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You can metal detect anywhere you want .. as long as you have permission.


people are very social animals .. as such they really like to show off and protect their possessions, what ever they may be .. also they like to talk about what they own and what they know (or perceive) .. most don't care who they are talking to or who the other person is, as long as a little respect and interest is shown and it is not interfering with their day .. you are part of this social structure, even if you do not personally know the other person involved at first .. you fit into their social structure .. this is and always will be human nature .. remember this .. read it as many times as it takes to fully understand .. it can not be changed. .. the reason this is important is that many people find an excuse, which gets in their thoughts, that they can not talk to other people who they don't know .. if this was indeed the case, no one would talk to anyone .. as everyone was someone they didn't know at one time .. but people are social and conversation has been bred into human nature since the beginning of time.


I have been asking for and been granted permission from literally tens of thousands of people I didn't know .. I have been asking for permission to use other people's land since I was 8 years old .. I will be 60 this year .. I will guess that 3 out of 4 times I've asked, permission has been granted .. sometimes it is refused at the time of the asking, but later granted .. I may have been interfering with their day during the time I was asking and they didn't want to think about something else .. a No was the easiest answer. .. and politely I thanked them and walked away .. in respect of their time .. although I would have liked a different answer, a no was all I received .. not a punch in the face .. not some name calling or anything that really hurt me .. just a no .. for the use of one property .. I walked away the same as I walked in .. except I now know that the person doesn't want me to metal detect their property .. at this time.


You've decided you want to become a metal detectorist to find the treasures hidden below your feet .. you've spent some time researching on what detector you want and spent some money to get yourself all the equipment you'll need for your new hobby. Now what? where can you detect? how do you get to detect these places? .. are you even ready to go out and detect the world? .. If you can't fix a hole that you've just pulled a target from, to the point that you can't even find it right after you've dug it ..you are not ready .. practice in your yard until you get to that point .. you should be able to leave a spot you've hunted with no trace that you've ever been there .. to the point that when you've fixed your hole and you stand up, you can't even tell where the hole was you've just dig .. if you can't, there will come a time when people look at you and say, "that's the guy who dug up the park and left it a mess"...showing them that you have no respect for the property you are using .. these people will share their opinion of how you treated their property (the park) with others who also own the property .. Do you think they will grant you permission to hunt their personal property if that is what they think of you? .. Do you think that may also put all metal detectorists in the same light in their minds? .. it is a very bad way to start your new hobby and eventually you will not have access to places be able to practice this hobby .. hopefully it doesn't get to the minds of those who make the rules and regulations (laws) for the property .. but it will be passed from person to person, that is human nature .. as will any good experiences those same people might have with you and metal detecting.


There are many ways to ask permission .. the best is face to face, for most places .. the person you are asking now knows who you are .. they are less likely to be intimidated by the 'stranger effect' .. you can engage them with your knowledge of their possession, their property, hopefully with things they might not know .. they can see your interest .. they can see your respect .. because of human nature it is much harder for them to deny you what you're asking for .. any questions they may have can be answered quickly .. face to face .. they will be able to judge your sincerity .. you have the chance to get them excited about what maybe in store if you're granted permission.

This 'face to face' takes a little undercover work, and the interweb makes this a lot easier .. you want to be able to talk to the person who is the owner .. the only one who can grant you the permission .. to do this you need to know who they are .. you do not want someone else involved as they may make a suggestion to the owner that is not in your favor .. best to leave them out of it.


"Hello Mr./Mrs. 'property owner' (their last name here, out of respect use their last name unless they know you or they tell you to call them by their first name .. calling someone that doesn't know you by their last name also has them at your advantage), my name is 'ScoTTT2' ( your full name here) .. I have taken up the hobby of metal detecting and noticed your property has 'some history' (put the history here) .. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind me doing some searching with my metal detector on your property, to see if I can find some of that history."


.. do or say nothing more ..don't tell them about how you fix the holes you'll be digging or how great your other places/finds have been, nothing..... just wait for their reply.

only a few things will happen now .. you will be granted permission .. you will be denied permission .. you will be told not at this time .. they will be excited .. you will be told to leave and never come back .. or they will have some questions for you to answer .. but, what ever the out come is, you will then thank them and follow their wishes. .. this whole 'face to face' usually takes less than 5 minutes, but the longer it lasts the better off your chances become. ... even if the person is a real A-hole to you never, ever say that to anyone anywhere under any circumstance.


it really is that simple. .. and if permission is granted, remember what you practiced and leave no trace that you were there.


The other "best way" to ask for permission is through snail mail ..some places, churches for example, are run by a board .. and it takes the decision of all the board members to grant you a permission .. now just because there is a board, that doesn't necessarily mean that the board is in charge of granting permission .. there very well could be someone in charge of that .. schools for example, have a board, but the superintendent is in charge of allowing you access .. it is up to you to find out where your request for permission is needed, and to ask someone that can not give you the permission often gets back to the one who can grant it to you, before you can get a hold of them ..often giving that person enough time to find reasons to deny you access .. in places where a board is needed snail mail is best because during their meetings they will have a time set aside for correspondence .. they will open your letter and read it and discuss it .. or dismiss it ..always leave them with every possible way to get a hold of you ..phone, email and address .. and sometimes they may even want to meet you before granting you permission .. go and be respectable, never dismiss this and not show .. to dismiss this will pass the word around about what type of person you maybe .. even if you're not this type of person, that will be their idea of you .. if the place is worth hunting it really doesn't matter when you get to hunt it .. all you are looking for is the opportunity .. again your letter needs to be simple, straight foreword and to the point .. do not ramble on about how you've hunted here or there, what you do when you're hunting, or anything of the sort .. you are just asking permission .. if they have questions they will ask you them.


A phone call, unless you know the person and they know you, has a very low possibility of getting you permission .. you do not know where in that persons day your call fell into and to what extent it interferes with what they maybe doing .. a NO is the quickest way for them to get rid of any disturbance you maybe causing .. a phone call to set up a face to face is sometimes warranted though, places where a pop-in maybe frowned upon .. email is worse yet .. mostly sent to junk or 'never seen' in the first place .. almost never to be replied to.


There you go .. much easier than trying to back your way out of a trespass or property damage charge .. I personally would rather receive a NO from someone than a ticket or an arrest .. but either way you choose, that is how you will be thought of and how you are thought of by one person will quickly be passed around to others .. maybe to the point of you not being able to use the new metal detecting equipment you just purchased .. or worse yet, having rules and regulations passed which effect every metal detectorist because of your actions.

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This writing would make an excellent reference point for all new-comers to the hobby if it was included in printed format accompanying the owners manual inside the box that all new or second-hand metal detectors are sold with. It gives perfect clarity, and as such negates any excuses from trespassers. The ridiculous ' Detectorists Code of Conduct' piece of paper is a non-starter. Ten out of ten, in my opinion. Real top-drawer writing. I BS you not.
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Thanks John .. in a way you already do this, but instead of using someone's land you are asking for, and receiving, their time .. it is just as easy to gain a permission to hunt a property as to put out a video that people will respond to. Maybe even easier.


The first permission I ever asked for still sticks in my mind, like it was yesterday. It was in 1969 and I was eight. Back then one other thing that helped a lot was the hand shake (frown upon now with the corona). Imagine an eight year old who you didn't know, coming up to you, calling you by you by your name, asking you for permission, then holding out his hand for a hand shake. .. In those first few years I was afraid every time I did that. Ten years go by and I'm a senior in high school and many of those same people would be calling me just to make sure I was going to be on their property. They also had my name passed around and I was known for what I did. I received many calls from people who wanted me on their property. Even one guy stopped me on the streets and asked me to use his property. .. not a 'hey it's alright to use my property', but a 'please, will you come over.'


I am already getting this here .. just from detecting the local parks .. "hey, aren't you the guy I see metal detecting the park?" .. 'yep' .. "have you been finding anything?" .. 'yep, blah, blah, blah' .. " I own the house over on 'this street', it was built in 1850, why don't you come over and let's see what might be there". .. did you know that in 1800 'this street' was just a delivery path to the back of the old tavern? I bet there will be some cool stuff there. .. guaranteed, if any cool stuff is found his neighbors will become excited of the things that could be in their yards too.


A good place to start for those who are afraid of the 'face to face' is with churches. Almost never is a permission not granted, most times though they want a donation ..which I always say is a cut of the finds (if they ask), never a dollar amount and never brought up by me. Find the history of the church, (i.e.. built in 1850 or built by that famous builder of the time), use that history in you brief letter addressed to the board of directors for that church and wait for their reply. It may take a few weeks to a month for a reply, depending on where you letter fell on their calendar...they may meet once a month or twice a month on a Tuesday or Wednesday .. something like that. .. if you can find when they meet, then you can send your letter so they get it a day or so before their meeting .. almost assuring it will be opened and read at that meeting. .. Churches also always reply to your letter, even if it is with a denied access, .. they don't leave you hanging. .. But, if you are granted permission, make sure you leave no trace that you where there. It doesn't matter what the ground looked like before you were there, you will be the one looked at as, 'he did that to our property' .. and that will be passed around the congregation. .. when detecting a church, you will have many people questioning you, 'face to face'.


There are many youtube videos on how people 'door knock' to gain permission. Almost everyone of those videos gets a larger percentage of denials than permissions. That is because they have you at an advantage and like the phone call, you do not know where in their day your asking falls into. A no is the quickest way to get back to what they were doing at the time you knocked at their door. If instead they did a little homework before they knocked and knew the owners name and a bit of the history of the property, those percentages would turn in their favor. The ball is now in their court. They have the advantage and at the very least the person would actually think about the request.


Let's take, for instance, a guy bought his property ten years ago, he may or may not know that his property was one of the first 10 houses built in the area .. or, the homeowner at the time it was built was known for throwing extravagant parties .. or at the back of his property once stood the only school for miles around .. or some other history that attracts you to want to detect there. Now if he does know, you have just got him excited, because here comes someone that thinks his property is special because of this history, .. 'let's see what is there" will go through his mind, almost assuring a permission. .. if he doesn't know, then you may have got him to thinking, 'this guy thinks my property is special, because of what he knows about it' .. let's see what is there .. some people just don't care either way .. these people then become a coin toss as to what they allow on their property at that time. .. also, this guy knows my name .. does he know someone I know? .. either way he thinks my property is special enough to know me. .. he's probably a good guy.


easy, friendly, and enjoyable.

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