Sometimes Metal Detectorists get a bad rap because of a few bad apples that have to bend the rules. There will always be those that have to press their luck, but any respectable metal detectorist that I know of follows a Code Of Ethics.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran of the hobby, or a new detectorist, we all have the same duty and obligation to protect the hobby of metal detecting by being a good will ambassador of the hobby at all times.
Depending on where you look, some of these bylaws may be worded differently, but regardless of how the list is worded we can all benefit from knowing and practicing a few common sense rules known as the metal detecting code of ethics.
Metal Detecting Code of Ethics
- Never trespass. Always get permission to traverse private or restricted lands.
- Always respect private property and do no metal detecting without the owner’s permission.
- Before searching public sites, always check laws, ordinances or regulations that may govern your hunt.
- Always leave gates as they are found whether open or closed.
- Never do anything that might contaminate wells, creeks or other water supplies.
- Never tamper with signs, maintenance facilities or equipment.
- Never damage or destroy property, buildings or what is left of ghost towns or deserted structures.
- Don’t spook, taunt, provoke or otherwise disturb wild or domestic animals.
- If necessary, clean up after a previous detectorist. Acting in spite of him or even just ignoring his transgressions will only hurt us all in the end.
- Always use the correct digging or probing equipment to make the least intrusion or marks.
- Never throw trash finds back in the hole. Pack out any and all trash or debris you create.
- Leave as little sign of your passing as possible.
- Always fill in your holes, including plowed fields, sand pits, beaches and in water.
- Be thoughtful, considerate, courteous and respectful of others at all times.
- Protect the metal detecting hobby by being a good will ambassador at all times.
- Report the discovery of any items of possible significant historical value to a local historian or museum in accordance with the latest legislation of your area.
- Report any live ammunition or other potentially lethal or toxic objects you may find to authorities after carefully noting or marking the location.
- Do Not Metal Detect Cemeteries.
- If you are invited to go somewhere, Don’t start detecting until the person that invited you gets there, and leave when they leave.
- Don’t sneak behind our friends backs and clean out their spots.
~ Fair enough, Right?
Remember, when you’re out there detecting, you represent all metal detectorists. So let’s all do our part to represent the hobby in a positive light.
By practicing the Metal Detecting Code of Ethics together we all have a unique opportunity to make a difference in how the community views metal detectorists as a whole.
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
– John Wooden – Basketball Hall of Famer
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