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Someone Have To Ask - Maryland Md's 2019

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This post is for the newbies that are still confuse after hours of hours of research to where you CAN, CAN’T or/and MAY metal detect. I’ve seen so many posts in this forum with great finds. Without getting in the discussion of specific places, such as State Parks, County Parks, State Forest, DNR, etc.  Where do you guys metal detect, do not tell me everyone is hunting ONLY in Private Land! I think people should share their experience, I’m not talking about telling the location of your jackpot, I’m talking about where are YOU hunting, most important what kind of LAND it is. To clarify, I’m just trying to resist to the fact the LAWS, REGULATIONS, RANGERS, OTHER PEOPLE are just making this lovely Hobby harder every day. Finally, before you criticize my thoughts remember when you started this hobby and compare to where this hobby is taking us now. Just like when they say it does not hurt to ask, have you ever ASKED permission to metal detect in a City park?

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26 minutes ago, 31-coinshooting said:

I think people should share their experience, I’m not talking about telling the location of your jackpot, I’m talking about where are YOU hunting, most important what kind of LAND it is.

Welcome, 31-c!  Much of metal detecting is making good judgements based upon what is known and what can be reasonably determined.  In regards to where you can search, one approach is to assume you need permission anywhere you hunt and then contact officials for permission.  I don't like this option for the simple reason that on public property, caretakers often don't know and possilbly will take the safe route of answering 'no'.  Always ask permission on private property.

What I do is web searching.  For example, most city parks have websites.  If they don't say anything about metal detecting then (IMO) it is safe to assume it is OK.  Similarly with public schools.  Only on one occasion have I been approached (by school security guards) and although they said we couldn't hunt, they were very unantagonistic and even polite.  We just said "OK, we though ti was allowed..." and then departed without issue.  On dozens of occasions I've been seen by officials and they either ignore me or smile and greet in a friendy manner.

National Parks are off limits.  State Parks and State Forests vary by state (and even park).  Look at theiry websites.  BLM land and National Forests are under the 1979 Antiquities Act.  My simple interpretation of that is that keeping coin finds is OK, regardless of age, but relics over 100 years old need to be left where found.  This is a non-lawyer view.  Others have different approaches and they should reply, too.

If you happen to have a local metal detecting club, join and get advice from experienced members.  Also learn respectful recovery techniques.  If a passersby notices you are carefully restoring the sod/soil/ground to its original conditions s/he will be relieved and unoffended.

The main thing is to be polite and respectful if someone in authority approaches you.  Even if you are in violation, most will give you a 'pass' as long as you heed that advice.  If you get testy, all bets are off.

Good fortune in your future hunting, and please post photos of your finds.



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Sounds like you guys are hurting back east....I hunt where the treasure is and very seldom get bothered by anybody...maybe its because they think I'm just a poor old man out trying to have a little fun? 


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I hunt mostly in city parks, public beaches, National Forest, and BLM land. I never ask permission to hunt public land. I know the rules permit what I am doing so I don’t have to ask. I do get a metal detecting permit to hunt city parks if such a permit is required. I almost never hunt private land but if I do it is with the property owners permission.


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