YouTubers famous for their magnet fishing discoveries found more than they bargained for last month when they started pulling belts of rusted ammunition, a mortar and a bag filled with rockets out of a river near Fort Stewart, Georgia.
In an effort to do the right thing, the magnet fishers reported the explosive finds to law enforcement, who promptly punished the group with $340 in tickets and a court date.
Bryce Nachtwey, a self-described treasure hunter, magnet fisherman and explorer, posted a video on the YouTube channel “Outdoors Weekly” of himself and two friends magnet fishing near Fort Stewart. According to the video’s description, the group found “over 86 rockets, a tank tracer round, ammo belts and more!”
Among the items the group pulled from the river was an old Delta Air Lines bag filled with dozens of rockets.
“This is probably the craziest thing we’ve ever found,” Nachtwey says in the video, adding that the materials were probably “stolen military equipment.”
The group decided to call the police and report the discoveries. A military police officer and a game warden with the Fort Stewart Conservation Law Enforcement responded to the call, at which point the group was told they were “all getting tickets.”
The group was stunned. When they asked for clarification on why they were getting cited, the warden said they needed a permit.
“The good news is, you’re not going to jail,” the game warden said.
“You’re all getting tickets. You can come to court and talk to a judge,” the warden said. “The reason magnet fishing is not allowed is because of exactly what y’all got right there. You don’t know what’s going to blow up and what’s not going to blow up.”
Nachtwey said the group spoke with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) before they started magnet fishing to ensure they weren’t breaking any laws.
“Pay the ticket, or the other alternative would be to go to jail for you guys acquiring Army property,” the game warden threatened. “I understand you called and all that, but ok, that’s like robbing a bank and then calling the police. Or saying, ‘hey, I just found 10 pounds of marijuana.’ You all would have been better off just leaving that sh-t down there.”
The three magnet fishers’ court date is scheduled for Sept. 9, the game warden said.
“This was definitely one of the most insane days of magnet fishing I’ve ever had!” Nachtwey wrote in the video’s description.