You don’t want to get in trouble with the authorities for trespassing in a private property. It can get you to jail and your metal detector, your finds or even your vehicle get confiscated and put into the public auction. Fines could run from a few thousands to ten of thousands of dollars. You surely want to know how to get permission to metal detect in private and public-owned properties.

However, you can get your coil on the ground if you get permission from the landowner.

Landowners could be private owner, city police, mayor, school superintendent, park rangers, etc. It depends on where you want to metal detect.

Getting Permission in Public Owned Properties

If you want to metal detect in public properties, then contact either the mayor’s office or the city police department. They can either give you permission directly or they will refer you to the person in charge.

If you want to metal detect in school grounds, then ask permission from the superintendent. If given permission, then you still need to contact the school principal as a courtesy.

In short, contact the right person if you’re doing it in public owned properties.

Private-Owned Properties

Churches are considered private properties. Big churches have their own offices so you can go to their office to ask permission.

Driveways, theaters, etc are either owned by individuals or corporation. You can find contact numbers in signs posted if you are lucky enough.

Graveyards can either be privately or publicly owned. That’s if you want to metal detect in these places. I personally don’t want to.

Private Homes

Getting permission to metal detect in private homes require an interaction between you and the owner. Here are some tips to get higher success rate of getting the go signal from the home owner.

1. Find the actual property owner

This is applicable in many situations. For instance, the property that you are trying to hunt in is an abandoned place. The next door neighbor may give you the go signal, assuring you that the owner will not mind. If the actual owner is not around, you may either ask where you can possibly contact them, or return another time. This also holds true even if it’s not an abandoned property, but the owner is just own.

At times, it is difficult to determine to locate the owner of a property, especially when the signs posted do not show anything about the owner, including the name, address, contact number, or anything. Sometimes there are no posted signs at all within the boundaries of the property. Still, it does not mean that the property has no owner.

If the property seems vacant, it is still better to contact the owner. With no clues whatsoever, how can you locate them? In order to determine the ownership of the land and eventually obtain the contact info of the owner, you have the option to visit the office of the tax collector at the local City Hall and look for the records of a particular parcel of land.

If the search is not successful, it would be up to your own discretion to decide whether or not to take the chance, and still continue to metal detect at the property. The most important thing is that you have already done everything that you could on your part, so that when you are questioned, you can give a trustworthy answer.

As a tip, whenever you see a sign posted “KEEP OUT”, just do so. This is an explicit request by the owner of the property, conveying their wish not to see anyone walking around in their property. This is also for your protection. Some of these properties may be well guarded, and it would be risky on your part to explore even further.

2. See the property owner personally

When you locate the owner, avoid calling on the phone. Go and visit him or her directly, at their front door. This will give them the impression of pure motive.

After all, they need to know the appearance of the person who will be stepping on their property anytime soon.

3. Best Time to Talk to the Owner of the Location

It is often best to get permission the very same day that you are planning to do metal detecting. However, avoid knocking on the doors early in the morning, particularly during weekends. This will allow the owners to be prepared before meeting you.

4. Don’t Bring your Gear When Asking for Permission

Avoid bringing your metal detector right beside you as you talk to the owner. It is often best to leave the tools first in your car, as they might intimidate the owner and view them as threatening equipment. It is always best to have your hands empty as you approach the property and the owner.

When getting permission to do metal detecting on a property, you are generally asking a lot out of them.

For one, they do not know who you are, or what type of person you are. Despite the popularity of the hobby, there are still some who do not know what it is.

By making sure that you use select words, you can possibly increase the chances of getting permission to metal detect in a property.

Once you have gotten permission, you can also establish some agreements with the owner, such as places where you should not metal detect, or how to deal with your finds.

By following the tips mentioned on how to get permission to metal detect, you are now in a better position to do so. Just be clear with your intention, and the owner will be able to sense this.

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