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Metal Detecting in Parks

>In this Metal detecting in Parks Guide we tell you everything you need to know about metal detecting in parks. How to get permission, look up laws, the best places to detect in parks, etc!

Metal Detecting in Parks  – Laws

The first thing you need to do before metal detecting in any park is to find out the laws for metal detecting in that park. THIS IS A BIG DEAL! If it is a park of historic significance then chances are metal detecting will be against the law there OR require a permit and come with some pretty strict rules. DON'T think that you will be able to say "Aw shucks I didn't know I was just metal detecting".  State and National parks are considered national treasures in many cases and it is considered looting to metal detect in many historic parks!

How to find out the law and get permission to go Metal Detecting in Parks there

1) If it is a state park you should be able to do a web search and either find the rules real easy or find out who to call.

-> For example if you want to go metal detecting at a state park in Georgia type this into Google : State Parks Georgia rules

Doing this the very first choice would be where to look:

Search Results

Georgia State Parks – Park Rules and Regulations

A person possessing a valid weapon-carry license to carry a firearm valid in this state may carry such firearm on Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites,

gastateparks.org/net/content/item.aspx?s=14493.0.1

->You could improve on this by adding the term " metal detecting" to the search like this : State Parks Georgia Metal detecting  rules

Doing this the very first choice would be where to look:

METAL DETECTING, ARCHEOLOGY SITES, AND THE LAW

To surface collect, metal detect, or to legally dig on any state property, you must have a permit from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. saa.org/LinkClick.aspx?link=1031&tabid=88

Immediately you know that in Georgia you have to have a permit for state parks. Bummer.

2) If it is a federal park you could again search in Google with a search like this: metal detector US National park Yellowstone site:.gov

This is a pretty advanced search telling Google to only show you the answers from government sites.

3) if it is a town or City Park  I would just call the town or city parks department. If you don't know who that is call the library or ask a local police officer. hey usually know and are usually very nice and glad you are asking ahead of time!

OK now for the fun WHERE to go Metal Detecting in Parks

OK you have your metal detector and permission! great! where do you start?

Here is my advice:

1) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FIND THE "BEST SPOT". If there is a best spot then every Metal Detector Hobbyist like you who has been there before you has already tried it and by now there is probably not much left in the "best Spots"

2) so Now we know that the best spot may not be "by the park benches or by the gazebo, etc tc. so where do you start?

3) Pick any area that you think is worth trying. some of my best finds have been in the open grass areas. Because that is where people run, jump, catch, wrestle play and lay down!

4) DO NOT try to rush thru and randomly swing your detector!!

5) Look at your location like a big checker board or tick tack toe board. Look along the edges and spot objects that you can use as endpoints to draw imaginary lines between so that you come out with a series of imaginary squares.

6) Now pick one of those imaginary squares and start searching! Set a pattern and search slow and steady to start. Carefully advancing. You do not yet know if there is a ton of pull tabs or foil in the ground or if this is unsearched territory full of deeply buried coins bating back to the civil war!

7) when I start I dig all signals till I start to learn whats in the ground and what the likely signals are.

  • Deep signals are often faint and you may miss them if you rush.
  • If there is a lot of trash it may mask good or great old coins or relics farther down so ALWAYS rescan your hole after you dig a target
  • and ALWAYS fill in your hole as you go so you don't leave a mess
  • If you leave a bunch of holes and trash they may ban detecting in that park for future people YOU ARE THE HOBBY! Represent it well!

BE CAREFUL DIGGING!

I searched a small park (With maybe 50 feet by 50 feet of open area) in Mamaroneck NY one time.  within a minute I  had a silver signal and dug and promptly bent a silver bracelet that was just underneath the surface!

  • A few minutes later and I broke a silver chain just under the surface.
  • Then I realized – THIS PARK MAY NEVER HAVE BEEN DETECTED!
  • I proceeded to use a probe and dig more carefully and had a great day.
  • I have always meant to go back but haven't been back that way in 10 years.

9) SO KEEP NOTES in case you do come back!

10) Finally Be nice to people who have questions and are curious. I have been invited to search many old houses just because I was nice to the gentlemen who asked a few questions.

OK thats it for our Metal Detecting in Parks Article!

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