To My Fellow Coin Shooters/Relic Hunters,
Locating that hot spot for metal detecting can be quite a challenge and frustrating at times. Here are some tips that can help in getting permission to treasure hunt a private property. Finding, locating and identifying a potential hunting spot are some things you need to know. So, you jump in your vehicle and start driving to a new location. You ask yourself, “What am I looking for?”
First, you enter the outskirts of town. Farm fields and country sides are what most people encounter first. Keep a look out for your trails and riverbanks in this terrain, since these areas will produce old finds because of its history. These areas tend to be where most people traveled and gathered their water. If you have the time to view an old map from the library or Historical Society, you may be able to pinpoint more quickly which areas were first settlements. In my experience, talking with a lot of people who have been metal detecting for years, the working fields or “manual labor”, produce more finds then a dairy field.
Getting permission; the cold call. The cold call is exactly just what it means. The land owner and you have no prior relationship. You need to make it warm by developing a brief friendship with him or her. I personally like to go to the nearest convenience store and get water before I detect. I’ll ask the cashier questions to see who owns the farmhouse at the end of the street and she may just give me a name.
Again, does this work every time? No, it does not. But, you need water so why not ask? When you approach the house and knock on the door, the person answering the door is more approachable when you can introduce yourself and let them know how you got their name.
For example, you can say “Mr. Smith? My name is Dennis. You have such a nice farm here, and if you don’t mind me asking, how long has it been in your family?” He may reply with the following phrase; “2nd generation, but it’s a lot of work running this place.” He now knows you, and you know him; you’re at the warm level for getting metal detecting permission. Explain what you do and how you would leave the property in better shape, because of the removal of unwanted metals he may have around the house, as well as the rest of his land. It’s recommended to get permission for the fields first, especially after first earning their trust.
Once gaining permission for the fields, you’ll want to proceed further next time and ask to get closer to the main house. It’s important to start slow though and just get your foot in the door first (so to speak). In my opinion, if I say I am going to remove trash from their land, that can be taken the wrong way. Also, I have had people who have horses and when they go out for a ride they don’t want their animals injured from nails, etc. sticking up in the ground. I cannot go over every type of situation as there are too many, but I think you get the picture. So, where is this going? Hopefully that it’s beneficial for both parties for me to metal detect their land. This is very important to consider as you need to ask yourself, “What am I doing for them?” Once you know, then ask them this question, “Most home owners like to do a split. If I find anything, can we can split it 50/50? Anything that is of historical value to the farm or its relatives will of course be yours.”
If you want to, go up to the door and say, “Hi! Can I detect and pillage your land?” You might not get the answer you’re looking for. Ha-ha, that was just a joke. You have to ask permission to detect when the time is right. This process can be used when you’re going to a local house that has a history to it as well. Remember, the worst thing they can say is no. Each time you ask permission, you will get a little more comfortable and learn from your mistakes. This is not for everybody. Even my metal detecting friends stay in the car while I am knocking on the door. Happy Treasure Hunting!!