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Is Metal Detecting on the Decline?

jim tn

Well-known member
I started with the hobby in 1972. 50 years with it come this summer. I'm not sure, though, how one defines decline? Over my 50 years with the hobby, on a annual bases, I very seldom ran into other detectorists. Didn't then, don't today. I belonged to a metal detecting club for 25 or so years. Numbers remained pretty much the same over the years. A handful joined the club annually, a handful also dropped out.

I don't think there are as many hard core hunters today as there were back a number of years ago. By hard core, I mean, that put in as much time hunting. Too many other things available to occupy ones activities. Also, to much instant gratification is expected and necessary today, it seems.

Without knowing for sure, I highly suspect as many or more detectors get sold today as say, back in the late 80's and early 90's, A period when new offerings were coming out quite rapidly. Minelab sells a lot of detectors! Probably more with the Nox then any other time frame. So their sales seemingly aren't in decline. And that's what I was referring to when I mentioned defining decline.

A long way around getting to, "not sure if the hobby is in decline, or not." HH jim tn
 

Coin Rescue Inc

Well-known member
Yes it started declining with the advent of clad coins and tungston rings.
Good places to search are dissappearing.
Young people never had silver coins in hand to know what they are missing. The mom and pop stores are gone.
Is there a defector that will find bit-coins?
Paradise Lost🤔
 

irnwrkr

Well-known member
Metal detecting requires patience and many times disappointments due to trash being dug. Many people don’t have the tenacity to carry on in this hobby. People are out for instant gratification, and as time goes on there may be fewer and fewer out hunting
 

DFX-Gregg

Well-known member
As cities fence/gate school grounds, forest preserves ban detecting, the covid did not help less drops... Unless by a beach I would say yes it's on the decline as more and more people just carrying credit cards... I am almost up to $100 in clad.. but I am busting my butt having almost 100 hours in... just my style of hunting and what the areas I hunt give me... This same time 10 years agone I would probably have by least 50% more...

Also as old coins get dug up..they do not replenish themself... So without a doubt things getting tougher... I do see a few claiming to find large amounts of this or that... and I am sure some of them are true... but in general not as much a decline but getting a lot harder to find spots to hunt period... I more or less decide where I am going based on time of day and foot traffic... But I have been known to hunt around people sunbathing playing whatever.. but I also remain respectful to what they are doing...

Oh and that is not even mentioning large cities now have rubber mats and artificial turf everywhere!
 

Albert

Active member
Agree with all that’s being mentioned and especially about metal detecting being banned or having to get a permit to metal detect public parks or beaches. People don’t want to waste their time or money on that . I guess it’s both good and bad . But it’s not just metal detecting anymore. Other hobbies are being hampered by rules and regulations also.
 

pulltabfelix

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.😃
I think it is only fair that you carry with you some Rosies and Wheats and plant them for detectorists who follow you.
 

Scooter23

Active member
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.
In a way it’s the same thing that happens when you get a new car. All of the sudden it seems like everyone is driving the same model.
 

MuddyMo

Well-known member
....., 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.😃
iDXMonster your thorough hunting has probably been responsible for many new detectors being returned to stores because 'it doesn't work' and others quitting because 'its a waste of time, I hunted for 3 hours and didn't find squat' 😃
Seriously I have seen others (chances are they were beginners or not too serious) using cheap detectors, hunting places I hunted with good detectors and have wondered if they've know the spot was hit hard or gave up on the hobby because of the reasons mentioned above.
 

MuddyMo

Well-known member
I think it is only fair that you carry with you some Rosies and Wheats and plant them for detectorists who follow you.
I seeded my son's yard before giving my grand kids detectors for Christmas some years ago. I have considered seeding parks with a few wheaties. It could make someone happy someday. I doubt they'll be worth anything ever anyways.
 

LTDigger

Member
I know there are more md's being sold than ever before because I talk to them but I also seldom see other folk out there doing it. I've talked to people who buy a cheap machine on impulse and never take it from the box I blame reality shows and deep discounters on a lot of it. Dan Dankowski says that only 10% of lost coins have been found but most are either too deep or masked by junk. The dynamics may have to shift from quantity to quality especially for coins requiring doing smaller areas , digging out the junk to get better finds which may eliminate all but the hardcores.
 
WE MUST REFINE THE TRUE TERM WHAT A REAL "METAL DETECTORS USERS" IS!!!!!!, IT SEEM MOST TODAY USER SPEND MORE TIME MAKING Y-TUBE .PC, FACEBOOK VID POSTING FALSE CLAIMS OTHER METAL DETECTORS VS TIME HUNTING IN FEILD!!!!!!!!!!
I was told by a metal detector dealer that 90% of new detectorists pack in within a few weeks or months , we all know as pro's that 98% of what we dig is trash junk. I detect mostly to get out and enjoy the
country side with my detector. Good finds are just a bonus , that's the way to enjoy it and become a HARDCORE pro.
 

Ronstar

Well-known member
Just realized this was an older post……
Dont see a lot of other “serious” detectorists around here. Most buy a cheap one and quit a month or two later. This works good for us that honestly hunt! Downfall? They dig huge holes and we all get kicked out……
 

rick in mi

Active member
I've only been detecting for about 15 years. I started out clad picking. But when I started finding older coins it hit me like a bolt of lightning!! That's all I hunt for now. I very seldom see another person detecting. Of course I'm most always hunting in remote areas away from the public. I may only find one old coin in three or four hours. I stick with it because it's like fishing, and there are times when I don't catch anything. I still love the hobby though. hhrickinmi
 

rodbuster

Active member
I myself started in 1972 with a White's coinmaster TR unit like some of the other members here and would have to say things have changed with the times not so much is the hobby is in decline, the shine for some has just wore off. When the TV shows about metal detecting started up it provided no useful information about detecting and most people thought treasure is everywhere and all you have to do is dig it up. Because of some of these people productive sites were closed to detecting because of damage done by sloppy recovering. I still enjoy detecting and older finds aren't what they once were but if you care for the hobby this is the drive that keeps you going. Companies will keep bring out new models as long as units are selling and it's business. I am sure they aren't interested if I have a place to detect as long as there new unit sells. A couple of U.S. companies in the past few years closed because of low sales with overseas companies in the market. Times will keep changing and we will have to keep adapting and it's going to be the responsibility of the folks who really care for the hobby to keep it going.
 

Wild Willy

Well-known member
I don't see anyone detecting any more. I live on a farm near Millen, Ga. and there was always someone wanting to detect on Sherman's March trail that ran through the farm here. Even when I go down to Brunswick I see no one detecting the multitude of parks that date back to the early/middle 1800's . I believe in buying American but the foreign companies are now dominant. I miss White's, Tesoro, Nautilus, Compass and so many more. Even Garrett and First Texas haven't produced a great selling machine for a long time. I have no need for an underwater or pulse machine so an American made park and field machine would be great. I used to hunt in the woods but, at my age, the darn snake boots are too heavy. A lot of rattlesnakes are in this area. Everything with me depends on weight and balance. Even stopped carrying my .44 special (shot shells) and now grab my Smith "J" frame.
 

Mark kus

Well-known member
I was walking a road into a park last saturday and a guy driving by saw me and stopped I told him I was detecting the woods on the side along the driveway
into the park as I have found lots of silver in the woods where no one has detected.
He had a Deus2 and I told him right behind where I was standing my friend just found a GW button I found a silver half!
He could not believe it I said you need to expand on parks and go in the woods that surround them I do and make some killer finds.
Mark
 

fwcrawford

Well-known member
I was walking a road into a park last saturday and a guy driving by saw me and stopped I told him I was detecting the woods on the side along the driveway
into the park as I have found lots of silver in the woods where no one has detected.
He had a Deus2 and I told him right behind where I was standing my friend just found a GW button I found a silver half!
He could not believe it I said you need to expand on parks and go in the woods that surround them I do and make some killer finds.
Mark
I agree….. we need to start searching places and areas where others have passed right on by for years….hillsides are great too….they are often overlooked and still hold lots of finds.
 

Mark kus

Well-known member
I agree….. we need to start searching places and areas where others have passed right on by for years….hillsides are great too….they are often overlooked and still hold lots of finds.
Yep same park has a steep huge hill all overgrown with trees now we hit hit that and pulled many silver coins there last spring in old photos it shows people all over the hill I was glad I searched it! Couple old photos of the park the parking area alone always seem to give up a few silver coins when the regrade it.
Mark
 

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