Detectorist Ethics – Ensuring the Longevity of Metal Detecting for Years to Come

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”

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