How And Where To Hunt When Metal Detecting


What Is Research?

Research is a process of systematic inquiry that entails collection of data; documentation of critical information; and analysis and interpretation of that data/information, in accordance with suitable methodologies set by specific professional fields and academic disciplines.

Research is conducted to

  • Evaluate the validity of a hypothesis or an interpretive framework.
  • To assemble a body of substantive knowledge and findings for sharing them in appropriate manners.
  • To help generate questions for further inquiries.

Recommendations to conduct research and to help you find the best places to go metal detecting

  1. Online.  
  2. Library.  
  3. Maps, Fire/Insurance, City/County Plats, etc.  
  4. The Local Historical Society.  
  5. Talking To Neighbors.  
  6. Taking A Walk.  
  7. Talking To Local Metal Detecting Club Members.  
  8. Other Public Records.  
  9. Drone service organizations.  

If you are looking for a great metal detecting “near me” site, then you cannot go wrong with developing a list of your own to get started near you. You are bound to find something of value by searching one or more of the below locations.

Location, Location, Location. Choosing a place to WORK with your metal detector is especially important. It will dictate what you find and how much you will find. If you hunt on the beach, you’re likely to find lost jewelry, coins, and watches.

If you visit the site of a Civil War battlefield or Western Frontier encampments, you are more likely to find flat buttons, bayonets, canteens, and shell casings. Accordingly, if you hunt at the site of a century-old privy pit, you may encounter antique bottles and jars. Veteran detectorists have a rule of thumb: search where many people have walked or congregated.

There are popular sites among relic hunters. They include beaches, parks, schoolyards, playgrounds, ball fields, bike or hiking trails, picnic areas, recreation areas, outdoor theaters, and lastly Civic/Municipal properties – the bolder the better!

Start With The History of Your Town

If you are sincerely interested in finding a prosperous hunting ground, do some upfront planning and research. Call this digging for information before the real digging begins. It is not difficult to find snippets about the background and history of your city or town.

You might learn the details of a historical artifact that is just waiting to be found. Not everybody is aware of it, but most cities keep historical information on file at City or county libraries. Consider this fun research—it’s not like you have to write a report.

This information is going to help you find treasure; without it, you may be detecting aimlessly for hours.

When you visit the library, check for the section on local history. Ask the research librarian to direct you. Look for stories about celebrations, local businesses, sporting events, boarding houses, and the town industry.

If you can get your hands on old maps with crossroads and homestead markers, or fire/ insurance maps this will also prove valuable. Here are some suggestions for good hunting locations that you can research at your local library:

  • Abandoned houses
  • Boarding houses, saloons, hotels
  • Civil War battlefields and Frontier encampments
  • Crime stories, unsolved robberies
  • Discovery of ores (gold, copper, silver), Lost Cities
  • Fires, floods or disasters that destroyed cities/buildings/bridges/ferry’s
  • Halls and meeting places for civic groups (i.e., Elks club, VFW, AL, )
  • Local landmarks, points of interest, old Civic buildings (i.e., Court Houses & Fire Houses)
  • New bridges, thoroughfares that opened up a community, (don’t forget the Ferry crossings)
  • Wagon train and emigrant routes
  • Social and church events
  • Surveying expeditions
  • Location of the old town dump(s)

Privy pits (or old outhouses) were used as refuse disposal areas many years ago. Bottle diggers flock to these sites in search of artifacts, antique bottles, jars, and relics.

Also, keep an eye out for old highways, ball fields, town commons, fairgrounds, and railroads that have since closed. There are many detecting opportunities here.

Jason Smith

I am a former Marine who works as a Web Developer. I have five US States left to visit. I like whiskey, wine, coffee, soaking in hot springs or my hot tub.

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