Texas is the second largest US state for population! And the good news is hobby is very popular in the Texas Highland Lakes.
There are a lot of experienced detectorists and many solid clubs in the area. There have been many highly valuable finds.
Using your metal detector without knowing the laws regulating the hobby would be unwise. It might cause you some trouble with local authorities in some extreme cases! Not to mention that it is not an ethical thing to do!
In this blog, I list as helpful information on the laws, regulations, the places you can go.
Also, I'll be sure to give you information about the Highland Lakes Metal Detecting club.
I will give you ideas on where to hunt, what to expect and how to approach metal detecting in the Texas Highland Lakes.
What is the Metal detecting laws in Texas?
There are no specific or clear laws addressing metal detecting in a concise format. However, the Antiquities Code of Texas does want to protect Texas Historical sites.
This code protects Texas archaeological sites and historic buildings from treasure hunters who steal many important artifacts. This law states that any agency or person cannot disturb more than 5,000 cubic yards of soil or earth before notifying the Texas Historical Commission.
According to some metal detectorists in the area, you should be very careful when it comes to historical or archaeological sites.
Anything believed to be more than 100 years old cannot be dug up or taken by detectorists or treasure hunters.
However, this law does not apply if the detection takes place on private land and the detectorist has prior permission from the landowner to find artifacts on the land.
Even for detecting in a Texas State Park, national forests in Texas, or any federal lands in the state, you will need to get a prior permit.
Where to Metal Detect in the Highland Lakes area
Highland Lakes area is a great place to detect. There are many old swimming holes, rivers, and lakes for underwater metal detectors. There are ghost towns, battlefields, mining, and railroad areas for relic hunters. Most parks and public places are open to coin and jewelry metal detectorists.
What type of Metal Detector to use in Highland Lakes Area
For land hunting, almost any detector will work, but the soil in the area is mineralized, so it would be best to have a detector that allows for ground balance.
For a starting detector at the time of this article, I suggest the Nokta Makro Simplex+; you can find those for under $300.
For a mid-range detector, I suggest the Nokta Makro The Legend, XP ORX Wireless Metal Detector, or the Minelab Vanquish 540; you can find these for around $600.
For a high-end detector, I suggest the Minelab Equinox 800 or the XP Deus II WS6; you can find these for under $1000.
For a pro detector, I suggest the Minelab Equinox 900 (~$1100), Minelab Manticore (~$1599), or the XP Deus II ($1599). I currently use the XP Deus II.