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A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: Guvner
Date: January 07, 2011 01:32PM
It seems our pals the archeologist have managed to adapt a federal law banning anything over 100 years and or even considered historic.

Thanks... Guvner..

Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: McDave
Date: January 07, 2011 03:18PM
That is pretty sad. I wonder what will happen next..

Northern Minnesota
Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab Explorer II
Garrett AT Pro

Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: Larry (IL)
Date: January 07, 2011 03:33PM
This is a buddy of mine and he has been doing very well for a newcomer and what he is using.,1373035 One of those guys has been hunting relics for 30 years in this spot and could open his own museum. He has been hunting schools and Parks with no problems. :shrug:

Bells and whistles are nice, but nothing will substitute for the basic understanding of the hobby.

:minelab: CTX 3030

Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: Bell
Date: January 07, 2011 04:45PM
Hey Guv, I do have some experience in that area. I've been detecting since I was 7 or 8 and actually got my degree in archeology from LSU in Baton Rouge. I swung my coil all over that area both in the employ of the state and the national park service, and also on my own pulling relics and coins and now I do it right across the line in Texas. What you say about the laws is true there as well as in Texas and on further research just about every state in the union. The deal is though that the laws are on the books in most places but aren't YET being enforced very thoroughly. In my experience in LA no one will bother you in city parks but stay away from state land. If you want to pull relics get permission on private land. Its safer and that's where most of the good stuff that's left is anyway. I pretty much exclusively hunt private land now for fear of the "cultural preservation gustapo". If he wants tell him to pm me. If he happens to be in an area I know about maybe I can point him in a good direction. One things for sure, there is a lot of history in the dirt down there.

Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: OhioCoinHunter
Date: January 07, 2011 07:06PM
LaDigger has done very well over the years detecting there with his Explorer XS and his Whites M6.

My YouTube Channel:

:minelab: Minelab E-trac with Sunray X-1 Probe, 8x6 SEF Butterfly Coil, 10x12 SEF Butterfly Coil, 15x12 SEF Butterfly Coil,
Gray Ghost Headphones, Lesche Digger, Lesche Ground Shark Digger, Predator Little Eagle Digger

Schools are fenced and locked in the Baton Rouge area..N/T
Posted by: John LA
Date: January 07, 2011 11:00PM

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Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: Knipper
Date: January 08, 2011 12:26AM
Here's a question I've always wondered about. To the best of my knowledge, the U.S. Govt. has never de-monetized ANY coin minted thus far, with the possible exception of the Trade Dollar. In other words, if you wanted to spend that 1853 quarter you dug up on a candy bar, you could still do it, at a face value of 25 cents. So, how can a legal tender coin, still legitimate for spending, be considered a historical artifact?

Just posing the question. I'm not considering a dated coin as an archeological aid to date a site, as is commonly done. The fact is, there is enough written history out there that dates a site along with related activities there without having to have a coin to do so. This isn't the ancient mid east or medieval Europe that has 5000 + years of human activity, and where a coin CAN be a valuable tool in dating a site.


Terry Knipschield
SE Minnesota
Minelab SE Pro
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Troy X-5
Tesoro Tejon
Minelab E-trac

That's a killer of a point. That's what I'll say if ever cornered by a state funded archy... Love it.. :)N/T
Posted by: Guvner
Date: January 08, 2011 12:35AM

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Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: Guvner
Date: January 08, 2011 03:02AM
I used to hunt in New Orleans occasionally when I was fleeing the winter. Me and Mike Moutray were doing a park when Mike decided to find a Spanish Cob coin.

Even waded in with scoops on Lake Ponchartrain. Just wanted to know what happened of late so I didn't get in trouble. Hey your school blew out the Aggies tonight... Congrats...


Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: January 08, 2011 04:48PM
guvner, this comes up from time-to-time, in ANY state, as Bell points out. So a lot of people jump to the conclusion that ........ if something that seems to forbid metal detecting is in state laws (like state parks land, for instance), that ........ therefore .... it applies to the whole state. But this is simply wrong. Those laws would *only* apply to state owned land. It would not apply to county and city owned land, for instance.

And even on state owned lands, I'm betting the it's really only an issue if you were/are snooping around obvious historic monuments, or someone who can't take a warning, or somehow being a nuisance and using no discretion. Ie.: hunting right outisde an archie's window or something.

Re: A buddy moved to Louisiana.. But all I'm reading is metal detecting is a nightmare there. Anyone know different...
Posted by: Bell
Date: January 08, 2011 06:27PM
Unfortunately that's not entirely so, counties and states are merely political subdivisions of the state and not independent entities thus all laws that apply to public lands at the state level also apply at the local level unless specifically excluded. Now I don't know if this is the same for every state, but I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that is the case in arkansas, texas, and louisiana. In fact texas goes out of its way to enumerate that fact in its antiquities code. That doesn't mean we should go making allot of noise about this because as I said above most local officials either aren't aware of, or don't care about these laws so they aren't widely enforced. Case in point the harris county parks commissioner had banned detecting in one park because someone had left a bunch of holes (harris county is where houston is). A well meaning detectorist whom I know emailed him asking for the ban to be lifted. The commissioner politely responded that he would research the matter which he did. After reading the state code he replied back that in order to comply with state laws metal detecting could not be allowed so now ALL county parks here are off limits and it is very much enforced.

Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: January 08, 2011 08:16PM
Bell, I too have heard this logic, that some people think: That since cities and counties are merely sub-entities underneath the state, that state-level laws would prevail. But this just doesn't make sense. I mean, for example, it may be true that beach bonfires are forbidden on state owned beaches, yet certain city or county beaches don't disallow them.

Or ........ heck, why stop there: Since each state is ALSO *just* a subcategory of the larger federal government, then really ..... you'd have to say that all federal laws actually apply, even down to city level, eh? Afterall, a city is merely a part of a county. And a county is merely part of the state. And the state is merely a part of the federal, and so forth. Therefore, I disagree with this interpretation. There are many many cities that don't care (or have even given "yes's") to metal detecting. So your premise that state or federal laws supercede and the "stricter law always prevails", does not make sense.

Perhaps there is a legalese person here, who can comment further on this.

As for your example drawn from Houston/Harris, I believe that is merely an case of a county that chose to adopt the wording of their mother state. It didn't mean they "had" to though. This is not uncommon for cities to borrow wording from each other, when it comes time to write their own city charter. If that bureaucrat who answered this "well meaning detectorist" thought he HAD to comply with the state-level laws, then he is wrong. Because, heck, why would a city even need to have laws then? If all of them must be identical to state level laws, then you don't even need rules and laws for each city. You just cut/copy/paste state laws, for all your municipal codes, park laws, noise ordinances, curfews, blah blah blah.

So on the contrary: cities have their own laws all the time, and must not be identical to state-level laws.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2011 08:18PM by Tom_in_CA.

Re: reply
Posted by: Bell
Date: January 08, 2011 08:44PM
I wish that were the case, but as I said before in the states I am familiar with it is not. As far as interpreting legalese goes I did go to law school and am more than confident in my interpretation of the code. Its not a premise its a fact. As far as federal to state goes the states have the leeway to set there own standards in certain realms as outlined in the constitution, but if the fed wants to write a law to override this it can, hence the civil war. I don't think you have to have a law degree to understand this though. I'm pretty sure if you read for instance the texas antiquities code it will be completely clear to you. I'm not making this up, but I do have first hand experience and a working knowledge of this. I wish it weren't so, I don't like it, but its a fact. Not my belief, or my interpretation off anything. Just the way it is. I am sure you can find all of this info online first hand from the states themselves. No room for interpretation. Every time someone asks this question and I answer it someone gets upset and tells me I an confused or ignorant and for that reason I don't like to talk about it, but the question was asked and I answered. Choosing to ignore these laws, or act as if they don't exist will not make them go away.

Re: reply
Posted by: Bell
Date: January 08, 2011 08:57PM
Tom, by the way please don't take offense to my post. From the interactions we've had you seem like a stand up guy and I hope I didn't seem rude. You may be 100% correct in california or elsewhere. I have no idea. I've just had this conversation on my local forums about ten thousand times too many and I don't even like talking about it anymore because someone always gets upset as if I am making it up to upset them or something. Maybe ignorance is bliss lol. Anyway as far as the states mentioned above go its the law. I dislike it so much I've spent a lot of time researching it which is why I know and am completely confident in what I've said. In fact its so ridiculous that in texas the law is fifty years, not 100 and its not only illegal to dug them up and take them, but even to disturb them. But, as said above its not widely enforced at the local level and hopefully it will stay that way.

I will check on this
Posted by: Tom_in_CA
Date: January 08, 2011 09:24PM
Bell, no, I'm not offended. This needs to be discussed. Because when you think of it, if you are right, you just essentially outlawed detecting in most states, on all but private land. Because think of it: If you were to go down the list of state laws in the FMDAC link, you would find that most of them have dire sounding rules, right? ie.: if not downright "no's", then at least "inquire at each kiosk you come to" or other such cultural heritage morphings, right? I think only a scant few of the 50 states, on that FMDAC link, simply say "Yes, go ahead".

And the rationale was simple, when that list was formed, years ago. It was the same rationale that was used to make Grim's book "Treasure Laws of the United States": The guy merely sent a letter to all 50 states, with a letter to the head of each state park's dept, asking "is there any prohibitions against metal detecting" or "what are your laws/rules regarding metal detecting" or something to that effect. Then he just sat back, and waited for 50 replies to roll in. He puts them in his book. I think the FMDAC's list was compiled in the same way ..... or ..... simply taken from previous citations, which were, themselves, gotten from this method. Hey, who better to ask than a bureaucrat in that state itself, right? Doh!

But herein lies the problem: When whatever desk-bound bureacrat, decades ago, gets a letter like that coming across his desk, what do you THINK the easy answer is going to be? :rolleyes: While there may be (or may have been) innocuous beaches, parks of non-historic nature, or boondocks no one cares about, yet on the other hand, there might be historic themed monuments too, in each state. Obviously the person fielding this inquiry can't separate them all out, and say "yes for these 10, no for these 4, yes on the west side of this one, but no around the historic cabin, etc...." So guess what the easy answer handed down was? And mind you, in a lot of these states, these results were a surprise to those who had gone, un-bothered, to state parks there, since the dawn of time! Doh! So it's almost like we hobbyists, were our own worst enemy, getting things morphed to apply to us, to "address our pressing question".

But now that that damage is done, and now that we have these laws bent to apply to metal detecting, well then, here we are! The next question is the present one: Do these laws apply down to the city and county level land? Because if you're right, then you just effectively outlawed detecting in most states, except on private land.

I have a company attorney on retainer, that I am going to run this through, on Monday. It might take a few days for him to research it. I'll get back to the forumites here, and make it a new post.

Another thing I might add, is in the preface to Grim's book, he makes specific mention that his research was only for federal and state levels. He has a few sentences in there that it would be prohibitive to research this down to county and city levels, as there is just too many of them (especially when you start talking about the hundreds of thousands of cities across the USA!) Now why would Grim have said something like this, if the state-level laws, were by necessity going to be exactly the same down to city or county level? Thus, it has always been understood, that state level laws (like rules of conduct at park levels, for instance), can be different than city or county level parks.

At least this has been the common understanding of it. I will report back what my lawyer connection says.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2011 09:28PM by Tom_in_CA.

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