Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17

    Asking permission?

    What is some of your best advise on asking permission to metal detect so that you can get a "yes" answer? What clothes, one day better than another, time of day? Do you have a card that tells who you are and contact info? I understand that I will get some "NO" answers but I would like to optimize my chances of getting permission.

  2. #2
    MartinL's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Far North Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,590
    Quote Originally Posted by olesoulle View Post
    What is some of your best advise on asking permission to metal detect so that you can get a "yes" answer? What clothes, one day better than another, time of day? Do you have a card that tells who you are and contact info? I understand that I will get some "NO" answers but I would like to optimize my chances of getting permission.
    Best it you can catch them in the yard. Yard sales were good for me. As far as the other details which you mentioned...someone else will have to give advice there.

  3. #3
    Eastcoastdigs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    NY to MD
    Posts
    475
    Back in the day in upstate NY I could just walk up to a house and ask. The owners didn't even care about keeping anything. Fast forward to the present down in Maryland. Now with all the reality shows and what I perceive as been a real mentality shift in society, many people are wary, think you are going to find the holy grail, cheat them, or think you are up to something. I've had more rejections (with strange and wary looks) this year that all my past days back in the 70s and 80s.

    For a cold call, I feel the only thing you can do is still walk up (I think MartinL correct - catch them outside if you can), be honest and let them know you want to practice with your metal detector, offer to split what you find, and see what happens. I would not elaborate about great past finds, or go into visions of grandeur about finding lots of treasure or valuables. Keep it simple.

    The best way to get private property permissions is to network through people you know. They know you and already have a degree of comfort with you. Ask them if they know someone with an older property. That gives you a lead with a reference. Don't get discouraged.

    Oh, and don't forget the contract. Owners have approached me about having one. That actually is a good idea to protect you with folks you don't know. Its a different world out there now. Good luck.

  4. #4
    deolslyfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    47,144
    Be friendly, be honest, offer to share finds and return anything with family history - eg: grandma's ring .... Good luck !!
    If there's anything I hate worse than diggin' pulltabs, its missin' a gold ring.

  5. #5
    hiwaysong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    289
    Try to catch them outside and start by inquiring about the history of the property. If they bite, ask them if the property was ever metal detected. Then express your interest in detecting.....if you have a card this is this time to present it. If they look like they are waffleing, tell them that what you do is share the finds 50/50.

  6. #6
    KMarhoffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Wooster, Ohio
    Posts
    131
    Never start with asking. Here is the key to asking....

    Research the house before you go. Old maps, name of the original builder/land owner and give the house significance other than some old house to dig for things you want to keep. Give them something to believe your interest has been studied and possibly feed them something they don't know. Your not just a detectorist... your a historian and your interest is history preserved, someone looking for items that may be donated to the local historical society if significant, someone that will be honest and share what you find, let them know it's their stuff but you want to find it (they almost never take anything), you will check in with them with your finds, the yard will be spotless and highest degree of care for their yard will be taken (describe in the best way what your dig looks like, most people think you use a full size shovel and not a trowel), always pre announce you will
    be there in advance prior, give them your full contact info and tell them
    if they change their mind on letting you or not letting you to always contact you to let you know, your sensitive to their privacy and want to always be concerned with what they have going on so you don't wear out your welcome. DO NOT GO ON SUNDAY MORNING, that's an auto fail. To ask, to detect or enter the lands for any reason, guaranteed no.


    Being honest, respectful, clean, kind, dressed nice and speaking of your family/wife/kids and name dropping also helps. Most of all over everything to all detail it's building a line of trust with them and being reverent to the smallest details gets you to where you want to be.

    Once you get one keep in contact. I have 5 places waiting for me to get there, I wrote everyone a letter last week and mailed them out. Letting them know my interest is still there but due to respecting their yard and the dry spell I will wait and I will in advance let them know I will be out. I also keep a list of all permissions, the addresses and what I find. When Christmas rolls around I send Christmas cards with a lengthy "thank you" letter inside and I explain how very much I appreciate how they let me into their yard to detect and what it means to my sport. I've got permissions given to me by friends of the original permissions I write these cards/letters to, dream sites your would never think you would ever get to go to. They want you to check their yard too, it works out well.

    I've learned over the years that the 5 gallon bucket in one of my gun safes filled with silver is only cared about by me. Yes it will trade off someday into cash but it more than that to me. Otherwise it's just a bucket of coins worth money to buy other people's "of interest" stuff with. If you give up your "ownership" of the finds to the ones who actually own them... the land owner.. by your honest word at the beginning of the relationship (meeting then to ask), you 9 times out of 10 get to keep your find, gain trust, and if you give it away it's an awesome feeling to see them smile with excitement.

  7. #7
    KMarhoffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Wooster, Ohio
    Posts
    131
    To add. It's amazing the response you get from a hand written letter. It's a very powerful thing in today's lame attempt to communicate in texting, emails and etc. It's relaying the importance of the person you are writing to in caring enough to dedicate yourself to writing, stamping and sending a letter. Don't type it, write it. I've see my letters magnented up on some of the elderly ladies refrigerators months after I wrote them. It's all about the line of trust and the feeling of caring about their property and them. Most all of my permissions become good friends after I've been out a couple times. Sometime when you get there and you have 4 hours to detect... you
    end up sitting on the front porch talking about world war 2 and Korea for the 4 hours. Incredibly awesome stuff and detecting gave you that history lesson. Don't overlook the owners with the excitement of the hunt, it's ultra easy to do without knowing it.

  8. #8
    donpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    124
    Kmarhoffer, your advice is excellent. It should be made into a sticky!
    Bogdan "Don" Pieniak

  9. #9
    KMarhoffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Wooster, Ohio
    Posts
    131
    To add: If you keep in contact with your permissions after you feel you are finished with the site you will thank yourself. If you upgrade to a better detector, get a bigger coil or equipment that changes your detecting and get better at knowing your machine developing skills. The sites you previously hunted are clean and already trust is there, you are generally always welcome back to try out your new skills or equipment. I guarantee you didn't find everything.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in