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Is Metal Detecting on the Decline?

ManInTheWall

Active member
I ask this because, I have not seen anyone metal detecting in my area ( NE OHIO ), in the last 20 years. I'm not saying there isn't anyone doing it, I just don't see it.

In general, years ago, I use to see kids riding bikes, motorcycles, now everyone hides in the house, playing on their smart phones.

I remember going to a camp ground a few years ago... and no one was outside. Even camping now, many stay in their campers with their A/C and smart phones. A lot of our population is overweight and has a hard time walking!

So my question is, is the hobby growing or declining? As many outdoor activities are. Are Metal Detecting clubs shrinking? (Although there is less of a need for them with the internet)

And even if sales are up, are there really as many dedicated people putting the total # of. hours in, as their use to be?


A Nickel for your thoughts!
 

still looking 52

Well-known member
In my little world I'm seeing less metal detecting than I use to, my thoughts are just about the same as yours.
Also I play golf a lot and I walk the course not ride in a cart and I'm seeing less and less walkers, even the young kids are riding in carts.
 

Monte

Well-known member
[QUOTE="ManInTheWall, post":]Is Metal Detecting on the Decline?
I ask this because, I have not seen anyone metal detecting in my area ( NE OHIO ), in the last 20 years. I'm not saying there isn't anyone doing it, I just don't see it.[/QUOTE]Absolutely, especially here in the USA, and it has been for almost forty years. The hobby got off to a good start with growing interest in the mid-sixties, and by the very early '70s it became more and more visible.

As we went through the '70s and into the early '80s there were a lot of magazines at grocery stores and magazine shops that dealt with the metal detecting hobby.. Metal detecting clubs started, all across the country, and on any nice weather weekend as well as other days during the week it was not unusual to see people out and about metal detecting at parks and schools and all sorts of all sorts of public areas. I joined my 1st club in in January or February I believe of 1972, in Portland Oregon, and started one in Utah in '81/2, and my friend David & I started another club there in '85.

Most detecting clubs from small to medium to large would sponsor an open competition hunt every year and some of them were quite large with very impressive prizes. Attendance could be hundreds and there were a lot of very good times shared between club members and all those who came from afar to their hunts.

Many of us got into selling metal detectors early on because it was a great hobby to be in and it was fun being able to work with so many people looking to get into this great sport. Home-base dealers and some just dealing in detectors at a coin shop or hardware store and to the full fledged full-scale metal detecting dealers. And I mean local metal detecting dealers.

By the mid-eighties however you could feel the change with a lot of the small and insignificant detector maker's dying off. Even some of the bigger manufacturers here in this country went out of business and/or someone bought them out and started them up for a little while and it was back-and-forth until the early nineties.

When I went to work for Compass Electronics in July of '87, Ron Mac, cofounder and company President, Told me that they were for sale and and that things were not looking good in the industry. He said the detecting industry pretty much peaked right around '83 to '86, and as I looked back as time went by I realized he was correct.

We had a few surges with some of the remaining manufacturers that carried us on through the nineties and into this century, but it's definitely not like it used to be. The late eighties and very early nineties was an obvious time when many manufacturers were we're losing the market with many going out of business and some upstarts also failed in short order. With some discount marketing that started getting bad in '87 and '88, there was more and more cuts and more cut throat sales going on and many so called local dealers and those dealing from their home just started going out of business. Then when the Internet came about in '95 or '96ish it really took a turn. The treasure magazines died off, local dealers became almost non existent, metal detecting clubs started to fade away quickly and that meant no more or competition hunts like we used to see or other involvement with clubs trying to recruit new members. Most metal detecting clubs were made up of the older people who had been in there for a while and it seems like none of them went out to try and recruit younger people into the hobby .... or the younger people just didn't find this sport very interesting.

There is still a lot of interest in the metal detecting hobby in other countries like the UK, but here in the US, or I should just say North America, it has been on the decline and it looks like it will continue to decline slowly.

However, if anyone is really into this sport, and they devote some time to researching and finding sites to hunt, it will continue to be a fun hobby, just with a lot less interest and involvement.

Monte
 

u2robert

Well-known member
I ask this because, I have not seen anyone metal detecting in my area ( NE OHIO ), in the last 20 years. I'm not saying there isn't anyone doing it, I just don't see it.

In general, years ago, I use to see kids riding bikes, motorcycles, now everyone hides in the house, playing on their smart phones.

I remember going to a camp ground a few years ago... and no one was outside. Even camping now, many stay in their campers with their A/C and smart phones. A lot of our population is overweight and has a hard time walking!

So my question is, is the hobby growing or declining? As many outdoor activities are. Are Metal Detecting clubs shrinking? (Although there is less of a need for them with the internet)

And even if sales are up, are there really as many dedicated people putting the total # of. hours in, as their use to be?


A Nickel for your thoughts!
I'm delighted that there isn't anyone detecting my spots.
Are you complaining?
 

ManInTheWall

Active member
I'm delighted that there isn't anyone detecting my spots.
Are you complaining?
I feel the same way, delighted! Less competition!

I bought a Legend few weeks ago, first time I went out.... I played around at one place for about 20 min, it was a driveway, found some scrap metal. About 15 min later, I moved and I think I found a pipe, it echoed when I banged on it. About 10 min later, I found a 1912 coin! Can we say beginners luck? I just purchased a Deus 2, now I'm looking one day to purchase the 3030, an Etrac, and White V3I
 

ManInTheWall

Active member
[QUOTE="ManInTheWall, post":]Is Metal Detecting on the Decline?
I ask this because, I have not seen anyone metal detecting in my area ( NE OHIO ), in the last 20 years. I'm not saying there isn't anyone doing it, I just don't see it.
Absolutely, especially here in the USA, and it has been for almost forty years. The hobby got off to a good start with growing interest in the mid-sixties, and by the very early '70s it became more and more visible.

As we went through the '70s and into the early '80s there were a lot of magazines at grocery stores and magazine shops that dealt with the metal detecting hobby.. Metal detecting clubs started, all across the country, and on any nice weather weekend as well as other days during the week it was not unusual to see people out and about metal detecting at parks and schools and all sorts of all sorts of public areas. I joined my 1st club in in January or February I believe of 1972, in Portland Oregon, and started one in Utah in '81/2, and my friend David & I started another club there in '85.

Most detecting clubs from small to medium to large would sponsor an open competition hunt every year and some of them were quite large with very impressive prizes. Attendance could be hundreds and there were a lot of very good times shared between club members and all those who came from afar to their hunts.

Many of us got into selling metal detectors early on because it was a great hobby to be in and it was fun being able to work with so many people looking to get into this great sport. Home-base dealers and some just dealing in detectors at a coin shop or hardware store and to the full fledged full-scale metal detecting dealers. And I mean local metal detecting dealers.

By the mid-eighties however you could feel the change with a lot of the small and insignificant detector maker's dying off. Even some of the bigger manufacturers here in this country went out of business and/or someone bought them out and started them up for a little while and it was back-and-forth until the early nineties.

When I went to work for Compass Electronics in July of '87, Ron Mac, cofounder and company President, Told me that they were for sale and and that things were not looking good in the industry. He said the detecting industry pretty much peaked right around '83 to '86, and as I looked back as time went by I realized he was correct.

We had a few surges with some of the remaining manufacturers that carried us on through the nineties and into this century, but it's definitely not like it used to be. The late eighties and very early nineties was an obvious time when many manufacturers were we're losing the market with many going out of business and some upstarts also failed in short order. With some discount marketing that started getting bad in '87 and '88, there was more and more cuts and more cut throat sales going on and many so called local dealers and those dealing from their home just started going out of business. Then when the Internet came about in '95 or '96ish it really took a turn. The treasure magazines died off, local dealers became almost non existent, metal detecting clubs started to fade away quickly and that meant no more or competition hunts like we used to see or other involvement with clubs trying to recruit new members. Most metal detecting clubs were made up of the older people who had been in there for a while and it seems like none of them went out to try and recruit younger people into the hobby .... or the younger people just didn't find this sport very interesting.

There is still a lot of interest in the metal detecting hobby in other countries like the UK, but here in the US, or I should just say North America, it has been on the decline and it looks like it will continue to decline slowly.

However, if anyone is really into this sport, and they devote some time to researching and finding sites to hunt, it will continue to be a fun hobby, just with a lot less interest and involvement.

Monte
[/QUOTE]
Very interesting....

Another thing I've noticed... ( so far )... cross my fingers. As a newbie, when I ask a question on the message boards.. unlike some other hobbies I have... that tend to be dominated by younger people... every reply back is not some asshole with a smart remark!

Thanks for the background info... Ahh I remember magazines!
 

u2robert

Well-known member
I feel the same way, delighted! Less competition!

I bought a Legend few weeks ago, first time I went out.... I played around at one place for about 20 min, it was a driveway, found some scrap metal. About 15 min later, I moved and I think I found a pipe, it echoed when I banged on it. About 10 min later, I found a 1912 coin! Can we say beginners luck? I just purchased a Deus 2, now I'm looking one day to purchase the 3030, an Etrac, and White V3I
Slow down homeskillet you only have two hands.
Pick a detector and learn to use it, listen to what it tells you.
Don't be a jack of all detectors, master of none.
 
Last edited:

utmike

Well-known member
I feel like in my area MD'ing has surged. Being first on a site is getting increasingly more challenging. Along those lines, discreet target recovery is the thing that's on the decline. Guys hitting the parks with shovels more suited for fields aren't doing much for the hobby's image.
Leaving trash next to a plug, open holes, etc.. are also sure fire ways to get places shut down.
 

Mark ( ohio )

Active member
I ask this because, I have not seen anyone metal detecting in my area ( NE OHIO ), in the last 20 years. I'm not saying there isn't anyone doing it, I just don't see it.

In general, years ago, I use to see kids riding bikes, motorcycles, now everyone hides in the house, playing on their smart phones.

I remember going to a camp ground a few years ago... and no one was outside. Even camping now, many stay in their campers with their A/C and smart phones. A lot of our population is overweight and has a hard time walking!

So my question is, is the hobby growing or declining? As many outdoor activities are. Are Metal Detecting clubs shrinking? (Although there is less of a need for them with the internet)

And even if sales are up, are there really as many dedicated people putting the total # of. hours in, as their use to be?


A Nickel for your thoughts!
I live in N E OHIO also.. I've been in the hobby approx 25 yrs now. Even when I started I use to hunt 4-5 times a week and rarely seen anyone out hunting the same areas as myself. Now, alot of great spots are now off limits to hunting. I was an early founding member of our detecting club and by now the guys I've hunted with are OLD and possibly passed on. Myself, I try to hunt a couple of times a month now, it's a big deal to find a merc or barber dime or quarter.. Just going to pick up clad doesn't do it for me anymore.

Hope you enjoy the hobby.

Mark ( ohio )
 

ManInTheWall

Active member
I live in N E OHIO also.. I've been in the hobby approx 25 yrs now. Even when I started I use to hunt 4-5 times a week and rarely seen anyone out hunting the same areas as myself. Now, alot of great spots are now off limits to hunting. I was an early founding member of our detecting club and by now the guys I've hunted with are OLD and possibly passed on. Myself, I try to hunt a couple of times a month now, it's a big deal to find a merc or barber dime or quarter.. Just going to pick up clad doesn't do it for me anymore.

Hope you enjoy the hobby.

Mark ( ohio )
East Liverpool here. I noticed looking at used detectors online, some parts of the country have almost 0 for sale, other areas, they are more popular
 

Odanscoils

Well-known member
I ask this because, I have not seen anyone metal detecting in my area ( NE OHIO ), in the last 20 years. I'm not saying there isn't anyone doing it, I just don't see it.

In general, years ago, I use to see kids riding bikes, motorcycles, now everyone hides in the house, playing on their smart phones.

I remember going to a camp ground a few years ago... and no one was outside. Even camping now, many stay in their campers with their A/C and smart phones. A lot of our population is overweight and has a hard time walking!

So my question is, is the hobby growing or declining? As many outdoor activities are. Are Metal Detecting clubs shrinking? (Although there is less of a need for them with the internet)

And even if sales are up, are there really as many dedicated people putting the total # of. hours in, as their use to be?


A Nickel for your thoughts!
I'm in NE Ohio near Mentor.
I've been off a couple years. Injuries.
Normally I'm out every weekend. Weather allowing.
Gorgeous day today. Just to cold for me.
Strength still way down.
And through work where I take my machine daily.
I have interested at least half a dozen new detectorist.
No I don't believe it's dying.
Though YoTub could be hurting it.
Making people think you'll dig good stuff daily.
I'm still trying to figure how they get permissions on protected sites.
 

Willee - Texas

Well-known member
Hard to believe the market is that bad with all the research and new detectors being developed.
One of the reasons I do about 75% beach hunting is that the schools and parks are about dry.
What hasn't been found is now deeper down.
At the beach there are fresh drops every weekend.

I am always on the lookout for a sidewalk repair project or a park that is being re-sodded.
Got a school near me that is still worth hunting ... get a Rosie dime every now and then.
Several rings have come from there also.
 

Mark ( ohio )

Active member
I'm in NE Ohio near Mentor.
I've been off a couple years. Injuries.
Normally I'm out every weekend. Weather allowing.
Gorgeous day today. Just to cold for me.
Strength still way down.
And through work where I take my machine daily.
I have interested at least half a dozen new detectorist.
No I don't believe it's dying.
Though YoTub could be hurting it.
Making people think you'll dig good stuff daily.
I'm still trying to figure how they get permissions on protected sites.
I hit headlands beach maybe twice a summer.. thats about 1.5 hrs away from me
 

IDXMonster

Well-known member
It’s probably similar to other things…you have your “core enthusiasts” who do it come hell or high water….it’s WHAT THEY DO. Then you have the ones that come and go…a steady supply of people walking through the revolving door but never really building up significant numbers who stay for long.
When I started it was pretty cool to just be able to go out and collect clad, it was a treasure hunt that I was always successful at! As time went on I completely and totally evolved into an “old coin hunter”, and that’s what I target. This is obviously way more difficult….you have to have a site that’s old enough, you have to have equipment that will actually tell you about those older and deeper coins and you have to be able to handle being unsuccessful on a fairly regular basis. The ones that don’t stay in it usually don’t want to work very hard at it. This doesn’t include people who got out for health reasons,etc. You really do have to work at it. The latest machine won’t necessarily help you much, though it might. KNOWING YOUR CURRENT MACHINE INSIDE AND OUT will find you more than hopping from one machine to another. Practice good basic metal detecting skills….know how to ground balance and set the sensitivity….have IMPECCABLE coil control….and know when to move on to another site.
I am in a similar boat, I don’t see many people out detecting. Maybe 2-3 a year. And after I see them once in a place I’VE hunted, I usually don’t see them again.😃
 

TC-NM

Active member
Here, here Monte! Well said. Thanks for your memories and insight. I myself have been in two clubs in two different cites here in the SW. Yes the members are older averaging in age of 62. There has been a few members (husband and wife) that will join up that are in their mid 40's and will stay with the club for a short time and then drop out. They invest alot of money for detectors and equip., etc. Then get out of the hobby... other interests I guess? What I noticed is that the comraderie is the greatest number one thing that keeps us connected as a club.

I enjoy the hobby immensely and if my health holds up, I will still continue to detect. I've been at it since 1974.

TC-NM
 

fwcrawford

Well-known member
I feel like in my area MD'ing has surged. Being first on a site is getting increasingly more challenging. Along those lines, discreet target recovery is the thing that's on the decline. Guys hitting the parks with shovels more suited for fields aren't doing much for the hobby's image.
Leaving trash next to a plug, open holes, etc.. are also sure fire ways to get places shut down.
I seem to be seeing more people too since I got into the hobby 15 years ago.
With that being said, before I started detecting, I have only seen one person detecting while on a camping trip some years ago.
 

BigTony

Well-known member
Plenty of folks detect here and many all year long. In my home town I don’t see folks detecting but larger parks get hit hard when you travel to them. Many folks are asking permission to get some fresh grounds.
I do need to get out more because I have lost the urge I had before. Could be age or pandemic thing that happened.
I am buying a new machine to try to re-gain my interest; hopefully that will get me out more.
 

casull454

Active member
I seem to be seeing more people too since I got into the hobby 15 years ago.
With that being said, before I started detecting, I have only seen one person detecting while on a camping trip some years ago.



I don't know, but it could be Felix that you are more observant to it now that you are a participant. I've noticed that with myself on some things. Once I engage, I suddenly notice there are more people doing it than I recalled prior.
 
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