Hunting Etiquette

Old barn

There is actually an accepted code of ethics among most metal detectorists. Not all diggers follow it, but those who don’t are the ones who make it difficult for the rest of us to find people willing to let us hunt their properties. Don’t be one of these jerks, who ruin the hobby for everyone.

~ Metal Detectorist’s Code of Ethics ~

This is one version of the code, but they’re all pretty much the same. PLEASE be a good ambassador for our hobby and make it easier for yourself and other detectorists to get new permissions, by following this code of ethics for respecting nature, history and property owners.

  • I will respect private property and will not metal detect without the property owner’s permission.
  • I will not destroy property, buildings, or what is left of ghost towns and deserted structures.
  • I will never litter, always pack out what I take in, and remove all trash found.
  • I will leave all gates and other accesses to land as found.
  • I will not damage natural resources, wildlife habitats, or any private property.
  • I will use thoughtfulness, consideration, and courtesy at all times.
  • I will abide by all laws, ordinances, or regulations that may govern my search or the area I will be in.
  • I will fill all plugs, regardless of how remote the location, and never dig in a way that will damage, be damaging to, or kill any vegetation.
  • I will report the discovery of items of significant historical value to a local historian or museum in accordance with the latest legislation.
  • I will be a positive ambassador for the metal detecting hobby.

When in public, be polite and informative to those who inquire about your hobby.

Remember: You are an ambassador of a pastime we all want to preserve, and other detectorists will be judged by how you act and respond.