Joe Medallion's Hunting Tips for the 2012 Hunt
It's official, Ma Press announced the 60th (62nd really, if you count the years with two Winter Carnival hunts) Annual Treasure Hunt starting on January 22nd. With that announcement, Joe Medallion figured he'd put out some treasure hunting advice for all you hunters out there (even though his own finding experience is excactly nil).
First of all, you're not going to find the medallion sitting on your computer. It doesn't matter if you're on the Cooler Crew boards, the Pioneer Press boards, or any other discussion board. No one who ever found the medallion did it from their basement. They found it by getting out and moving snow. Lots and lots of snow. So maybe there were a few years where there wasn't a lot of snow to move, and years where there was snow at the start but an unseasonably warm spell melted it mid-hunt (Marry-um I'm looking at you), but the people that found it ultimately found it becasue they were actually out there looking for it.
Speaking of discussion boards, Joe understands that you may not be able to actually get out there and dig all the time. Things like work get in the way at times. Unless your name is Jake and you've cleared the two weeks of the hunt plus the weeks before and after just for good measure. You're not alone, and at those times the best way to feed your addiction is to be chatting with your fellow addicts on discussion boards. You can certainly use the Pioneer Press' boards, and Ma Press encourages this during the hunt although neither the link to the old PP boards nor the link to the current ones seem to get anywhere at the time of this writing.
As a result, Joe recommends the official Cooler Crew boards (the links are at the left and right sides of this page). Yes, you have to pay the operators of the site $10 per year to use the boards, and no, the Cooler Crew gets none of that money because hosting busy web sites costs money. Although there is the registration fee, we keep things down to a single discussion thread or two about the current hunt instead of the hundreds or thousands of individual threads on the Pioneer Press boards. When you come back the next day, the first post you see will be the last one that you saw the night before.
Some words of advice about using the discussion boards. One complaint we frequently hear is from people who come into the discussion board for the first time, say hi, and don't get a response. Don't let this discourage you. One of two things is likely the case. If you posted during the day when the boards are slower, people may miss your post as they come back and slog through the posts from the last time they were on. If on the other hand you introduced yourself at 11:05 at night, right after the clue got posted, your post probably got lost in the shuffle of the discussion of the new clue. Most of us tend to stay out hunting until around 2am, and jump back online when we get up the next morning. Its the same situation at the end of the work day. A lot of people simply can't get online during the work day so they jump back online to catch up around dinner time. These are actually your best times to get noticed especially if you're not the talkative type. If you are, of course, then getting noticed will be a lot easier.
Going back to the first tidbit of information, if you have an idea for a clue, jump on it. If you need any reasons why, have a look at our wall of shame. You'll find stories of plenty of people in this group who woulda, coulda, and shoulda followed their guts. It might turn out to be nothing, but at least you know you won't end up on the wall of shame for it because you went out and looked. The follow up to this rule is be prepared. At some point you're going to have a light bulb moment at your desk at work and then drive out to a park and go look. It's inevitible. Keep your hunting tools and gear in your car. You don't want to catch frostbite on your toes because you trudged through a foot of snow in your now-soaked tennis shoes.
Socialize. Meeting people is half the fun of this hunt. With the exception of a small handful of people (and by that I mean that guy we mentioned earlier named Jake), none of us ever really expects to find the puck. What we have found, however, is a far greater treasure: that of lifelong friendships. When I've described the Cooler Crew to people, its like this. We're a bunch of friends. Yes we've got our occasional problems like any group of friends does. But the bottom line is that this group of friends will be there for each other for the 353 days of the year that we're not out hunting. We celebrate the ups and the downs together. We've been to each others' weddings. We've supported each other through divorces. We've welcomed new Coolerheads into the world, and we've put our snow (or dirt depending on the season) on their graves when they've left it.
So how do you socialize? Like I said earlier, most people go out digging after the clue comes out instead of before. So what do we do before hand? Typically there's a pre-clue hangout somewhere convenient to downtown. Most Coolerheads have said this year that they'll be at Yarusso's before the clue. That can change though, and to find out where the crew will be you're going to have to be on our discussion boards or Facebook group. Even if you're not up for spending a few hours at a local eatery, come down to the Pioneer Press and get the clue. Except for clues 11 and 12, most of us are in line every single night.
Most importantly, have fun. This is supposed to be a fun, family-friendly event.