I've enjoyed the metal detecting hobby now for almost 60-years. Getting the signal, deciding what your option is regarding the target, basing the decision on your instrument's VDI and sound indications. If the decision is to remove the target from the ground, my least favorite part of the hobby comes into play; digging, or in the Archaeologists parlance, excavating. Now, as embarrassing as it is for an old detectorist to admit, I don't like digging, and never have! It is a critical part of the hobby, and I feel the public's eyes boring into the back of my head. But I still follow the detectorists code of ethics, open the ground like I'm doing an appendectomy, carefully opening the ground and probing gently, as not to damage either the target or the matrix it resides in. And closing it up like you'd never been there.
|Keep it clean and professional, Dirt Dog!|
In order to keep from getting kicked out of wherever you are hunting, your excavating skills must be of the first order and not that of a dog digging a bone! Dirt everywhere, including your hair, and a messy, obvious soil-colored blotch on a park swale, or a manicured private lawn. And to make it even worse, sometimes not even filled back in, giving the dig the appearance of a small meteor crater. And to make it even worse, leaving a piece of trash you brought back into the world, laying abandoned next to the unfilled hole in the ground! Why ever would people frown on equipment-laden, clanking and beeping detectorists' marring the landscape everywhere they go?
Well, many times experienced, and not so experienced, detectorists have a tendency to aim barbs at the newbies in the hobby regarding this open hole issue. And why not? They have committed the ultimate crime of becoming a participant in your hobby, the dogs!!!! Of course they are leaving those holes!!!! But hold on just a New York Minute, my friend! I am a club officer in the largest metal detecting club in the United States. We have many club hunts and private permission hunts, on occasion, where the club members get to hunt some literally undetected virgin property here in Central Florida. Our membership ranges from brand new detectorists, even children, to the middle-of-the road detectorists, as well as the old men and women of the hobby, as they shine the golden light of experience and metal detecting street-smarts over the unwashed wannabes.
But what's this? A club hunt where a club member twists their leg after stepping in a freshly dug hole on the hunt-field? But no newbies in sight, only hardened veterans of the metal detecting hobby? Another hunt, this time on the beach, with another sprained leg after stepping into another deeply-dug, unfilled hole in the sand? Again, another member quietly reports seeing not a newcomer, but a veteran hunter dig and leave the gaping hole without even looking back! The good practice goalposts of the hobby are slowly moving back across the line, into the realm of unacceptable and irresponsible behavior, by even some of the best of us. I need not sound the alarm again about the danger to the continued health of our hobby this sort of negligence represents; the eventual outlawing of any metal detecting anywhere! So let's all agree to agree to do better, and to self-police our own pastime before police, city officials and land owners do it for us. Cheers!