For all of us reading this site, this is probably common sense, and as well it should be, but we all detect with, mentor, and know other detectorists (new to the hobby or seasoned) that might need this gentle reminder. So here it goes.
When this hobby started gaining popularity in the early 70s with the introduction of VLF (very low frequency) technology, it was essentially the wild west of sorts. Most sites were virgin sites, most cities did not yet even have ordinances, or laws saying you could or could not detect in parks, yards, r.o.w. grass strips, beaches, etc. etc. In fact, legislative acts increasing the protection of national historic sites (and expanding the list of what constituted a NHS) were still being enacted as recently as the 80s – 90s. This meant people kind of did what they wanted to when it came to the hobby. Those days are over, and thankfully so in part.
You’d like to think that areas still able to be detected would be coveted by detectorists and that ethics of detecting would be a no-brainer. Sadly over the years with more and more individuals from all age groups and moral compasses entering this great hobby, that has not been the case. People have failed to fill plugs, clean up trash, and abide by no-trespassing signs.
It Takes a Few Bad Plugs, and Garbage Left Beside a Plug for Cities and Counties to Ban Metal Detecting.
Unfortunately, this has led to more and more once detectable areas being made off-limits to the hobby. This really is a case of “one bad apple can spoil it for the rest”. When that happens, parks and other areas become closed to detectorists. It happens a lot. One in my area just had this happen over the summer in fact. It only takes seconds to fill a hole and pick up trash, “no detecting” rules are mostly irreversible.
Just Because a Park or Beach Is Poorly Maintained Doesn’t Mean You Can Leave Holes Not Filled and Garbage Where You Were Digging.
Please, please abide by laws, stay off land that you do not have permission for or is publicly allowed, please dig good plugs, please fill the plugs well and remove all trash, put it in your pouch, and take care of it right down to the foil gum wrapper and pull tab.
This is EVERYWHERE, not just nicely maintained parks and beaches but the bad ones too. Be the one person that HELPS make it a clean park not the other way around
Let’s all be good ambassadors for this hobby, thanks for reading, and as someone I know says, “all holes matter”
Brian Tobias is a XP Deus user as well as a Garrett Fanboy still swinging his Garrett ATPro as well as a selection of older detectors, such as the White’s XLT. His venture into detecting started as a boy after randomly finding a few metal relics in the fields where he hunted Native American artifacts. His grandfather suggested he try to increase his metal finding odds and handed him his old Jetco Mustang metal detector. There was no turning back from there and a hobby grew from a boy of 15 to to now a “detectorist” at 48. Brian detects mostly in West Michigan and specializes in field detecting and researching old home sites dating from the mid 1800’s. He’s also heavily involved with his local detecting community in Michigan, belongs to several groups, mentors people new to the hobby, serves as the secretary to the Southwest Michigan Seek & Search Club and publishes their monthly newsletter. He also enjoys conserving the relics he finds using electrolysis to clean and preserve relics for himself and others. For him this hobby is about the history that each find represents and increasing the knowledge of that history for those people that seek it today.