How Is It We Keep Missing That Elephant In The Room?

The following comments are from a popular metal detecting forum…..

“Well, I guess I should have expected this. My county (Somerset County, NJ) recently revised their park rules and regs to include specific language banning metal detecting” “Too bad since I live a mile or so from one large park that’s been pretty good with finds. And 3 years ago I had a conversation with the manager of the park rangers and he gave me a solid “yes” when I asked if it was okay to MD at the parks. Not sure what went down to change that. Coulda been a single rogue MD’er leaving holes/trash behind. Who knows” “Another one bites the dust…”


“Yeah, one of the neighboring counties here recently did the same thing. What a bummer”


“Which county? I have a feeling we are going to see more as TV shows make our hobby more popular”


“Marathon County”


“Thanks! That and for the OP is a real bummer!”


“Thats why I have to chuckle or shake my head when I read posts on here where people use shovels in parks or hunt sports fields or do this or that and it ” has never been a problem” according to them. Then I see posts such as this one and think,….well there goes another one , …..probably due to someone who thinks their practices were no problem They never are a problem , until they are”


“In the end, it’s just so much easier for them to just ban MD-ing outright. The only downside for them is they piss of, what, a handful of us who participate in the hobby”


“I’m thinking someone on my parks commission saw an episode of Diggers”


“Well, they can’t ban it on private property and that is where i see the future. Let them have their parks. The property owner is not under park commission’s thumb”

“Probably. I’m just no good at door-knocking. I’ve never been comfortable doing it (I’d never make it as a cold-call salesman). So once the last few open spots near me get banned, I’ll most likely be out of the hobby”


“It’s hard to wrap my head around it sometimes — we’re all involved in a hobby that, by the letter of the law (if not the “spirit” of the law), isn’t allowed anywhere. Any piece of public land we’re on, if someone has a bee in their bonnet about MD’ing, they can always get us on the technical wording of the regs, which 99% of public places have on the books”


“It’s one of the reasons I haven’t gotten out much the last couple years. And now that my one “safe haven” (where I’ve gotten an explicit “yes”) is now banned, it’s even worse”


“I know, I know, start door-knocking. Well, when a hobby requires me to do something that I, at best, am uncomfortable doing and, at worst, hate doing, it might be time to move on to something else”


“Get this…I got the boot from a school field a few months back. Drive by last week and the whole field was scraped and they are laying turf. So if the school fields are not already gated, they are getting turf fields in record numbers. That’s one more promising location for us detectorists that will soon be gone”


“I find myself driving long distances to areas where I have interacted with the local police and know they are cool with me swinging, just to feel comfortable”


There were other comments/responses to the above topic, but sadly no one offered any ideas on how to fix the problem. More importantly no one offered “their” assistance.  It’s the ole “wow, sorry to hear that….good luck with that” routine, and not a mention of contacting any of the three national organizations (which speaks volumes as to their popularity and effectiveness).
Yep, we are all just doing our thing, happy as pigs in mud…out of site, out of mind, UNTIL of course, it happens to us. Then it’s different, right? So what’s the answer?  I honestly don’t know, but as I have said hundreds of times before, it behooves the manufacturers to get involved if they wish to have a viable business ten years from now.  Fewer places to detect = fewer participants = fewer customers.  Then again maybe the FMDACTask Force or WWATS has the answer. That is after all their reason to exist is it not?



This from a Metal Detector Facebook page….honestly you can’t make this stuff up!

“Just for fun lets show a picture of our pouch, There’s not much to mine, Show what you have as tools etc..”




Filed under Metal Detecting

14 responses to “How Is It We Keep Missing That Elephant In The Room?

  1. DonM

    I, like you and a few other old timers were fortunate enough to have discovered this great hobby at a time when there were only a tiny number of detectorists but nowadays thanks to those dumb tv shows, the internet and social media – we now have hoards of newbies running around digging huge holes and not bothering to fill them. Things are only going to get worse for detectorists…..sort of reminds me of that cartoon of the man walking around carrying a sign that read “the end is near”.

  2. EXACTLY ! The problem is,as I’ve said before, is that there are no ” standards” ( to borrow a word from your blog title) and it’s only getting worse. I could write a book here but will refrain somewhat.

    One way to perhaps fix the problem would be to follow some standards and have somewhere to point to to try to get a public place opened back up or be kept from being shut down to begin with.

    Notice how no one got into asking the OP how he was detecting or if he was detecting in a group or what timing he used blah blah blah, all that crap that gets too dramatic for forums to tackle.

    I’ll add here a portion of a post I currently have on a forum–

    ” The hotter topics seem to often be turned into an attack on the OP rather than people either posting on topic or staying off the thread. There are a lot of issues that effect our hobby and I would like to see them highlighted at the top of some sites to be as visible as some finds. I know I’m dreaming here and am not trying to attack anyone but our hobby could use some more visibility on the “hotter” issues. ”

    I never felt is to be the manufacturers responsibility to address these issues and I take it you are saying it would be in their best interest though. I tend to agree on that if I am taking that correctly.

    I do feel that the major forums have some responsibility as I feel that is the closest thing we have to a central voice. They have the numbers and hold the cards in regards to new people entering the hobby looking for a place to participate in discussion. Their facebook and youtube sites seem to be more of a place to show off their gear in that hunted out park.

    I don’t think it is a matter of “nobody cares ” but probably not enough people care. The ones that do aren’t going to voice their concerns too much. They might get kicked off a forum if they did and then where are they going to show off their finds from the hunted out park on their video with just the right lighting and just the right volume on those tones.

    But I won’t get too dramatic here or stir the pot or upset the other members as I’ve been told I do many times. I’ve been kicked off 6 forums for that behavior although I wasn’t a rule breaker. I’m making a comeback though and my wife has a thread about the things that negatively effect the hobby on the technical forum. She’s got what every detectorist needs- She’s got Standards.

  3. The criteria at issue here is what constitutes the acceptable level of damage caused by park users. Walkers, soccer players, and the like will cause damage to any park – it goes with the territory – but the damage they do is acceptable. What is not acceptable are people coming into a park armed with shovels, or trowels, and leaving the place pock-marked with holes and disturbed earth.

    Metal detecting is no different to any other sport or hobby in that when IDIOTS, abetted by the IGNORANT combine, the majority suffers. Rightly, the powers that be have a duty to protect the rights of other park users.

    Unless what passes for detecting’s representative bodies can persuade the authorities that recovery tools will be limited to an agreed size or type, all parks will soon be off-limits and in my view rightly so.

    We can’t allow the hobby’s image to be that presented by the moronic few.

    • Yes John H and as I’ve stated before– ” I’m just using a park closing as an example here and if you think about a park having a ban on detecting and a person trying to get that ban lifted what would be used as a good tool ? I’m thinking being able to point to forums and showing what the accepted standards are on issues that cause parks to be closed would be nice. When I see people posting videos of teams with shovels and knee pads detecting areas that could be detected low key I have reservations as to whether or not references to forums would be a good thing. ”

      If parks would be shut down due to improper detecting that may be good if they could be re-opened to people that do it properly. I don’t blame authority for banning parks because of abuse to them by some. I would blame them for not being willing to let people detect that would do it properly.

      • “I’m thinking being able to point to forums and showing what the accepted standards are on issues that cause parks to be closed would be nice”….

        Gary, you must be kidding. I would never, ever consider referring people to the forums as a way to elevate our pastime. That would surely seal the deal for all those looking to limit our enjoyment. Please…float that idea somewhere else….not here.

      • One more thing Gary…. Every single time I attempted to bring awareness to a problem, or float the idea about having one voice, I was pretty much insulted by the responses.

      • I’m not saying it is a nice Idea , I’m saying it would be if forums had a position on standards. I wouldn’t steer anybody there either.

  4. John, I think trying to save or elevate the pastime here in the US is a lost cause….

    Example: “Just for fun lets show a picture of our pouch, There’s not much to mine, Show what you have as tools etc..”

    Need I say more?

  5. Bigtony

    They tolerate dogs and golfers. All we need to do is make a detector look like a golf club and the shovel looks like a cute doggie. I am in Timbuckto right now and wifi service is bad.

  6. Bigtony

    Call it what you want, I am back in the 90s where wifi service was hit or miss

  7. Joe Smith

    I can add to the list of detecting woes. I was removed from my last water hunt because my presence causes fights to break out. Pretzel logic.

    I’ve had a few run ins with my fellow hobbyists sporting garden shovels, and being told to F off when I point out the problem. Do I call the cops to protect the hobby, or does that make matters worse for us?

    I’m been solicited at the beach to join a local club with the solicitor showing me the bracelet that I saw him dig out of the forbidden dunes. Is this someone I’m supposed to follow?

    The only thing I can suggest is that detector manufacturers should package a DVD with each machine that includes how to use it properly. The presentation should also fully describe what asshole behavior is. (and yes, call the offenders assholes because that’s what they are) Until that is defined and enforced by fellow hobbyists, the powers that be will always have an example to point to when denying our access.

    We have already met the enemy, and he is us.

    • Joe, thank you, thank you, thank you! Well said, and I love the last line.

      I am old enough that whatever happens won’t affect me, but the tekkies today better wake up and look around. If not they will have no one to blame but themselves.

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