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Should I be worried?

moltke_woods

Active Member
Jun 4, 2018
40
9
Northern Michigan
Since getting into the hobby of bottle digging and collecting I’ve had some concerns about getting in trouble for my hobby. I found my first bottle in a dried up creek in a public park in ohio. It was a d pat. Coca Cola and since finding that first bottle I’ve been hooked. After that day I set out to find more in a recreation area about 10 miles from the park I had good success finding treasure in the river in the summer when the water was low. From there I discovered dump sites alongs the banks and I dug and found some nice bottles. Since then I’ve moved back to my home state of Michigan and thought for sure my hobby was over. I started a new job and made a friend soon after. So with the itch to get out and find more bottles I asked him if he had ever found any old dump sites in the woods around here and sure enough he knew of a spot! Not willing to wait for him to show me I asked him that day if we could go after work to check it out. I was amazed and excited to see all the trash when we finally got there. As I followed him threw the woods I scanned the surface for anything worth picking up. I found a little blue Vick’s jar and stuck it in my pocket and continued to walk over piles of rusty cans and mostly modern bottles before we decided to get out of there. From the surface it looked to be a waste of time but I knew I’d have to dig to get to the good stuff. I’ve since returned many times to that site and have even found new sites in the same recreation area and pulled out some great local sodas and beers and common cork top meds from them. The good bottles are getting harder and harder to find and I’m considering stopping digging there all together because I’m afraid to get caught and when I am digging I’m constantly looking around making sure no one is coming lol. So I want to hear what you guys have to say about digging bottles on state lands, is it worth the risk or not? What kind of charges can you be faced with? Can I go to jail?
I know asking permission is always an option but don’t think I could get it at this place and I’m also not really interested in asking homeowners permission to dig the old privys on there property or look for farm dumps.

Any advice is appreciated and I would also like to hear some story’s of anyone getting caught in the act well out digging bottles in the woods and how it all went down.

Oh and another thing to add is I’ve posted some digging videos on YouTube at this location and I’m considering making them private now due to me not wanting to get in any trouble. Nothing in the video shows my location or even my voice or face but it still worries me. I wish these things weren’t an issue and I could just go enjoy a day of bottle hunting without fear of getting in trouble.
 

moltke_woods

Active Member
Jun 4, 2018
40
9
Northern Michigan
hey thanks for taking the time to share those links. I’ve been over them before and I do see where some of the things I do can go against the rules. I’m wondering more about the consequences of getting caught and to hear story’s of other people’s experience with getting caught digging as well.
 

Screwtop

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2018
635
43
Carter County Kentucky
I wouldn't even take a leak on state lands, let alone dig. I've never had any trouble with law yet.

One day in Pennsylvania, I visited a favorite dump of mine. I was walking home covered in coal dust, with ripped and torn clothes, and a backpack. A police officer rode up, and started questioning me. Obviously I looked like I needed to be locked away for good, but he was nice about it, and when I told him what I was doing, he laughed, and said "That's cool, I just wanted to know what you was doing. You look homeless". Gee, thanks a lot, lol!
 

WesternPA-collector

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2018
599
43
Connellsville, PA
That's one good way to put it. Never, ever dig on state or federal land. Game wardens will notice disturbances of any kind and just might hide a camera. Don't play with fire for a bottle, arrowhead or anything else.
Best to always assume a trail camera is hidden somewhere on public lands even if it is the woods. Sad that it has come to this but that's reality.
 

WesternPA-collector

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2018
599
43
Connellsville, PA
I wouldn't even take a leak on state lands, let alone dig. I've never had any trouble with law yet.

One day in Pennsylvania, I visited a favorite dump of mine. I was walking home covered in coal dust, with ripped and torn clothes, and a backpack. A police officer rode up, and started questioning me. Obviously I looked like I needed to be locked away for good, but he was nice about it, and when I told him what I was doing, he laughed, and said "That's cool, I just wanted to know what you was doing. You look homeless". Gee, thanks a lot, lol!
They don't know how to react when someone is actually out enjoying life and not bothering anyone.
 

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