Do Metal Detecting Enthusiasts do more harm than good?

Do Metal Detecting Enthusiasts do more harm than good?

One of the metal detecting code of ethics is to “Never throw trash finds back in the hole. Pack out any and all trash or debris you create or find along the way.”

That is a code of ethics we detectorists live by for a multitude of reasons, but the main reason being is to clean the environment of the unnecessary junk metal targets that are so plentiful.  One of the first things a new metal detectorist does is learn how to dispose of their junk finds.

Recently, Detecting365 asked readers to provide us with an image or two of their junk finds that they have removed from their detecting spots. The response was good, and many detectorists shared some of their junk finds with us.

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In this slideshow, you can see the amount of junk finds just 11 detectorists have removed from the ground during just one or two detecting sessions.

Now, given that information, can you imagine the total amount of junk metal detectorists remove every year as a group?

There have been times when I was denied permission to metal detect somewhere because the owner was concerned about the “damage” done by metal detectorists.  What exactly that “damage” is, I don’t know, but what I DO know is that as a group, as evidenced by the images shown above, is that we detectorists do more GOOD for our communities and environment than we do damage.  Any detectorist worth his weight in dirt takes pride in removing and disposing of the trash and junk he/ she finds.

I have personally dug fish hooks, razor blades, bullets, sharp needle like barbed wire slivers, sharp pieces of mangled aluminum cans, and have even found a hypodermic needle right under the swing sets…all found on a park PLAYGROUND!

Imagine those areas had I never detected them and removed that stuff, any of those items can ruin a child’s day at the park very quickly should she get one of those items lodged in a hand or foot while playing on the playground!

One of the points that I personally make when seeking permission to metal detect a park is to bring awareness to the types of dangerous items that are present on playgrounds, that a lot of times the superintendent hadn’t even given a second thought!

Awhile back, I wrote an article about the Benefits of Metal Detecting and junk metal removal was just one of many benefits that the hobby of metal detecting provides us and our communities.

Often we get a bad rap due to a bad apple in the bunch, but the truth is, as a whole, metal detectorists do more good than harm while enjoying our hobby.  Every detecting session ends with a large amount of junk targets in our pouch and a couple good targets mixed in.  Those good targets are earned by removing the sharp junk metal targets we find along the way.

You can thank us the next time a detectorist asks permission to detect somewhere by saying yes, and giving the detectorist the opportunity to prove that we do indeed do more good than harm!

Some would ask “Well, doesn’t every one of those items shown have to be dug out of the ground while making a hole?” Answer is Yes, however, MOST metal detectorists take pride in filling their plugs in an effort to leave no trace of their passing.

We know that we are held to higher standards than the guy in the park that drinks a soda and throws the can on the ground.  We know that we are held to  higher standard than the soccer mom who just threw the juicy juice packages on the ground for someone else to pick up.  We know that we are held to a higher standard than the guy in the park that drinks a 6 pack of beer and throws all 6 of his beer caps on the ground!

Point being in every one of the scenarios above, those other park users are doing more harm than good for their parks and communities!

That is where we detectorists come in, we pick up those cans someone threw on the ground in the park, we remove those beer caps the guy threw all over the area he was sitting in the park, we remove those metal juicy juice packages laying on the ground…

Why? Because we are beneficial to our communities.  We take Pride in leaving areas that we metal detect in better shape than we found them!  We remove the junk and trash others throw on the ground, because we appreciate our detecting spots and again, we take pride in leaving our detecting spots in better shape than we found them.

So, the next time a metal detectorist asks you to detect your yard, or asks to detect the park, go ahead and give him a chance to prove that he is beneficial to you instead of immediately thinking we detectorists do more harm than good, because quite the opposite is true, as you can see from the amount of junk finds just 11 detectorists have removed in just a few hunts.

Gary's Junk metal finds

One season of junk finds by one Metal Detecting Enthusiast

Detectorists are beneficial to your communities in more ways than one!


“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
John Wooden


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Special THANK YOU to all readers who submitted images for the article, it is appreciated.

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