Monday 28 Arpril 2014.Really this is a spin off post to the post I made before called 'Finder's Keepers'. There was one reply in the comments of that post that made me think of the question why do we metal detect. Take our hobby of metal detecting, it seems we all detect for different reasons but we all seem to fall into four catergories.
There are the nighthawkers, who every responsible detectorist condemns. This is illegal metal detecting and should not be done.
Some detect for the monetary value of the hobby, finding something they can sell to fund their hobby and even make some extra cash. Nothing wrong with that I don't think as long as they abide by the laws, for example don't trespass and report all possible treasure finds.
Then there are the people who detect more for the history, the thrill of the hunt and to find and own a piece of history that no one has touched since the day it was lost. They like to build up collections of their finds and go out detecting hoping to add to their collections.
There is another kind of detectorist who will detect just for the thrill of it. This kind of detectorist gets his pleasure just from the hunt, and don't mind handing over everything that he finds and is quite happy to walk away with nothing but the pleasure of just the hunt and finding things from the past. I admire the person who does this as it really does show true passion for the hobby.
I grant you some people can fall in between the four sections above but basically those are the four sections as I see it. Myself I fall into section three above. I just love collecting things, have done since I was a kid. As I like history, metal detecting for me is a way to build up a collecting of things from days past, my private collection of antiques if you like and nothing is for sale. Don't get me wrong, if I found something that could change my and my families life for ever, I'd sell it like a shot. But what,s the chances of that happening so I'm content in my own little world collecting as I go along enjoying my hobby.
Up until the other day I always thought that the finds we made unless classed as treasure was really ours, to keep or to sell. I never realised that there were laws in place about who has the rights to our finds. To be honest I always thought that if it wasn't a treasure find it was up to us if we wanted to hand it over to the landowner or not. Just that it was common courtesy to show or even offer the land owner what I had found and never really thought that these finds belonged to him/her by law. That's the bit that hit me, by law, as I like to keep within the law I will now have to declare everything to the land owner and say words to this effect, "This is all yours, anything you don't want I don't mind taking". I know I hear some you shout, I should have been doing this from the start.
Now being honest again, if I had a permission where the land owner took everything I would knock that permission on the head. I wouldn't get my 'buzz' detecting in those conditions. Don't really know if its because I think of all the money I've invested in my metal detecting equipment, all the time I've invested in the hobby or because I've nothing to show for it all, maybe all those three.
I still believe that it is finder's keepers. I've said before if a coin or other artifact was lost years ago, maybe hundreds of years ago, and the original loser of that object can't be traced, then its mine. Also I still believe that any object lost all those years ago didn't exist until I found it.
..................But at the end of the day, the laws the law.