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Old 02-14-2013, 12:58 PM
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GOLDENGIRL2013 GOLDENGIRL2013 is offline
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Question Permission to detect

I'm new at this....I realize that to detect you have to get permission from the land owner...however, what about county property, parks, schools, etc? Can you go on county property and schools(as long as kids aren't in school) and detect? I'm not sure ...should I contact Parks Department in my county?
I live in Brazoria County, Texas....
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:06 PM
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for parks, if there is no sign saying not to, or anything on your town and county's website about not MDing or digging. just detect it. when you start contacting people you'll be shooting yourself in the foot. if no rules posted about it, hunt 'till asked to leave.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:20 PM
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If there is no signs, I definitely wouldn't call anyone. If someone from the parks association yells at you, just say "well I didn't know I wasn't allowed to...." and play it off. There's nothing they can do except tell you to stop if there's no signs. But, if you ask, and they say no...then you're basically screwed.. I would just look for signs and if there is none, detect until you get shooed away.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GOLDENGIRL2013 View post
I'm new at this....I realize that to detect you have to get permission from the land owner...however, what about county property, parks, schools, etc? Can you go on county property and schools(as long as kids aren't in school) and detect? I'm not sure ...should I contact Parks Department in my county?
I live in Brazoria County, Texas....
GrumpySRB lives in your area so he'd be able to answer your questions to the umpteenth degree.

You have a lot of early Texas history in that area. First capitol of Texas, Varner Hogg Plantation, Battle of Velasco where Santa Anna met his Sam Houston, blah, blah, blah; You'll need to be on your toes and know the do's and don'ts.

GrumpSRB is friendly, nice guy and extremely knowledgeable about your area. I grew up in Freeport and in our conversations he's reminded me of places I'd forgotten. Definitely on my list to meet and hunt with once I get a chance to get back to the coast for a few days.

Might want to send him a PM if he's not along in a bit.

GL & HH
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:51 PM
Dark Chameleon Dark Chameleon is offline
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I have to disagree with the other on here who say not to ask...if your respectful and ask you'll be able to detect there forever, if you just go and do it and one person gets pissed you will never get back.

If you are in this for the long haul you don't want to be burning your bridges behind you, you can go to the properties if public and look around for any signs, this will give you some information about it when you ask.

If you get permission from the parks and rec you have all the local parks open to you, if you get permission from the local schools superintendant you now have every school open to you.

The rules though are as you mentioned you don't detect when kids are there but another deal is don't do on the sports fields during the season, and best to start digging in your garden or a place where bad holes/plugs wont get noticed until you learn to cut a clean flap/plug and put it back with the double stamp of your foot.

The cleaner you are the better your chances to get more permisssions, if you start asking around you can have a sheet of pictures and lists of places you have detected previous so if they walk on the common or sports fields or parks and have not noticed damage then it shows you are a clean digger and don't leave trash everywhere.

Heck even take a picture of your trash finds just prior to throwing them away to show how much cleaner those places are when you've finished then, prepare for asking the P&R, SS, etc by having a type written note of the reasons you should get permission and places you have checked already.

State you have a professional machine, hand digger, towel for dirt pouch and always take your trash with you if there's no trash cans to dump them in.

If you get permission you can always show up in person a few weeks later with a list of other public areas to ask if you can get permission there too..even if you've just started on another area.

Better to have your next and next places sorted out then run out of places and have to wait for permissions or have to keep returning to the same places again and again

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:06 PM
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Asking without doing your homework, probably does more harm than good. If there is nothing in the rules or laws against it go for it. So over-regulated metro areas like KC, NYC, and LINY require permits or forbid in in county parks etc, but for the most part, it is rare that you see one of us out, authorities do a double take, assume it is ok, or don't notice.

Detecting at the break of dawn, will ease your apprehension and minimize any conflicts. Sneaky or not, it is smart to reduce conflict and confrontation even when your are in the right 100%. It is ridiculous that people would be concerned with a metal detectorist. Drug dealers and prostitutes are on subtlety on every corner and they call the cops on a MDer? Some people...

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:15 PM
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If its public property and nothing saying not to then I would go for it without asking. Asking at that point is just giving them the opportunity to say no.

Use common sense however, hunting a school while school is in session isn't going to end well, but on a weekend when the school is empty, have had it.

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:03 PM
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If you go to a location such as a park, that has a list of do's and dont's and our hobby is not mentioned, go ahead and dig with respect.

In general areas ask law enforcement. Right or wrong, some busy-body people love to call the police on people like us who are hunting. If the police know about you being there, it's not such a big deal when they answer a call.

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:23 PM
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Just be sure to look for signs and also see if they have a website. There are parks here that don't have signs posted but yet the township website States that metal detecting in the parks is illegal and can result in fines and

confiscation of equipment.

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Old 02-15-2013, 12:23 AM
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I can see where the majority is coming from but I still make the phone calls, I made 3 calls to 3 different county park directors and got a yes for all 3. Now I have over a dozen parks to hunt without any worry, oddly enough I called about 2 community centers and got a no for both of them. The 3 counties of city parks make up for that and I had a great time hunting one of them today.

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:06 AM
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Like others have said, if there is no sign prohibiting it and it isn't listed on their website, then have at it. Do people call and ask permission to play frisbee or play catch with a baseball? I believe in doing the right thing and follow the rules. If there is no rule against it, then it is legal. If they do not allow md, then it's the parks responsibility to post it in their park rules. Who's to say that if you call, the person on the other end may take it upon themself to tell you no when it's not within their pay grade to give you an answer.

If you do ever happen to call a city or county, do not ask for permission, ask if there is a rule or law against metal detecting. If they say there is a rule or law against it, ask for a copy of the rules and laws.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:06 AM
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Any cop will tell you ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you get caught detecting in a area that you shouldn't be most officers will just give you a warning but it only takes one grumpy cop to ruin your day with heavy fines and confiscating your detector.

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  #13  
Old 02-15-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default Metal detecting Laws

Originally Posted by GOLDENGIRL2013 View post
I'm new at this....I realize that to detect you have to get permission from the land owner...however, what about county property, parks, schools, etc? Can you go on county property and schools(as long as kids aren't in school) and detect? I'm not sure ...should I contact Parks Department in my county?
I live in Brazoria County, Texas....
Hi there if you want to find out that the laws are for metal detecting just go on web type in, Laws on metal detectors /eHow.com and they have info on metal detecting Laws then type in MDHTALK Texas metal detecting Laws & Regulations . And there is a website that will tell where you can go metal detecting just type in Places to Teeasure Hunt with metal detectors in Texas. hopes this helps you.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by halfstep View post
Do people call and ask permission to play frisbee or play catch with a baseball? I believe in doing the right thing and follow the rules.
If you do ever happen to call a city or county, do not ask for permission, ask if there is a rule or law against metal detecting. If they say there is a rule or law against it, ask for a copy of the rules and laws.
I forgot the Frisbee Rule of Thumb: If you feel comfortable playing frisbee there then it is ok to detect there. I think WayneEtc came up with that. Like any other rule of thumb, it is a rule of thumb.

Good point about asking if there is a law/rule, not asking permission!!!

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Old 02-15-2013, 03:37 PM
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The first school I hunted I was approached by one of the workers about detecting within 30 minutes of starting..when I told him I had permission he went crazy...cos hed asked three times and been turned down.

I don't know why they turned him down but I have had drive by by the police four times this season and they didn't say a dicky bird...because I had permission before I ever set foot on the land.

I can now hunt every park and school in my town perminantly unless my permission is revoked..so I keep my holes clean and filled, take my trash out and keep the biggest nail I ever found with me at all times so if im stopped and told im trashing I can show them this and say how I found it...pointed straight up and 8" long.

Get your permissions...remember if you get kicked off one place the police might start keeping an eye on you and then the other places start falling like dominoes...just cos you didn't respectfully ask for permission....why assume they are going to say no?.

You tell them you have hunted plenty of times before with never a hint of a problem, use professional tools, never use a shovel, respect sports fields, and always take my trash with me.

All it takes is one good permission and then you can use that place as a reference from them on...with a good friendly forum t shirt on you might even get a few more permissions without even having to ask...

One tip...ask for permission from places that would like good PR (in my case the local gun club), they always want to work with local people and turning on one can be what they don't want...they may want to see what you find or your only allowed on certain days but they do love good PR.

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:06 AM
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Still I would not ask to detect unless it was one of those schools that had a locked fence around the recess areas, and even then I would detect what was not locked.

Who do you ask? The board of education or the individual principals? If I had to do that I would probably just go somewhere better than schools since those have been cherry picked thoroughly for the last 30 years.

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Old 02-17-2013, 10:56 PM
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You have every right to use open public spaces. Certain cities may have bans in place, I would read the park regulations online, and not call asking permission. If it's not listed in their park regs assume you can. If it is a private school, then obviously you would need permission.

If you can practice cutting and restoring plugs before you get to a public grass area it will give you a lot of confidence. On healthy grass no one should be able to tell if the grass was disturbed if standing 5+ feet away.

Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:39 PM
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Everyone has their own personal view on this. You will get all types of answers.

Personally I don't detect anywhere I haven't gotten permission to detect.

I do get my fair share of no's, but I get more yes's. You would be surprised who would say yes if you ask. I have asked for permission to properties I thought would say no and got the go ahead.

I like knowing I'm not going to get thrown off a property.

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