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How to Get Permission to Metal Detect a Property - Approaching an Owner or Property

How to Get Permission to Metal Detect a Property - Approaching an Owner or Property

Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Permission Metal Detecting.  If You Never Ask For Permission, You Most Certainly Won't Get It!  But, Don's Ignore The Signs!

I’ve always been a shy noninvasive type of person but when it came to metal detecting I couldn’t be. Gathering permissions is the most important part after research when it comes to detecting because well simply put, it’s illegal to trespass and that’s the last step you have to go through before you get access to the history in the ground! It can be extremely intimidating. Especially people that are just starting out and venturing away from the public spots. I would suggest reaching out to family and friends first and see if they have old property or if they know someone who owns old property. That is a great first step because you might be surprised what people can get you access to. But if you're past all of that and are ready to start knocking doors, here is some helpful advice.
  1. Be confident and be yourself! - Too many times have I wimped out and driven past a house because the house looked too historic or the negative thought of “there’s no way they'd let me on this place”.  But many, many, times you will approach and just by staying friendly and approachable the permission will be yours. Staying confident and knowing what to say helps as well. I usually start with the history of the property and then move into the hobby of metal detecting and how you are searching for history and that you would love to have the opportunity to search their property for it. Usually they will be delighted to talk about the history, or they just simply don’t care and just let you have at it!
  1. Be polite and offer your services! - Maybe they lost a wedding ring or a class ring or even something else special! Maybe they ask for something as simple as locating their property markers. Whatever it may be, finding something specific for a property owner will brighten their day and may even get you access to other locations. Another key aspect is being polite. Most of the time, you are both strangers to one another. By being friendly and polite it can instantly break that barrier and they will quickly warm up to you being on their door.
  1. Don't ignore the “signs”. -  In a perfect world, every property owner is a very nice person who has no care at all to you detecting. But sometimes you can gather a lot before you even knock the door. The most inviting sign I can see on someone’s doorstep is a Welcome mat. People with Welcome mats are typically just that, welcoming and nice. It just helps ease the mind when approaching the door. On the other hand, a No Trespassing sign is all it takes for me to not approach. Usually we see those signs sitting on fences or nailed to a tree out in the country and not in town or residential areas. When I see them in residential areas and it’s on a house, its best just not to approach because even outside of detecting, they might not be the most welcoming people. But, when out in the country and I see a No Trespassing sign, it is a little different. Usually it means the property is owned, such as a field or a forest, and not their place of residence. But if it happens to be on their house or up their driveway then like I said, don’t ignore the signs!

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  • Josh Turpin