Friendly Metal Detecting Forums

Friendly Metal Detecting Forums (
-   Research and Getting Permission (
-   -   Georgia Metal Detecting Laws (

Cody H 05-01-2021 08:00 PM

Georgia Metal Detecting Laws
Good Evening All,

It's been awhile since I've metal detected and I've been in Georgia for awhile but have been hesitant due to the laws here.

Does anyone have any updated guidance on the laws in Georgia? I have done a lot of searching, but can't find anything other than the Archaeology board or whatever saying that you need written permission to metal detect on Federal/State/Private property. I know that some counties may have different ordinances, but I can't find anything regarding the counties around me. I'm pretty hesitant to go out metal detecting (and don't want to ask for private property yet until I get used to digging plugs again).

Does anyone have any official or unofficial guidance? I'm in the Columbia/Richmond county area if that helps at all.

Thanks for the help!

Tom_in_CA 05-01-2021 09:43 PM

Welcome back to FMDF. It's been awhile since you've chimed in :timer:


Originally Posted by Cody H (Post 3311368)
.... but have been hesitant due to the laws here....

What "laws" there, are making you hesitant ? Can you be specific ? Because as you allude to: There's myriads of different layers of types public land. Eg.: Federal (and various forms of fed. land therein), State (and various forms therein), County (and various forms therein), and scores of cities all around you (with various forms therein).

So : Are you saying that you've found prohibitions on every single one of these ?

But then you say this, which sheds light on your plight:


Originally Posted by Cody H (Post 3311368)
.... I have done a lot of searching, but can't find anything other than the ....


Originally Posted by Cody H (Post 3311368)
....but I can't find anything regarding the counties around me....

Aaahh, so you are NOT "finding laws or rules " that address the use of detectors. Right ? If so, then do NOT fall into the trap of thinking you're going to find rules or laws that say "Metal detecting is allowed here". On the contrary, if you're not finding laws (ie.: if it's silent on the subject), then presto: It's not disallowed. You do not need express allowances for this. Just like you won't find some express allowance to fly kites, or skip stones on the pond (might poke someone's eye out).

Thus the fact of you "finding nothing" is ALL THE MORE reason to head out and detect (barring obvious historic sensitive monuments, of course).

Then you say :


Originally Posted by Cody H (Post 3311368)
.... other than the Archaeology board or whatever saying that you need written permission to metal detect on Federal/State/Private property...

Cody: Consider the source of that "dire sounding quote" :roll: : Coming from archaeologists. WELL OF COURSE they're gonna spew out "dire sounding junk" when it comes to metal detecting. It would be like asking a P.E.T.A. (animal rights wacko group) : "Can I leave my pet bunny in the car while I run into 7-11 and get a slurpee ? " They will screech: NNNOOO ! The bunny will suffer. Your car will get confiscated. blah blah. Heck, they might even be able to cite animal cruelty laws that appear to say such things. But .... seriously now .... did anyone else in the world care except them ? SO TOO do I put little stock into what some purist archies claim.

For example: That is simply not true that you need "written permission" to detect on various fed. and state locations. ON THE CONTRARY: If it's not prohibited, then .... who says "written permission" needed ? Where are they pulling that out of ? Do you need "written permission" to fly kites ?

And as further proof, notice they're saying you need "written permission" to detect on private land . SINCE WHEN ? SAYS WHO ?? If Farmer Bob says a verbal "go ahead", then : Farmer Bob can do whatever the heck he wants on his land. If you have guests over to your house to watch an NFL game, do those guests need "written permission" to be in your house ? OF COURSE NOT. So where is the archie getting that, somehow, md'ing needs "written" permission ? That's just utterly silly. Verbal permission is just fine.

So this cut & paste by the ding-bat archie can be ignored.

Tom_in_CA 05-01-2021 09:44 PM

There is apparently something in the GA state parks verbiage that specifically mentions detectors. (and I have sneaking suspicions of the origin). Ok, fine then, you can nix state parks there.

You can do BLM and NFS , as long as you're not running afoul of ARPA (you're looking for nuggets and/or modern coins, right ? :roll:).

And as far as down to city and county levels: In this digital day & age, there's hardly a single city or county that doesn't have their muni codes, park rules, etc.... on line. Eg.: Dogs on leash, no fireworks, etc..... If it doesn't say "no md'ing", then so-be-it. Personally, I don't hesitate to hit any park or school or beach etc... that I come to (barring obvious sensitive monuments).

But if you are skittish, you can look it up for yourself. And DON'T go asking desk-jockey's "can I metal detect ?", lest you become the latest victim of "No one cared UNTIL you asked " routine.

And of course, don't be in the middle of deep retrievals on nice manicured turf, when busy-bodies are staring. And don't go waltzing over beach blankets at an archie convention, and so forth.

Cody H 05-02-2021 11:23 AM

Thanks Tom! Yeah I was looking at Georgia's Department of Natural Resource's website for the info and I believe that their decisions were based on bills put forth from Archaeology advocates. Either way, I wasn't aware I could do BLM and NFS lands.

Thanks for pointing out that the lack of verbiage addressing metal detecting would mean that local parks, public grounds (not state) are likely allowed. I will take that into account going forward! I'll want to get used to detecting again before seeking out private permissions for the good stuff.

Thanks for the help!

dixiedigger57 05-03-2021 03:21 PM

Hi Cody! I live in Middle Georgia. State parks and National Seashore are big no no. Nation Seashore has signs posted--Jekyll Island and so forth, with the Number of the United States Code on it. and yes.. they prosecute..harshly..

local ordinances vary and enforcement is the key. there are some mousy ordinances and its just according to who sees you. i had a friend they confronted by a jerk of a worker, and friend was an off duty cop lol. I think he recognized him as such.. this was a place--park..hunted forever. friend was newbie. and since consolidation of city county govt the law is somewhat unclear. he had to get a "permit" and no disturbing the soil. yea..I been hunting there 20 years... in fact, i hunted there today at lunch in the chips, and the other day wandered out on the grass.. no ball fields though. use common sense of where they look. and time you hunt. most parks are closed and posted at dark. . and no shovels. common sense. discreetness. and nighttime hunts even if not posted and closed, aint safe in urban areas. lots of spent shells and fired bullets..

Atlanta has a city ordinance i hear, and take your life in your hands there in a lot of old parks to start with.

local schools.. well some are non caring but most now have the ball fields fenced off and locked, and several places they have posted. the chip lots dont yield too much unless they are in area where a lot of off hour kids play, but due to damage because of lack of parenting, and teenagers, many are now locked..
But there are places to hunt... good luck!

Tom_in_CA 05-03-2021 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by dixiedigger57 (Post 3311836)
... he had to get a "permit" and no disturbing the soil. yea..I been hunting there 20 years... in fact, i hunted there today at lunch in the chips, ...

So you "can't disturb the soil" eh ? And so-too is there something similar in EVERY SINGLE PARK in the USA (aka "alter", "deface", etc....). Yet you readily admit to hunting in the chips at this park, eh ?

Ok, so if I were to ask those park administrators :

"Hi. Is it ok if dixiedigger57 disturbs the chips in the park ?". What do you think they would say ? I'll bet I can find someone to say "no disturbing". But for a mere $100 (I accept paypal), I can be persuaded not to "seek this clarification" . Ok ? :laughing:

dixiedigger57 05-03-2021 04:55 PM

actually Tom you can apply for a 6 month permit.. no charge.. just cant dig. but its up to them to issue at their discretion... mmmmm... is a screwdriver digging? popping up a coin?

like you say.. just do it. be discreet, and dont make waves like when they are doing grass work etc..

and the chips? well ... again....

the thing about locals is if you make a stink, they will respond with something stinkier and an argument is not going to happen because they wont hear it, and then if enough stink they will address it with a "NO" in ordinance fashion. they dont have time for us and if made to have time, they will guarantee a "NO".

just do it... get it till the well runs dry...

Tom_in_CA 05-03-2021 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by dixiedigger57 (Post 3311865)
.... is a screwdriver digging? popping up a coin? ...


Originally Posted by dixiedigger57 (Post 3311865)
.... and the chips? well ... again.... ...

Tsk tsk Dixie. It's YOUR DUTY to "seek clarification" about whether or not a screwdriver constitutes "digging" vs "popping". And it's YOUR DUTY to clarify whether or not "chips" vs "soil" are the same concept or not. Tsk tsk. :police:

After all: You don't want to "be arrested", do you ? :shrug: You don't want your detector "confiscated". Right ? (both of which are certainly imminent for these terrible things). Tsk tsk. Thus: Hurry ! Go do the "right thing" ! And start asking for clarifications. Make us all proud. :laughing:

dixiedigger57 05-04-2021 12:30 PM

tom, when the right authority approaches "me" i will ask them. i will not kick the sleeping bear on the gray areas. the posted i avoid. the not posted i go discreetly.

you are a lawyer. i am a retired cop, and current defense investigator. . when a cop, a con man told me one time when his con was uncovered totally by chance in a million accident, actually 1 in 330 million, and he was arrested.. "Its your job to put me in jail, not my job to put me in jail, you get paid to do that, i dont. i am not volunteering anything and dont ask me any questions." he stole millions.

Tom_in_CA 05-04-2021 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by dixiedigger57 (Post 3312117)
.... i am a retired cop, ....

thank you for your services to our communities. A job that very few people can envy :no: And great to have that perspective for this hobby here !

Cody H 05-05-2021 07:37 PM

Thanks guys for the help! So basically unless otherwise posted, just do my best to not attract attention and don't detect in obviously busy/well-maintained places like sports fields. That should be easy enough!

Tom_in_CA 05-05-2021 09:08 PM


Originally Posted by Cody H (Post 3312508)
... So basically unless otherwise posted, just ...

Just avoid 1) obvious historic monument type spots. 2 ) NPS (that's one form of federal parks that *could* get snippety ) 3) and don't do nice-manicured turf if busy-bodies are staring. Choose lower traffic times for nice-manicured turf. Since detectors carry "connotations" (that you might be about to leave a mess, blah blah).

And the most important rule of all: 30% of all your finds go to Tom_in_CA I accept paypal :cool3:

low tide 02-22-2022 10:59 PM

no state parks and no Historical areas.. That's pretty much everywhere you WANT to hunt... GRRRRR..

Tom_in_CA 02-23-2022 12:25 AM


Originally Posted by low tide (Post 3369044)
.... and no Historical areas.......

"No historical areas" in Georgia ? What defines "historical areas" ? Any place with history ?

If so, then how is it that we see show & tell from Georgia hunters, where they show off old coins ? I bet they're not finding them in modern parks , eh ? :detector:

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.