested this by digging a few targets so I was sure I was picking up only the bigger nails. Then I set the ALT DISC LEVEL to just above FOIL. As I moved across the field and got hits, I could crosscheck them quickly in ALT DISC, and if they blanked out, I knew it was an iron target, but if I still got a good signal, I knew I better dig it! With this setup, I was able to quickly move across the area and assess the site by the number of “iron” hits I was getting.
As you begin to use the Tejón, you will realize it has a very distinct personality. First and foremost you will quickly realize that the Tejón has a very distinctive audio. It almost talks to you. Well, that may be a bit overstated, but the sensitivity of this machine is so much stronger than traditional Tesoro machines that the audio really comes alive with subtle “crackles” and “chirps” and “pops.” It will take you a while to become totally familiar with what it is telling you, but the longer you use it, the more “language” you will begin to recognize. Targets that are just below the discrimination settings will give you “ticks” and “pops,” but to take this a step further, we have learned that some of these “ticks” and “pops” can really be good deep targets and it may take you a while to recognize the distinction.
After we became familiar with the Tejón, we began experimenting a bit and noticed that some of those faint “ticks” had a rather mellow or smoothness to them that was a bit different than that of a nail or rejected target. When we recognized this distinction, we began cranking the sensitivity all the way up and rescanning the targets. Very often a “smooth tick” at sensitivity 10 would turn into a smooth target when the sensitivity was set to max. In some areas, the machine may be too noisy to run with maximum sensitivity all the time, but it may pay off for you if you check those “iffy” signals by cranking it up to check some of those targets. One last comment on the audio quality of the Tejón. I do not recommend using cheap, poor quality headphones with the Tejón because they may handicap your ability to hear the distinctive audio characteristics of this machine.
Some iron targets will fool the Tejón. Iron with a very heavy halo (buried for a very long time), large solid pieces, or round-shaped rings or loops may sound off like a coin. You may be able to detect a slight hint of a “crackle” in the audio, but not always. This is the audio distinction that the Tejón gives you. Good targets have a very smooth and mellow “beep,” and iron targets have a distinct “snap” or “crackle” at both ends of the “beep” (crackle-beep-crackle). It may take you a while to distinguish the difference. At first I dug a lot of iron nails, but after digging some nice targets, I could then distinguish the difference in the audio.
On many occasions we would register “coin” sounding targets, only to have the targets disappear once the dirt was disturbed. After repeatedly checking this (by turning the DISC LEVEL to ALL METAL) and finding small bits of iron or nails, we began to realize how sensitive the machine was to the halo of iron targets. Once the halo was disturbed (after scooping the dirt and target from the hole), the machine would then discriminate the small iron target and all of a sudden the target seemed to disappear. After continuously checking these “ghost” signals, we eventually reached the confidence level to simply fill the hole back in and move on to the next target or we recognized the target as iron by the audio distinction.
I have also seen this halo effect work on a non-iron target, and this experience really surprised me. I was hunting a city park one day, purposely only looking for deep coins. I had the DISC LEVEL set at TAB, basically knocking out everything below that (including nickels). In one spot I got a very sweet sounding, faint and smooth signal. After digging a plug, I checked it and didn’t get a signal but still had a signal in the hole. I removed a couple more inches of dirt and repeated the process. At about 6” down, I lost the target in the hole and surprisingly didn’t get a signal in the dirt pile either. I pulled more dirt from the hole just to be sure it was not loose or on-edge down in the hole, and then switched to All Metal in an attempt to locate my “ghost” target. I was surprised to get a solid hit in the dirt pile and after a little effort I found the item; it was a 1906 “V” nickel! With the DISC LEVEL knob set at TAB, I should not have heard this coin, so the only explanation that I could come up with was that the halo must have been strong enough for the machine to pick up. Once I disturbed the coin and the halo disappeared, the machine knocked the coin out and I could no longer hear it. I checked the surrounding area, the hole, the plug, and the dirt pile in All Metal and there was no other target anywhere to be found; the machine had ID’d that nickel’s halo. That’s the only conclusion I could come to.
Another characteristic we discovered had to do with iron nails and pinpointing. It was accidental as to how we discovered this. Larry discovered the “secret” first and passed it on to me, and sure enough it proved to be true for me as well. Mind you, under normal circumstances you may not be digging the kinds of targets we were, because we were in “super sleuth” mode, so that we could fully understand the abilities of the Tejón. Both of us would occasionally get strong signals that would register in both DISC & ALT DISC, with no hint or indication of the target being iron. After digging plugs and in some cases, deep holes, we would sadly discover that it ended up being a nail off to the side of the hole. This perplexed us at first because the Tejón pinpointed so accurately in the Discriminate Mode, and we were sure we were digging dead center to where the machine indicated the target was. How could we be pinpointing so badly? What we discovered was that for some reason, the target center of certain nails read one location in Discriminate Mode and a slightly different location in All Metal, only inches away. This was not a bad thing. Actually it was quite good because it allowed us the benefit of identifying that target as a nail without having to dig it. This seems to happen only on nails with large heads, and I am guessing here but I think a larger halo develops around the “head” of the nail, and that is what the Discriminate Mode sees and centers on, but in the All Metal Mode, the machine is seeing the entire nail and centers on its center (which is some distance away from the nail head). So, when you get a target that seems to “move” as you switch from Discriminate to All Metal, it’s probably iron and probably a nail with a large head. Until you get comfortable with the Tejón, you should always use the All Metal pinpoint mode as your guide.
One drawback of the Tejón has to do with crosstalk, and it may never affect you unless you come in close contact with other Tejóns. Machines set at exactly the same frequency will have significant crosstalk. We discovered this only because our first production machines were set to the exact same frequencies of our prototype machines, which we began loaning to fellow hunters. We could not get within 20 yards of each other without hearing significant chatter between the machines. If you discover your partner’s machine matches yours, one of you may wish to send your machine back to Tesoro, and they will alter the frequency slightly so the crosstalk is eliminated.
All Metal operation was very difficult for me to realistically test at my sites here in Wisconsin. There was so much junk iron in the ground that the machine was constantly sounding off, making it virtually impossible to hunt in this mode.
FIELD TEST (Larry Cissna)
First off, I will give instructions on how I set up my Tejón for relic hunting. This can also be used for coin shooting.
1) First thing is to set the ground balance. This is crucial to get maximum performance. I hold the coil out in front of me off the ground 3 feet. Turn the DISC LEVEL knob to ALL METAL on the dial marker (it will click in place). Turn the threshold knob clockwise until you get a slight hum. Once I get a slight hum in the threshold, I lower the coil to the ground. The object here is to get a very slight rise in the hum as you lower it to the ground. The idealistic measurement you want is 2-4” above the ground. When you can lower your coil to the ground and the threshold volume begins to rise (2-4” above the ground), you’re good to go. This is set a little positive. Always try to tweak the GB and get the rise in hum (threshold audio) as close to the ground as possible.
2) I set my threshold at about the 1 o’clock position. This gives me a good sound when I go to pinpoint. The Tejón is a strong detector. I find turning the threshold past 1 o’clock to be too loud.
3) Switch back (click up) to the Discriminate Mode. Turn the sensitivity control clockwise until you hear chattering. Once you hear this chattering, back off a hair until the chatter stops. I suggest slowly backing off the sensitivity in order to get the proper setting. At this setting, you’re maxed for hunting in quiet mode. Beyond this setting, you will encounter chatter.
4) The production model Tejóns do not have numerical icons around the DISC LEVEL and ALT DISC LEVEL controls. Since there are no numerical references, I will have to explain some things “the long way.” Set DISC LEVEL (bottom right dial) just below IRON, then take a nail and run it over the coil. As you do this, turn the dial clockwise until the nail signal is no longer heard. Leave the control set right there. This will keep you at the lowest setting of discrimination possible without digging iron/nails.
5) For fun and to check my targets for possible silver or copper coins, I set the ALT DISC LEVEL at just above 5¢. To determine this setting, put a nickel on the ground and run your coil over it. While doing this, push the toggle switch under the housing forward; hold it forward while going across the nickel. Begin turning the ALT DISC LEVEL knob (upper right control) clockwise until you no longer hear the nickel, and this is where you should leave the control. When you check targets at this setting, lead, brass, and pewter will not respond when pushing the toggle forward. If it’s a silver or copper coin, it will respond.
After testing several Tejón prototypes over the past year, I’m honored to give my field evaluations on the Tesoro Tejón production model metal detector.
Once I received the production Tejón, I figured the best places to field test it would be old hunted out sites. The sites used for field testing the Tejón were all pre-1865 Texas military camps. These camps ranged from Republic of Texas (1836) to the Civil War (1861-65). The first site chosen was a Civil War site. The areas of the hunt sites were no larger than 15’ x 15’ in size. I didn’t have my headphones with me, so Ken (my brother) and I decided to go without headphones for a quick trial run. I took the Tejón to one of these hunt areas and dug 3 flat buttons at about 11” deep. I proceeded to dig another 15 targets (lead, brass, etc.) from this 15’ x 15’ area. The ground conditions were medium moisture, and the grass was above average height due to summer. My first impression was “How did we miss all this in prior hunts?”
The next site was an 1840s Republic of Texas camp that was also used during the Civil War. This site was about 50 yards long by 20 yards wide. I had invited many friends over the years to hunt this site with me, and many detectors had been over this site over the past 7 years. In past times we had dug several Republic of Texas staff buttons, Republic of Texas Esperansia buttons, eagle, flat, and flower buttons. We wrote this site off as she quit producing anything. On the first trip with the Tejón to this site, I dug 7 buttons. One button was a Confederate Script “I” coat button. This button was down about 10” and on-edge. I was truly amazed!
The next site was a Civil War site. Over the years, Ken and I have pulled 15 T. Miller Texas “CS” buttons of various types from this location. I took the Tejón to this site and went to an area where some Texas buttons were dug in the past. My first signal was a T. Miller “C” button—a rare Texas Confederate button made in Houston, Texas. I dug brass and lead at the 12-14” range. Ground conditions were wet and grass tall in areas.
The next site I had field tested with other detectors some years back. This site had yielded many wonderful buttons in past times. Buttons such as Republic of Texas “A” and “D” were found, as well as several early military buttons. An 1843 gold sovereign coin was found as well. I decided to take the Tejón back to this site, as she seemed to be performing well at other worn-out sites. We hunted this site for 2 days. The site was about the size of an average home today. Over the 2 days of detecting, 30 buttons were dug that had gone undetected over the years. A nice Republic of Texas Dragoon button and 4 early U.S. staff buttons were dug. The rest of the buttons were flat, flower, etc. Most of the items dug were beyond 8”. The ground conditions were average moisture and low grass.
The next site was a Republic of Texas (1837) site. This site I would not say was a worn-out hole. We actually still detect this site. We already knew the hot spots as we had pounded this site for 3 years now. The Tejón performed like a champ! I dug round balls at depths of 15-16”. Please understand that the soil was sandy. I dug buttons at the 11-12” depth (flat buttons). I think it’s safe to say that the Tejón was wearing me out! The ground conditions were average moisture and tall grass in many areas.
The next site was one we found a year ago. One of the best detecting days I ever had happened at this site. This site was half an acre in size—that’s all! Chris Millican and Richard TX were our guests for this trip. This site yielded 8 Confederate buttons in one hour’s time, and everyone had a couple each. Needless to say, sites like this get well pounded over the year, especially when they are only walking distance away. I took the Tejón back to this site 2 weeks ago, and it scored another T. Miller “C” on its first effort, along with 7 eagle buttons and a couple of flat buttons. Camp lead was dug as well. Almost every target in this small half-acre camp was 8” plus. On many occasions, the target was a foot plus!
CONCLUSION (Larry Cissna)
In summary, there were a lot of other nice finds made while field testing the Tejón that I have not mentioned. It would take forever to mention everything, and I don’t want to bore anyone. The Tejón is a keeper for Tesoro! This detector will find the little stuff as well as the deep stuff. It’s lightweight and well-balanced, and I never get tired swinging this detector. The audio select control is a great feature where one can choose the audio that best fits their hunting. The dual discrimination is also a great feature to check targets. I use it to check targets to see if they are going to be a silver or copper coin. The sites I hunt will only yield old silver and copper coins. Every now and then, a gold coin will also be found.
I suggest that you make a mark on the faceplate once you have determined your ideal Disc settings. You will always know where to go, as the control knobs move easily. Rubber o-rings can be bought to solve this problem, and you should be able to obtain this information on the official Tesoro Forum.
Despite the few cosmetic drawbacks, the Tejón is a great detector in my opinion. I want what gets the job done, regardless of who makes it. If something better comes along that outperforms the Tejón, I will buy one, but for now, I feel this is the best for my type of hunting. Congrats to Tesoro on a fine job and a well-built detector! I am now a member of the “Animal House.” GO BADGER!
FIELD TEST (Gene Scullion)
My first exercise on every new machine and coil I receive is to perform an air test using a standard group of targets I keep sequestered just for that purpose. I have one of every standard coin type (in clad and silver), a musket ball, an eagle button, and a 14K gold band. I keep records of all the data from each coil and machine. When I air tested the Tejón, I was totally amazed. Every target read from 1 to 3” deeper than any other machine I had tested, including machines with bigger coils. My test sites consisted of ghost town sites, stage stops, old home sites, and the like. They were rural sites; many were croplands or pastures, and some were plowed frequently while others had never been plowed. I purposely hunted sites that were personal and private sites of mine—ones that I had been hunting repeatedly over many years with a variety of machines. I felt that by hunting these “spanked” sites I would be better able to rate the Tejón’s ability to not only find deeper targets but targets that my other machines had missed.
I was unable to test the Tejón on gold (nuggets), as well as at any salt-water beach sites, because neither of these conditions was available to me here in Wisconsin.
At nearly every site I took it to, I found significant amounts of additional targets. Mind you, some of these sites I had basically given up on with my other machines, because targets had gotten few and very far between. Not all of the targets were what I would call “good” targets; they were miscellaneous pieces of metal commonly found at ghost towns: solder splash, lots of rivets, and pieces of items (parts o spoons, machinery, etc.), but I was digging a lot more targets. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. Granted, I was digging some iron targets as well, especially at sites that had never been plowed (heavy halo effect). In some cases, I was digging greater numbers of targets than I had in years. Equally impressive was the fact that soil conditions here in Wisconsin were extremely dry at the time of my testing. I keep wondering how much better it will be when the wet fall weather returns.
I won’t bore you with all the actual finds, but I will detail some of the ones that impressed me. At one ghost town site, in very dry dirt, I dug an eagle cuff button at 7 to 8” in depth. This impressed me, in very dry dirt no less. Not far away, I pulled an eagle coat button at only about 4” deep. Had I simply missed that one previously or was it on-edge? At the time I didn’t think so but finds that followed made me rethink that scenario and the ability of this machine. I also found a flint-striker at this site—a relic of the fur trade era in Wisconsin (late 1700s), which really brought a smile to my face.
Another memorable find was at an old home site, built in 1851. I had previously hunted this yard at least four different times using several machines and coil combinations. Again, dry conditions with the Tejón, and I started in an area of the yard near two very large oak trees. This was where I had made my oldest finds on previous hunts (large cents and some jewelry). Sweeping near one of the oak trees I got a very loud, smooth signal, and I remember thinking, “Wow, this has to be a coin, but how did I miss this before?” Because it was so loud and repeatable, I assumed it was a coin and never even crosschecked it in ALT DISC. I dug a 2” thick plug, and then checked the hole, and the target was still in the hole. I removed very dry dirt down to about 4” deep and then rechecked the hole. Nothing sounded in the hole, so I ran my machine over the dirt pile and got a good signal. As I set my machine down, I looked more intently at the dirt pile and quickly caught the color of gold! There in the last handful of dirt that I had scooped from the hole was a tiny, rose-gold-colored antique ring with a pretty, little purple stone! It’s only a size 3½, with a thin band a mere 3/32” wide, weighing only 0.7 grams (including the stone!) Needless to say, I was very delighted by this find, and it gave me a huge confidence boost in the capability of the Tejón. Like other places I had re-hunted, this site too yielded a good number of additional targets including an 1880 Indian Head cent, several bullets and shell cases, a small pocket knife, part of spoon, and a number of other pieces of metal.
At yet another ghost town site (1820s to 1860s), the area was dotted with a few modern-day homes, with pasture and cropland sprinkled in between. In one 2-acre pasture, I had previously pulled two large cents, an 1863 Indian cent (at 8 to 10” deep), numerous toe cleats, and 3 colonial cast flat buttons, along with assorted items typical of sites of this age. This particular spot had always been pasture and never had been plowed due to rocky soil conditions. In a span of 4 years, I had hunted this pasture area probably a dozen times, in much better soil conditions, so I really didn’t expect to find much. I had actually hoped to hunt an adjoining field that day but the farmer had cattle grazing there, so it was by default that I decided to try this spot one more time. After digging a few bits and pieces of miscellaneous metal, I got a rather nice, faint yet smooth signal. At an approximate depth of 6-7”, I pulled an 1863 “fat boy” Indian Head cent. Again, I wondered how I had previously missed such a shallow coin and briefly thought that perhaps it had been on-edge or tilted because I knew the machine I used in the past had found coins much deeper than that. After that, I began to dig a good amount of targets: lead splash, some musket balls, a toe cleat, bits and pieces of spoons, some small buckles and suspender clasps, and one very nice cast one-piece flat button. Most of these targets fell in the 6-8” range in depth, which should have been relatively easy for previous machines used at this spot. Then I dug one final target that put it all into perspective. After cutting a plug 3” thick, I checked the hole and didn’t get a signal. Then I checked the plug and got a good hit. I grasped the plug with both hands and carefully broke open the plug at the target center and immediately saw a penny-sized target “flop” into view. My first thought was that I hoped it was an Indian Head, but then something about the way it “appeared” caused me to halt. I could see the imprint of the coin on the adjoining dirt clod, but the coin had fallen or laid itself flat as I broke open the clod. I carefully folded the two pieces back together and watched as the coin fell back into its original resting place, and to my total amazement it was sitting straight up and down in the plug, a mere 2” deep! This coin, which turned out to be an Army & Navy Civil War patriotic token (1864), was sitting only 2” deep but totally vertical! Now, I began to wonder about the other finds for the day. Was the Indian cent on-edge? Was that button on-edge? How else could I explain missing targets less than 8” deep? Maybe I just didn’t pass a coil over them before. I couldn’t believe I simply missed that many targets. I left that field with a big smile on my face.
Every site I took the Tejón to yielded finds under similar circumstances. I made no amazingly deep coin finds, but I did dig some very deep targets. At one site I dug a jar lid (size of a silver dollar) and measured the depth at 13”. Every site gave up dozens of new targets that I had somehow previously missed. I had hunted these sites for years under all kinds of conditions, and one of my ghost town sites I had hunted since 1986!
The Tejón is also very hot on small targets, and we became increasingly amazed as site after site yielded these small goodies. Larry told me he had actually detected a shotgun pellet, which I somewhat disbelieved until it also happened to me! Mind you, we didn’t believe for a second they were very deep; quite possibly they were right on the surface, but nonetheless we were able to detect and recover them. Normally, I would not pursue a target that small, and I am sure Larry will agree, but early on with this new machine, we were making every effort to recover targets simply to identify the machine’s abilities and we were often surprised.
CONCLUSION (Gene Scullion)
What I like about the Tejón is it is classic Tesoro: great iron masking, silent search, very easy to use, very light, very affordable, and it has a lifetime guarantee. The trigger switch is a very nice feature making it so easy to check targets on the fly with no fear of bumping other panel settings in the process. It has great audio characteristics with a language all its own, and the new monolithic coil is surprisingly deep; it never falses when you bump it on a rock or sapling. It is very deep and very stable. The improved arm cuff assembly is also a very nice addition. But the most significant assets of the Tejón are its sensitivity and its depth, both of which are very impressive. I firmly believe this machine excels at detecting small and on-edge targets. That said, the Tejón has become my machine of choice for relics. Larry has already ordered a second machine, and I am considering doing the same.
I must say that it was a very positive experience to have a second tester to compare notes with. We were able to share information and experiences and in many cases a simple discussion about how the machine was acting led to some very revealing insights into what the machine was actually telling us. Thank you, Larry, for sharing this great experience with me. And thank you, Tesoro, for affording me yet another opportunity and great experience. It was a most enjoyable ride!
For more information on the Tejón, you should visit the Tesoro website at www.tesoro.com. Once there, you will also be able to click on a link to the official Tesoro Forum, where you can ask questions of the many Tesoro users and read some of the great information that they have to share. Here is where the “real” field report lies, with the army of users that experience countless conditions with their machines and then share their feedback with the rest of us.