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Thread: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

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  1. #1

    Jan 2009
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    Hello, I usually post in the Coin Roll Hunting Forum but I plan to get a metal detector.

    I searched in my area and the City allows metal detecting in some parks but the rules say that they do not allow any digging instruments of any kind. So my question is if they expect you to dig with your hands or what? My City is San Antonio Texas. Any one here familiar with this City?

    Thanks

    2012 Finds
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  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2011
    Central NC
    46
    Prospecting

    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    Well I think by that rule you can't dig holes, but maybe you can walk a fine line and probe around with a screwdriver when you have a signal? What I used yesterday, since I don't have a proper trowel yet (just got my detector) I used a very stiff putty knife/scraper to dig. I know that's skirting the rules, but what I'm saying is you can open up a hole without digging sometimes

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them.
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    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    In a lot of city parks they have this rule to slow people down from removing plants or other wise being careful of the grass. In our parks being seen with a shovel or trowl can get you a healthy fine for reseeding the area you dug holes. I use a screw driver or bayonet to probe for coins in the grass and "pop" them out. The bayonet works wonders on removing pull tabs. Coin that are deeper I just leave them and move on to coins that are nearer the surface. Course this is in city or county parks with nice grass. In the woods I use a trowl but still cover the hole so nobody can tell I was there. If you must cut a plug, do it on 3 sides and fold it over. Place all removed dirt on a cloth so you can put it all back in the hole. Some parks have security cameras operating so watch where you "Whizz."

    (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."

  4. #4

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
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    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    darth-walker, how did you sleuth out this information? I mean, did you go to city hall and ask someone "can I metal detect?" Or did you read through the parks codes/rules yourself, and find this citation?

    The reason I ask is, that if that citation you read about "no digging tools....." is in the context of metal detecting (ie.: "metal detectors" specifically mentioned), then perhaps the fate is sealed there. But if that citation is just a general rule, then it's nothing new to ANY park in ANY city across the United States. That is to say: ALL parks, of course, are going to have rules about defacing, alteration, digging, and so forth. Or put it this way: Imagine walking in to any city hall, in any city in the USA, and asking the desk clerk: "Hi, can I dig in the park please?" What do you think they're going to say?

    But cran-man is right: even though all cities will, of course, have codes against alterations and so forth, the truth is, that so long as you're not being a nuisance, or a sore thumb, and as long as you leave no trace of your presence, the odds are, no one cares. I hunt parks all over, and rarely have a problem (yup, even cutting plugs, etc...).

    But if your code in San Antonio is in the exact context of metal detecting, then perhaps you've got a specific "no" there? If this isn't the case, and there is no specific prohibition specifically for detectorists, then best to leave it that way, and not ask for clarifications. Just go at low traffic times, where busy-bodies are not around.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  5. #5
    us
    I dig zinc....

    Oct 2010
    Tyler, TX
    Fisher F75 standard (last 3 yrs.) CTX-3030 10-04-13
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    Metal Detecting

    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    The coin popping method is great, although, I have not had a lot of luck at it and, as mentioned, it is best for shallow targets. I use a horticultural knife (Hori Hori knife from Japan, used for transplanting Bonzai trees) and I keep it sharp. It enables precise plug cutting. The real trick is to do like others have said and keep a small sheet of plastic with you to put dirt on......that way all of the dirt goes back in the hole with the grass on top and it will appear that nothing has been disturbed.

    Oh yeah, in my city they issue free permits that are good for one year to locate in the city owned parks......it excludes cemetaries, historical sites and playing fields.
    Normsel likes this.
    Roland

    All electrical devices are powered by smoke......when the smoke escapes, they no longer work.

  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
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    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    I've found that the no digging but detecting is allowed park rule is made by people who know nothing about THing with a metal detector. What these people think is THers like to use their detectors to find modern pennies on the surface

    But when they say no digging tools in City Park what they really mean is no digging period. They expect you to either go away or hunt surface stuff. However most people dig anyway and rarely do the careful diggers get kicked out of any park or fined (but it does happen).

    Most of us get by with digging only because in some areas no one ever bothers to watch us or even think about what we're doing. As long as there are no complaints, all is well. City park authorities usually don't care what we're doing as long as there is no damage or complaints. Those who do care usually will just kick us out of the park.

    In the final analysis, detecting is a pirate type of hobby. Whenever one hunts a piece of property, that one has no right to any find if the true owners haven't given permission to both hunt their property and keep the finds.

    Here in Michigan all state parks and state lands are off limits unless given permission which is almost impossible to obtain. In some parks and state lands they'll fine you and take your detector if they catch you simply transporting a metal detector over the property (you don't even have to be actually detecting).

    There are also many laws pertaining to found items and it's not "finders keepers--losers weepers." But here again, lack of enforcement.

    Probably 90% of all detecting done is technically illegal. Yet it is done anyway due to a lack of enforcement.

    So the bottom line is beware of places where the laws are strictly enforced and play it cool in all other locations. Learn early not to play the goodie goodie hypocrite thing. We always try to glamorize the hobby but in the final analysis we're pirates. Bummer, eh? But in a way that fact adds a bit of adventure to the hobby.

    L0STANDF0UND likes this.
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  7. #7

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,165
    1819 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    Badger, you say:

    "Probably 90% of all detecting done is technically illegal"

    It's like this: Noise ordinance laws. There are probably loud noises all the time during the night, that technically exceed noise decibal limits, right? Yet the police don't take notice unless there is a complaint. So you might say, there's no violation, unless someone's there to take offense (ie.: complain about noise). So too, in my opinion, is metal detecting sort of like this.

    To carry the illustration further: if you were to walk in to city hall, and ask if you can run your leaf blower in the industrial district of town after 10pm, you will probably get someone to look up your "pressing question" in their rules book, and tell you "no you can't run it". So the "technical" answer was no, while the reality of the situation is, that there was probably going to be no one there to care or complain, as it's not in a residential district. Unless you are a nuisance and playing that same stereo or backpack blower in outside someone's window at 2am, then sure: the police get called, they bring out the decibal meter, and so forth.

    It's the same logic for these digging/disturbing laws, in my opinion. If you are not getting complaints (because you are neat, discreet in timing, and and don't stick out like a sore thumb) and thus don't generate any interest, who's being harmed?

    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  8. #8
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
    6,797
    115 times
    eating

    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA
    Badger, you say:

    "Probably 90% of all detecting done is technically illegal"

    It's like this: Noise ordinance laws. There are probably loud noises all the time during the night, that technically exceed noise decibal limits, right? Yet the police don't take notice unless there is a complaint. So you might say, there's no violation, unless someone's there to take offense (ie.: complain about noise). So too, in my opinion, is metal detecting sort of like this.

    To carry the illustration further: if you were to walk in to city hall, and ask if you can run your leaf blower in the industrial district of town after 10pm, you will probably get someone to look up your "pressing question" in their rules book, and tell you "no you can't run it". So the "technical" answer was no, while the reality of the situation is, that there was probably going to be no one there to care or complain, as it's not in a residential district. Unless you are a nuisance and playing that same stereo or backpack blower in outside someone's window at 2am, then sure: the police get called, they bring out the decibal meter, and so forth.

    It's the same logic for these digging/disturbing laws, in my opinion. If you are not getting complaints (because you are neat, discreet in timing, and and don't stick out like a sore thumb) and thus don't generate any interest, who's being harmed?

    Yes that's it. THing is a matter of common sense and many times the rigid law makes no sense. All laws are subject to interpretation in any given context.

    What gets me is there are so many THers today who seem to think their on some holy mission by sneaking onto someone else's property or hunting lands without permissions from those really in charge. Just because something is buried and old doesn't mean the land owner has no claim to it. In fact, if it's stolen property a lot of people could claim it (legally).

    One reason I never did super good THing over the years is I respected other people's property. Most times I was told no and other times yes but the land owner took everything I found. I once hit a hot spot for silver and dug it like crazy. I showed it to the owner and she took it all (never even said thanks).

    I don't say I was always squeaky clean either. But usually I acted by my conscience. My buddies were bold and didn't care and some really brought home the loot.

    I made a lousy pirate. Too sensitive to the feelings of others.
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  9. #9
    us
    Mar 2011
    Chandler Tx
    White's VX3, Garrett AT PRO, Tesoro Cibola
    369
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    Metal Detecting

    Re: Question about metal detecting in City Parks.

    http://www.ci.sat.tx.us/parksandrec/metaldetecting.aspx

    click on the first PDF file.

    Sure enough.... no digging tools of any kind.

    Heres a hint.....get outside the big cities and into the little towns and hit the parks and derilict ball fields.

    I've had much better luck overall off the beaten track than hunting in the big town.
    cooper1841 likes this.
    If you ever hit the big one detecting....follow the 3S rule. Shoot. Shovel and Shut up.

  10. #10

    Feb 2013
    11
    Alot of the parks they allow you to dig with a permit are kind of run down or in the ghetto, i see people digging in youtube vids in san antonio parks , park ranger came checked for permit and let him be... i really think they just want you to be kind and fill your holes properly

  11. #11

    Feb 2013
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Walker View Post
    Hello, I usually post in the Coin Roll Hunting Forum but I plan to get a metal detector.

    I searched in my area and the City allows metal detecting in some parks but the rules say that they do not allow any digging instruments of any kind. So my question is if they expect you to dig with your hands or what? My City is San Antonio Texas. Any one here familiar with this City?

    Thanks
    if you're in San Antonio head on over to Live Oak None of the parks there require a permit and you're allowed to dig, Never give me any problems i called the city to make sure it was lawfull first before i started detecting there, Best of luck if you ever wanna head over to city park and do some dirt fishin let me know

  12. #12
    us
    Feb 2013
    Georgia, US
    Tesoro MicroMax Silver Garrett Pro Pinpointer
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    Metal Detecting
    I don't think I would refer to us as pirates, though many people may see us as pirates. In reality, what we are doing is scavenging. There is a certain class of human products that would lay buried in the ground, reclaimed by the Earth, and lost to humanity forever if people like us didn't come along and dig them. So, sure everybody wants to lay claim to the good stuff, but the detectorist is the only reason that good stuff wasn't lost forever. That's the reason for the common law assumption of finders-keepers. There is such an assumption built into the law as precedent, but not directly legislated. So, we know that most states tend to award disputed finds to the finder when the items are at least 30 years old. That age, however, is not written into the law. Legally, every case of found property is allowed to be a judgment call (so consult a lawyer if you want to be really clear about it).

    There is an alternative solution for situations on private property, though it would be best to never use it. I would figure that it's easier to get permission to detect/dig than it is to get permission to keep the good stuff you found, so it may be common for some to end up finding items the land owner wants to keep. If the land owner wants to see the stuff you found, then it's probably only right to show them. If they want to split it, that's not entirely unreasonable. If they want to take it all for themselves and leave you with nothing, however, then have a form ready and write up a bill for $200. I came here to dig for me. If you keep all the stuff I dig up, then it costs $200/day to pay me to dig for you. Yes, it is your land, but it's my time, equipment, and work. If you want it all to yourself, then go buy your own metal detector and do it yourself. The workman is worthy of his pay.

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    S.E. Michigan
    Garrett AT Pro,/w 8.5x11DD & 5x8DD and 4.5 Super Sniper coils. Grey Ghost Amphibian Headphones. Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche, and an 18" mini-Samson digging tools
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    I have to disagree with you Michigan Badger, about detecting in Mi. State Parks. There is a list, and One in my area, the whole Park is open to MDing, and the other has restricted area for MDing, and some not at all. Research, research, research MDing is acualy listed on their sites as an activity to enjoy during your stay........over 700 acers /with beaches!!
    I used to be a people person, but people wrecked that, for me!

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    S.E. Michigan
    Garrett AT Pro,/w 8.5x11DD & 5x8DD and 4.5 Super Sniper coils. Grey Ghost Amphibian Headphones. Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche, and an 18" mini-Samson digging tools
    957
    610 times
    Metal Detecting
    Heres my thoughts on City parks; They support many different hobbies. Do people call city hall to ask if they can play frisbee there, and maybe end up in a flower bed, or break a branch of a tree? Do they ask if their mis-behaved kids can play, and throw wood chips all over the park? Do they ask if their dog can dig holes, and crap all over and leave it? NO NO NO of course not. So do your thing ,be respectfull of City property, enjoy yourself, and make them tell you no in person!! Why on earth would you call them? Just me
    I used to be a people person, but people wrecked that, for me!

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    S.E. Michigan
    Garrett AT Pro,/w 8.5x11DD & 5x8DD and 4.5 Super Sniper coils. Grey Ghost Amphibian Headphones. Garrett Pro Pointer, Lesche, and an 18" mini-Samson digging tools
    957
    610 times
    Metal Detecting
    Lakeport State Park, Lakeport Michigan, on Lake Huron, about 70 mi. North of Detroit. Entire park open to MDing, stated on their web site. Algonac State Park, Algonac Mi.located on the ST. Clair River, MDing allowed restricted areas(map) on their site, and there are others
    I used to be a people person, but people wrecked that, for me!

 

 
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