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Discussion Starter #1
I have not collected anything before but I am nearing retirement and my wife and I will be travelling quite a bit. I think the answer to this question is no, but I hope it's not.
Can you collect cartridges/brass from battlefields? Can you use metal detectors on battlefields?
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I know Custer Battle Field and Bears Paw National Monument it's forbidden. I was at BPNM after a range fire swept through in the early 80's (like 81 or there 'bouts) and there were all sorts of things in the ashes but "NO TOUCHY!!!" The same happened at Custer Battlefield and National Geographic forensic anthropologists had a hey day going through spent brass, identifying rifles by firing pin marks etc. Pretty neat.

But "No, you can't" use your metal detector at least in those. Big Hole Battle Field either it's a no no.

I think it disturbs the ghosts?

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's what I assumed. Collecting arrowheads on government property is forbidden too, I assume. And if you're building and come across some, you'll be shut down for months. If it was just me, there wouldn't be much loss but there's a lot of "just mes."
 

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A Federal archaeologist told me that stuff on the surface is 'ok' but I am a Federal biologist, so maybe some "leeway"? I would double check to be safe!
 

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Metal detectors are just about forbidden on federal lands unless you're prospecting with intent of filing a claim.
I live near the Oregon and California Trails where it was common for years to pick up nails, ox shoes, buckles and stuff that fell off or, more likely, thrown away. Just recently, I heard of a group catching heat from BLM for 'possession of ' a metal detector on the California trail. They have also just shut down the search for the Jarbidge stage coach gold which was said to have been hidden in 'Silent City of Rocks' which is a National recreation area (rock climbing) that still allows cattle grazing and hunting, but NO metal detectors. It is a prominent mention on the California Trail and still has artifacts from the 1850s.
Gubmint! Go figure.
 

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A lot of public beaches forbid the use of metal detectors too.
 

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I picked up a few arrowheads on the local NWR and was escorted to the office on my way out. Fortunately the director knew me and just sat a show box full of arrowheads in front of me. I emptied my pockets. This was 45 years ago and I haven't forgotten yet. Normally my buddy and I would walk around the shoreline and collect fishing lures.But Noooo, that day we saw some flint, or chert, and were magically compelled to rescue it!.


My Mother had her batteries removed from her metal detector at the old fort at the end of Santa Rosa Island, I believe, where Geronimo was caged up for so many years that he walked a circle into the floor.
 
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