You’re one of the lucky people who realizes what a fun hobby metal detecting can be. It’s important that you’re also one who realizes that it can turn dangerous very quickly if you fail to be aware of your surroundings at all times, and to take a few common sense precautions.
- Don’t be a digging dummy. If you pick up a continuous signal in any direction, it’s a line of some sort—electrical, water or sewer. Don’t be a digging dummy: Unless you want to call the local digging hotline, just move on to the next signal. Not worth the hassle and danger.
- Headphones – If you hunt by yourself away from other people, it’s best not to wear your headphones over both ears. Unfortunately, some people will see you alone and take advantage of the fact that you’re concentrating on the ground and not your environment. Wild animals can also attack out of nowhere, if you hunt where they live.
- Hunting alone – The truth is that in general, if you metal detect alone, you are vulnerable, careful though you may be. Especially when you’re far out in the back country, it’s always best to hunt with a friend if at all possible.
- Hydrate and Communicate – Drink enough water and keep a charged cell phone with you.
- Severe Weather – I’m constantly amazed at how many detectorists go hunting without checking the forecast. I’m not saying don’t hunt if there’s a chance for rain, but if there’s any possibility you could encounter thunderstorms and lightning (remember, you’re out in the middle of a field waving a metal stick around!), flooding rains, tornadoes, or sudden-onset winter storms, make sure you’re prepared.