Federation of Metal Detector & Archeological Clubs, Inc

Wisconsin State Regulation

Is Metal Detecting allowed:    Yes, by special permit

You can view the state regulations HERE

Metal detectors may be used on DNR lands or waters only for locating specific lost personal items. A special permit is required.

Conditions of permit

A property office may issue a metal detector permit only to a specific person or designee for the recovery of one or more specific lost personal items, which must be described in the permit application. The permit specifies a limited search area within a DNR-managed property and a specific time between May 1 and Oct. 15 when the detector may be used.

Any proposed metal detecting within recorded archaeological sites requires review and approval by the DNR archaeologist (metal detecting is generally not permitted within reported burial areas, in any case).

Found items

Any recovered item(s) must be presented and reported to the property office for comparison with the permitted recovery. The property office will keep all recovered items not belonging to the permittee.

Archaeological materials (50 years old and older) may not be removed from their locations.

How to get a permit:

Fill out the permit form [PDF], including a list of your lost items. Send or take it to the manager of the property (park, forest, wildlife area, waterway, etc.) where you want to use the detector. The manager must sign the form before you use the metal detector.

FMDAC Disclaimer:  FMDAC assumes no responsibility for any person who knowingly or accidentally violates any state park regulation. Although FMDAC will try to keep this information current we cannot anticipate how each regulation will be interpreted by a specific park department, park employee or other government employee. It is the sole responsibility of each individual to know and obey the regulations of the park or area they are visiting and or metal detecting.