With the start of the 2018 Detecting Season, I want to remind everyone of the laws pertaining to this fantastic hobby. These laws are in every state but worded differerant in the state Statue Books of each respective state. The first law is you must notify Diggers Hotline if your going to do ANY DIGGING. It doesn’t matter where you are. Diggers Hotline must be notified at least 3 days prior to any digging. In Wisconsin, the Statue is 182.0175.
The next issue is some detectorists don’t care about people’s property and have went on property not belonging to them. If your not the owner of the property your detecting, you better have permission from the landowner, preferably in writing. If it is open to the public then so be it. Some cities have ordinances for no metal detecting on city, village, county, or state lands. It your caught on property that you have no business being on, you can be arrested for CRIMINAL TRESPASS to land. Wisconsin State Statue 943.13
The next problem is doing damage to another’s property without their permission. You can be charged with CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY. If your trespassing and start digging holes on this persons property, you can be charged with Criminal Damage to Property. Wisconsin State Statue 943.01.
The next issue is when your on this property and you dig up something and take it out with you depriving to owner of said property of the item(s) that were dug up and removed. This is called THEFT OF REMOVABLE PROPERTY. Wisconsin State Statue of 943.20
So one act of trespassing and digging up something and removing that property to deprive the owner of said property can get you three charges. This makes all detectorist look bad. It is not worth having a criminal record the rest of your life.
I have listed below, the Treasure Hunters Code of Ethics that need to be followed whenever your out detecting.
Code of Ethics
In order to protect your hobby it’s important to follow the metal detecting code of ethics-
1. Follow all local, state, and federal laws related to metal detecting.
2. Respect private property and never metal detect an area without permission.
3. Pack out what you pack in, and properly dispose of any trash you find.
4. Leave all gates, structures, and personal property as they were before.
5. Fill in every hole you dig. Leave no trace you were there.
6. Never dig in a way that harms vegetation, wildlife, or changes natural features.
7. Report any significant historical artifacts to local authorities.
8. Be an ambassador for the hobby by being courteous and thoughtful at all times.
We want you to have an enjoyable hunt and be able to enjoy this fantastic hobby for years to come.