Brand new to the Hobby-confused on the legality?
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Thread: Brand new to the Hobby-confused on the legality?

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  1. #1
    Jun 2019
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Exclamation Brand new to the Hobby-confused on the legality?

    I live in Grand Rapids, MI and am waiting on my first metal detector to arrive, needed a new hobby and have always thought it would be fun. I see there is, apparently, a lot of confusion on whether it is legal? If so in what areas, and if permits are needed. Any current, relevant, and/or accurate information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    Nov 2012
    XP Deus, Tesoro Cibola, Full sized shovel and a backhoe
    31331 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (8)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    If you are on private property you absolutely need permission from the landowners. You'll have to research whether or not public parks, county, state, town, etc. are legal or not by either finding a local club and finding out that way, or asking them.

    In my county it is ok to dig on school properties after school events are over. County property is not ok. The next county to the east, no public places allowed but to the west, it is ok with a free permit.
    AARC likes this.

  3. #3

    Jul 2018
    Eastern Connecticut
    Garrett AT Max/ Garrett AT Pro/ Garrett Ace 400/ Garrett Pro Pointer 2 / Garrett Z-Lynk AT Propointer
    3623 times
    Metal Detecting
    Rules can be different from town to town , county to county, or even state to state. State parks are usually off limits, as are national parks and places of historic interest. Public places like schools, parks, sports fields picnic areas, etc. are "usually" safe to hunt. If you're hunting public land hunt until told otherwise. In regard to your question....metal detecting is legal but with some restrictions.
    AARC likes this.

  4. #4
    Jan 2016
    NW Arcanslaw / SW Misery
    Minelab X-Terra 705 Gold / Garrett PropointerAT.
    5375 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    As previously stated, private property always requires permission from the owner.
    School property is private property, not public, so it's best if you get permission, but it's usually not a problem so long as you aren't there while kids are present or during and school functions.

    All National Parks are forbidden, and most State Parks are off limits.
    National Forests all have their own rules.
    Corps of Engineers property is usually ok unless otherwise posted.

    When it comes to actual public property owned by a city or county it's almost but not always legal.

    The trick is to NEVER ask if it's "legal" because someone who doesn't know will always tell you it's not. If you do decide to ask you contact the city or county legal dept and ask if "there are any laws or ordinances that prohibit metal detecting". If there are none, it IS LEGAL, because no law ever makes something legal. So if there is no law, there can be no crime.

    Good luck!
    ROIGuy and stoney like this.
    “During the gold rush its a good time to be in the pick and shovel business.” Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Charter Member

    May 2012
    25277 times
    Check out sign board of park rules if you are hitting G.R. and area parks. If detecting is not prohibited ,hit one in off heavy traffic hours.
    Be sure you leave no sign of your recoveries. Even if you need to practice elsewhere a while.
    Cutting a flap for extreme recoveries helps keep mowers from sucking up a plug. Or a squirrel or skunk to dig it up and leave it to dry out.

    When it gets real dry out , you might be better to leave lawns in parks/yards alone.

    Private property you need owner permission.

    So , check out parks being redone . There are planning the works for improvements near you. Maybe some are already underway.
    That is an opportunity to work fresh moved/exposed dirt.
    A park North of you added sidewalks and when removing the top layer to add cement , gave me access to deeper stuff missed before...

    Some one pays taxes on a vacant property you might have questions about. That can be the key to research in locating them...

    Pay attention to your surroundings when detecting.
    Don't get jumped , or surprised.
    Muddyhandz and cudamark like this.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    The surest representation of a man's character is his work ethic.

    Apr 2016
    Robbinsdale, MN
    White's M6; Tesoro Compadre; Minelab E-trac; Bounty Hunter QD2
    1099 times
    Metal Detecting
    I'll just let Tom speak my mind for me in a more elaborative method when he comes along. We have a thread over this same topic about once a week.

    In short: JUST GO DETECTING. Let common sense be your guide, aka, don't jump the White House fence to detect. Stop feeling the need to be a subservient peon to paper pushers in a city office. You pay taxes, enjoy YOUR public spaces. I repeat: JUST GO DETECTING.
    Last edited by DiamondDan; Jun 25, 2019 at 09:53 PM.
    Clad2Silver and ROIGuy like this.

  7. #7
    Oct 2014
    Whites V3i, Whites DFX, TRX, Garrett pro pointer
    158 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    And start in your own yard, you'd be surprised at what you'll find and its good practice!! Happy hunting!
    RustyGold likes this.
    Mark #733

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    Coin Rescue Tech

    Jun 2014
    Northern O-H-I-O
    F75 LTD, 1280X Aquanaut, & an F2 (loaner)
    17403 times
    Metal Detecting
    Banner Finds (1)
    What's so great for the hobby at this time, concerning your question is the internet. Most parks, park commissions and departments have websites you can search for their rules, as well as state parks. Towns and cities almost all have websites that have links to their ordinances, which can be searched for key words. Like they used to say in the olden days, "let your fingers do the walking".
    cudamark likes this.
    Rescuing Coins 1 Beep at a time

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    Mar 2011
    San Diego
    Equinox 800, Fisher Impulse AQ, E-Trac, 3 Excal 1000's, White's GM3 V-sat. White's TM808, VibraProbe, 15" NEL Attack, 5X10 Joey, Steath 920ix and 720i, TRX, etc....
    8943 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (3)
    Quote Originally Posted by MDsweep View Post
    I live in Grand Rapids, MI and am waiting on my first metal detector to arrive, needed a new hobby and have always thought it would be fun. I see there is, apparently, a lot of confusion on whether it is legal? If so in what areas, and if permits are needed. Any current, relevant, and/or accurate information would be greatly appreciated.
    Private property (you can determine this by checking tax records at the courthouse if in doubt), you need to get permission. Verbal permission has almost always been good enough for me, but, I do keep a written permission form in my truck when needed. I only mention it to the owner if they ask for one, or if the owner is going to leave while you're there hunting. I never ask permission on public property. Instead, if I think it may be a sensitive area, I'll look up the rules myself. It's not a secret. If it's public, there will be posted rules somewhere, either online or in person where public records are kept. Asking someone who may or may not know the law, is just asking for a no. They have no personal or professional benefit to saying yes, as it might risk their job, or at least a reprimand by their boss by doing so. If there are no specific rules that actually mention metal detecting by name, I see it as not being banned or restricted. As mention, use proper recovery methods so places aren't put off-limits in the future.
    ​Avitech Associate

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    Aug 2013
    Southern California
    Equinox 800 / XP Deus
    9714 times
    Welcome to TreasureNet from SoCal. Good luck!

    “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
    – Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Apr 2019
    Central Illinois
    Garrett Ace 400, Teknetics Delta 4000
    225 times
    Metal Detecting
    releventchair - I'm fairly new to the hobby as well. Thanks for the fresh insight regarding plugs. I never thought about them being sucked up by a lawnmower. I suppose I should start using the flap method more often.
    Muddyhandz likes this.



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