GETTING PERMISSION TO TREASURE HUNT ON PRIVATE LAND, page 2
Illustrated Guide to Obtaining Permission from the Property Owner
When approaching the owner's home, you definitely SHOULD:
5) NOT come to the front door in full camouflage or tree-hugger's outfit (à la hippie) because people in rural areas equally dislike both ready-to-shoot (at anything) hunters and the doped heads, or any nuts "marching" through their properties.
Wear a casual outfit free of ketchup or beer stains (just kidding!) and printed offensive messages and symbols. Like my grandma would say, "try to look like somewhat human." The most effective outfit is the one that bears official logo of the metal detecting club you belong to.
6) NOT approach the house with a cigarette in your mouth or smoke a cigarette or chew tobacco in front of the owner.
7) Smile, be polite, and introduce yourself in a friendly manner. Giving someone your name tells them you are accountable for your actions.
8) Break the ice by complimenting the land owner on whatever positive and personally creative you notice in his/her front yard (the grass looks great, the unusual flowers are remarkable, the huge dog is cool, the 1966 Mustang 2-Door Hardtop is stunningly shiny, the new porch for the mobile home looks solid, the old Colonial stone house is impressive, etc.) if you notice any tension in the person's behavior. Praising someone's property buys you time before they can say no.
9) Explain who you are (a metaldetectorist) and what hobby you are pursuing ("I'm detecting old coins" is the best version).
10) Clearly state your intentions and why this land parcel is of great interest to you (bring both the old maps showing this property and their copies in case the land owner would be thrilled to have them). Also bring a few old coins to show the land owner what you have previously found. This would be tangible proof of your intentions and stimulate the owner's curiosity.
Stating exactly what you are looking for also helps to reassure those who are overly suspicious about individuals who come from nowhere and knock on doors.