Illustrated Guide with Simple Rules & Tips for Obtaining Permission from the Owner

But before you leave, give the owner your business-sized card if you have one prepared. On this card should be your name, address, and info about your metal detecting pursuits. The best card is the one that represents you as a member of the local historical society, metal detecting club or national metal detecting organization (like FMDAC - The Federation of Metal Detector and Archaeological Clubs in the US).

Offer to return any time should they need assistance in locating lost rings, brooches, watches, keys, pipes, and septic tanks. Even if they did not grant you a permission, they will not throw your card away. If they should need your help in the future, you will certainly get their permission to search the property.

Move on to other places. There are enough landowners out there willing to be friendly, honest and cooperative. They might not only give you their permission to hunt, but also show you the best spots for metal detecting on their property. And they might even introduce you to their neighbors so you could search their properties as well.

If a refusal comes from the caretaker because the property owner is out of town, ask for the owner's name and address. Write a letter employing the same communication that you would use in person. Offer to meet with the owner next time he or she is in town about your request.

One effective way to gain permissions for metal detecting on a number of private properties is to place an ad in your local "Penny Saver" advertisement booklet. Placing ads that offer to find lost items can "open many doors" and provide a long line of metal detecting projects for you. Instead of going to the owners to make your presentations, you will be receiving their phone calls and getting permissions without leaving home.

As for regulations on metal detecting at the public lands, they may vary not only from state to state, but also from county to county. For example, I have never had any trouble treasure hunting at the sites located in state parks or other public lands in Ulster county, New York. On a few occasions, I met the state park rangers on the trail, and they not only gave me permission to detect, but even pointed me out to other good metal detecting sites within the park. But on some public land in a different county of New York, metal detecting was allowed only on a small lake beach and only during off-season. One should definitely contact the local town offices to find out whether metal detecting is allowed or not on public state, county, and town lands.

In some foreign countries where metal detecting is restricted, one must obtain his/her metal detecting permit (just like the fishing or hunting permit or licence) from the local authorities. If you are not sure about regulations on metal detecting and treasure hunting of any type in a particular country, contact the local police for info or check out the appropriate web sites. Be aware of the fact that in some less-developed countries such regulations can be toughened by the governments without public announcement.

Never be afraid to ask for a permission to metal detect as you have absolutely nothing to lose. If you ignore the "Posted" ("No Trespassing"), warning ("Restricted Area, Keep Out") or off-limiting ("Metal Detecting is Prohibited at This National Historic Site") signs, you might lose a lot.

Caught in the Dug Hole

Here is a valuable tip for getting permission, which was sent to me by Daniel in Santa Cruz, California:
"Hello Sergei,
I am new to the hobby and I am thoroughly enjoying your information. I have recently had good success with a technique that I call "Following Up" when requesting permission to hunt. When I have finished hunting in an area that someone granted me permission to, I like to send a hand-written Thank You card expressing gratitude for the work they allowed me to do. I like to include a small find from the area that I hunted and mention that I cleaned up a bunch of trash too. I have found that most of the people I am requesting permission from are usually familiar with each other and as such, creating good will goes a long way in allowing myself access to other areas.
Thank you for all the information you have published and I hope the above tip helps you and other detectors you may want to share it with.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

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