SIFTING through the dirt may not sound appealing, but stumbling across an old war medallion or coins dating back hundreds of years makes it all worthwhile for a group of Riverina "dirt fishermen".
"We call it dirt fishing, because you never know what you'll find," Peter Erbacher said.
Mr Erbacher is one of few in the region with a keen interest in metal detecting, and over the years, has made some incredible discoveries.
"I've found engagement rings, coins that are 100 or more years old and a thimble the same age, all of them tell a story and that's the fun of it," he said.
But his most interesting find to date has ties to days gone by at The Daily Advertiser.
"There's a vacant block on Tarcutta Street that I've done a bit of searching through, and I dug up this rectangular bit of metal about five or six years ago which was broken at one end," Mr Erbacher said.
"I thought it was scrap to start with, but it was really heavy, the weight caught be by surprise.
"I noticed it had an intricate design on it and writing that was all backwards, so I cleaned it up and held it in front of the mirror."
The reflection revealed a piece of history from 1901. Mr Erbacher had found a printing plate with an article from The Daily Advertiser on how bile beans could help fix bad blood.
Recently, a more spooky find resulted from a trip to the Monte Cristo homestead in Junee.
"I dug up a crucifix, a wooden cross in the ground, so that was quite creepy but a cool find," Mr Erbacher said.
"The metal detectors were also going haywire, it was crazy."
Fellow metal detecting buff Darren Blake had a number of historic finds himself.
While searching through the same parcel of land where Mr Erbacher found the printing plate, Mr Blake came across a King George V medallion awarded to only a handful of people in the Riverina back in 1935.
After some research, the pair determined the original owner to be a man who used to be the editor for The Daily Advertiser.
"It all linked to the paper on that site, we think that's where this man must have lived, and it also told us the story of this young paper boy for The Daily Advertiser who climbed the ladder all the way to editor, it's incredible," Mr Erbacher said.
"We'd still love to be able to find this man's family and give them back these items."
Mr Blake had a knack for finding medals, it seemed.
"I found a gold World War 1 medallion up at Morgan's Lookout in Walla Walla, it was engraved with the initials W Stewart so we were able to track down the family," Mr Blake said.
The eldest of the remaining children was an 80-year-old who was overwhelmed to receive the medal just two weeks before Anzac Day.
"That really was the bees knees, it's that sort of thing that keeps me going with this," he said.
War relics were a big interest of Mr Blake's, who had made many finds of that kind.
"I found a name plate from the Uranquinty Air Base and was able to hand that back o the owner, he was stoked, the old fella was so grateful to have it back," he said.
"But I've also found a few officers' picks, the end of bills from World War 2 hand grenades too, which is the bit that holds the explosives.
"I found those at Ariah Park which is in the middle of nowhere in terms of the war so really interesting, there were three together along with a sweetheart patch, probably for one of the wives."
After eight years of searching the region's open land for pieces of history, big or small, Mr Blake said the stories each item told continued to stun.
"It's amazing what little pieces you can dig up and the stories that go along with them," he said.
"The stories they could tell, the amount of times each worn coin must have been in and out of pockets is amazing."