Basic, practical questions for those with more experience

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MountainMan304

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Hey everyone, so I'm pretty new to digging. I used to when I was a kid, but it was only this friend of my dad's whose property I would dig at and he invited me to do so--I never asked. This leads me into my question: how and when do you go about asking for permission to dig? I can't think of a tactful way to go about asking someone "Hey, can I dig a pretty massive, deep hole on your property to look for bottles?" without coming off insane. Where I'm from, people are very protective of their property and usually don't even like you walking on it just to get to their door! So do you guys ever offer anything to the home/property owners to dig on their property?

Also, if it's land owned by landowners who just don't use or live on the land, then how do you go about asking for permission or do you bother? Or if it's a corporation that owns it? I might just be overthinking this, but I wane towards the nervous side and I don't share the hobby with anyone else in my area (i.e., I don't have anyone charismatic to take the consent reigns). Thanks in advance!
 

jwpevahouse

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Often it may be difficult to determine the owner of a property. Discrete digging in rural areas out of sight avoids confrontation with property owners. Always fill in holes and avoid doing any noticeable damage. I've found the average person will not object to reasonable digging as long as you leave the site more or less as you found it. Updated "Posted, no trespassing" signs are required by the land owner for you to be accused of trespassing. Otherwise unless told you are unwelcome. Some people will dig in people's back yards.
Also entering what bottle diggers like to call an "abandoned building" isn't legal. Someone owns the property and they don't have to there guarding it.
Public property like public parks, historic sites or nature preserves are not legal for relic hunting without permission. Stay away, fines can be excessive if you are caught. In some cases prison.
 

embe

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...this friend of my dad's whose property I would dig at ...

Word of mouth can travel. Putting the word out there might be all it takes if you know a friend of a friend (or friend of a relative) that lives on an old homestead that will let you dig respectfully.

I've never dug myself (so might be oversimplifying things) but that would be my first approach if I did.
 

kokie

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Often it may be difficult to determine the owner of a property. Discrete digging in rural areas out of sight avoids confrontation with property owners. Always fill in holes and avoid doing any noticeable damage. I've found the average person will not object to reasonable digging as long as you leave the site more or less as you found it. Updated "Posted, no trespassing" signs are required by the land owner for you to be accused of trespassing. Otherwise unless told you are unwelcome. Some people will dig in people's back yards.
Also entering what bottle diggers like to call an "abandoned building" isn't legal. Someone owns the property and they don't have to there guarding it.
Public property like public parks, historic sites or nature preserves are not legal for relic hunting without permission. Stay away, fines can be excessive if you are caught. In some cases prison.
Often it may be difficult to determine the owner of a property. Discrete digging in rural areas out of sight avoids confrontation with property owners. Always fill in holes and avoid doing any noticeable damage. I've found the average person will not object to reasonable digging as long as you leave the site more or less as you found it. Updated "Posted, no trespassing" signs are required by the land owner for you to be accused of trespassing. Otherwise unless told you are unwelcome. Some people will dig in people's back yards.
Also entering what bottle diggers like to call an "abandoned building" isn't legal. Someone owns the property and they don't have to there guarding it.
Public property like public parks, historic sites or nature preserves are not legal for relic hunting without permission. Stay away, fines can be excessive if you are caught. In some cases prison.
As the owner of land with several 'abandoned' sites it is ALWAYS necessary to get permission. Discrete digging is not OK.
 

kokie

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Hey everyone, so I'm pretty new to digging. I used to when I was a kid, but it was only this friend of my dad's whose property I would dig at and he invited me to do so--I never asked. This leads me into my question: how and when do you go about asking for permission to dig? I can't think of a tactful way to go about asking someone "Hey, can I dig a pretty massive, deep hole on your property to look for bottles?" without coming off insane. Where I'm from, people are very protective of their property and usually don't even like you walking on it just to get to their door! So do you guys ever offer anything to the home/property owners to dig on their property?

Also, if it's land owned by landowners who just don't use or live on the land, then how do you go about asking for permission or do you bother? Or if it's a corporation that owns it? I might just be overthinking this, but I wane towards the nervous side and I don't share the hobby with anyone else in my area (i.e., I don't have anyone charismatic to take the consent reigns). Thanks in advance!
I am a landowner. Honesty, respect and permission will pay off much better with the landowner.
 

MountainMan304

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Thanks guys. I actually use the property ownership map that the government of my state puts out to see who owns the land. Often, it's a wild goose chase to find out how to contact those people as a lot of land in West Virginia is owned by entirely unoccupied (or occupied by private firms). So then that's my secondary question: what about for private companies or corporations? There's a lot of logging, gas, electrical, and mining corporations that own but do not use wide swaths of land. Reaching out to them in an attempt to get someone with the authority to say yes is just a naive pursuit. I figure in this case, it's really not as important as private, individual landowners? After all, outside corporations are the ones that pillaged West Virginia's land and people (joking, but many a truth is said in jest).
 

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