In your time in this hobby, you will eventually run into somebody who doesn’t understand what we do, or is misinformed about what we do, or is just plain angry about what we do.
The best way to deal with people in the above categories is simply to inform them. One of the benefits of belonging to the Wheat State Treasure Hunters is that you will get the correct information regarding what we can or cannot do in city parks. With that information, you can calmly educate those who haven’t yet discovered the joys of metal detecting.
Case in point; this afternoon I was hunting in my favorite park when I was approached by a Parks employee. He asked me to stop “digging up the park”. As he was being polite and professional, I remained calm and told him I was not digging up the park. He then asked that I produced the permit that allowed me to do what I was doing. I responded that the city didn’t require permits for metal detecting in city parks. He said, that yes, a permit was required. I told him that he was misinformed and that he could call the police. He told me he would call his supervisor.
At that point I thanked him for being concerned and I went about the business of locating and extracting a cool coin or two. After about 30 minutes the city employee returned and said his supervisor told him that indeed a permit was required and that I had to produce it. I again politely but firmly told him that it was legal for me to metal detect in the park and that the city did not require a permit. I then told him that I was a member of this club and that the club conducted metal detecting classes on behalf of the city. I pointed him to the Parks and Recreations catalog.
After a few more minutes of discussion, everything worked out OK. He wished me a good afternoon and I went on to find three wheats and a vintage child’s copper ring, with stones (fake, sigh!).
The city employee was professional and polite at all times and so was I. Let us not forget that at every interaction with non-detectorists, we represent our hobby. We work hard not to destroy our parks and we should work hard not to destroy the image of metal detecting. It is worth mentioning that I, at no point, thought of leaving the park. I was involved in the legal use of our city park. I wouldn’t have felt so secure in my position were it not for the work that we all have done to make sure we have a good relationship with the city. We must continue to work to develop as good a relationship with our community.
Keep up the good work and don’t miss our next meeting 🙂
David a.k.a pulltabMiner.