Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

Metal detecting code of ethics that every treasure hunter should abide by
Written By: Marc McDermott
Last Updated:
  1. Ask permission first.
  2. Respect the rights and property of others.
  3. Observe all laws, whether national, state or local. Aid law enforcement officials whenever possible.
  4. Never destroy priceless, historical or archeological treasures.
  5. Leave the land and vegetation as it was. Fill in all holes.
  6. Remove all trash and litter when you leave.
  7. All treasure hunters may be judged by the example you set. Always conduct yourself with courtesy and consideration for others.
  8. Remember, all you want to leave behind are your footprints.

It’s so important to read and follow the code of conduct in its entirety. If not, you risk being able to metal detect in the future.

Landowners and government officials will no longer grant permission for you or others to metal detect if you’re leaving unfilled holes behind and otherwise treating the land irresponsibly.

The thing to remember is that wherever you’re hunting, you must leave that place looking exactly as it did before you got there – or better!

A few more rules to follow:

  1. When coin shooting never dig a full circle plug. Cut a half round plug and hinge it up and over to retrieve the target. After tamping the half round plug down, jab the coin probe in the plug a few times so when it rains the water has a place to go instead of surrounding it like a moat and leaving a dead spot.
  2. Do not dig when the ground is dry. Even cutting a half round plug will kill the grass. If you must hunt when the ground is dry, try cutting a slit in the grass.
  3. Use a ground cloth for any dirt that is pulled out of the hole. It will keep the dirt out of the grass and is easier and faster to pour back in.
  4. Use a probe to locate coins three inches or less AND use the probe to pry them up out of the ground. If you have a flimsy probe then purchase the one on Metal Detecting In The
  5. When relic hunting, cover all holes! It doesn’t matter if relic hunting in the woods, a cornfield or pasture, cover the holes back up.
  6. When relic hunting, carry out the rusted iron junk found.

Next chapter: How to Get Permission to Metal Detect. Read our complete beginners guide here.