Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?
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  1. #1
    us
    Aug 2010
    Wisconsin
    187

    Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    This is what I heard and I am wondering if it is true.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    us
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
    callahan,fl
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    look up your local state park rules in some states it is - in others its not.

    from what I have seen -- to detect on DNR owned lands in wisconson (state parks) you need to obtain a permit* form the park manager and turn in all finds to them -- so basically put profiet wize its useless.

    using your detector to find a seam for gold panning might be differant , I'm not sure.

  3. #3
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Agreed.

    It depends on the state park. You need to check the specific state park you are interested in.

    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  4. #4
    us
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Yes check your state laws first. I know here in Tennessee it is illegal to hunt the state and national parks.

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2008
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Treasurehunter is almost correct (about Tennessee state parks).

    http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/FAQs.shtml#metal

    Wisconsin doesn't seem to be so nice (again in state parks)

    http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/other/metaldetect.html

    Here in South Dakota, you can metal detect in a lot of them - sometimes they want you to only do it during a certain time of the year (after tourist seasons) and stuff like that.

    Hope you are closer to another state than Wisconsin, with more favorable laws.

    Beth

    "Irony is the rule"

  6. #6
    us
    Aug 2010
    Wisconsin
    187

    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Thanks for all the advice. I go to Iowa a lot to see my brother. There is a caves state park and I wasn't sure if I could detect there. I told my brother that I can't.

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Here's a little info on Iowa.

    http://www.metal-detecting-ghost-tow...g-in-Iowa.html


    Good luck!


    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  8. #8
    us
    Jan 2008
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrs.oroblanco
    Treasurehunter is almost correct (about Tennessee state parks).

    http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/FAQs.shtml#metal

    Wisconsin doesn't seem to be so nice (again in state parks)

    http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/other/metaldetect.html

    Here in South Dakota, you can metal detect in a lot of them - sometimes they want you to only do it during a certain time of the year (after tourist seasons) and stuff like that.

    Hope you are closer to another state than Wisconsin, with more favorable laws.

    Beth

    Beth you are correct as far as Tennessee. It is ok to hunt in the state parks to look for a lost object. But I have been told by several people that if anything else is found it must be turned in to the ranger's office. Not worth my time. I don't even think about hunting in the state parks. Too many other places to go. They are pretty strict over here in the parks. One guy was caught in the National Park and it wasn't pretty. He was arrested, fined $10,000 and lost his machine and vehicle. And the publicity in the papers does not help our hobby. So please know your laws before hunting in those parks you are unfamiliar with.

  9. #9
    us
    Jan 2008
    Black Hills of South Dakota
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Treasurehound,

    You have my full agreement.

    Beth
    "Irony is the rule"

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2003
    Elgin
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Hard to detect on any public land in Wis. anymore.

    If you're frequently close enough to Iowa then I'm guessing you may be in Dodge County or nearby in SW Wis. If you come over to the Il side you can go to some state parks, but you have to get a permit at the ranger's office for the specific state park you are going to, where allowed. Some are off limits but will issue permits to MD on nearby Il DNR hunting grounds that are not part of the state parks but administered by them as well.

    County parks vary as to whether or not md'ing is an issue. Check in on the Il forum if you want specific Il county info.

  11. #11
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    It depends on the state and what laws they impose. http://www.fmdac.org/parks/parks.htm Here in Michigan there are certain parks that are open to detection and others that are closed. Even the ones that are open you need to check the DNR's website as you can only legally detect in certain areas. For example some of the state parks you can only detect in the parking lots. HOWEVER THESE ARE MOSTLY PAVED. Whats up with that?
    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    "TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."

  12. #12

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Those that say "it depends on which state" are correct. It varies from state to state. As for the link Sandman gives, I believe that at the top of that page, there is some sort of disclaimer about how "actual field conditions vary" blah blah blah. This introduction is probably born out of the fact that there are many "dire sounding" states, where, .... truth be told ...... it just goes on anyhow, and no one's ever cared (barring your being a nuisance and snooping around obvious historic monuments, etc...).

    The reason for the wide degree of "actual reality" is that a list like the link sandman gives, is born/assembled in the following way: someone .......... oh-so-many-years-ago, simply sends out a letter to all 50 states (especially if written rules they could sleuth out were "iffy" or "unclear" on the matter) asking "Is metal detecting allowed?". Often times some desk-bound legal bureaucrat, who fields such a question, would send back the answer "no", for example. But oddly, in some of those "no" states (on that list), detecting had never been a problem in those state's parks. Doh! So you can see it was a clear case of "no one cares, till you ask" type thing Perhaps whomever fielded the question morphed something else to apply to the "pressing question" like cultural heritage verbage, etc... (when in fact, perhaps the question never crossed anyones mind before, or rank-&-file out in the actual parks, never cared before).

    Here in CA, for instance, there are some where you won't be bothered. However, I don't doubt that if I asked enough kiosk clerks, or wrote enough letters to Sacramento, that I might indeed find myself a "no". Just go look for that boyscout ring your dad lost when he was a kid. And avoid obvious historic monuments, crowds, lookie-lou busy-bodies, etc.....

  13. #13
    us
    Jul 2003
    Elgin
    Fishers 1235X-8" CZ-20/21-8" F-70-11"DD GC1023
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Thanks for the link Sandman!
    Might be a grammatical error or I'm just wound too tight but the Illinois link states:

    A. Not all sites allow metal detecting to protect significant cultural or natural resources. Those that do, require permits that can be obtained at the park office. If there is a specific park that you want to metal detect at, please call the site first.

    Seems like poetic injustice, as many historic sites, including a few in Illinois, were discovered by metal detectorists.

    Prior to what happened here in Illinois a ew years ago, I would detect at many State Parks. We had a casual informality about it. Then some local FMDAC people told me I couldn't hunt at State Parks, they never did. I told them I had done so for years, with the knowledge and even assistance of park personnel in some cases.

    So they went off on their crusade talking to the state people in Springfield to get EXACT clarification of what at that time was already posted at the entrance to every state park. Before you knew it, SLAM goes the door.

    I quit that club and look forward to the day when informed people take appropriate measures on the national, state and local level to honestly and morally define MD'ing laws.

  14. #14

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    Lowbatts, you say:

    "I quit that club and look forward to the day when informed people take appropriate measures on the national, state and local level to honestly and morally define MD'ing laws."

    But don't you get it?? That's EXACTLY what they were trying to do! Get clarifications and definitions! And they got it. Don't ya love it? You gotta be grateful for folks who go seek those clarifications, and then end up getting a self-fulfilling prophecy, eh? (ie.: some deskbound bureaucrat to bestow on you their princely "no", because they must address your "pressing issue")

    I can give you oodles of examples just like yours, of the same pyschology happening.

    And CA state parks, according to that website, has similar wording to Ill. Ie.: inquire at each kiosk, or "only with permission" or something to that effect. So what ends up happening, is people read that admonition, and do just that. They waltz up to bored kiosk clerks, or write letters to Sacramento "just to be sure", and some confused kiosk clerk (who perhaps never gave the matter thought before) looks long and hard through his books, determines that you might harm the earthworms, and tells you "no". Agggghhhhhh. It's as if we can be our own worst enemies, eh?

  15. #15
    us
    Oct 2007
    Northern, OH
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    Re: Is it illegal to metal detect in state parks?

    I alway stop in the park office and ask if it is ok and here in Ohio I have always been told yes you can......Matt
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