People often tell me they are struggling finding places to detect. The key to being a successful metal detectorist lies in researching to find historical sites, networking and getting permission to hunt them. But sometimes you need a place to detect right now. Here is a breakdown of the best places that you can usually legally hunt or quickly get easy permission.
Note: Make sure you know your local laws concerning detecting public property to make sure you are in the clear.
1) Property of Your Personal Network
Your own yard. Your friends. You coworkers. Your neighbors. One of the best things you can do to establish good places to hunt is to make sure everyone you run into knows you detect and that you are looking for places to hunt. Permission is almost always extremely easy if you know the person.
2) Parks and Playgrounds
Local parks are rarely hunted out, and are constantly being replenished with lost goodies. Try to go outside of the peak hours so you aren’t in anyone’s way.
3) Sidewalk and Curb Strips
Some detectorists’ bread and butter is the area between the sidewalks and the curb in the older parts of town.
4) Churches or Schools
Church yards and school yards are some of the best places you can possibly hunt.
5) Common Property in Your Neighborhood
Most neighborhoods have playgrounds and dead space that is free for use by everyone in the neighborhood. As long as there is no policy against detecting, you should detect it all.
6) Swimming Holes
Find the lakes and creeks where everyone is swimming during the summer and hit them early or late. You’ll need a waterproof detector. Don’t try this if you don’t like finding gold rings!
If you live on or near a battlefield, any square foot of ground you can get permission to detect on is totally worth detecting. I’ve found bullets and other cool relics in some of the last places anyone would suspect held them.
8) Pastures and Fields
Due to their great size, any farm land or pastures you can rightfully detect can keep you busy for weeks or months. You may stumble on an old homesite, pocket spills, civil war camps, and other great finds.
9) The Woods
Many people overlook the woods in their area. Remember the woods may not have always been the woods. You won’t know until you try.
10) Keep a Backup List
Keep a list of every place you have permission or a right to detect, and every place you have detected that you could go back to, no matter how insignificant and unlikely. In a pinch, you’ll always have a place to go detect. If you don’t keep a list, your finds will suffer because you will lose track of opportunities that would have resulted in great finds.